Akron, Ohio: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

I’m not sure that there’s ever been a time in my life where I’ve missed living in Ohio more than this. Because on Friday April 26th, you guys have the opportunity to hang out and walk for an excellent cause with cool people like this:

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BAD. ASS.

The 8th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is for everybody- men, women, teenagers and children from Summit County and the surrounding communities (MEDINA! Represent). Walk through downtown Akron to protest rape, sexual assault and gender violence- causes that can never have even light shed on them.

My favorite part?

Men are encouraged (but not required) to walk in women’s shoes.

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Proceeds from this event will benefit the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties. The walk is scheduled to begin at 6 PM with registration starting at 5 PM in Downtown Akron (Lock 3).

little kid

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes provides an opportunity for the community to stand together against sexual assault and to raise awareness about this violent crime. Even though the original idea emphasizes men’s involvement, their partners, sisters, mothers and friends often join in too” said Dave Rich, WAMIHS planning committee member. Started in 2001 by Frank Baird Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has grown to become an internationally recognized event. Dave states that “men wobbling in heels or fuzzy pink slippers on downtown Akron sidewalks can be pretty amusing but the cause they are marching for is quite serious. While sexual assault has traditionally been viewed as a women’s issue the reality is that sexually violent crimes have no boundaries and affect us all. Statistics show us that approximately 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males will be affected by sexual violence in their lifetime.” Akron’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is in its 8th year and is quickly becoming a unique tradition in the Akron community.

the march 5

Start a fundraising team today and help to fight gender violence one step at a time!

Help the Rape Crisis Center raise money by donating here.

To start your own team, click here.

Contact Dana Zedak at 330-777-4723 or DanaZ@scmcbws.org with any questions if you prefer not to register online. 

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The Lady Hooters

The all-male staff.

Mies Container, the restaurant that is said to be “Hooters for women,” has been receiving some extensive coverage from the media lately.  Located in Seoul, South Korea, it features an all-male staff with an atmosphere closely resembling a factory/construction site.

In an attempt not to look through a Western perspective, why exactly was this theme chosen? Clearly, it fulfills that rugged, dirty fantasy some women must lust after. But why didn’t they go for the whole male stripper-esque/cheerleader thing the real Hooters has going on?

An unidentified manager said the following of Mies Container:

“By simulating the concept and design system of a male-only working space of a construction site, and showing a very masculine enthusiasm and passion we wanted to appeal to young women who comprise an important consumer base. We don’t discriminately hire staff based on their looks but we are focusing on hiring those with energy and masculinity. We agree to some extent about the comparison to Hooters.”

For one thing, it certainly supports the stereotype that men must be “macho” in order to be viewed as real men. This is the sort of pressure that leads to trouble, similar to the way women struggle with body image, deciphering proper levels of feminism, and double standards when it comes to having sex.

Taking a step back, the concept of Mies Container is supposed to be fun. Twenty-something Korean girls seem to be enjoying it. If something similar were to come to America with a Chippendale male staff, the ladies would probably love it here, too.

So, go do your “thing,” boys.

Anatomy of a Failed Pick-Up

On weekends, I live a second life as a hostess at a chain restaurant in downtown Chicago. Overall, I like to describe the experience as “humbling.” And sometimes- on a rare occasion- I get a phone number.

Hi Charlie.

Enter Charlie.

(Disclaimer: Charlie was drunk. This particular level of suaveness can only be achieved after a certain point of intoxication.)

The following steps explain how to not get a lady:

Step 1: Over-complimenting

Contrary to popular opinion, there is such a thing as being too… whatever you call this. Throwing down amazing amounts of “beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, sexy” isn’t going to do anything for you, other than leading you to be categorized as “sketchy” or “creeper.” Certain things are only beneficial when they’re sincere. Disingenuous complimenting will get you nowhere.

Also, there’s absolutely no way to look sexy in that work uniform. Have you guys seen slip resistant shoes? Yeah.

Step 2: Living across the country

There’s nothing like admitting you live in LA to a girl in Chicago.

Step 3: “Sweetie”-ing

Never acceptable. Unless you are my grandfather.

Step 4: Impressive levels of forwardness

While telling me that upon admiring my existence at the host stand, you came to the conclusion that you wanted to kiss me is one thing, blatantly telling me you want me without ever having an actual conversation with me is super special. Meaning not okay.

Step 5: Then followed by asking her what her interests are

You can’t tell me you want to have sex with me and then ask me what my interests are. We’re way past trying to get to know each other, sir.

Step 6: “Am I a women’s issue?”

Yes.

Step 7: Making assumptions based on major/college

I made the mistake of assuming everyone in Chicago knows that Columbia means Columbia College Chicago and not the super prestigious Columbia University in New York. I told Charlie I was studying journalism and he told me all about liking smart girls. When I corrected him about my school, he did the whole well, then, I’m into artsy girls, too. Listen up. Stereotypes are never cool, but seriously, don’t insult a lady’s intelligence.

Step 8: “Did I give you enough material?”

Yes.

Answering #LadiesWeWantAnswers

As you may or may not have noticed, a recent trending topic on Twitter was #LadiesWeWantAnswers. Since I took a brief hiatus from blogging, I found some inspiration from HelloGiggles and seized this excellent opportunity to return.

Apologies in advance, curious gentlemen.

@MannyMr_antoine asks, “What is wrong with women and wanting others “opening up” to them?”

Manny, nothing’s wrong with us. Some people happen to be more private than others and that’s fine. But if we wanted to have a conversation with, you know, a cereal box or something, we’d do it.

@bigpapi asks, “Women have been making sandwiches for centuries. How come these women can’t???”

Me. Right now. Via: funbagsxxmcbooty.tumblr.com/

I don’t know, Papi. Maybe you’ve put on a few pounds and this is, like, a nice way of telling you that you’re getting kind of fat and we’d rather not contribute? It happens : (

@edg323 asks, “y do y’all fake like being good girls in the beginning but really hoes underneath?”

Obviously because we’re HOES, Eddie.  Don’t trust us.

@edg323 asks (again,) “y ask for advice and opinions and disagree with our results?”

Eddie, I personally don’t trust people who can’t spell “why,” but also, maybe it’s because you think we’re all hoes?

@JayWestEndClay asks, “y get dressed for attention den act like yall disrespected?”

A man friend of mine recently asked me if I even own anything that shows cleavage (No, what kind of a 21-year-old do you think I am?), so I might not be the most reliable source here, but bare with me.

Yeah, we want attention. What the hell is wrong with that? Nothing. My question to you, Jay, is when did wanting “attention” become an open invitation for harassment? See: Slut Shaming.

@No1butBakeDawg asks, “If you don’t tell us what you want, then how are we supposed to know?”
I have absolutely no idea. I’m 100% guilty. For super irrational reasons, it’s usually easier to expect men to have mystical mind-reading abilities and then get mad at them, rather than be a little vulnerable and admit what we need from someone when our feelings are hurt.

Male Guilt and Our Contribution

Misandry made cute. Via David and Goliath

“But what is a coping strategy when you are frustrated and don’t know how to cope because you can’t even articulate what the problem is? You try to make the other person feel guilty,” says Lisa Hickey of the Good Men Project.

Hickey recently addressed the tendency to throw the blame of all “women’s issues” upon men’s shoulders.

She asks herself if there’s ever been a time in her life when she found herself feeling guilty for no other reason than for being a woman. She answers “no.” Most men tend to feel differently…

And so, you have male guilt.

The by-product of our good-intentioned fight for recognition, respect, and equality that, at times, has turned into “how can we make them feel ashamed for how WE feel?”

Misandry, the hatred or dislike of men or boys, is said to be the outcome of all sorts of things. Some say it’s because we envy men. Or because we’ve been oppressed.

While men have certainly done us wrong in the past, the present, and will inevitably continue to do so in the future, it’s simply unfair to categorize this entire sex as being the enemy. Some men are ignorant. But then you’ve got gentlemen like those behind the Good Men Project. It’s important to recognize this and not be ignorant ourselves.

Because women will continue to do other women wrong, as well. Guys aren’t fair game.

We’re not always right

And for some, the inability to accept the fact that women are not always right when it comes to disagreements in relationships causes some men to be completely taken advantage of.

Double standards make it hard to tell what "too far" really means. Via The Good Men Project.

Ron Mattocks’ “When Men are the Victims of Abuse,” sheds light on this problem that’s a lot more common than you’d think.

In his personal account of being emotionally abused by his ex-wife, Mattocks explains his new-found anger management issues. During arguments, he’d find himself destroying objects in his surroundings, throwing glasses at the wall. He knew his behavior was unacceptable and also recognized that his own acting out could be classified as a form of abuse, too.

“I was terrified at the prospect of being a monster. That wasn’t me,” he says.

In order to stop his behavior, Mattocks would immediately back away from prospective fights.

“Finally, one night I snapped. On top of the marital stresses, there were problems at my job, but my wife didn’t want to hear about it. Instead she wanted to take issue with my emotional unavailability. Months of restrained frustration erupted as I grabbed her and screamed in her face to leave me alone.

I was immediately terrified. Until then, I had never laid a hand on anyone. Now I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Ashamed, I broke down and left. My wife, in turn, filed a domestic abuse report with the police, thus giving her all the ammunition she needed in proving I alone was to blame for our unhappy marriage,” Mattocks recalls.

Clearly, Mattocks is not the “monster” in this situation; however, that didn’t stop him from feeling that way. He responded inappropriately. But if it was the other way around- if he switched roles with his ex-wife- would it then be acceptable?

We hurt men, too.

“This is very difficult for mainstream society to accept as we have been socialized to believe that only men batter women,” says Barb Topliss of the Canon City Daily Record.

But it’s something that needs to be brought to the surface.

According to Topliss, 39% of domestic violence victims in the U.S. are, in fact, men.

I’ve become open about my own sexual assault this past year. Saturday marks the two year anniversary. While I’ve moved on from the unexplainable need to keep this part of my history secretive, it’s still very much a part of my present as well.

It’s important to understand that people who have been in this situation are very, very angry. So much so that they may act out violently as a result. No, I’ve never caused physical harm to another person because of this, but I have acted out in ways I have recently recognized as being “violent.”

It took me a while to realize this.

Mostly because I felt I had some sort of right to treat this person as I did because I’m a woman and he’s a man, which means he isn’t allowed to reciprocate, right? Somehow this justified my actions. And somehow I was able to keep myself in line. The anger was there though and it scared me.

The thing that women like me have in common with men who have encountered such side effects is that we stay silent. And it’s that silence that causes the most harm.

Because this will never get old

The Hairpin has been a big inspiration behind this blog, so it only seems fitting that I include one of their editor-in-cheif, Edith Zimmerman‘s ridiculously entertaining stories, such as this:

“Man Writes Unintentionally Hilarious List of Man ‘Secrets.'”

Visual example of what's on our minds. Via bradylou.com

Making fun of women’s magazines will eternally remain a favorite past-time of mine. So please do yourself a favor and read this collection of quotes by “man-blogger” Rich Santos, gathered from none other than Marie Claire.

You have the obvious and hilarious sexist remarks, such as “we wonder if you talk about anything other than boyfriends, shoes, bags, and reality TV.”

FYI: We do, but if that’s all you’re able to get out of a lady, I’m going to assume you’re super boring yourself.

You’ve also got the self-deprecating remarks like “it’s no secret that we don’t like to think,” to which Zimmerman simply responds with “:(.”

All in all, this is purely for entertainment purposes. I’m sure I could use Santos’ advice in the future as examples of gender bias and how sexism is still a prevalent issue in today’s society. Easily.

The love/hate relationship with beauty

The Good Men Project has pulled through for the ladies once again with their recent piece: “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful” by Marrie Lobel.

There's reason behind this amount of effort. Via beautyredefined.net

Lobel explores the many meanings of beauty and what elements in particular go into creating such ideals.

The story can be broken up into three categories:
1. Biology
2. Social Capital
3. Redefining Beauty

According to Lobel, “unless you are an enlightened individual, you are manipulated by society and biology in some way. It’s not easy to see beauty beyond the ugly, hateful, disgusting, or despicable descriptions of things we’re given by society. That takes mindfulness and compassion that eludes most of us.”

It briefly hits on what actually makes men attracted to women, from purely sexual attributes to subconsciously associating certain traits as signs of good health. There’s actual chemical reactions that occur when attraction takes place in our bodies. It’s fascinating.

Women want to be “beautiful” for a lot of different reasons. They do it for validation, to receive a sense of belonging, and yes, even to attract those they desire. What it means to be be attractive varies from culture to culture and we d0 the things we do within our own society to fit these sort of standards.

How far we’re willing to go to meet these ideals is an entirely different story.

Today women are attempting to redefine the term “beautiful.” This new wave supports self-acceptance and individuality, which can ultimately lead to the changing perception of the word for the best.

“If a woman chooses to wear make-up, heels, and designer clothes, she needs to understand why she does it. Is she a slave to a certain perception of beauty? Or is she not a slave at all, just a woman who enjoys and appreciates that form of beauty?,” Lobel asks.