The event, which has been running for four years, aims to educate men and boys about gender-based violence while also raising funds for the women’s shelter. However, the sight of male MPs parading around in pink heels has been met with criticism from some social media users who found the spectacle insulting and argued that it trivializes the issue of violence against women.
“This circus is not helping women in any way, shape, or form. It’s men having a goddamn laugh,” one Twitter user wrote. “Male violence against women is not a laughing matter and it certainly won’t be reduced buy [sic] a bunch of pr*cks parading around in heels.”
Others echoed this sentiment, arguing that male violence against women should be tackled through laws and norms punishing perpetrators rather than through a “circus” that fails to address the root causes of the problem.
“Men doing drag lite doesn’t exactly say ‘be confident of our ability to protect you in public as you go about your lives, ladies.’ That’s what women need. Laws and norms punishing [male violence against women] harshly. Protection. [Because] we are physically weaker, not [because] we wear heels,” another Twitter user wrote.
The controversy surrounding the “Hope In High Heels” campaign has been compounded by a recent incident in which a transgender woman was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at a women’s shelter in Windsor, Ontario. The accused, 32-year-old Desiree Anderson, who is also known as Cody D’Entremont, reportedly surrendered to police after the alleged assault, which has raised questions about whether women’s shelters should allow transgender women to stay with other women.
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