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Men in heels walk around Downtown in protest of sexual violence

Aaron Montes
Phi Delta Theta Vice President Troy Rowden crosses the finish line after completing his walk in high heels.

Three hundred men strapped on high heels in participation of the nationwide Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event at the Garden Restaurant Tuesday night. The men included firefighters, judges, bikers and members of four UTEP fraternities.

The national event is a men’s march in the effort to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

Casandra Reyes, a member of the Inclusion and Advocacy program at UTEP, said the program partnered up with the YWCA to stop violence against women. The program invited fraternities so they could come and engage in the cause.

Reyes said that she became involved because of her personal experience moving to Ciudad Juárez in 2008, when crime began to rise.

“Everyday you would get the news and read about women who died,” she said. “So it was hard, but it gave me a spark to do something about it.”

Among the invited fraternities were Phi Delta Theta, Omega Delta Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Alpha Kappa Lambda.

Phi Beta Sigma president James Boyd, junior criminal justice major, led his fraternity who joined in on the annual event. He said that he and the fraternity were there to provide support for a cause that involves UTEP and the community.

“It could affect you and you never know when it will,” Boyd said. “Support everything you can because you never know when things will affect you directly or indirectly.”

Boyd also said that walking in heels was a challenge and that it was hard to control your legs.

“I give women respect,” he said. “I feel like I have Bambi legs. It is hard.”

Tony Castañeda, a member of the Ballet Folklorico Quetzales group in El Paso, came to support the event.

Castañeda said that he had witnessed hard situations with abuse in his family and in a past relationship.

“We are supporting this cause because here in El Paso, a lot of women encounter domestic and social problems,” Castañeda said. “You feel so bad because of the person abusing you and you just get a tough psychological problem. It’s horrible when you go through it.”

Orlando Gallegos, an activist among the crowd, said that in El Paso the influence of machismo is the cause of abuse between men and women in the city.

Gallegos carried a sign stating “Women are not sex objects,” to send the message that a woman who has a husband or boyfriend is still at risk of being sexually abused.

“I am just very active in the feminist movement,” Gallegos said. “I think if more men were more active we would have a much better world in general.”

Aaron Montes may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Aaron Montes, Staff Photographer
Aaron Montes is a junior multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He graduated from Burges High School in 2010, where he was the head photographer for three years with his yearbook organization, Hoofbeats, the newspaper, Stampede and a literary magazine, Pegasus. With The Prospector, Aaron has been a photographer, the photo editor and multimedia editor. His major contributions to the publication have come through coverage of the ASARCO and City Hall demolitions and with the bomb threat on campus March 28th. He plans on doing investigative reporting in political and economical issues in El Paso and nationally. He strives to become part of the Associated Press.
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Men in heels walk around Downtown in protest of sexual violence