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You’ve probably heard of the “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” philanthropy, even if you didn’t know the name of it. It’s a national philanthropy that raises awareness for, and seeks to help stop, rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. Hundreds of fraternities and other groups from all over the country put on this event every year. You know, the one where guys wear high heels and walk a mile to raise money for these extremely important issues. You’ve definitely at least seen pictures of this. It’s kind of gimmicky, to be sure, but that undoubtedly helps its appeal and has aided in its growth and success.
You also are probably aware that people who aggressively police political correctness tend to be shit-your-pants-and-shout-at-the-moon crazy. To the point where their efforts are, hilariously/tragically, wildly counterproductive. (But the super important thing is that they get to feel like they’re really good people.)
So what happens when you combine the two? Nothing that benefits sexual assault or gender violence victims, apparently. Thanks University of Arizona Women’s Resource Center! You sound awesome at your jobs.
This afternoon, we got an email detailing how the Arizona AEPi chapter planned a “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” event — the one that benefits, you know, women — but had it torpedoed by the aforementioned University of Arizona Women’s Resource Center. Why? Like the headline says, for reasons too insane to make up. Seriously, go get a beer, come back, take a few drinks, and try to process this. (Emphasis mine.)
Last Tuesday morning just four days before the event Jack Kaplan [AEPi’s philanthropy chair] received a call from Krista Millay [director of the Women’s Resource Center]. Kaplan had initially invited the women’s resource center to come to the event with the hope of support from them, however when they called Kaplan, they referred to him as a “Fratboy” and told him what he was doing was homophobic, transphobic and sexist.
He was told that the Women’s Resource Center thought that this event was sarcastic and will have no positive impact on anybody in any community.
Krista Millay and, apparently, the rest of the University of Arizona Women’s Resource Center was convinced that AEPi was going to the trouble of organizing a campus wide philanthropy, spanning several days and costing who knows how much money and man hours, as a big, sarcastic joke. Let that sink in. That’s an adult human thinking that. I read this and stared off into the distance for like twenty minutes, trying to figure out how someone could reasonably believe that was what was happening. It’s breathtaking how far up their own ass someone has to be to legitimately believe that a large group of strangers would go to so much trouble to make fun of them. I think we just found the greatest example ever of having too much self-worth.
They thought the entire philanthropy was sarcastic. That’s worth repeating because I don’t know if anyone can fully comprehend how bananas that is. It’s like saying, “I thought your graduation ceremony was facetious,” or, “I’m pretty sure dad’s funeral was a joke. They really committed when they actually cremated him. Where is that scamp? This is a riot.”
In response to the initial email Kaplan sent to the Women’s Resource Center about AEPi’s philanthropy, Millay also told Arizona’s Greek Life office that it sounded like he was “begging to be thanked” and that it didn’t seem like he or the rest of AEPi actually cared about sexual assault issues.
Here’s that email.
Kaplan: Um, hi, my name is Jack and me and my fraternity brothers believe sexual assault is a serious problem. We plan on throwing an event to help raise awareness and money for it. We would really like all of you to be there because you do such good work and are the local experts.
Krista Millay: Ohhhh, wooowwwwwwww. You’re helping out women with your little dumb event? So nice of you to finally care FUCK YOU YOU PRIVILEGED CIS-WHITE-MALE PUPPY DROWNING SHIT PILE WE DON’T NEED YOUR CHARITY. I WILL STAND OVER YOUR CORPSE AND SMILE AS THE PATRIARCHY BURNS TO THE GROUND AROUND YOU.
You have to wonder where this is even coming from. Was this lady having the worst day of all time when AEPi’s email was forwarded to her? Like she woke up, stubbed her toe on an active land mine, detonating it in the process, then later was cut off on her way to work by a car she could clearly see was filled with all her loved ones bound and gagged and being held at gunpoint by terrorists, and finally got into work, poured herself a cup of coffee, and took a sip only to realize that it was cold because it was from the day before and also was really just a pot of old diarrhea? Seriously, she got into work that day and just wanted to burn shit down. Can’t say I haven’t been there before, to an extent, but damn.
Arizona’s Dean of Greek life advised Kaplan to cancel the philanthropy out of fear of backlash, as the Women’s Resource Center had apparently threatened to protest should AEPi go through with their philanthropy benefiting women. I hope no one who works at the Arizona WRC ever runs a food bank. People will starve.
WRC Worker: [to food bank donor] Yeah, sorry, we don’t take any food with GMOs.
Starving Person: [from behind] I’m so hungry, I don’t care. I will eat some unholy raw ear of corn that Monsanto grew in a lab and engineered to be cotton candy flavored. I just want to eat.
WRC Worker: No, trust me, you’re better off.
Starving Person: I’m dying.
The surprise tantrum didn’t stop with the WRC director, though. The WRC’s Men’s Programming Director, Jamie Utt, was supposed to speak about sexual assault at an event sponsored by AEPi as a part of the philanthropy, and set to be attended by members of every fraternity and sorority on campus. Initially, for reasons I cannot fathom, Utt, who works for the University of Arizona and was speaking to U of A students, was charging $250 to do what was literally already the job he’s paid to do. After Kaplan’s exchange with Millay, however, Utt upped his fee to $1000, because the people who run the WRC might actually be awful human beings.
Keep in mind, these are adults employed by the University of Arizona talking to and dealing with undergrad kids who attend the University of Arizona. Is this just how things are at that school?
Kid: I’m wondering what classes you think I should take this semester if I want to get into the business school early.
Advisor: How about, “Fuck Your Own Face 101.” Now get out I’m tryna eat this cheeseburger and take a Goddamn nap, bitch.
Apparently, in an attempt to keep the event from being cancelled, Kaplan reached out to Johanna Sofield — with whom Kaplan is somewhat close and who runs the Long Beach Christmas Angel, where Kaplan also volunteers — to contact Millay and help convince her that she was wrong to essentially force the event to be cancelled. Apparently, once they started speaking Millay told Sofield that she is “sick of getting calls from white men, those dads of white privileged kids” and that white men have no concept of what sexual assault means. All this according to the email we received.
With the event essentially squashed, AEPi instead ended up putting on a petting zoo to raise money for The Gift of Life Foundation, a bone marrow cancer charity.
So, uh, congrats on being the most mind-bogglingly employed human beings in America, staff of the University of Arizona Women’s Resource Center. You set out to make a difference and you did. By denying women some charity and alienating men who were innocently trying to help. Hooray!.
Image via WalkAMileInHerShoes.com