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Red heels on male cadets: Irksome to some, with others applauding

Should this be a big deal or not?

Somehow, unsurprisingly, what unfolded at a recent public event highlighting sexual assault awareness has turned into a polarizing issue.

Here's what has aroused the indignation and even pure wrath of some people, while at the same time eliciting a warm response from others:

Male army cadets in red high-heel shoes.

Following an order to participate in the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month by the Army's Reserve Officer Training Command (ROTC), cadets from various universities did just that. They showed up at 5k walk/run events in various locales wearing the aforementioned foot gear, sometimes while in uniform and sometimes not in military garb.

Cameras started clicking, and it didn't take long for images to appear on Facebook and Twitter.

"[I]t just makes me sick," said one retired noncommissioned officer. A former Army warrant officer addressing the subject stated that if he had a child participating in the reserve officer program, he "would pull them from this Mickey Mouse ROTC."

Not everyone was angered by the photos, though. One woman said that such views were "missing the point and the entire symbolism of the red heels."

That symbolism, of course, is shared empathy with the victims of sexual assault, which was certainly understood by ROTC leaders when they demanded their cadets participate in the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event.

Regardless of the context or controversy that may surround any aspect of sexual assault, it goes without saying that the subject matter is always volatile and frequently explosive.

As we have commented in prior select posts, accusers absolutely need to have their day in court and attain justice when they are victimized by a criminal act. Conversely, and to dispassionately promote justice, accused parties, too, must have the right to secure legal counsel who will aggressively protect their legal rights and interests.

Some people might find the red heels an irritant and a distraction, but they indeed serve a purpose when they spotlight the sensitive area of sex crime allegations in the military.

Source: Military.com, "ROTC cadets wearing heels for sexual awareness spurs review," Bryant Jordan, April 23, 2015

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