Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and other prominent women are calling out Canadian male politicians for prancing around in high heels in an effort to raise awareness about domestic violence.

“Keep us posted on how many femicides this prevented,” said Rowling in a quote tweet of a video posted by Liberal transport minister Omar Alghabra. The British author revealed back in 2020 that she is a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The video shows Alghabra along with other male ministers and MPs walking around a committee room in pink high heels. Other elected officials seen in the video include Liberal housing and diversity and inclusion minister Ahmed Hussein, Green Party MP Mike Morrice and Conservative MP Larry Brock.

The April 20 activity called “Hope in High Heels” was organized by the Halton Women’s Place, a GTA women’s shelter, with the help of Liberal families, children and social development minister Karina Gould. 

Halton Women’s Place describes “Hope in High Heels” as “an avenue for men and boys to show support for women experiencing domestic violence by wearing hot pink heels.” The program has, however, evolved “to include everyone”. It now welcomes “any age range, any ability level, (and) any gender identity.”

In addition to a reception on Parliament Hill, the women’s shelter organizes yearly “Hope in High Heels” walks in the Halton region.

Rowling is not the only prominent woman to call out the “Hope in High Heels” activity. The latter also received criticism from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Turning Point USA personality Savanah Hernandez, Toronto Sun Editor in Chief Adrienne Batra and Olympian Sharron Davies, among other big names.

Alghabra responded to criticism by calling out “insecure men” with “fragile” egos – amid people like People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier and Dr. Jordan Peterson also criticizing the activity. Alghabra however did not address the criticism coming from many prominent women.

“A credible organization that combats violence against women has been coming for years to Parliament asking male MPs to help them raise awareness about their work. Yet, a group of insecure men gets triggered when they see men wearing high heels speaks to how fragile their ego is,” he said.

“Ironic that those who complain about how easily offended society is are easily offended by a simple gesture,” added Alghabra.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that Canadian male politicians have been criticized for wearing high heels for feminist causes. Former Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole had received some blowback online after wearing red heels to participate in a “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” activity to support a Durham region women’s shelter.

True North reached out to the Halton Women’s Place shelter for comment, but they did not respond in time for publication.