Chinese male students race in high heels ‘to experience mothers’ pain’
Series of similar events held at college in China ahead of Mother’s Day, state media report
University students in central China have held a series of events ahead of Mother’s Day to simulate the difficulties women face, including a race in high heels, state media reported.
The events were staged by mechanical engineering students at the Wuhan Institute of Technology in Hubei province, the People’s Daily reported.
The aim was to allow the students – largely men but also some women – to experience the “hard work” that mothers go through in time for Mother’s Day, which falls on May 14 this year in the United States.
During the high heel race, students ran on the track in customised heels, ordered especially for the event to accommodate the larger feet sizes of some of the male students. The school purchased six pairs of size 49 shoes.
Liu Shuyuan, an instructor at the university’s student union, told the newspaper she remembered her own mother wearing high heels while planning the event.
“Experiencing the pain first hand is more much profound than numerous lessons about theories,” she said. “A mother’s love is truly powerful.”
Another activity involved two students balancing a basketball between their stomachs, while standing barefoot on a foot massage board. The ball simulated a baby inside a mother’s womb, while the discomfort of the grooves on board was meant to reproduce the cramping and swelling of a pregnant woman’s feet.
University student Yang Dan was quoted as saying the event was at first just “novel and fun”, but later he began to empathise with the pain mothers endure: “Standing on the pressure board, my feet were numb and in pain. It’s really hard to imagine how a pregnant woman is able to survive this.”
The final event involved students piggybacking each other across the massage board to understand the difficulty of mothers carrying children on their backs.
Liu said the event was also intended to help the students change their zhai nan lifestyles, a Chinese term used to describe socially awkward men who rarely leave their homes or dorms.