By Liliana Marquez
The word “machista” has always had negative connotations but the new Machista Club will try to reform the definition of the word and its significance in today’s society.
During Occupy ELAC, Elan Mike Sanchez saw some division between the men and women who participated in the movement and decided to create a Machista Club.“At first, the idea seemed childish, but it slowly began to gain momentum and is now in its final stages of hopefully becoming an official club,” said Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, after the idea sprouted, he decided to do some research on the subject. “I was doing some brief research and it turns out that the word machista comes from the Latin word mascŭlus which simply means men,” Sanchez said.
He wants to take advantage of the attention this word gets to favor the club and reach ELAC’s students.
“I want to use the attention the word gets when people hear it and use it to our advantage. I want to turn all those negative things regarding this word into something positive,” Sanchez said.
“We know words are associated with many negative things. If we were to ask people what they think about a machista or what a machista is, they would probably answer that he is a woman beater, womanizer,” Sanchez said.
Some people think that a machista is someone who beats his wife or children, who is close-minded, cheats on his wife/girlfriend, uses abusive vocabulary or sees women as property. The Machista Club wants to change this ideology. The founders of the club want to create a place where everyone is welcome regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
The club’s founders also believe that students should explore and learn about different people to avoid discriminating or making assumptions based on what other people tell them. According to Sanchez, this club will be a great opportunity to allow Elans to get a new perspective about what a machista is.
Along the club’s plans for the future, they also include helping Elans with their education.
“We also want to empower students to educate themselves and look for something more to achieve a higher level of education. “It will be a catapult for students to learn and share,” Sanchez said.
The club also plans to focus on volunteering in and out of campus to allow students to discover their potential.Sanchez has the support of the club’s adviser, ELAC’s Chicano Studies instructor Omar Gonzales, who according to Sanchez, thought that the idea of creating a Machista Club was interesting.
“He is my instructor. I saw him and thought he could be a good adviser. At first he was surprised when I talked to him about my idea, but as I started to explain, he thought it was interesting,” Sanchez said. But the future of the club is still uncertain, as they are still waiting to know if they will get chartered. Even though they have not submitted the paperwork, Sanchez said that they are doing everything right and that the process should be smooth.