By Stephanie Sical
Gender oppression continues to hurt people and to detail how it begins a gender oppression workshop was presented Tuesday.
The workshop consisted of 21 females participating including Sonia Rivera, director of sexual assault services, and facilitator Claudia Arevalo.
“The presentation was originally planned to be presented for [a] parent’s type of audience, but the youth was into it more,” Arevalo said .
The presentation was designed to be a figurative tree composed by the root, the trunk and the fruit.
Arevalo started with the roots which represented ideologies that can be identified to cause gender oppression, and how they can be found in today’s society, one of which was language and the type of language being reinforced through music, lyrics and movies.
The types of movies in which the roles women play solidify the ideology that women are submissive to men or that women are only supposed to look pretty or used as a sexual object.
An example used in this first part of the meeting was the Cardi B song “WAP.” The song talks about female sexuality in a way not done before.
The presenter pointed to the irony that for years women had not only tolerated, but lived with rape culture songs, lyrics and movies, and now they are quickly judged and bashed by men and women.
Arevalo described it as a “perfect cultural lens to look through right now. The reactions to ‘WAP’ really showed us how misogynistic and patriarchal a lot of people view our society still.”
The trunk is the support part of the tree which keeps the structure of the tree together, meaning the institution that keeps the belief of gender oppression very much alive, like the institution of marriage for example.
There are lighter sentences for rape of a spouse in the United States essentially saying that a spouse has a right or access to their spouses body in other words undermining the rape act because it happened while being married, and there is that stigma or believe that the body belongs to their spouse.
In some cases, married women have shared or have accused their husbands of sexual abuse and its not taken seriously because they are married, the root of the problem is the believe that because of marriage a woman is obligated to have sexual relationships with her husband whenever and or without her consent.
The fruit is the result of how this hurts everyone.
Arevalo did a photo presentation of different ad campaigns showing the results of the roots of the problems with gender oppression.
One ad for jeans depicted five males surrounding a female struggling on the ground, while one male model is pressing her against the floor while posing for the camera.
That ultimately affects males and females because the males doing the raping end up in jail and the females dead, raped or both.
This is caused by the feeling of the pressure of patriarchy and the ideologies that they are supposed to be strong, the head of the house and only providers.
Men are trained at a young age to suppress their feelings and emotions.
Many depressed men who have struggled with the thought of suicide have shared that they feel like they weren’t living up to the expectation.
Men have also struggled with the concept of feeling like a paycheck, because often in custody battles may end up losing for the most part against the mother and feel excluded from the parenting experience, which tends to led some to depression, drugs, bankruptcy, homelessness and suicide.
Patriarchy, sexism and institutions that support these beliefs are not just hurting women, but also men.
They might be hurting in different ways, but it all influences and builds up off each other.