By Natalia Angeles
As the Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes to an end, the East Los Angeles Women Center brought attention to the numerous issues that contribute to the oppression of women.
The ELAWC held a workshop on “Roots of Gender Oppression” that was facilitated by case navigator Claudia Arevalo and college advocate Arlene Torres.
Arevalo spoke on the great impact oppression had on on women, especially in today’s society.
“There are ways to combat this..ways to address this,” Arevalo says.
Arevalo said oppression could be said as a tree of life metaphor.
“The trunk are the institutions support these ideologies; the roots are the ideologies you can identify that cause gender oppression, and the fruit is what are the consequences of all of this?” Arevalo says.
Arevalo said that men have carried this old ideology of being superior to women. Keeping this ideology over the years has supported domestic violence.
The ideologies presented such as sexism, patriarchy, culture and Economy are all something to look closely at when talking about gender oppression.
Arevalo said most of the oppression is foreshadowed through culture, especially the community. “We have a culture that is not communicating around these problems,” Arevalo said.
The lack of awareness a community has contributes to the prolonged injustice women face every day.
“The time we see a shift is when we come together,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said economy, especially capitalism, has profited from women suffering. “Let’s reflect and mourn the idea that women are always being targeted to buy self-defense products,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said that social norms also are of the reason behind oppression.
When talking about clothing, some in the audience said they felt more comfortable wearing masculine clothes.
Arevalo said women are supposed to attract men through revealing clothing. “The companies are mostly wondering how can one attract men?” Arevalo said.
She said many women are being endangered by the old ways of thinking, along with the government and companies upholding these ideologies. Arevalo said, “Women are viewed as sex objects for men.”
It all falls on how a collective can come together to “empower and give knowledge,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said opression by enforcing injustice which is seen within the birth of the system. “Laws made in 700 BC by the Roman Empire allowed wife beating,” Arevalo says.
Averalo said in order to tackle the oppression of gender, it is essential to keep being hyper aware of one’s contribution to the problem.
The example she used was Latino communities trying to break from the ideology of machismo.
“Machismo centers around people thinking men are stronger than women, as well advertisements applauding men for cleaning a table,” Arevalo said.
If in need of counseling regarding domestic violence or sexual assault the ELAC Women’s Center is always open.
For more information contact them at (323) 526-5819. You can visit their website on https://www.elawc.org/.