As division is a prominent issue in our society particularly among women, gender division is often overlooked and not taken seriously.
A workshop titled “You Go Girl: Building Communities Rather Than Division” was held in the Lower Commons on April 11 to inform the CSUSB community about struggles that women face.
Therapist Gwendolyn Brower-Romero presented the workshop as part of the Counseling and Psychological Services Spring 2018 Wellness Workshops.
One of the struggles women face is from other women who feel the need to constantly compete with and criticize them in everything they do.
According to the Counseling and Psychological Services website, the goal of this workshop is to examine the ways society socializes women to be caretakers, other-focused, combative, and competitive to one another rather than building a sense of connection and community.
Though this is a societal issue that occurs every day, very little attention has been brought to it. Brower-Romero says, “My point in this presentation was going to be that the first steps we have to take is building awareness. Just kind of allowing ourselves, giving ourselves permission to even tolerate the discomfort of having this conversation.”
The event was created to bring students and others to have a conversation about the topic, but there was no audience at the workshop to initiate the conversation.
There are various possible reasons for why there were not participants for the workshop, but the lack of attendance illustrates how this issue is not often considered by others.
“I think it’s such a rich topic that you could never talk enough about it,” Brower-Romero said.
Communication in society is essential for our well-being, but there are some unhealthy ways of communication that can cause repercussions in how we interact with each other.
“We internalize those negative messages, and I think oftentimes that is what drives us to be competitive with one another because we accept the norms of a patriarchal society,” Brower-Romero says.
There are not any statistics to show if this issue is prominent on campus, but she did give her personal input on the subject.
“I think it’s a big issue anywhere. I wouldn’t say that it’s more here necessarily. I don’t have any evidence to suggest it’s worse here than it is other places. My perspective is that we kind of live more in a patriarchal society. That it is going to be reflected in anywhere we’re at, whether it be in small groups, like within our families or at larger institutional levels too.”
“There’s a lot of research that shows just internalizing that oppression and that sexism is going to impact the decisions that we make, whether we’re going to take on certain risks or not and how we evaluate other women,” Brower-Romero said.
It is clear that people are not perfect, but it is up to the CSUSB community to help bring change in the way we converse and behave with each other, especially among women.
“My hope was in this presentation was to really start a conversation around it and start to build some awareness around these ideas of sexism. For example, is not just something that exists in other people because it’s in the air we breathe. It exists in all of us on some level,” Brower-Romero said