Week dedicated to empowering and educating women

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Published 2010-11-01T20:03:00Z”/>


Tasha Clark

Junior Desiree DeLattre was more worried about counting calories than her schoolwork. Her notebooks were filled with numbers to remind her of all her meals instead of notes for class.

Last year, DeLattre had anorexia.

The turning point was seeing a Post-it note by the Women’s Center that said, “Your body hears what you think about it,” DeLattre said.

“I want to be that Post-it note for other people,” she said.

This year, DeLattre and junior Kerri Lohse attended the “Body Talk” workshop during Women’s Bodies Week from Oct. 25-28 because they both had eating disorders a year ago.

“We can actually come here and talk about our bodies,” Lohse said.

DeLattre has overcome anorexia, but she keeps the notebook to remind her of how far she’s come, she said.

At the fair

The purpose of Women’s Bodies Week is to show the physical, spiritual, sexual, emotional power of women, said Sharina Jackson, program coordinator.

The Women’s Center and other organizations hosted an information and activities fair at Trinity Commons, spreading information about female empowerment.

There were two silhouettes displayed in Trinity Commons. On the first, women covered body parts they liked with Post-it notes. The second was to post body secrets anonymously, said Maria Mandujano, an intern at the Women’s Center.

Some body secrets stated, “I love all of my curves!” and “Self-conscious, but I’m trying to love me.”

During the fair, there was a “wage gap bake sale” with prices of baked goods based on race and sex. Goods were sold to men for $1, to white women for 78 cents, to African-American women for 69 cents and to Hispanic women for 59 cents.

The center wanted to show students how it is in the workforce and get the students to question why there is a wage gap, Mandujano said.

Women’s Health Specialists had self-help kits, survival guide packets and samples of birth-control methods. They also had a body-warrior pledge to empower women that said everyone is different, so be proud of who you are.

Part of the Women’s Health Specialists’ philosophy is self-help and letting women know about their bodies, said Natalia Butler, an education outreach coordinator for Women’s Health Specialists.

Community Legal Information Center was at the fair spreading information on domestic violence toward women.

Women who are victims of domestic violence can come to the office and receive help filling out a restraining order, said Leah Peters, director of the Women’s Law project. The packet is usually long, so the information center helps them decide what steps to make.

Organizations that contributed to building the Wall of Hope – a wall made of donated bras to raise breast cancer awareness – were selling different items to donate money to the Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital, said sophomore John Barbieri, a business major. The goal was to raise $500,000 for a new digital mammography machine that can detect tumors earlier.

The machine will save lives in the north state, he said.

Finding a common ground

The women’s health and body workshop and a sex education workshop were held Oct. 26 at Common Grounds and explained how women can self-examine themselves at home, Jackson said.

There was conversation about things that make women feel sexy, but are not good for them, such as alcohol, she said.

“Alcohol doesn’t make you sexy, it just decreases your insecurities about yourself,” Jackson said.

For the sex education workshop, there was a talk about sex toys and how to feel comfortable in the bedroom, she said.

The body talk workshop was presented by Stephanie Chervinko, psychologist and adviser of the Wellness Center.

She showed a slideshow presentation on how society and the media impact women about their bodies and image.

People were also asked to participate in two activities. One required them to go through magazines and find advertisements that displayed women needing to pay for something to enhance their beauty, such as gaining false lashes to make them prettier.

For the second activity, groups were asked to interact to illustrate how they connect with each other. Each individual circled body parts listed on a paper that they’re uncomfortable with, then had a “negative talk” with each other. The objective was to show that most women have body issues, some more than others.

Freshman Jessica Henriquez had negative body issues about herself, she said. She thinks she was able to understand those issues by attending the body talk workshop.

People can’t base what they want to look like from what they see in magazines, she said. Now when she looks at magazines, she’ll look at them differently.

Tasha Clark can be reached at [email protected]

  1. Empowering women
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