Personal Reflective Essay: Internalized Oppression

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My experiences as an Ecuadorian American have strengthened my voice and interests in exploring power, privilege and oppression revolving women. Internalized oppression has affected my ability to do things, my sense of self- efficacy and essentially my self-esteem. I realized I haven’t done as many do things in my life so far that I know I could’ve succeeded at. Things like sticking to playing basketball or soccer, to joining debate teams after school which was mostly filled with guys. Instead I quit because I thought I wasn't good enough and I wished I was as good as my male cousins. I’ve found myself struggling to sport my opinions in front of people, to share my creative thoughts despite my extrovert character and bold sense of humor. Instead I’ve mastered becoming really observant.
I tend to hold onto my feelings which eat me up inside emotionally. And no matter how desperate I am to
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I was taught since the age of six, if not younger, that when it was time to eat, I had to get up and help to serve the food. But as the years went by, I began to realize how unfair these gender roles were, and understood that it was being justified by popularized machismo and patriarchal social systems that they’ve been used to growing up in their home country. Soon enough began to hide from my mother and aunts when it was time to serve the food. It was moments like those when I’d question myself: Should I argue to my aunts why they’re doing wrong in implementing these roles on young girls like me? Or “Should I just stay quiet, submit, and not risk an argument?” and “Can I change such family traditional gender roles?” Because how do you challenge norms and advocate for yourself when we have been socialized to play these roles and follow traditions for
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