Feminism is not empowerment

Happy International Women's Day. 

As my regular readers know, I am a big fan of Call Your Girlfriend podcast. Their most recent episode triggered again a thought I had following an earlier episode of theirs. In this earlier episode, they tackled the word empowerment. Empowerment, which constantly underpins lack of power in the person who is being empowered. Obvious, no? But at the same time, it reinforces this unequal distribution of the power. One never says, let's empower white, middle class males. But as long as we stress the need for empowerment, we continue to position ourselves as being without power. Empowerment does not equal freedom. It does not equal equality. 

Freedom is not empowerment... Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the ‘right’ to education, the ‘right’ to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency.
— P.J. O'Rourke, The Liberty Manifesto

And, reverting to this latest podcast, Feminism is not empowerment. It is a serious political movement. This is often misconstrued and, admittedly, I am guilty of this. For a long time, I did not associate myself with feminism because, in my own mind, I thought equality was achieved by ignoring the social differences between men and women. If I ignored it, it would not apply to my reality (i.e. ignore to destroy). Ha! When has that ever been true? And then there's this other reality check, and we saw this with all the women that voted for Trump: we often stand with our male counterpart, but we have so much more in common with our sisters. The Women's March in January was a recent example that showed us this. We must stand together, as a promise of freedom, as a testament to our power.

We are a power to be reckoned with; life force runs through our very blood. Let us not forget, and let's get to work. For those of you just waking up, take a look at some things you can do to stand in solidarity today.