Monday, January 5, 2009

Self-Empowerment? Really?

Apparently this week is Women’s Self-Empowerment Week. That’s right, the week most people tend to devote to signing up for gym memberships and making long lists of things they ought to be doing is the same week that women everywhere should feel “empowered.”

I’ve always had a real problem with the word empowerment. I find it all too self-help-book-aisle and sort of feel like it’s one of those words that doesn’t really mean anything. Ultimately, empowerment is about power. If you don’t have any power, you probably don’t feel very empowered. For many women, telling them they should feel more empowered is a sick joke as they work overtime to pay off their mountains of bills and hope they don’t get sick because they don’t have health insurance or paid sick leave.

In other words, all too often it isn’t a “power of positive thinking” mindset that gives us power, it is our powerful circumstances and accomplishments. Telling all women, some of whom have pretty cushy circumstances and others who have pretty terrible ones, that they should feel empowered is silly. Rather than setting aside a week on the calendar for them to reach into their “self-empowerment” bag, maybe we should work on a social safety net that will give women the tools to make a good life for themselves.

Cross posted on Pushback.

1 comment:

Doug Allitt said...

Hi Kay,

I believe EVERYONE should have a self empowerment day EVERY DAY of their life.

If you find yourself in a position of "no power" it is of the utmost importance that you begin reaching for the tools to change that.

Even if it is something as simple as positive affirmations, a person can start to make a difference - at least they will have the feeling of having made a start, no matter how small the "start" may seem to be.

Changeing from a situation of "no power" to being a confident empowered personality is a journey, and, as with all journeys, starts with the first step.

The important thing is to make the start. I guess that would be the reasoning behind having a self-empowerment week - to encourage that first step.

Every person should be encouraged to step forward and be more that they thought they ever could.

Well, that's my two cents worth; I'll just step off of my soap box and say,



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