Stinkin Thinkin #1: Empowerment (in the Feminist sense)

Now, it’s true: I have a penis.​

So, no matter that I have two daughters that I’d lay down my life for, no matter that I can proclaim​ with complete honesty that I’ve been nuts for women since around 2nd grade, no matter how enlightened I may- at least occasionally- consider myself.. I’m still fated to see the world primarily through Man Lenses*.

​That being the case, I accept the fact that when it comes to my female counterpart, there will be some things I will struggle to understand. But I’m willing to learn. 

Lately I keep running into this term: Empowerment. ​I’m finding it used in the context of feminism, liberation, etc. The latest example is in this video blog by Melissa A. Fabello, posted on the fabulous missrepresentation.org. Please do take the time to check this out; I think Melissa makes some great points here. She is in fact, my immediate hero for speaking this:

“What I am opposed to is not using your all-powerful critical thinking skills to analyze what you’re enjoying and what effect it might have on society..”

As far as I’m concerned, we could really just end there and do quite nicely. Yes people- THINK.​

But moving along, Melissa seems to be questioning whether some of the things that are portrayed as empowering women, actually are. I wonder about that too.​

​Now again, I’m not a woman, so maybe I can’t understand. And it’s not my fight, right? ​Only maybe it is. I have a mother. I have a wife. I think I mentioned I have these two daughters. I have a stake in this.​

I desperately want empowerment – as it’s used in this context – to stand for something greater than, “the freedom to act as stupidly as men have acted for thousands of years”. ​​

*These aren’t always all bad, contrary to the image trending in current media portrayals. It could be a great thing actually, if we could all get our crap together and update the way boys are socialized.

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