Empowering empowerment

From the Onion, all the way back in 2003.

OBERLIN, OH—According to a study released Monday, women—once empowered primarily via the assertion of reproductive rights or workplace equality with men—are now empowered by virtually everything the typical woman does.

San Diego women empower themselves by eating dinner unaccompanied by men.

“From what she eats for breakfast to the way she cleans her home, today’s woman lives in a state of near-constant empowerment,” said Barbara Klein, professor of women’s studies at Oberlin College and director of the study. “As recently as 15 years ago, a woman could only feel empowered by advancing in a male-dominated work world, asserting her own sexual wants and needs, or pushing for a stronger voice in politics. Today, a woman can empower herself through actions as seemingly inconsequential as driving her children to soccer practice or watching the Oxygen network.”

If a woman does it, that’s a woman having agency, and having agency is empowering, therefore it’s empowering. Game over, everybody go home!



  1. khms says

    And I hope you don’t mind me posting links here, but this is an excellent piece on a similar theme: https://theconversation.com/no-feminism-is-not-about-choice-40896

    Hmm. Maybe it’s just me, but that piece seems to spend almost all of it’s time pointing out the problems with one strategy (which are not particularly hard to find), and very little arguing what the alternative should be. And on the way, they also seem to fall prey to the same overgeneralization they are decrying.

    Plus, I seem to recall hearing from feminists that attacked the system and told people that a most important result is choice.

    So …

  2. brucegee1962 says

    It looks to me as if their main target in this Onion article isn’t feminism, it’s the advertisers who have made “empowering” into the new buzzword.

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