To empower means “to give power, authority, or control to.” What is power worth if the only way you can obtain it is to fulfill the patriarchal mandate of beauty standards and sexual availability? What is this power worth if women remain overwhelmingly valued for their sexuality while men continue to be valued for their intellect and leadership abilities? What is this power worth when women are socialised to adhere to these ideas of femininity as defined by men?
This ridiculous “all choices are sacred” mentality has polluted mainstream feminism so thoroughly that it has no meaning or goals anymore.
Some women choose to stay in abusive relationships. Some women choose to steal stuff. Some women choose to abuse drugs. Some women choose to shame other women. Some women choose to be anti-feminist. Some women choose to profit from the low-paid labour of less privileged women. If some of these aforementioned women feel good about the choices they made, despite what harm they may cause to themselves or others, “empowerment” simply has no place in the conversation.
Let’s say you feel happy and “empowered” by posing naked in a porn mag. Well, good for you. But you don’t live in a little bubble world of your own where your choices have no social consequences and are 100% your own idea. Men who look at those naked pictures of you dildo-ing yourself don’t think, “Wow there’s a powerful woman, taking control of her life!” They think, “Wank material!” Every woman who “chooses” to perform in pornography, prostitution, stripping, etc. is maintaining the status quo (for which I do not fault her; I understand that some women do what they feel they have to do to survive in a patriarchy) by ensuring men that they will continue to have the sexual access to women’s bodies they have felt entitled to since nearly the beginning of time, and in light of that fact, “empowerment” becomes an absolutely meaningless, useless notion because it exists only in your own head. Men still hate you no matter how much you capitulate because patriarchy teaches them that women are subhuman objects for them to use and dispose of as they please. You can’t challenge that kind of poisonous misogyny by reframing something that they themselves believe is filthy and disgusting as “empowering.” If you don’t believe me, go listen to the way men talk about women in porn and prostitution.
Feminism doesn’t exist to make every woman feel good about every mindless thing she does. Its purpose is to liberate all women from (heterosexual, white) male supremacy. If you refuse to acknowledge that this self-obsessed, narcissistic, individualist mindset does nothing to improve the social reality of women as a class, you are beyond help and it’s embarrassing that you call yourself a feminist.”
home-of-amazons in response to this: “As I said in a previous post, choice plays a very major role in feminism. If you want to stay at home and cook and clean while the man of the house gets out and works and that choice makes you happy, then you’re goddamn right it’s empowering. If you want to be a successful, work oriented woman and you get out and put all your effort into doing just that, it’s empowering. If you’re in porn and that’s what you enjoy doing, it’s empowering.
If somebody says that you’re not empowering yourself by doing what you love because you’re serving a man or not somehow breaking the status quo or even taking some jizz to the face on camera, they don’t know what ‘empowerment’ truly means.”.