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The Paradox of an Empowered Woman

Updated: Apr 4

We’ve all heard stories about empowered women; we might even know a few—women who have carved their way to the top, women who have made their lives through sheer will and hard work, women who have beat all the odds against them—it goes on and on.

 

The dream is to be an “empowered” woman!

 

But is it all that it's made out to be?

 

I’m not here to argue that being empowered as a woman is somehow wrong. Rather, I want us to think about what it entails. How are empowered women treated in our society? What standards do they have to meet to be considered “empowered”? 


 Empowered women are to be outspoken, confident, likable, and ALWAYS correct. 


 There can be no room for error because then she's not an empowered woman; she's a bad influence—empowered women are not allowed to make mistakes because they are not viewed as humans. Instead, they are used as an example of what kind of empowerment is allowed and applauded. If they deviate from that standard, even by mistake, they can quickly be replaced with ANOTHER empowered woman. 


Moreover, outspokenness in the context of empowered women is a bit misleading. Empowered women can be outspoken about some things, but definitely not systematic issues, because then they are again acting out of their prescribed roles. She becomes not an empowered woman but a hateful, negative, and jealous woman. It doesn't matter if she's confident or uplifting marginalized groups; if she hurts the sentiments of the ruling class in any way, she will be held accountable. Empowered women are likable until they say something you don't agree with.


Unfortunately, the term “empowered woman” has been misconstrued in our current everyday discourse. Every woman is empowered and every woman isn't—likeability has become a huge part in what allows someone to be empowered or not.


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