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Thoughts on Power Feminism

EP's picture

In class, we discussed the concept of power feminism and whether or not it is helpful to feminism as a whole. Many people felt that power feminism was individualistic and working within the patriarchal system that already exists to gain power, hurting those who are oppressed by the system along the way. I then began to wonder about the concept of empowerment within feminism. Feminism, at its most basic level, is the belief that we are all equal despite our gender. However, we live within a patriarchal system. How can the concept of empowerment work so that all everyone oppressed by the current system can gain equality? So that it's not really "power" feminism, but rather "empowering" feminism? Should power really be a goal at all? Is a hierarchical system coming into play when we consider the concept of power?


MargaretRachelRose's picture

I found myself wondering the

I found myself wondering the same things as you. I think, if womenor any kind of feminsit were using power only to control others or for selfish gain, then they would be no different than the domineering patriarchal system at large today. When I thought of power feminism, I thought of it as something solitary, internal, personal. Instead of gaining power and then using it to take (because everything involving external power becomes take take take) power, it’s more like...nurturing power within ourselves to feel more cohesive and to feel stronger, never diminished. It’s the power to say no – and to hold steadfast to that no – if you don’t want to do something, the power to combat adversity, the power to practice confidence and to inspire that in others, the power and strength to pursue their passions and achieve their greatest ambitions, etc. If that’s not what power feminism is, isn’t that what it should be?