There was a discussion recently among some gals about what constitutes an empowered woman.
And if we feel empowered, how did that come about?
I was proud when a friend or two has called me a feminist. And they said it in a way that doesn't imply that I'm a bra-burning, man-hater (in fact I am looking for all the support I can get for my post-baby 40Ds, and I love my husband, although I must admit having a bit of disdain for many/but thankfully not all men. LOL)
Instead, I think they mean it that I see myself as an equal. Not at bench-pressing dead weights, mind you. But at the stuff that matters, and that's what's in between my ears.
My empowerment did come out of finishing my four-year degree and divorcing my POS first husband who told me I couldn't do it after years of holding his big bad 4-year degree over my head as if it gave him some kind of wisdom only bestowed on the mighty bright who studied English.
And I don't encourage anyone to divorce their spouses unless I know them to be abusive, and even then, I'm careful about doling out that kind of advice. But I DO encourage people to stand up for themselves. Men or women.
In fact, the best empowerment is when a person makes decisions for him or herself AND his or her family, with the entire group in mind.
It is a balance though isn't it...
But I also know several women who have learned more in the School of Hard Knocks than I could have ever pulled out of my years at the University of Washington.
So let it be said, empowerment is just a new and improved word for feminist without all the 1960s baggage that the word brings with it.
And I've always said it's not about getting rid of your baggage -- a lot of it is what makes you who you are. It's about keeping it in a "carry-on size" so you can keep moving around.
If you ask me, anyway.