Last week, The New York Times Magazine published the following article:
The fundamental idea of the article is this: "Empowerment had turned into a theory that applied to the needy while describing a process more realistically applicable to the rich."
What the author means is that empowerment has become a practice available to those who can order the books, the courses, the self-care essentials, buy the lectures, assume the C-suite, and find the time to incorporate it all. What was once a concept of shifting perception from oppression to freedom has become absorbed into the free market, there to remain as long as capitalism finds it sexy.
It is easy to see why the word "empowerment" has acquired a female association: because of female oppression. Women are the #1 consumers that drive the market, hence, empowerment has emerged as something that you need to afford.
This article has shaken up what my business means to me, means to other women, and means to the nation. More than my commentary, this article asks for a discussion that can help us understand and redefine the messages we share. I'd like to hear your opinion. Here are some questions I've been thinking about:
1). Is it inevitable that every idea or invention will be absorbed by the free market?
2). The current system keeps most everything out of reach for those who cannot afford it - education, healthcare, housing, - perpetuating a cycle of poverty. How can we move empowerment into everyone's reach?
3). How can you reinvent an endeavor in your life to be more inclusive?
If you don't want to comment here, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to work through my business with your voice!