I have a problem with the language of empowerment. Students write, as do organizations like the World Bank, of the need to empower women (or what ever group they choose). My problem is that the powerful do not give power… it is taken. For example, women received the vote in New Zealand after a long and nasty campaign for it. The vote was not just “given”.
But an early step in the process of groups and individuals taking back their power is a personal one.
So I am delighted to see this article, making this point. Empowerment is an individual challenge as well as a societal one; and ideas and teachers matter.
I also enjoyed the story of the princess who rescued herself and told the prince to bugger off.
In the week that feminism was declared word of the year by a dictionary, writers including Margaret Atwood, Mary Beard, Naomi Klein, Kamila Shamsie, Jeanette Winterson and others champion the books that first empowered them
Empowering read … Germaine Greer. Photograph: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images