When does empowerment turn into entitlement? When do we start to think that someone else is responsible for our own empowerment?
This has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Mostly because empowerment has been crammed down my throat by every celebrity trying to cash in on recent events. That and writers feel the need to add it to every show now.
So for my own edification I looked up the definition for each word. You know, to find out if there really is a difference. I think there is but I will let you decide for yourself.
Empowerment – the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights
Entitlement – the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time then you know that I am not a feminist – more like a peoplist – and I firmly believe none of us are entitled to shit. No one owes us a damn thing, including, but not limited to, our parents.
Now, I freely admit that my childhood and upbringing color my beliefs, but I also believe that I am better off for it. I also believe that our empowerment cannot come from other people. True empowerment comes from within. It comes from experience – both good and bad. It comes from trying and failing and then succeeding.
It has nothing to do with our gender, race, religion, etc…
Empowerment comes from knowing who we are and not giving one hot damn what other people think. It has nothing to do with rich, powerful people deciding the little people should stand up for themselves because they’re – insert trendy, marginalized group here.
Empowerment is personal. Empowerment is a probably the greatest gift we could ever give ourselves. It is freedom. It is peace. It is a stress-free life.
And yet none of us are entitled to it. Most people never know what true empowerment is or even that it is missing from their lives. I would say it is just as illusive as this happiness we all seem to want but can’t ever have. And, just like happiness, I believe it comes and goes.
No one else can give us true empowerment because it has nothing to do with other people. But, perhaps most importantly, true empowerment isn’t flashy. It isn’t screaming, ‘hey, look at me. I’m empowered to be a woman’.
Yeah, I’m a woman. I’m female. But I am so much more than that. And so are you. So is every female. I’ve been a female my whole life. I’ve only been truly empowered, truly free for about two years now…
Please, for all that is right and holy in this universe, do not derive your worth only from the fact that it’s popular to be a woman now. Do not define yourself simply by one facet of your wonderful, beautiful, amazing self.
Empowerment is knowing who you are and having the confidence to act on that even in the face of ridicule and rejection. It isn’t about shoving it in everyone else’s faces. It doesn’t have anything to do with our rights. Not really.
True empowerment gives us the strength and freedom to be the best human beings we can be. It means we can forget ourselves long enough to help other people. It means we’re empathetic enough to not judge or take offense at someone’s minor mistakes. It means we can learn from our pasts and then let them go.
Yeah, I’ll take true empowerment over entitlement any day.