It’s empowering to brush your teeth

No, it’s not “empowering” in the 21st century US for women to post selfies of themselves. The default situation isn’t that women aren’t allowed to post selfies of themselves. The default situation isn’t that they’re locked up in harems with no phones to take selfies with and no internet to share the selfies with. Women aren’t lying on their backs thrashing their arms and legs helplessly like June bugs.

The “power” to post selfies on the internet isn’t in and of itself a power that will get women anywhere. Women in the US aren’t in such a helpless, restricted, spied on, imprisoned state that the ability to post a selfie is a triumphant access to power and freedom. It’s ludicrous to say it is.

Granted for a minority of women it can be – women in Quiverfull or right-wing Muslim families, who really are restricted and spied on. But for most women, the “power” to post selfies is like the “power” to go to Safeway for orange juice. It’s trivial, and it’s rather insulting to call it “empowering.”

I guess I could look at that as reason for optimism. Feminism is very far from having won the battle, but at least we’re not in such a pathetic state that being able to post selfies qualifies as genuine empowerment. You might as well tell us it’s empowering to be able to put our own shoes on.

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