The catch-all term has come to denote a watered-down feminism, popular with celebrities and advertisers alike

This article titled “From shopping to naked selfies: how ’empowerment’ lost its meaning” was written by Hadley Freeman, for The Guardian on Tuesday 19th April 2016 06.00 UTC

Here are a few things I have recently been told should make me feel “empowered”: tweeting a naked selfie; being Miley Cyrus; being Gwyneth Paltrow; looking at advertisements; watching TED Talks; owning my feminism; disowning my feminism; buying leggings; buying designer clothes; masturbating.

It’s quite an exciting time to be a woman, I can tell you. Feminism might not have quite finished its work yet – there are still niggly little things such as unequal pay and female genital mutilation, and, unbelievably, abortion remains an actual issue in the US elections in 2016. But never has it been easier for a woman to feel empowered. Indeed, a woman would now struggle to fail to feel empowered every minute of her day, going by the current definition of the word; pretty much everything a woman does – from eating breakfast to being online – has been described as a means to empower her. What girl power was to the 90s, empowerment has become to the 2010s: a catch-all and therefore empty word denoting a watered-down feminism, one beloved of bubbly celebrities and canny advertisers alike.

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