Is the empowerment of women ALWAYS....ok...almost always...:)  for the betterment of society?

....You can guess

My answer Is....YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What do you think?

Why?

For the purpose of this discussion: We must first define the empowerment of women. Please see this video. Women have only recently with the invention of modern medicine been able to control their reproductive health and choice. They have become much more equal in the workforce. They have been allowed to raise their children with infrastructure in place to aid them financially and emotionally. They have been given many rights that in previous generations were defaulted to the man, such as the right to vote, the right to join the armed forced and even the right to say no to sex and be heard. These rights have not come over night. But we now have them and many take them for granted. Myself included maybe. But the empowerment of women is more than just giving them rights. It's being able and willing as a society to recognize their humanity and honor it as just as important as a man's humanity. This means that special considerations must be made due to the nature of women as the child bearers and mothers. It doesn't mean special treatment or putting women above men, it means elevating them to a place where they can make the most of their lives and the lives of their children, and the society they live in. It means allowing them to use their unique skills and influence to counteract the sometimes male-dominated attitudes that prevail in public life, and it means that women MUST be respected for the natural born abilities they can bring to others, but even more so their ability to be authentically themselves without societal pressure to conform to old ways of thinking and living. It is the only way  our species will survive and has survived. Women have sought empowerment and have won in many ways, but in my opinion and the point of this discussion is to say that there is NEVER a circumstance where the empowerment of women would be detrimental to society, therefore it is ALWAYS for the betterment of society.

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Here's what wikipedia says on the matter:

Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, educational, gender, or economic strength of individuals and communities.

I think overall it boils down to increasing the power of an individual or group.

Maternity leave: The maternity leave laws in the US are a fucking joke.

What purpose does maternity leave serve? 6 weeks is long enough to recover from the physical stress of birth but it is hardly long enough to properly bond with the child. I think we can both agree the US maternity laws are a joke.

Let's say we make maternity leave 12 months. Why shouldn't men also be given that time to bond with their children? What about a gay couple adopting a child? shouldn't they also be given serious time off work to appropriately bond with their new child?

You are deviating from the topic here in trying to make a case of equality where the argument doesn't require it.

True, my argument is that equality is more important than empowering women. Equal first, then empower everyone.

The question is: Is the empowerment of women ALWAYS for the betterment of society?

Yes, and I am still waiting for you substantiate your claim that the answer is yes.

Matt: the only way to refute an absolute claim is to find at least one example that A (does not equal) B...see my most recent reply above for details..... I cannot think of a single example...maybe you can help me out.

Equality among the genders is wishful thinking. But embracing what each gender can bring and honoring that is the only say towards true empowerment of both. Women have been held down by men the majority of our existence. We have not been allowed to flourish and grow....

Btw: I am a mother. I could not walk after giving birth to my son. I am 3 years post partum and still battling ailments from childbirth. 6 weeks is not enough maternity leave. To suggest that it is "long enough" is an uninformed blanket statement that is not true. Simply not true.

the only way to refute an absolute claim

It doesn't need to be refuted, you still need to prove it!

Women have been held down by men the majority of our existence

Which is irrelevant for this discussion because women have already been empowered out of that situation in modern society.

6 weeks is not enough maternity leave.

6 weeks is more than enough for a complication-free birth, or with minor complications but physically easy job such as administration. 6 weeks is definitely not long enough to appropriately bond with the baby, and in cases like yourself, is not long enough to recover from alot of complications.

I am 3 years post partum and still battling ailments from childbirth.

That's a long time to still be recovering. Are you suggesting 3+ years is an appropriate length for maternity leave? Who should pay for this leave? What about the child's father, why isn't he able to take some similar length of leave to bond with the baby.

Frederick Douglass: Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

I understand his words to mean something like People who wait to be empowered won't be empowered.

Does his observation apply here?

Idealists live hard lives, filled with disappointments.

People who wait to be empowered won't be empowered....I think that is wonderful to say in the US of A where women aren't covered in blankets. I think there are parts of the globe where women are not able to do anything but wait for something to change...the baby steps that are taken are not enough to counteract the heavy societal mentality and burden that keeps them enslaved. Those women need to be empowered from the outside in....from people who are already empowered to speak up for them.

Holo, methinks...no, meknows you jest.

I disagree (respectfully) with this statement:

No one can empower another person, only they can empower themselves.

An oppressed person often does not know they are oppressed. The veil of confusion, psychological abuse and/or depraved mentality must be wiped clean by knowing and seeing a new way of looking at the world. This often cannot be done alone. There must be a source of strength that upholds and individual before they can see clearly. Millions of women around the world do not know they are oppressed or even being controlled because they accept the status quo they live in as the norm and as something that cannot be helped. To them it's simply the way it is. With education and resourced and a new way of looking at the world then and ONLY then can they begin to see a new Utopia.

Does a domesticated indoor cat know the smell of real grass? Is that natural?

I believe there's room for women to become more empowered in the Muslim world even while sticking to Islamic beliefs.  After all, it's said that every Muslim is a fundamentalist and in charge of their own relationship with Allah.  I went to a Muslim service once at a mosque: when they pray together, the Imam turns round too. 

Belle: Those women need to be empowered from the outside in....from people who are already empowered to speak up for them.

So very true.

I'm now reading Peter Drier's The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame. But for those 100, many of them women, we would still be living in a world much like that in which my grandparents lived their early years--the years of America's robber barons and their allies in government. I recommend the book for folks who need inspiration.

Yet, according to Robert Hare, perhaps America's leading expert on sociopathy, enough women qualify (about one for every two men) to make doubtful your A = B formula.

Many women now active in political life are providing support for a B is following from A formula. I hope they continue.

Those women need to be empowered from the outside in....from people who are already empowered to speak up for them.

That will not happen very likely if you are talking about Muslim women. Majority of women in the Islamic world sees western women as oppressed as they think wearing revealing clothes and such what not is a sign of a society without morals. They think think wearing the veil is what empowers them as a woman because they are doing what god had asked them to do and through that they get strength and courage of being a strong independent woman. 

So Im not sure what you mean by speaking up for them when they themselves don't believe they are oppressed. 

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