I rarely like when folk begin opinion articles with caveats, though I'll take this brief moment to say that I'm not entirely sure I endorse the views I'm about to throw out. I plan on throwing them out and seeing where it all goes.
I've known (and currently know) plenty of strong ass women in my lifetime. I studied about lots of strong ass women in the history books and am proud and grateful for their accomplishments, which I owe a great of my rights and freedoms to.
However, I feel really uncomfortable with "women empowerment" propaganda. I got started thinking about this when I saw an advertisement for Rochester's Estrofest. The keynote speaker for the entire event was TV's Greg Brady. Really?! Greg Brady? What about Greg Brady makes anyone think about women? Why does Greg Brady get to be our spokesman? I do not feel, as a member of the female sex, that Greg Brady speaks to me or represents me in any way. What disappointed me about this is that it makes me think that this is an event for older women who need to feel good about themselves. Which paints a whole picture that women of that age are somehow less, or weak and in need of empowerment. I'm sure there was much more to this event but that's where my mind went. Sheesh. Plus, if you're going to get a dude for your keynote speaker (which makes no sense) at least get someone a little easier on the eyes (cough cough LEE PACE).
I know that there is still a ways to go in achieving equality for women. There's no disputing that. I feel that events such as Estrofest do little to help us gain any ground. Constantly pointing out that we need to be inspired and empowered implies that we are weak, wilty women who are incapable of meeting the challenges of life. Understand, too, that I am disagreement with affirmative action. I understand the reasons why it exists and I suppose that there is some small justice in it, but I'd rather employers not be assholes and simply employ the applicant who is the most qualified, regardless of race, sex, orientation, etc. Why can't people just not be assholes? See, I've solved the world's problems right there!! I'll be expecting that Nobel Peace Prize any day now!
If women are to raise the bar and highlight their abilities and strengths, it really doesn't do for us to be portrayed this way. As I said before, there are role models a plenty both past and present. Read their stories, hear them speak, but for heaven's sake, stop marketing these things as women's self help events that need to be led by an old sitcom male actor.
I suppose I've gotten down to maybe what bothers me more, which is marketing. I think I hate it. That's a different topic. And I'm tired. And the flow of this post is all off, like I didn't eat any fiber this week. This means I should stop writing now.