Poison of the "strong, confident women" narratives
The female lifestyle empowerment brands (FLEBs) promote an ideal of a "strong, confident" women. Yet, at the same time, they reinforce and reify the internalized sexism through a promotion of a "universal" womanhood myth. On the surface it seems self-contradictory: on one hand they teach women to stand up to men, not be a "doormat," be assertive, and so on; and yet, on the other hand they teach women to be emotional, vulnerable, and irrational.
The end product of this is a combination of the worst aspect of "masculinity" and the worst aspect of "femininity" as defined by the predominant white middle-class culture. Hence FLEBs combine the toxic elements of a neoliberal, capitalist, ageist, and ableist worldview with those of an anti-intellectual, vain, consumeristic and hedonistic worldview.
A true feminist critical of the patriarchal social construct should not be promoting or encouraging this "strong, confident women" idealism. In so doing, the purveyors of the FLEBs capitulate and sell themselves and their customers to the neoliberal capitalist machine.
This so-called feminism of Sheryl Sandberg and Hillary Clinton ought to be rejected. The last thing feminists should be cheering for is a bunch of loudmouthed, boorish and egomaniac women taking active parts in the systemic oppression and bragging about their "advancement" and their hoarding of money and "properties."
A renegade thexlogian, originally trained in Evangelical Protestant theological background, but along the way evolved through ecofeminism, queer and/or feminist thexlogy, liberation thexlogy, Catholic social teachings, and New Thought thexlogy. Currently working on M.Div. Research interests: history of female leadership and evolution of its thexlogy and praxis in the U.S., especially in the context of contemporary social and political trends. Telegraph @salixlucida or Keybase @willowthefairy (they/she)
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