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Monday, 29 May 2017

Empowerment

A friend asked me to write about empowerment of women. She sent me an example from the FT of 23 May 2017: “Women far under-represented at UK venture capital firms”. After some consideration on empowerment, my mind focused on the word "power". I have nothing against power as long as it's used for a (good) purpose.

In her example you could focus on the first or second part of the sentence. The first could suggest inequality, the second could suggest “vulture capitalism”. However, I’m focusing on the purpose of power in her example. The only thing I can come up with is Money, one of the 7 Belief systems. Without philanthropyMoney does not bring purpose in life - apart from Consumerism.

Throughout history, people have realized that Knowledge equals Power (Imam Ali, Francis Bacon, Michel Foucault). Following mathematics, this equation must work both ways. Both also need each other. Power without Knowledge is not lasting in history. Knowledge without Power isn't sustainable either, as it tends to get lost in human history.

Knowledge often brings a distinct purpose in our lives. This may explain why women are over-represented in the Knowledge domain of the 7 Belief systems. The Knowledge domain includes areas like caring, education, medicine, and science.

The Power domain of the 7 Belief systems is represented by Money, Politics and Religion. Often men are over-represented in these 3 Belief systems. Perhaps it's as simple as the male peacock bird in Nature: Power brings (social) status. There may be no further purpose to Power. This may also explain my limited focus in life on Power.

Human history suggests that women had important Knowledge based roles: clairvoyant, medicine woman, priestess. Essentially, men were looking for food and provided protection to the tribe. The male purpose was rooted in strength. Strength and Power are linked throughout human history.

There's a Dutch saying which translates like “the one who isn't strong, must be smart”. This may explain why women are so skilled in making men do whatever they want. Again, Knowledge (informal power) versus Strength (formal power).

The male Power role has always been limited in time as male Power is based on temporary (mature) strength. Maintaining Power without strength, requires evil thinking and ruthlessness.

The female Knowledge based roles were permanent roles (e.g., clairvoyant, medicine woman, priestess). The shifting focus to temporary roles rooted in female beauty, is intriguing. It might relate to a female quest for (temporary!) Power, or empowerment.

The equation Knowledge = Power has a 1st derivative: Women equal Men. Within human society men do not last long without women - and vice versa. The female quest for empowerment (or Power) implies leaving the Knowledge domain. This may bring the opposite (inequality) of what women want (equality).

Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé (2011) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2