My book about The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand is organized in four parts.
Part One is about the mandatory femininity women are obliged to perform as a precondition to any form of success, including career success– and how dehumanizing, limiting and exclusive that is.
Part Two is about the way women perform and display lifestyle in order to build personal power and cultivate authority over women. Femininity + Lifestyle are the socially acceptable ways for women to build power — and that’s a problem, because when we try to build power outside of those avenues, we get slapped back into place. (Think: Hilary Clinton and any women who run for political office or display signs of non-feminized ambition.)
Part Three is about how empowerment used to be a goal and process of liberation for racially marginalized communities and socially stigmatized groups, but now seems to mean personal financial success or a feeling of personal efficacy, primarily for and by white women, and that’s not ok. (Understatement.) AND: today’s female empowerment is actually engineered for use as a weapon against women and women’s interests.
Part Four is about how all three of these things (femininity, lifestyle, empowerment) intersect to become a gridlock of expectations women must meet and embody in order to survive or thrive in our culture. Basically, women — even women who aren’t in the public eye — have to present themselves as personal brands. “Woman” is a brand. They have to be consumable objects and sell themselves and their stories in order to be access rights, resources and even affection and basic respect. And, no. Let’s push back.
I’ve been organizing chapters and trying to come up with cogent titles for each chapter this week. You might have seen that I’ve been sharing the chapter lists for each section of the book. So far I’ve shared Part 1: Female and Part 2: Lifestyle.
This is a list of the chapters that comprise Part 3: Empowerment. Gotta say: it contains some bombshells. It’s my favourite section of the entire book. It’s also the hardest to write — and totally worth it.
I feel a little itchy about the way I just described each section, because these snippet-descriptions feel a bit jargon-y and conceptual. Please know that the book is written the way I usually write: conversationally. Intimately (even more so: I’m getting pretty vulnerable and sharing more of my experiences and stories in these chapters.) And yes, with rigour and challenge. Because these are challenging times. I’m trying to rise to meet them.
I don’t have a deal for the book yet so I can’t tell you how to pre-order it. But if you want me to let you know when I’ve got info like that for you, you can sign up to receive my weekly Sunday Love Letter. I’ll be sure to share more info and updates there! www.kellydiels.com/subscribe-a/