We can empower groups who have traditionally suffered oppression — black people and women, for instance — but there really is no guarantee that every member of that group will be wise in the usage of that power. We can inform people. We can give them the tools of liberation. But the act of liberating has to include the individual.
There’s simply no way to guarantee that this will happen. We can’t force people to make good choices. I’m still working my way through this, but I might even argue that it is unwise to attempt to force good choices. But that deserves more thought. My point is that we can’t really stop Rihanna from doing business with someone who once threatened her life, subjected her to near lethal force, and still manifests considerable violent anger when questioned about his behavior.
I think that energy could better be directed toward the women who lack the tools to excise themselves from violent situations. There are women in the world who live under this sort of constant threat, but because of children or finances or family, simply don’t have an out. My heart aches especially for them.
You can’t “make” people free. And agency is more than just a slogan.