Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused abused, or just plain meaningless.
I've had a post about some stereotypes I tend to work by sitting in draft format for quite a while. One of those involves the type of "feminist" Oprah appeals to. They often fall into the "no wrong answers" crowd that rails against the high confidence of science. It often creates an atmosphere similar to that I experienced in my early school years, when self-esteem was all. Or rather, the comedic exaggerations of the fad.
There's a difference between empowering a person and giving the illusion of power. In the chaotic world, especially before the various revolutions in science, the illusion of knowledge in the form of superstition gave people the feeling of control over that chaos. False understanding helps coddle the believer's ego, but it does not solve problems.
Giving someone decision-making power without the proper ability to evaluate the choices can hardly be called empowerment. Additionally, many of those in the "no wrong answers" mindset want it both ways: They want to "empower" people to succeed without also empowering them to fail. Critical thinkers who point out logical flaws or misinformation are seen as the enemy for enforcing the harsh standards of meritocracy and pointing out the failures some woo has been empowered into making.
Worse, this "empowerment" is often tied to some traditionally underprivileged group: Instead of judging an issue on its merits, we're expected to defer to them because they belong to that group: We're supposed to treat some wootastic form of "women's intuition" or "eastern wisdom" as superior to scientific data because they say so. Those who wish for equality, and those who treat them fairly are vilified for daring to criticize them. Hypocrisy is quite natural for woos.