Conner Dwinell at The College Conservative takes down the false narratives of ‘tolerance’ and ’empowerment:’

The False “Empowerment” Narrative

In the United States, where everything from the real state of the job market to the White House’s involvement in scandals is uncertain, some things remain constant. For example, many liberals don’t usually articulate fully developed ideas, opting instead for meaningless jargon.  But even greater than their use of buzzwords to attack conservatives (which Mitch Hall wrote about recently) is the use of intelligent sounding words to obfuscate ideas for the general public. “Empowerment” has become just such a term.

Lately, when liberals have talked about women’s rights, abortion, or even illegal immigration, they’ve increasingly used the term “empowering.”  However, empowerment is simply another buzzword lacking a substantive meaning. Its primary definition means “to authorize, especially by legal or official means.” The secondary definition, “to enable or permit,” carries virtually the same meaning.

In the words of beloved Princess Bride character Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Based purely on the word’s definition, when someone says something like “abortion empowers women,” the technical implication is that a woman has been legally authorized to handle her own body. This ignores the universally-understood notion that “authority” must be granted from one individual to another, and operates under the implication that the woman’s body wasn’t within her control before. However, in a situation where consensual sex leads to pregnancy, there is no lack of control. You have full control over whether or not you have sex; you cannot be in greater control of your body upon your decision to abort your unborn child than you were when you decided to engage in the procreative act.

This tactic of obfuscating familiar words is not new to those on the left.  For example, a “tolerant” person used to be one who treated others of differing lifestyles and ideologies with respect, but who could still strongly (yet not harshly) argue their opinions through healthy discussion.  Now, it’s nearly impossible to discuss anything at all. If one doesn’t support gay marriage, they’re a bigot. If one doesn’t believe in global warming, evolution, or the destructive results of fracking, they’re anti-science. If one doesn’t think Hobby Lobby should be mandated to provide its employees with abortion pills, then they’re against women’s rights. You get the idea.