by Warner Todd Huston | October 7, 2010 12:06 pm
Forbes has published its world’s most powerful women list and on that list, in the top slot no less, is Michelle Obama, the wife of the President of the United States of America. Along with Obama a few singers and entertainers made the list. It all goes to prove that apparently no one knows what “powerful” means anymore.
On the most powerful list — after Obama at number one — Lady Gaga comes in at seventh place, in ninth singer Beyonce Knowles appears, and bringing up the rear is entertainer Ellen DeGeneres. Oprah Winfrey makes it in as number three.
There is no reason that any of these women (well, I’ll give you Oprah) belong on a “most powerful women” list — or a most powerful anybody list, for that matter.
Michelle Obama has no power at all. She was not elected by the people to anything, she holds no office, and has no real responsibilities past tradition. She is but the wife of an elected official. Sure she has the power, such as it is, to waste millions of the taxpayer’s money on new decorations and lavish trips abroad, but that is not much to qualify for a “powerful” woman. She controls no corporation, guides no country, and has contributed nothing of great worth to mankind.
For her part, Lady Gaga doesn’t even seem to have the power to have people recognize her by her own real name, much less have any actual power to affect the world. It is likely that in a year or two no one will even remember her.
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And Beyonce and DeGeneres are but simple entertainers with no redeeming, long-term value from their efforts.
As I said I’ll give you Oprah. Even though she is only an entertainer and entertainers aren’t really consequential people, Oprah could at least qualify for this list. This is because she has used her great success and extreme riches to help many people and have gone some way toward having changed people’s lives. None of the other four have done this at all. They are mere singers and dancers.
But with these four women taking up slots on a most powerful list we can see that people today seem to have lost all touch with just what power truly means. Power is not inducing people to go buy a CD or download an i-tune. Power is the ability to direct great forces, employ great wealth for benevolence or ill, or to direct the actions of nations.
Ellen DeGenerous is not a truly powerful woman. Beyonce may be able to do a nice little dance, but she is not a woman of great influence. And Lady Gaga is most certainly nothing worth notice.
Sadly, this Forbes list is a dumbing down of power for a dumbed down generation.
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