When I asked him why he didn't like that initial phrasing he said that it focused too much on the technology. I asked him to rephrase his thesis in a way more in line with his thinking ,and he came up with something along the lines of: how technology and design can help women unleash their aspirations.
Is it technology that empowers us? Or is it our aspirations coming out through technology?
Walking outside on a foggy-breath winter night, is it the coat that keeps us warm, or us that keep the coat warm? When it comes to something so natural, so instinctive, I think the answer doesn't matter. You care not who or what matters more, you simply enjoy that warmth exists.
But often in intellectual domains such as academia, it's easy to become lost in the sauce, rendered unable to search questions beyond the details along the way. In my buddy's case the fixation on detail reminds me of something that belongs in a Taoist fortune cookie.