11.4.13

UNDENIABLE TRUTH NO. 24.

Rush Limbaugh provokes people putting it this way.

See if you can spot the same argument, in this Atlantic analysis of a recent presidential gaffe.
In contemporary America, women can choose the extent to which they wish to engage with this system of power, but there's no question that it remains extant, and that in many ways the most economically successful women are those who use it best to their advantage--actresses, models, musicians, and the like. Beauty is a system of power, deeply rooted, preceding all others, richly rewarded. We pay homage to it, still, and young women as they face the world can make a choice to live a life--even a career--within it, just as they can choose to go to law or medical school or contend in any other way for standing and earning capacity in the world.

That is, they can enter the system of power. Power as the acquisition of status, capital, position, knowledge, property. And for a reason other than the exploitation of the resource of the physical self. The fight of feminism was the fight of women for entry into the system of power from the system of beauty. The fight in the workplace for women very often is to create a space for themselves within the system of power while continuing to operate within the system of beauty in their private lives. And the struggle of feminism has often been to acknowledge that the system of beauty is irrevocable and cannot be expunged by protest or discourse or time. To be an educated professional woman in contemporary America is to know that you operate--and often, must operate--within both systems. It's why beautiful and extremely capable women are often valued above their less glamorous or less fit peers--they are triumphs in two systems of value, double-threats.
Put alternatively, think about those double threats as holding a diversified portfolio.

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