The Princessa : Machiavelli for Women

Harriet Rubin
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The philosophy behind this book is simple: settle for nothing but greatness. It is aimed at every woman who feels that she deserves more than she has gained through traditional means of compromise, co-operation, negotiation and nurturing. Rubin, writing as "Machiavella", exhorts women not to be afraid to use conflict, which of all possible relationships is the one women understand the least. Women typically try to avoid conflict, or to cure it as if it were the flu. Yet, conflict is contact; it's a relationship characterized by power. Machiavelli showed the prince how to use conflict in order to establish control. For the Princessa, the goal is not control, it's impact, having a presence of authority. The theme of the book is how to become powerful without becoming a man. Women can't play by the established rules of power in society because they are men's rules. Why do so many people feel that acting "emotionally" is feminine, weak, anti-rational? Why is it that when we call a man a prince, we mean a man among men, a gentleman, but when a woman is called a princess, it denotes a spoilt brat, a prima donna? To become powerful without becoming a man, one has to become more feminine. But feminine is not all soft, says Rubin; feminine is fierce, unyielding. Think of mothers risking everything to defend their young. Think of women overcoming all odds for love. The book shows how women can embrace challenge - not competition but provocation. It also addresses the concept of what Rubin calls "power Anorexia", a condition of imposed self-denial, a preference for powerlessness. "The Princessa" aims to be a manifesto of women's power, drawing on the tactics of historical princessas, such as Joan of Arc, as well as contemporary examples, and on power strategies in today's business world. show more
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • 22 May 1997
  • 245
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The philosophy behind this book is simple: settle for nothing but greatness. It is aimed at every woman who feels that she deserves more than she has gained through traditional means of compromise, co-operation, negotiation and nurturing. Rubin, writing as "Machiavella", exhorts women not to be afraid to use conflict, which of all possible relationships is the one women understand the least. Women typically try to avoid conflict, or to cure it as if it were the flu. Yet, conflict is contact; it's a relationship characterized by power. Machiavelli showed the prince how to use conflict in order to establish control. For the Princessa, the goal is not control, it's impact, having a presence of authority. The theme of the book is how to become powerful without becoming a man. Women can't play by the established rules of power in society because they are men's rules. Why do so many people feel that acting "emotionally" is feminine, weak, anti-rational? Why is it that when we call a man a prince, we mean a man among men, a gentleman, but when a woman is called a princess, it denotes a spoilt brat, a prima donna? To become powerful without becoming a man, one has to become more feminine. But feminine is not all soft, says Rubin; feminine is fierce, unyielding. Think of mothers risking everything to defend their young. Think of women overcoming all odds for love. The book shows how women can embrace challenge - not competition but provocation. It also addresses the concept of what Rubin calls "power Anorexia", a condition of imposed self-denial, a preference for powerlessness. "The Princessa" aims to be a manifesto of women's power, drawing on the tactics of historical princessas, such as Joan of Arc, as well as contemporary examples, and on power strategies in today's business world. show more
Vendor: 

Harriet Rubin

Publisher: 

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Published Date: 

22 May 1997

Location: 

245

SKU: 

9780747533085