Today in dramatic analysis I was forced to think about something interesting. We are discussing the play "Approaching Simone", and my prof was talking about how the playwright separates gender with the masculine as icons of power, and the feminine as symbols of beauty. I haven't read the play as of yet (I know, I know, I'm terribly behind on my reading, but I had three essays due over the weekend and I just haven't gotten around to it yet!) so I didn't understand this image in its context.
At any rate, this separation of Beauty and Power through the association with gender made me think about how I, myself, am not fond of being associated with Beauty. I take it almost as an insult if a random person praises me for such superficial qualities, and I wonder why more women do not. It often angers me when women think it is their DUTY, or a sort of aspiration, to be beautiful, and now I understand why that is. For a woman, oftentimes beauty is a replacement for power. When she feels incapable of Power, she resorts to Beauty, justifying this choice by claiming that Beauty is "feminine power". However, Beauty and Power are two separate concepts. In fact, it seems to me that beauty is an absolute LACK of power... a kind of submission to the patriarchy and the chains He presents. Or perhaps "Beauty" is the wrong term... because the Beauty of the Patriarchy is a kind of constructed and deformed Beauty... The Beauty women attempt to achieve is an artificial Beauty... one that can be achieved only through pain and paint. So I suppose what really bothers me about this concept of feminine beauty being mistakenly equated with feminine power is that it is incredibly deceptive: a false idol of Beauty has been erected in order to detain women from constructing their own concept of the lofty and Beautiful.
Yes, well. That was a bit of a rant, wasn't it.