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Can a woman's version of The Prince actually work?
There's a sidelong sensibility at work in this post-feminist analog to the Renaissance's great work of strategy. Harriet Rubin urges women to triumph by turning their enemies into allies and their fear into power; by enlarging their sphere rather than defending it; and by learning to best instead of win.
But there's a delicate wryness to the art of balancing tensions to one's advantage. One of the most telling examples is that of Sun Tzu, who bet the emperor he could turn the twelve royal concubines into fierce warriors, but was bested by the concubines, who simply giggled when he barked orders at them. Modern women may find interpreting this a challenge, but an entertaining one. [via]