The Art of Women, Age and Power

The Art of Women, Age and Power

The Mona Lisa Strategem (2007)
By Harriet Rubin

This book gives an interesting perspective on woman’s maturity especially with age. I do not agree on all the pointers mentioned in the book by the author, but there are some interesting areas to take note.

“Every age bears its fruits; it’s all in knowing how to harvest them.”


The Strategem allows one to create more by doing less. To sit quietly, like the Mona Lisa herself, and draw others close requires a level of intention that pulls others to you with intense fascination. Radiate a calm, clear intent and you have and hold authority without exerting it. To be seen as powerful requires, in maturity, doing less and representing or embodying more.


Forget funny
A funny person is funny only for so long. But a woman of wit can be spellbinding forever. Spark laughter sometimes, but to make others quiet and to make them marvel- is to use the half-smile. Speak the truth to power lightly. Truth is what people want although it frightens them.

To be cool and calm is to be humourous
A sense of humor is a very stable thing. When you are serious, you could be unstable, ready at a monent’s notice to burst into tears or recrimination. That’s the problem with seriousness.


A woman resists bores, attacks, and the threat of invisibility with optimism
This is because playfulness is a victory of the pleasure principle. Provoke laughter at something and its horror dissolves. Pleasure and play shatter the limits of the rational world.


Do not act or react to anything. React and you force another’s hand. Drama builds. Tragedy may ensue.
If you stop acting, you will be able to effect an aesthetic change. Action builds to a head, comedy to a resolution. Let things unfold without intervention. Make sure your manners and attitudes are right; these are more important than morals and actions – and you thereby dissipate your anxieties and others.

A comedic heroine evokes sympathy and pleasure. Her purpose is to reveal something wisdom doesn’t see, like new self-knowledge or a release from mechanical form of repetitive behavior. Wit is a light shed on routine.  comic’s wit leads to self-knowledge that is freeing. It is not introverted knowledge, but knowledge about the world and how it works.



Strike a tone of the “light rhythm” of life; and know that the reason it is “light” that all creatures love life.
“When you know when to laugh and when to look upon things as too absurd to take seriously, the other person is ashamed to carry through even if he was serious about it.



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