I have a question for you. A real, serious question about which I'm clueless and curious.
As hard as I try to be feminine, I freely and frequently acknowledge that I wasn't raised as a girl, didn't have female experiences in life, and wasn't treated as a woman in public. Lacking these experiences, I can't and don't claim to truly understand what it means to be female.
Talking openly about her life, she told me she values the "power" she has. She used that word. She described it as the source for preferential treatment she receives and has always received. She never has to pay for a drink; she gets shown the best table in a restaurant; men are drawn to and orbit around her.
This surprised me. Sure I know that physical beauty is prized by women and men, but I didn't realize that it conveys privilege. I didn't know you can trade on it. Use it. Exploit it even. I didn't know others would actually treat you different -- better -- because of it. Having never lived as a woman, this phenomenon is completely outside my life-experience.
Is this true? Is physical beauty a source of power for women?
If it is, are there any ethics about using it to obtain better treatment from others? Or are beautiful people simply more deserving of privilege by virtue of our human nature?