"The West thinks of itself as masculine--big guns, big industry, big money--so the East is feminine--weak, delicate, poor...but good at art, and full of inscrutable wisdom--the feminine mystique.
Her mouth says no, but her eyes say yes. The West believes the East, deep down, wants to be dominated--because a woman can't think for herself."
I saw Hwang's M. Butterfly at the Guthrie Theater tonight: it was a superb production, and the central actors took to demanding roles with vigor. The play is one of my favorites--it's stylistically and thematically complicated and fascinating. One of the things the play explores is how a sense of (masculine) power and strength in personal affairs gets wrapped up in perception of power and strength at an international, geopolitical level.