Late-night PBS Education

At odd hours of the night on PBS, they show those distance ed classes. Right now, there’s some kind of Ancient History class. I’m watching because she’s talking about Caesar, Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Last semester, I took a Shakespeare’s Major Works class and among the various reading assignments, one of them was Antony & Cleopatra.

This professor was flipping through her textbook showing pictures of the statues. When she showed one of Cleopatra, she said, “She was not very pretty. As you can see, they did not make her to look beautiful.” Gah!

I almost screamed at the television! How does she know she wasn’t pretty, did she see real pictures of her? She’s totally dismissing the fact that she was not considered beautiful because of the whole concept of orientalism. She was considered to have dark beauty. In many ways, it’s similar to what we Chicanos face when it comes to history. La Tulles, the saloon owner in Santa Fe, was considered to be hideous by a lot of the gringos coming into the area. Because these women didn’t have the same kind of agency, people like this woman, continue to make comments like that without even blinking. ¡Que horror! Chale homes, ya mejor me voy a oir mi disco de Intocable.

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