"Why is it positive to call a man a prince, but not a woman a princess?" she asked. "A princess is someone who has huge demands -- and expects them to be fulfilled."

Rubin expands on her idea of "using your femininity as the forefront of power" in The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women, the first book she has written, rather than edited, for Currency, the business imprint she founded in 1988. Rubin wrote the book, to be published next month, because "everything that has been written about power didn't conform to my experience. I've never seen anything truly useful for me."

What is useful, she said, is to disregard the male-oriented advice and tactics outlined in such classic works as The Prince, The Art of War and even John T. Molloy's career dressing guides. Instead, Rubin advises women to adopt the behavior of some classic "princess-warriors," from Joan of Arc to Golda Meir to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a Doubleday colleague who had read Rubin's proposal and helped her do research. Rubin, who lamented that "there aren't many businesswomen who are princessas; they're fighting petty battles, not wars," wants women to adopt princessa strategems in their professional and personal lives -- to seek to "best" and then co-opt enemies rather than continually compete and/or slay them, to tap into the power of dress and appearance and, yes, cry if tears are necessary.

"The part about tears is going to be pretty controversial because men are afraid of tears," Rubin said. "But I say they're good -- and a freedom of speech issue."

Rubin will embark on an eight-city tour to promote the book, and her publicist has already lined up some lists of modern-day women who make the princessa cut. Hillary Clinton, Kathie Lee Gifford and Jane Fonda don't make it, but luckily for Rubin, one-of-a-kind princessa Roseanne d s. Rubin hopes to publish, sometime this year, the outspoken sitcom star's thoughts on power and business, a book signed up following Roseanne's infamous editorship of a New Yorker issue.