The subject is irritating, especially to women; and it is not new. Enough ink has been spilled in quarrelling over feminism, and perhaps we should say no more about it. It is still talked about, however, for the voluminous nonsense uttered during the last century seems to have done little to illuminate the problem.
Table of Contents Plot Overview Revolutionary and incendiary, The Second Sex is one of the earliest attempts to confront human history from a feminist perspective.
It won de Beauvoir many admirers and just as many detractors. Today, many regard this massive and meticulously researched masterwork as not only as pillar of feminist thought but of twentieth-century philosophy in The second sex introduction simone.
Man occupies the role of the self, or subject; woman is the object, the other. He is essential, absolute, and transcendent. She is inessential, incomplete, and mutilated. He extends out into the world to impose his will on it, whereas woman is doomed to immanence, or inwardness.
He creates, acts, invents; she waits for him to save her. De Beauvoir states that while it is natural for humans to understand themselves in opposition to others, this process is flawed when applied to the genders. In defining woman exclusively as Other, man is effectively denying her humanity.
To answer this question—and to better understand her own identity—de Beauvoir first turns to biology, psychoanalysis, and historical materialism. She then moves to history to trace the emergence of male superiority in society, from nomadic hunter-gatherers through the French Revolution and contemporary times.
Here she finds ample examples of female subordination, but again, no persuasive justification for them. De Beauvoir next discusses various mythical representations of women and demonstrates how these myths have imprinted human consciousness, often to the disservice of women.
Throughout history, maternity has been both worshipped and reviled: To illustrate the prevalence of these myths, de Beauvoir studies the portrayal of women by five modern writers. In the end of this section, de Beauvoir examines the impact of these myths on individual experience.
She traces female development through its formative stages: She shows how, at each stage of her upbringing, a girl is conditioned into accepting passivity, dependence, repetition, and inwardness.
Every force in society conspires to deprive her of subjectivity and flatten her into an object. Denied the possibility of independent work or creative fulfillment, the woman must accept a dissatisfying life of housework, childbearing, and sexual slavishness.
The bourgeois woman performs three major functions: Even those who accept a less conventional place in society—as a prostitute or courtesan, for example—must submit to imperatives defined by the male.
De Beauvoir also reflects on the trauma of old age. When a woman loses her reproductive capacity, she loses her primary purpose and therefore her identity. Rather, her character is a result of her situation.
Her mediocrity, complacency, lack of accomplishment, laziness, passivity—all these qualities are the consequences of her subordination, not the cause.
Narcissists, women in love, and mystics all embrace their immanence by drowning selfhood in an external object—whether it be the mirror, a lover, or God.Get ready to write your paper on The Second Sex with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more.
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in In she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agrégation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught in lycées in Marseille and Rouen from to . The Second Sex presents Simone de Beauvoir’s historical account of women’s disadvantaged position in society.
The text explains current theories that de Beauvoir disputes, summarizes her account of women’s place in history, and provides alternatives for how women should be treated. Revolutionary and incendiary, The Second Sex is one of the earliest attempts to confront human history from a feminist perspective.
It won de Beauvoir many admirers and just as many detractors. It won de Beauvoir many admirers and just as many detractors. May 30, · In , when Simone de Beauvoir began to write her landmark study of women, “The Second Sex,” legislation allowing French women to vote was little more than a .
The Second Sex is divided into two volumes—Facts and Myth and Lived Experience.
Each volume is then broken up into parts. Each volume is then broken up into parts. Volume 1 has three parts, while Volume 2 has four.