The work looks at the plight of women from biological, psychological, sociological, and historical perspectives, analyzing the condition of women through the philosophical context of existentialism, a philosophy concerned with freedom, responsibility, conscious choice, and active engagement in living. And the messages society feeds girls about femininity is still a matter for concern more than half a century after she first identified the problem. Here whites and the rich become the norm and blacks and the poor deviate from the norm and become the subordinate Other. Girls growing up are taught by society how to be as women, ie, passive and object-like. Her thesis throughout the book is the emphatic statement that she makes at the beginning of part II of The Second Sex: The entire section is 1, words. Members of oppressed groups have an even more difficult time of achieving freedom.
Routledge, , 6. This requires people to achieve freedom, yet our temptation is to actually shy away from the responsibilities of our freedom, even to the point of wanting to be more like an object than a human being. Women are oppressed as women, but separated from each other, and often have more in common with men of their social class than they do with other women from different classes. Failing this assists in maintaining oppression. Bernard Frechtman New York: And the messages society feeds girls about femininity is still a matter for concern more than half a century after she first identified the problem. The Self is the Self in relation to that which is Other. This happens in every case of oppression. But women must also recognize themselves as a social group. Any deviation from the standard marks you out as Other. It is important to note that the Self needs the Other for its identity. Women are complicit in their own oppression. Woman must see herself, like man, as subject and not object. In addition, man sees in woman that which he lacks, and he desires it. The work looks at the plight of women from biological, psychological, sociological, and historical perspectives, analyzing the condition of women through the philosophical context of existentialism, a philosophy concerned with freedom, responsibility, conscious choice, and active engagement in living. Their destiny may even be shaped by the appearance that oppression is natural. Is it a consequence of their role as mothers or potential mothers? We are all embodied consciousnesses: For these reasons, women are largely absent from the great stories of history. In other words, they become just what they are expected to become: Her father was a lawyer who encouraged his daughter to study, while her mother was a devout Roman Catholic. Men have always been granted greater economic, political, and social power, so they have also had more influence on cultural and historical events. Instead they are rooted in male fear and male desire. She is a prostitute for both money and for the recognition of her Otherness she receives from the men. De Beauvoir refers to the start of the menstrual flow as a reminder to a girl of her immanence. Her thesis throughout the book is the emphatic statement that she makes at the beginning of part II of The Second Sex: But in addition to the fact that women have always been oppressed there is another important difference between the oppression of women and oppression based on class or race.
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Simone De Beauvoir The Second Sex
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