'The Second Sex' By Simone de Beuavoire: Woman As Other

‘The Second Sex’ ultimately serves as the most eloquent, sophisticated and detailed synopsis of the patriarchal society and how it oppresses women. As Simone illustrates it is the amalgamation of destiny, history and myth which create “bird cage of oppression”. The reasoning that this oppressive structure has been created is muddled; however, there are three major considerations as to why it has been created: 1) out of necessity, 2) for control, 3) as a means of transcendence.

Control has been the epitome of the patriarchal society. Men have sought to dominate their environment and as part of that there exists women. Arguably women have been the greatest challenge to men’s goal of control. Women have stood in opposition to men even when they are bound by the institutions of men. It is because of this dichotomy between menn and women which have strengthened the resolve of menn and their pursuit of control. As history illustrates men have always sought to place women as the objects of their reality and through doing so men have thought that they could control women like they control the tools they create. However, this has not worked in the favor of men and the rise of feminism bears witness.

  • This is an interesting read, especially in relation to her fiction as well and the way she represents this. It would be good to also look at this in comparison to the other seminal texts, such as Greer's. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood 2 years ago
  • I would love to read further on this, but I have to wonder how this will address colonized males and masculinities? Will this article explore Patriarchy as it exists in the current world or will it seek to universalize the experiences with out respect to material conditions? Will it explore the constraints and enforcers of Patriarchy or will it pathologize "men". I think this will be quite interesting but how exactly do you define "men" under patriarchy? – Sunni Ago 2 years ago
  • Gender terminology would need to be defined clearly, as well as the gendered context that Simone's book was arising from (re: what was the understanding of sex and gender in her time in comparison to now?) – alliegardenia 2 years ago
  • I have read "Le Deuxième Sexe" de Simone de Beauvoir (be sure to check the spelling) in French when I was in High School. And, just like all teens, this did not talk to me at all. I had to read it again in graduate school in my critical theory class and it took a complete different meaning. I guess maturity helped ;-) Now, my helpful note on your excellent topic idea: how can we still make De Beauvoir applicable today? Let's look at the US politics today and apply directly the aspect of "male control" over the very hot and touchy topic of "abortion rights" or "healthcare access to/for women". Looking at what males are trying to (re)gain control over what women can do. Since this is an international forum, the article could even be richer by having international scholars contributing from their own country and examine the rights of women linked under male control (the list of countries that come to mind is too long). This is very promising and am looking forward to read the final product. Good luck with it. – luc992 2 years ago
  • This may or may not be helpful but I was not introduced to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex until I played Nier: Automata. I only bring this up to say that I suspect the majority of Beauvoir's work has permeated into much of our culture now because most of these issues still pervade our society today, though they might manifest differently now. In the game, your main protagonists face off against a boss machine called "Simone" or "Beauvoir" in the Japanese version. You learn she was once a small, stubby machine who was in love, borderline obsessed, with another machine lifeform named "Jean-Paul" after Jean-Paul Sartre. Simone was jealous of his other mistresses and began cannibalizing other machine lifeforms, using them to grow bigger and using their bodies as adornments for her own body. Her incessant search for beauty led to her tragic downfall. She associated her self-worth with an apathetic machine until she lost sight of herself completely and dies at the hands of the player. Although deeply exaggerated, her story becomes incredibly devasting for the player and perhaps somewhat relatable. The story is set tens of thousands of years into the future long past the extinction of humans, yet we still see androids and machines replicating human behaviors such as sexism, apathy, self-degradation, and toxic behaviors with love among others. While this may not be entirely applicable to Beauvoir's work, this could be one avenue to connect the pitfalls of the patriarchy to modern-day society. This game predicts that even long after we are gone, these issues might still persist after us. – iresendiz 2 years ago

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