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Simone de beauvoir quotes on woman

Simone de beauvoir quotes on woman

The housewife wears herself out marking time: she makes nothing, simply perpetuates the present … Eating, sleeping, cleaning — the years no longer rise up towards heaven, they lie spread out ahead, grey and identical. The battle against dust and dirt is never won. The reciprocity of their relations will not do away with the miracles — desire, possession, love, dream, adventure — worked by the division of human beings into two separate categories; and the words that move us — giving, conquering, uniting — will not lose their meaning.

On the contrary, when we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy that it implies, then the 'division' of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form. In the meantime, love represents in its most touching form the curse that lies heavily upon woman confined in the feminine universe, woman mutilated, insufficient unto herself.

Simone de Beauvoir. Simone de Beauvoir: 10 key quotes. As a Google doodle celebrates the birth of the great French feminist, philosopher and novelist, here is a glimpse of her thinking in 10 quotes. Not born a woman … Simone de Beauvoir. Thu 9 Jan Simone de Beauvoir theorized that religion oppresses women in much the same way as it oppresses the proletariat in Marxist theory. According to de Beauvoir, religion is used by men to oppress women and to compensate for them for the second-class status.

simone de beauvoir quotes on woman

De Beauvoir argued that historically, men, who have traditionally controlled most institutions in society, also control religion. It is men who control religion beliefs, and they use God to justify their control of society. However, in modern societies, religion is more of a tool of deception than of direct control.

Religion deceives women into thinking that are equal to, or even better than men, despite their inferior status in reality. However, according to radical feminist theory more generallythe motherhood role is one of the most oppressive for women: it means that women become financially dependent on men and end up doing a lot more work in society, especially in reproducing the next generation. In fact, de Beauvoir says that those women who accept their religiously sanctioned roles as mother actually benefit religious institutions.

This is because they socialise them into religious belief: thus reproducing power inequalities. Finally, for de Beauvoir, the compensations women receive from traditional religious institutions for accepting their inferior status are not adequate. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

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You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Necessary Necessary. Non-necessary Non-necessary.The subject is irritating, especially to women; and it is not new.

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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. After all, is there a problem?

And if so, what is it? Are there women, really? But first we must ask: what is a woman? But in speaking of certain women, connoisseurs declare that they are not women, although they are equipped with a uterus like the rest. All agree in recognising the fact that females exist in the human species; today as always they make up about one half of humanity.

And yet we are told that femininity is in danger; we are exhorted to be women, remain women, become women. It would appear, then, that every female human being is not necessarily a woman; to be so considered she must share in that mysterious and threatened reality known as femininity.

Is this attribute something secreted by the ovaries? Or is it a Platonic essence, a product of the philosophic imagination? Is a rustling petticoat enough to bring it down to earth?

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Although some women try zealously to incarnate this essence, it is hardly patentable. It is frequently described in vague and dazzling terms that seem to have been borrowed from the vocabulary of the seers, and indeed in the times of St Thomas it was considered an essence as certainly defined as the somniferous virtue of the poppy.

But conceptualism has lost ground. The biological and social sciences no longer admit the existence of unchangeably fixed entities that determine given characteristics, such as those ascribed to woman, the Jew, or the Negro. Science regards any characteristic as a reaction dependent in part upon a situation. If today femininity no longer exists, then it never existed. But does the word womanthen, have no specific content? This is stoutly affirmed by those who hold to the philosophy of the enlightenment, of rationalism, of nominalism; women, to them, are merely the human beings arbitrarily designated by the word woman.

Many American women particularly are prepared to think that there is no longer any place for woman as such; if a backward individual still takes herself for a woman, her friends advise her to be psychoanalysed and thus get rid of this obsession.Source Report If her functioning as a female is not enough to define woman, if we decline also to explain her through "the eternal feminine," and if nevertheless we admit, provisionally, that women do exist, then we must face the question: what is a woman?

Simone de Beauvoir. When Sartre and I met not only did our backgrounds fuse, but also our solidity, our individual conviction that we were what we were made to be. In that framework we could not become rivals. Then, as the relationship between Sartre and me grew, I became convinced that I was irreplaceable in his life, and he in mine.

In other words, we were totally secure in the knowledge that our relationship was also totally solid, again preordained, though, of course, we would have laughed at that word then.

When you have such security it's easy not to be jealous. But had I thought that another woman played the same role as I did in Sartre's life, of course, I would have been jealous. In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.

Simone de Beauvoir Quotes on Feminism

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. To be a woman, if not a defect, is at least a peculiarity. Society, being codified by man, decrees that woman is inferior; she can do away with this inferiority only by destroying the male's superiority.

Sex pleasure in woman, as I have said, is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken. Woman is determined not by her hormones or by mysterious instincts, but by the manner in which her body and her relation to the world are modified through the action of others than herself. Woman has always been man's dependent, if not his slave; the two sexes have never shaped the world in equality.

And even today woman is heavily handicapped, though her situation is beginning to change. The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength, each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving.

Simone de Beauvoir: 10 key quotes

It is even more deceptive to dream of gaining through the child a plenitude, a warmth, a value, which one is unable to create for oneself; the child brings joy only to the woman who is capable of disinterestedly desiring the happiness of another, to one who without being wrapped up in self seeks to transcend her own existence.

On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself—on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.

I'm not against mothers. I am against the ideology which expects every woman to have children, and I'm against the circumstances under which mothers have to have their children. The American woman's inequality with men is proved by her defiant attitude.

It is among the psychoanalysts in particular that man is defined as a human being and woman as a female—whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.

The moment a woman gets power, she loses the solidarity she had with other women. She will want to be equal in a man's world and will become ambitious for her own sake. A man is in the right in being a man; it is the woman who is in the wrong. The most sympathetic of men never fully comprehend woman's concrete situation.

All agree in recognising the fact that females exist in the human species; today as always they make up about one half of humanity.

simone de beauvoir quotes on woman

And yet we are told that femininity is in danger; we are exhorted to be women, remain women, become women. It would appear, then, that every female human being is not necessarily a woman; to be so considered she must share in that mysterious and threatened reality known as femininity.

Christian ideology has contributed no little to the oppression of woman. It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them. The products of domestic work, then, must necessarily be consumed; a continual renunciation is required of the woman whose operations are completed only in their destruction.

It is in great part the anxiety of being a woman that devastates the feminine body. Woman is shut up in a kitchen or in a boudoir, and astonishment is expressed that her horizon is limited. Her wings are clipped, and it is found deplorable that she cannot fly. Quote of the day I know at last what distinguishes man from animals; financial worries.De Beauvoir also lent her voice to various political causes and traveled the world extensively.

She died in Paris in and was buried with Sartre. The eldest daughter in a bourgeois family, De Beauvoir was raised strictly Catholic. She was sent to convent schools during her youth and was so devoutly religious that she considered becoming a nun. However, at the age of 14, the intellectually curious De Beauvoir had a crisis of faith and declared herself an atheist.

She thus dedicated herself to the study of existence, shifting her focus instead to math, literature and philosophy. InDe Beauvoir left home to attend the prestigious Sorbonne, where she studied philosophy and rose to the top of her class. She completed her exams and a thesis on German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in In a short time, their relationship became romantic but also remained wholly unconventional.

De Beauvoir rejected a proposal of marriage from Sartre early on. The two would also never live under the same roof and were both free to pursue other romantic outlets. They remained together until Sartre's death decades later in a relationship that was at times fraught with tension and, according to biographer Carole Seymour-Jones, eventually lost its sexual chemistry.

The individual liberties their relationship structure granted the couple allowed de Beauvoir and Sartre to part ways for a time, with each accepting teaching jobs in different parts of France.

De Beauvoir taught philosophy and literature throughout the s, but during World War II was dismissed from her post by the Vichy government after the German army occupied Paris in Meanwhile, Sartre, who was drafted into the French army at the start of the war, was captured in but released the following year. Both De Beauvoir and Sartre would work for the French Resistance during the remainder of the war, but unable to teach, De Beauvoir soon launched her literary career as well.

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During the s, de Beauvoir also wrote the play Who Shall Die? Now reckoned as one of the most important and earliest works of feminism, at the time of its publication The Second Sex was received with great controversy, with some critics characterizing the book as pornography and the Vatican placing the work on the church's list of forbidden texts.

simone de beauvoir quotes on woman

Although The Second Sex established de Beauvoir as one of the most important feminist icons of her era, at times the book has also eclipsed a varied career that included many other works of fiction, travel writing and autobiography, as well as meaningful contributions to philosophy and political activism.

Not content to rest on the laurels of her literary and intellectual achievements, de Beauvoir used her fame to lend her voice to various political causes as well.

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In the later stages of her career, de Beauvoir devoted a good deal of her thinking to the investigation of aging and death. De Beauvoir died in Paris on April 14,at the age of She shares a grave with Sartre in the Montparnasse Cemetery. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat and philosopher who became notorious for acts of sexual cruelty in his writings as well as in his own life.Against the confines of marriage, de Beauvoir never married.

However, she did enjoy a serious and committed open-relationship with fellow author and philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre read our list of Jean-Paul Sartre quotes hereand had several other relationships during their time together. During a period where women were expected to serve the men in their lives, Simone de Beauvoir championed ideals of feminism that were quite radical. Her books, essays, and memoirs reflected views that were alternative to the status quo, and thus, she spearheaded a movement for change that would affect the lives of women for generations to come.

A man never begins by positing himself as an individual of a certain sex: that he is a man is obvious. And this is no exception. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger. I have only myself. The work of the feminist is long from complete. The world is steadily changing for the better and humanity is becoming more and more equal with every passing year.

However, there are still many areas where feminists are still fighting the valiant fight for equality. Although narrowing, there is still a pay gap between men and women. The gap is even larger between men and women in minority groups. Males still dominate in many industries with women being the minority in the government, news media, tech sector, executive suite, and science fields. Also, did I mention the Pink Tax? On average women pay more than men on common household items like shampoo, socks, underwear, and deodorant.

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De Beauvoir sparked a conversation that would inspire change for a more equal world. What can you do to help make the world a more equal place for all?

Simone de Beauvoir: Religion and the Second Sex

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To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please. Generally for existentialists, one is not born anything: everything we are is the result of our choices, as we build ourselves out of our own resources and those which society gives us. Simone de Beauvoir, although an avowed life-long existentialist, posits limits to this central existentialist idea of self-creation and self-definition, qualifying the absolute freedom Jean-Paul Sartre posited in Being and Nothingness.

By contrast de Beauvoir presents an ambiguous picture of human freedom, in which women struggle against the apparent disadvantages of the female body. Here de Beauvoir raises the core question of female embodiment: Are the supposed disadvantages of the female body actual disadvantages which exist objectively in all societies, or are they merely judged to be disadvantages by our society?

She answers this question by exploring case studies of the various stages of female life. In these case studies the female body is presented as both positive and negative, and women as both oppressed and free.

De Beauvoir argues that it is not the biological condition of women per se that constitutes a handicap: it is how a woman construes this condition which renders it positive or negative. None of the uniquely female experiences — the development of female sex organs, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause — have a meaning in themselves; but in a hostile or oppressive society they can come to take on the meaning of being a burden and disadvantage, as women come to accept the meanings a patriarchal society accords them.

Parshley, Vintage, If the initial psychological differences between young boys and girls are relatively trivial, what then causes them to become important? This does not have to be a bad thing; but unfortunately, young girls are often forced to become flesh against their will:.

The female body is such a nuisance, a pain, an embarrassment, a problem to deal with, ugly, awkward, and so on. Even if a girl tries to forget that she has a female body, society will soon remind her. However, de Beauvoir also gives positive examples of having a female body.

She shows us that there are situations in which young women can be comfortable in their bodies — indeed, not only comfortable, but joyous and proud. Consider a girl who enjoys walking in the fields and woods, feeling a profound connection to nature. In nature there are no males to gaze upon her, there are no mothers to criticise her. But she cannot escape to the natural world forever. As part of belonging to a patriarchal society she must eventually undergo a further traumatic event — initiation into sexual intercourse.

Intercourse is physically more traumatic for girls because it involves penetration and usually some corresponding pain. Culturally it is more traumatic because girls are kept in a greater state of ignorance than boys, and are often ill-prepared for what is to come.

Culturally too, there are certain techniques of sexual intercourse which predominate, which may not be ideal for female enjoyment and orgasm for instance, man on top. Thus when sex finally happens, it seems a world away from the romantic fantasies a girl has grown up with. Ultimately, is it the biological penetration itself which causes the distress, or is it the culturally-engineered ignorance of young women?