In the chapter of her book The Second Sex entitled “the Woman in Love,” Simone de Beauvoir characterizes the romantic ideal of the relationship with a man as a woman’s purpose as a form of self-deception (translated here as “bad faith”). The self-deception de Beauvoir describes is based in the thesis of The Second Sex. This is the idea that women have been deceived into believing that they are second-class humans. Western culture, according to de Beauvoir, teaches us that women are missing some elusive element of the self that endows men with freedom- a concept essential to the existentialist definition of the conscious being. Therefore, a woman can never find fulfillment as a thinking person as long as she believes that men are free beings and women their dependents. This state of affairs is reinforced through an all-encompassing system of thought that posits man as subject and woman as object, “doomed to dependency.” (In this chapter, de Beauvoir writes about the “modern woman” whose consciousness of her self has not yet matured. Therefore, when “woman” is referred to here, this is merely shorthand for the self-deceiving woman. The independent woman is another matter entirely.)
De Beauvoir postulates that the reason why women’s idea of love is so much more intense than men’s is because the woman, unable to become a whole person in and of herself, thinks that by attaching herself to a man she can transcend her position in life. She can move from object to subject through osmosis- the ultimate expression of “being for the other.” She can claim a share of his activities and his accomplishments in the public realm which she is prohibited to enter. Giving herself wholly to the man ...
... middle of paper ...
...that many women cling to even after they give up hope that “he” will ever come.
Is there a solution to this paradox, this Catch-22 that de Beauvoir describes? Yes, she says, but only when certain conditions are met. First, a woman must have a solid sense of herself as an existentialist “free being” before she goes looking for love. Second, the love relationship must be a freely chosen association of equals committed to respecting each other’s freedom. As de Beauvoir writes on p.667:
“Genuine love ought to be founded on the mutual recognition of two liberties; the lovers would then experience themselves both as self and as other; neither would give up transcendence, neither would be mutilated; together they would manifest values and aims in the world. For the one and the other, love would be revelation of self by the gift of self and enrichment of the world.”
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir In the chapter of her book The Second Sex entitled “the Woman in Love,” Simone de Beauvoir characterizes the romantic ideal of the relationship with a man as a woman’s purpose as a form of self-deception (translated here as “bad faith”). The self-deception de Beauvoir describes is based in the thesis of The Second Sex. This is the idea that women have been deceived into believing that they are second-class humans. Western culture, according to de Beauvoir, teaches us that women are missing some elusive element of the self that endows men with freedom- a concept essential to the existentialist definition of the conscious being.... [tags: Second Sex Simone Beauvoir Essays]
1494 words (4.3 pages)
- This essay aims to critically discuss and evaluate the significance of Simone De Beauvoir’s work and the relevance of her book ‘the Second Sex’ and how women are seen as the second sex in society. The essay will explore Beauvoir’s early life and what influenced her to write ‘the second sex’ (1999). The essay will briefly explain what is feminism, along with how her work has impacted on and influence women in society and how her work is relevant in contemporary society along with some limitations and criticisms for her book ‘the second sex’ (1999).... [tags: Feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex]
1276 words (3.6 pages)
- Historically, power has been manifested hierarchically within the social training of genders. Simone De Beauvoir’s concept of ‘otherness’ has theorized how individuals’ personal manifestations of self are influenced deeply by their social position and the available power to them within these circumstances (2000:145). She remains one of the first to develop a feminist philosophy of women. In her book The Second Sex (1950), Beauvoir provides “a philosophical account of the development of patriarchal society and the condition of women within it” (Oliver, 1997:160).... [tags: Feminism, Sociology, Simone de Beauvoir]
1205 words (3.4 pages)
- Simone de Beauvoir, in her 1949 text The Second Sex, examines the problems faced by women in Western society. She argues that women are subjugated, oppressed, and made to be inferior to males – simply by virtue of the fact that they are women. She notes that men define their own world, and women are merely meant to live in it. She sees women as unable to change the world like men can, unable to live their lives freely as men can, and, tragically, mostly unaware of their own oppression. In The Second Sex, de Beauvoir describes the subjugation of woman, defines a method for her liberation, and recommends strategies for this liberation that still have not been implemented today.... [tags: Essays on The Second Sex]
2109 words (6 pages)
- Why is a woman “the other” of a man. The term “the other” describes the female’s secondary position, to a man, in her own mind and in society’s standards. In The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir, the understanding of reality is made up of interaction between opposing forces. For an individual to define oneself and have a true understanding, s/he must also define something in opposition. “[A]t the moment when man asserts himself as subject and free being, the idea of the Other arises,” says de Beauvoir.... [tags: Gender, Inequality, Women]
577 words (1.6 pages)
- In her introductory lines of The Second Sex, De Beauvoir says: “One wonders if women still exist, if they will always exist, whether or not it is desirable that they should, what place they occupy in this world, what their place should be.” (Solomon, page 296) De Beauvoir claims that woman should not be a biological category, but rather an existential category, with which I agree. De Beauvoir’s primary thesis is that men oppress women by characterizing them as the Other, defined in opposition to men.... [tags: woman, biological and physical aspects]
1370 words (3.9 pages)
- Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. It is the movement for the political, social, and educational equality of women with men. It has its roots in the humanism of the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution. Feminist issues range from access to employment, education, child care, contraception, and abortion, to equality in the workplace, changing family roles, damages for sexual harassment in the workplace, and the need for equal political representation. Some may think that in 2015 we may be completing the first step for women, which has been a long journey, the acceptance of women as people.... [tags: gender differences, 2015]
1828 words (5.2 pages)
- The construction of gender is based on the division of humanity to man and woman. This is impossible ontologically speaking; because the humans are not divided, thus gender is merely an imaginary realm. It only exist in the language exercises, and the way that cultural products are conceived in them. This essay is a preliminary attempt to offer an analysis of ‘One Is Not Born a Woman’ by Wittig and ‘The Second Sex’ by Simone De Beauvoir holds on the language usage contribution to the creation of genders and the imagined femininity.... [tags: genders, language, society]
873 words (2.5 pages)
- There has been a long and on going discourse on the battle of the sexes, and Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex reconfigures the social relation that defines man and women, and how far women has evolved from the second position given to them. In order for us to define what a woman is, we first need to clarify what a man is, for this is said to be the point of derivation (De Beauvoir). And this notion presents to us the concept of duality, which states that women will always be treated as the second sex, the dominated and lacking one.... [tags: sexes, women]
902 words (2.6 pages)
- Validity of Names in Machiavelli’s Prince and Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex People often drop names to assure the achievement of whatever goal it is they are trying to achieve. This tactic works especially well in business, but it can also work in argument. Names of influential people have influential affects. “I know Don Corleone,” would certainly have gotten nearly anything done in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. Both Simone de Beauvoir and Niccolò Machiavelli used the names of well-known people to add a sense of importance and truth to what it was they were saying.... [tags: Machiavelli Prince Essays]
761 words (2.2 pages)