Reconfiguration of Social Relation: The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

Reconfiguration of Social Relation: The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

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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. Woman as the sexed being that differs from men, in which they are simply placed in the others category. As men treat their bodies as a concrete connection to the world that they inhabit; women are simply treated as bodies to be objectified and used for pleasure, pleasure that arise from the beauty that the bodies behold. This draws us to form the statement that beauty is a powerful means of objectification that every woman aims to attain in order to consequently attain acceptance and approval from the patriarchal society. The society that set up the vague standard of beauty based on satisfaction of sexual drives. Here, women constantly seek to be the center of attention and inevitably the medium of erection.
An elevation of beauty is treated as a form of improvement, both for men and for women. Simply put, women emphasize their differences in order to gain a sense of equality and avoid comparison from men. However women are limited in the sense that beauty in itself is very restricting. And the fact that women direct their beauty towards men shows us that men are the basis and the end means of beauty. In which this beautification is not really a form of self-improvement; there is no real flourishing...


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...lways be inferior to men. In their everyday immersion, they are constantly reminded by this fact, and so they constantly subject to men and follow the daily routines prepared for them. They beautify themselves the way man would perceive them to be attractive. And so, even if some women are now displacing men in their own game and in their own world, as long as they wear powders and plastics, they will remain as others. As long as we look at ourselves in context of the eyes of men we will always be treated as mere objects.

Sources:
De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Trans. And ed. H.M. Parshley. New York: Vintage,1989.
ix-xxxv; 253-63; 267-327; 425-83.
Marx, Karl. “Alienated Labor.” In Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.
“Throwing Like a Girl.” A Phenomenology of Feminine Bodily Comportment, Motility and …Spatiality.” Human Studies 3 (1980): 137-56

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