The Second Sex By Simone De Beauvoir Essay

The Second Sex By Simone De Beauvoir Essay

Length: 1205 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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). Beauvoir’s fundamental initial analysis begins by asking, “what is woman” and concludes woman is “other” and always defined in relation to man (Beauvoir, 2000:145). “He is the Subject, he is the Absolute—she is the other” (146). Within this revelation, Beauvoir grasps how social training of the time leaves women powerless in relation to men. Because women are constantly defined as what they are not “a woman is made and not born”. Through her engagement as an existentialist philosopher she concerns herself with the conditions in the lives of women. Her way of thinking in and through the Second Sex, “considerably altered the whole approach to philosophical and political issues concerning women” (Oliver, 1997:160). Beauvoir illustrates that the problematic element involved in social training is the assumed roles of gender. Women are always other. They never occupy the subject position. This dichotomy between men and women is so deeply ingrained in our ways of thinking that nobody even questions the model to begin with. However, Beauvoir does question this model and is truly a pioneer for her time in doing so. Existentialism focuses on the notion that each individua...


... middle of paper ...


... As stated within the thesis of this essay, the feminist theories of power analyzed focused on their relationships with education, law, social training, language, and the discourse of theory. New manifestations of power continually need to be addressed both inside and outside the paradigms of society and theory itself. One can truly only become successful if one is willing to recognize its own shortcomings and take active initiatives to promote change. Because, as we have seen power is manifested in many different ways, we must remain open to challenging many of our own preconceived biases on power relations. Power is so pervasive that we find ourselves coming in contact with it on a daily basis in at least some form or another. The more our recognition increases towards this the better understanding we can gain from our own power relations that shape our lives.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1494 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Significance Of Simone De Beauvoir 's The Second Sex

- 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]

Better Essays
1276 words (3.6 pages)

The Second Sex By Simone De Beauvoir Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
2109 words (6 pages)

Analysis of The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1370 words (3.9 pages)

The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1828 words (5.2 pages)

Comparison of One is Not Born a Woman by Wittig and The Second Sex Simone De Beauvoir

- 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]

Better Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

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

- 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]

Better Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Validity of Names in Machiavelli’s Prince and Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex

- 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]

Free Essays
761 words (2.2 pages)