Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex is a primary source that defines the historical role of women as the “other” as submissive servants to the dominant male gender. In this manner, the role of women as subordinates to men is not genetically or biologically designed, but it has been historical and cultural organized by patriarchal institutions that have subjectively controlled women:
The reason for this is that women lack concrete means for organising themselves into a unit which can stand face to face with the correlative unit. They have no past, no history, no religion of their own; and they have no such solidarity of work and interest as that of the proletariat.
This historical perspective defines the artificial social construction of patriarchal gender roles that have subjectively subjugated women in western society. Beauvoir defines these institutions as a means of using gender to control women and to keep them ...
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...t discourse through her epistemological privileging of female voices.” These are important aspects of Adele’s view of the world, since she has an alternative perspective on how women should be educated from her experiences in Poland,. Beauvoir argues that women can make an actual choice about their gender role identity, since many subservient aspects of female identity are artificial creations by patriarchal social institutions. Certainly, Beauvoir’s The Second Sex defines the social aspects of women’s choices, which Yezierska implies in her main character, Adele, as she struggles to eventually start her own restaurant in New York City. At the end of the novel, Adele realizes the artificiality of women as the “other”, which empowers her to be a businesswoman in the community, and simply a domestic housewife through the institutional education of the working houses.
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