The Second Sex!

Topics: Feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, Gender Pages: 4 (1563 words) Published: May 10, 2011
The Feminist Movement (also known as The Women’s Liberation movement) is a social movement organized around the belief that both men and women are equal in every way. The role of feminism in the 20th century changed the lives of many women, opening new doors to greater opportunities such has: jobs, education, and empowerment. Many achievements and organizations were a success in bringing a new role into society for women all over. However, the battle that seems to keep reappearing over time is the constant struggle between man and women and the fundamental question that still is left unanswered, who is inferior? In her novel, The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir discusses the role of women as being oppressed in the views of men who characterize women as “the other,” a very dehumanizing theory. For ever subject, there must be an object, “[A]t the moment when man asserts himself as subject and free being, the idea of the Other arises,” de Beauvoir states. She also says, “that while it is natural for humans to understand themselves in opposition to others, this process is flawed when applied to the genders. In defining woman exclusively as Other, man is effectively denying her humanity.” Beauvoir's analysis of sexism is perhaps her most powerful theoretical contribution to feminism. In a society that is sexist, Beauvoir argues, “Man is the universal and woman is the particular; he is the One, she is the Other.” Women only then find themselves to choose between the imprisonment of their femininity and the role of a genderless subject. Beauvoir states, “Man occupies the role of the self, or subject; woman is the object, the other. He is essential, absolute, and transcendent. She is inessential, incomplete, and mutilated. He extends out into the world to impose his will on it, whereas woman is doomed to immanence, or inwardness. He creates, acts, invents; she waits for him to save her. With that being said, Beauvoir vainly writes against the attempts at ruling how...
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