The Second Sex | Study Guide

Simone de Beauvoir

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Copies of The Second Sex sold in the first week 22,000 Length in feet of the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, a pedestrian bridge in Paris named after Beauvoir ~997 Rank of The Second Sex in Le Monde’s list of “100 Books of the Century” 35 Pages in the original French edition of The Second Sex 972 The Second Sexby the Numbers Narrator, Volume 1, Introduction hy is it that this world has always belonged to men? Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography by Deirdre Bair, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc. A philosopher, mother of modern feminism, novelist, playwright, and essayist, French activist Beauvoir was dedicated to intellectual and sexual freedom. Above all, she believed economic independence for women was the key to equality between the sexes. SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR1908–86 Author Main Ideas Alterity & Reciprocity Man, as subject, sees woman as object; woman seeks equality between both individuals. Transcendence & Immanence Man faces the world, while woman is denied agency and forced to remain passive and inward-facing. Dream of a Common Reality Man and woman should affirm natural differences and embrace their individuality. Jean-Paul Sartre Philosopher; Beauvoir’s lover, supporter, and critic Key Figures Claude Lévi-Strauss Anthropologist; supported Beauvoir Maurice Merleau-Ponty Existential philosopher; worked with Beauvoir on the political magazine Les Temps modernes (Modern Times) Nelson Algren Novelist and Beauvoir’s lover; convinced her to write Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette Female French novelist; quoted often in The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir Brilliant French thinker and writer; produced groundbreaking work How does one explain the secondary place of women in a world population equally divided between the sexes? Can women gain equality without destroying femininity, the family, and apparent differences between the sexes? The answer, according to Beauvoir, is yes: women and men can and must become equals. What Is a Woman? Who Can Say? SEXUAL ASYMMETRIES Physical Boys don’t have to suffer menstruation and fear of pregnancy like girls do. Economic Women have often been financially dependent on men. Developmental Maturity is uncomplicated and pleasurable for boys, but girls experience difficulty and male judgment as they grow up. Historical Because of childcare responsibilities, women have been dependent on men for protection. French Original Language 1949 Year Published Simone de Beauvoir Author The Second Sex Nonfiction Women’s Studies

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