Simone De Beauvior (1908-1986)

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  • Simone De Beauvior (1908-1986)
    • Intro
      • French philosopher and writer
      • Considered the "mother of feminism"
      • Main study devoted to the conditions of women
      • Wrote "The Second Sex" (1953)
    • Main Thesis
      • "One is not born, but becomes a woman"
        • Distinction between biological sex and socio- cultural, therefore changeable, gender
      • Women have become identified as the "other" to men
        • Women are inessential or secondary- dependent on men
        • Men are the true and essential
        • Women are always seen in relation to men- women through the eyes of men
    • Historical Evolution of Womens' Subordination
      • Homosapien life= women relied on men for hunting and fighting
      • Women's focus was on reproduction- men in control
      • Divison of labour- men as breadwinners, women as mothers and wives
      • Roles have become developed and socialised to become the norm
      • Gender- specific roles and identities represent masculine and feminine attributes
      • Women seen as the lesser or secondary to men and this role is accepted as the norm
    • Revolution
      • Women should take things into their own hands
      • Recognise their subordination and gain economic and cultural independence
    • Quotes- Beauvior (1953)
      • "man can think of himself without women, she cannot think of herself without man
      • "He is the subject, the absolute- she is the other"
      • If women "belong to the bourgeoisie, they feel solidarity with men of that class, not proletariat women"
      • "Womens efforts have been little more than symbolic agitation- only gained what men are willing to grant"
    • Critisisms
      • Elitist and ignores various social factors, class, race, etc
      • Utopian view that women can be fully liberated
      • Women have to become "like men"- defeating the point
      • Not contemporary- women have gained independence

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