Simone De Beauvior (1908-1986)

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  • French philosopher and writer
  • Considered "mother of feminism"
  • Main study was devoted to the conditions of women
  • Wrote "The Second Sex" English translation 1953

Main Thesis

  • "One is not born, but becomes a woman"- Distinction between biological sex and socio- cultural, therefore changable, gender
  • Women have become identified as the "other" to men- inessential or secondary to men
  • Male is the essential and "true human"
  • Women can only be 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 
  • Womens focus was on reproduction- men in control of everything else


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