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The Second Sex

Simone de Beauvoir

Kaleigh Campbell

on 9 June 2010

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Transcript of The Second Sex

Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex History Other Works Course Connections The Second Sex 1908 - Born in Paris to a Bourgeois family Raised in a strict and traditional household 1929 - Graduated from Sorbonne 1931-1943 - Taught high school Her Stance 1948 - The Blood of Others 1944 - Pyrrhus et Cinéas 1947 - The Ethics of Ambiguity 1949 - The Second Sex Placed on the Vatican's index of prohibited books 1943 - She Came to Stay (L’Invitée) 1946 - All Men Are Mortals 1954 - The Mandarins 1966 - Les Belles Images Multiple short stories, plays, cultural studies & autobiographical works Existentialist Feminism, Ethics & Politics Emphasis on freedom, responsibility & ambiguity Women as socially inferior Femininity as created by man Women as The Other Caste Situation Seeking Transcendence Exchange of Values The Solution Inferiority as the other Other as a minority Other as a historical construct Other as a master-slave relationship These don't apply Men = Superior
Women = Inferior Women can avoid taking the responsibility Women are compliant Men have been seeking transcendence Women have been forced into immanence Each caste attempts to dominate the other in their strive for transcendence He sees her as a waste of time She uses him to fill endless time Each individual needs to take their own meaning from the world Women should be brought up in the same manner as men Each blames the other for the situation Unequal exchange Jean-Paul Sartre Lifelong friend & lover Progressive & Open Relationship Drew influences from him The Time "He is the subject, he is the Absolute - she is the Other" - Pg 490 "They have no past, no history, no religion of their own" - Pg 493 "To decline to be the Other, to refuse to be party to the deal - this would be for women to renounce all the advantages conferred upon them by their alliance with the superior caste." - Pg 495 "Each will hold the other responsible for the situation; she will reproach him with having made her what she is: 'No one taught me to reason or to earn my own living'; he will reproach her with having accepted the consequences: 'You don't know anything, you are an incompetent'." - Pg 500 "The truth is that for man she is an amusement, a pleasure, company, an inessential boon; he is for her the meaning, the justification of her existence." - Pg 500 "Let them be provided with living strength of their own, let them have the means to attack the world and wrest from it their own subsistence, and their dependance will be abolished - that of man also." - Pg 502 Youngest student ever to pass the french philosopy teaching exam Mother was a Catholic, father was an atheist She became an atheist 1944 - Women's divisions in the military are being created and growing 1945 - Harvard admits the first women into its medical program 1948 - Eleanor Roosevelt presents the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the UN General Assembly 1948 - Margaret Chase Smith becomes the first woman elected to both houses of Congress 1949 - Burnita Shelton Matthews is named Federal District Court judge for the District of Columbia WW11 - Women needed to fill mens roles Displacement of responsibility Role of Education Religion as validation Existentialist Women and men both displace their responsibility Similar to totaltarianism regimes and their displacement of responsibility Arendt's idea of displacement of responsibility through belonging to a group Skinner's idea that we cannot be responsible for our actions if we are a product of our environment De Beauvoir beleives that we have to actively take responsibility for finding validation in our own lives Suggests a change in the way women are educated as a way to correct the problems of inequality Our k-12 system has the same problem - we are conditioned to be reliant on, and submissive to, the system Has the idea that religion cannot be the way to add validation your life Domination through the displacement of responsibility Discussion Are we as a society conditioned to be submissive to a group. If so, who are we the ‘other’ to in today’s society? Do you think that religion or spiritual belief is nessesary to find validation in life, or is it enough to look inside your self? Works Cited De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Classics of Western Thought: The Twentieth Century.Ed Donald S Gochberg. Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning, 2003. Mussett,Shannon.Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.22 Jan 2003.07 June 2010. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/beauvoir/>. Crowell, Steven. Existentialism.Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 23 Aug 2004. 07 June 2010. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/>. If the choices we are able to make are pre-determined, can we truly make choices that enhance our freedoms?
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