Simone De Beauvoir: One is not born a woman, but becomes one

sartre de beauvoir

De Beauvoir: An Existentialist philosophy

The Second Sex is the greatest book of contemporary philosophy of feminism. Simone de Beauvoir presents his major thesis, that of woman as a figure of the Other, as figure alienated by the dominant male culture. But this book is not just a philosophical statement, it is a political manifesto, a book that advocates fighting the liberation of women.

The cultural future of women according to Simone de Beauvoir

Initially, the woman is the equal of men, both intellectually and physically. That man, because it produces ideology, because it is dominant, it returns the woman to her otherness into an inferior being, a biological being.

De Beauvoir uses the dialectic of master and slave (Hegel) to account for the oppression of women. The man has a consciousness of imperialism, he tries to land by denying the other. But man, against other men, meets the same standards at home. The facility is to find a being biologically inferior to make it his slave:

This dream incarnate, is just the woman she is” desired intermediate between the foreign nature to man and it is too similar identical. She did not oppose the enemy silence of nature, nor the harsh requirement of mutual recognition. With women, there is a way to escape the relentless dialectic of master and slave

The woman becomes the absolute other, inessential, its being depends on the recognition granted to it man. The woman gives life, while the man risks his life, which, in Hegel, is the sign of victory of conscience over the other. The woman is seen by men as a reproductive organ, and not as a rival in the struggle for recognition. The woman remains at the level of animality is why, according to Beauvoir, motherhood refers to the subjugation of women in this case.


Other articles on Simone De Beauvoir :

The Second Sex – Summary

Simone de Beauvoir Quotes

Cite this article as: Tim, "Simone De Beauvoir: One is not born a woman, but becomes one, May 18, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 18, 2012,

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