Essay on Analysis Of Simone De Beauvoir 's ' The Second Sex '

1387 Words Sep 20th, 2015 6 Pages
What is a woman? It is difficult to discuss feminist and gender theory without addressing this question. In fact, the way womanhood is viewed affects many aspects of different feminist perspectives, so it can guide theorists when discussing causes and solutions to gender equality. The theorists of different feminist perspectives will have different answers to this question, and the distinctions are important. Simone de Beauvoir focuses on this question in her article, “The Second Sex.” She states that a woman “is the Other” (2012, p. 35). Her conceptualization of womanhood has similarities and differences with radical feminists who focus more on essentialism. The differences in ideas among gender and feminist theorists affect how the feminist perspectives choose to address and explain gender inequality.
Simone de Beauvoir Not only does Simone de Beauvoir answer the question, “what is a woman?” but she also discusses the relevance of it being a question people ask. She explains how men do not have to use their gender when defining themselves, but it is something that woman have to do. She describes men as the “essential” and woman as “inessential” (de Beauvoir, 1952, p. 35). This description basically means that people consider men to be the standard person while women are a deviation of a man. Society describes women only in regards to men. “He is the Subject, he is the Absolute- she is the Other” (de Beauvoir, 1952, p. 35). They cannot exist as a subject all…

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