Simone De Beauvoir 's The Second Sex Essay

1135 Words Mar 1st, 2016 null Page
In Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, her existentialist view point is heavily felt throughout this historical study of women. Often viewed as a radical, Beauvoir sets out to explore the many beliefs or definitions in regards to femininity. She proposes that women are oppressed by men through men’s depiction of women as the “other” or the object. Man is the subject, the self, the one, the absolute, the positive, the creator and the possessor of transcendence. Women are demoted as particular, dependent, negative, inessential, and the prisoners to immanence. That is to say that they are only seen as objects for sexual reproduction and desire, not as individuals with their own rights and beliefs, thus leading to a cloud in judgment by man outside dominance or a lack of subjectivity.
Beauvoir touches upon Hegel’s slave and master dialectic, “Master and slave are also linked by a reciprocal economic need that does not free the slave. That is, in the master-slave relation, the master does not posit the need he has for the other; he holds the power to satisfy this need and does not mediate it; the slave, on the other hand, out of dependence, hope, or fear, internalizes his need for the master; however equally compelling the need may be to them both, it always plays in favor of the oppressor over the oppressed: this explains the slow pace of working-class liberation, for example.”, and draws a comparison to her current predicament as the slave can be interpreted as woman and the…

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