The Second Sex And Baldwin 's Letter, My Dungeon Shook Essay

1756 Words Oct 24th, 2014 null Page
In this essay, I argue why Beauvoir’s introduction to the novel The Second Sex and Baldwin’s letter, “My Dungeon Shook,” start in a similar vein. Beauvoir and Baldwin both experience antagonism within themselves, in dealing with the study of women (Beauvoir) and the study of black men (Baldwin) because ‘woman’ and ‘black man’ are conceptualisms that have been authored by white men, in relation to white men, interpellated upon women and black men by white men for ages. These similar introductions into the studies of women and black men parallel the similarity with which both writers attack the misconstrued justifications – science and religion – white men use to construct identities for women and black men as the other, in the duality of the self and the other. Initially, white men cite science – “biology, experimental psychology, etc.” – to construct the inferior identities of women and black men (Beauvoir xxix). Beauvoir’s introduction to The Second Sex highlights this use of biology to portray women as the literal and figurative mutilation of white men. Beauvoir quotes Aristotle, in saying, “The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities … we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness” (xxii). Mutilated of penises, women are rendered inferior to men, due both to their biological composition and how their biological composition affects their nature. Yet, while women are seen as lacking, Beauvoir finds it ironic that white…

Related Documents