“Man is defined as a human being and woman is defined as a female. Whenever she tries to behave as a human being she is accused of trying to emulate the male.”
— Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
It all began when I picked up Memoirs of Dutiful Daughter from Shakespeare&Co at rue de la Bûcherie and thought, what else I must take home if it’s not a French writer? Well, the Memoirs had left such a deep dearly mark in my heart. And so when I fall in love with someone (writers), I want to read everything she writes. I read about 5-6 of de Beauvoir’s books already and 2019 is a good year to finally approach her magnum opus, The Second Sex. Took me a year to really go through every line in this book. 741 pages later, I am reborn.
To talk about the whole book would probably take me another year to illustrate all of the details but I’d like to point out the part that really changed my perspective- History. This part gives such a clear picture of how it began and what went wrong. I was shocked to learn that the very religion institution played a big role that led the fade of the women to the catastrophe. As well as those in high thrones, the respectable men writers and philosophers. These people viewed women as sinful creatures and many other absurd beliefs that became social norms that brought women being to the sole property of the society as the “Other”.
Personally, understanding the history of women is fundamental to constructively learn more about this subject. The studies explore almost all aspects, except it’s only exclusive for the West society. I assume that this can not be generalized with the rest of the world like Asia or Africa but still, it’s one of the best feminist philosophy and the situation explained in this book is universal. The biology, being young girls, menstrual, menopause, sexual institution, the married woman, the mother, prostitution, narcissist, woman in love, literature, the myth about women, maturity, old age and, the independent woman.
Although some part of the book might become history as society progress. We’re at a time where women have more freedom. We are able to think, speak and act equally. We can aim as high as we want and we can go all the way to the top. It’s not always rainbow and sunshine and still imperfect. But we’ve come very, very far and we will always move forward.
Grateful for Simone de Beauvoir, for shading us the light, paving us the way and gave us tremendous hope.
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