Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex: A Beginner's Guide

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Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex is one of the founding books of modern-day feminism. De Beauvoir's arguments had a galvanising impact in the 1950s, and her ideas still speak across the generations today. Yet this great book is also difficult and demanding, woven of many strands, including existential philosophy and personal experience, radical politics and cultural history.
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Overview

Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex is one of the founding books of modern-day feminism. De Beauvoir's arguments had a galvanising impact in the 1950s, and her ideas still speak across the generations today. Yet this great book is also difficult and demanding, woven of many strands, including existential philosophy and personal experience, radical politics and cultural history.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword iv
A Great Work vi
A Note on Editions vi
Key Features vii
Introduction--A Book of Revolution viii
Chapter 1 Simone de Beauvoir and The Second Sex 1
Chapter 2 De Beauvoir and Feminist Thought 8
Chapter 3 The Bad Faith of Biology 33
Chapter 4 Woman--The Family History 45
Chapter 5 The Stereotyping of Women 55
Chapter 6 The Good Wife and Mother 62
Chapter 7 Liberation Philosophy 74
References and Further Reading 82
Index 84
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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    "The Second Sex" Is Just As Adapted To Society As The First...

    It is difficult to identify De Beauvoir’s outlook on women’s roles in society because it’s hard to tell if she’s being bitterly sarcastic or cynically intellectual. Even though I am against some of the things she says, there are particular ideas she has that had me nodding my head in agreement.
    “What would Prince Charming have for occupation if he had not to awaken the Sleeping beauty?” Assuming that a woman is not capable of taking care of herself, De Beauvoir claims that it is the man’s job to save the damsel in distress. Other examples that humored me all relate to her belief that women are helpless, and if not helpless, threatening to the male supremacy.
    My favorite and least favorite philosophy of the author is her symbolizing the women species with the pray mantis. She compares the praying mantis’ habit of devouring the male right after intercourse with the nagging wife who demands too much from her partner. I couldn’t help but chuckle at this silly but unfortunately true concept.
    The author doesn’t stop at women’s obligation to serve their men and repopulate the world, she continues explaining the choices a women is capable of making concerning abortion, homosexuality, the curse of menstruation, freedom to express sexuality, staying single, and other complications a woman may have.
    I enjoyed this novel, only because I was entertaining myself laughing at the feminist’s extreme principles. Reading De Beauvoir’s controversial yet intellectual novel makes me wonder if De Beauvoir were to see how much progress women has made in society, would she change her mind about the things she said about females still being the subordinate secondary sex?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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