What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Famous feminist #1
Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986) was a French author and philosopher. She is best known for her 1949 treatise Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex), a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
As an existentialist, de Beauvoir accepts the precept that existence precedes essence; hence one is not born a woman, but becomes one. Her analysis focuses on the concept of The Other. It is the (social) construction of Woman as the quintessential Other that de Beauvoir identifies as fundamental to women's oppression.
De Beauvoir argues that women have historically been considered deviant, abnormal. She says that this attitude has limited women's success by maintaining the perception that they are a deviation from the normal, and are outsiders attempting to emulate "normality". For feminism to move forward, this assumption must be set aside.
De Beauvoir asserted that women are as capable of choice as men, and thus can choose to elevate themselves, reducing male consciousness to immanence.