Simone DeBeauvoir The Second Sex

Essay by caytinnUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2004

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Simone De Beauvoir's book, The Second Sex, takes us on a tour from the

beginning of human race to the contemporary world of the1940's during which she lived. She encompasses all aspects of life from economics and culture, to the internal workings of the body. She discusses how others perceive women through beliefs, thoughts, and prejudices in all societies throughout the world. Her research is an attempt to answer one simple question- why are women constantly seen as inferior to men, in effect the "second sex." Her book is an in-depth analysis which distinguishes between inherent truths and artificial differences that separate females from males. She starts her analysis examining biological differences that truly separate the sexes. "The bond that unites her to her oppressors is not comparable to any other. The division of the sexes is a biological fact, not an event in human history."

Biologically, in humans the product of the two sexes are required for procreation, but it is the female who possess the womb with which to carry the developing embryos.

It is she who contains the possibilities to assure the continuation of the species. The male contains the possibilities of fertilization needed in order for her egg to even begin to develop into human form. In this case both are of equal necessity for the continuity of the species. Reproduction, for Beauvoir, creates many reasons for the subordination of females to males. These qualities are transendant.

She speaks of the way females of all species tend to initiate and attract the male. She solicits him, and then she awaits his embrace. She waits to be taken by the male. Beauvoir exclaims that as the male penetrates the female, after her solicitation, he violates her inwardly. His organ is a vivid object that exploits...