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Feminism: “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir Essay (Article)

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Updated: Feb 12th, 2021

In “The Second Sex” de Beauvoir can be seen as a poststructuralist feminist. This is because in her book she examines the issues of feminism by going past merely having outward signs of equality for men and women to examining how society still treats women as the other sex. Those involved in poststructuralism focus on the social aspect of ideas and realities. Power in society is of great concern to them since women still derive power from men while this should not be.

For de Beauvoir the man is still regarded as instrumental in the identity and place of woman in society. de Beauvoir for example looks past activities which might seem like they have placed women and men at the same par, like voting, to the real power that women are given in politically changing their circumstances. Or for the matter to economically better their lives (de Beauvoir, 1989).

According to post-structural feminism structures in society still hold the woman back. de Beauvoir (1989) states that this is because structures still exist in the minds of people as to the place of women in society. Despite outward changes in society according to de Beauvoir (1989), the woman has a long way to go before she can be fully allowed to determine who she is, what she wants and to change society’s perception of her.

Women today continue to face discrimination in many parts of the world. The change comes slowly and women are begrudgingly treated as equals. Even in places where there are signs that might be construed as advances for feminists much remains to be done before the woman can truly be seen as equal to man. de Beauvoir (1989) therefore in “The Second Sex” fits in the post-structural context of feminism.

References

de Beauvoir, S., 1989. The Second Sex. New York: Vintage, pp. 31-44.

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IvyPanda. "Feminism: “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir." February 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/feminism-the-second-sex-by-simone-de-beauvoir/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Feminism: “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir." February 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/feminism-the-second-sex-by-simone-de-beauvoir/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Feminism: “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir'. 12 February.

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