The Second Sex

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Philosophy Now
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The Second Sex

Post by Philosophy Now »

Sally Scholz traces the major currents of Simone de Beauvoir’s main work.

http://philosophynow.org/issues/69/The_Second_Sex
duszek
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by duszek »

I once tried to read "Le deuxième sexe" but somehow I could not continue.

Women can only move forward if there are men who support them, like John Stuart Mill for example.

A wise man would not combat his wife, he would be glad if he could trust her and cooperate with her.

In my culture men tend to be proud of their wives´ achievements and even to boast of them.
Once a friend I knew asked me if I knew who his boss´s wife was. She was the minister of education at that time. My friend would not mind in the least if his wife were a minister.

And the Germans seem to be the same: when my friend was getting married to a German executive he asked her anxiously: will you be a top lawyer ? It was very important to him to be married to a top lawyer and not to a housewife.
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by RickLewis »

duszek wrote:I once tried to read "Le deuxième sexe" but somehow I could not continue.
You read it in French, then?

I haven't tried to read it yet. My French isn't good enough, so I'll have to go for an English translation, but of course it will have to be the new English translation, not the original one. We published a review of the new translation here:

http://philosophynow.org/issues/82/The_ ... e_Beauvoir

I was shocked to read how bad the original English translation apparently was:
...the first translation, for which Knopf enlisted H.M. Parshley, a zoologist marked by 1940s-era misogynism, was less a translation than a heavily abridged and altered rendering. In place of the fifteen percent of the text that Knopf had asked him to delete, Parshley often paraphrased what he apparently also misunderstood. To make matters worse, Parshley’s lack of sympathy shows itself in his edits and his comments throughout the text. But worst of all was that Parshley was not remotely conversant with the philosophical, psychoanalytic, and anthropological discussions in which Beauvoir’s work is consistently engaged, so he mistook key theoretical terms for ordinary French words. Thus even Beauvoir’s most basic philosophical and other formulations disappear in his English rendering.
So the translator, who had no familiarity with philosophy, chopped out 15 percent of the original book and replaced it with his own "paraphrases". Hmm... It is amazing de Beauvoir got any sort of recognition in the English-speaking world!
reasonvemotion
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by reasonvemotion »

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir....... is essentially about women understanding themselves?
If this is so, she is not the woman to enlighten us.

The Feminist movement is not a unique product of the modern age. Its historical precedents reach back to Plato.

'Women, you owe her everything!" So read the headline announcing Simone de Beauvoir's death in April 1986. I don't think so. De Beauvoir had declared her greatest achievement in life was her relationship with Sartre. There is something mysterious in De Beauvoir's insistence, given Sartre's other liaisons, and that this was the height of the women's movement, it seems to fly in the face of common sense.


Francine du Plessix Gray from the New York Times wrote a review of The Second Sex and I think it describes "beautifully" the true de Beauvoir. This is a small excerpt. How does Beauvoir’s book stand up more than a half-century later? It now strikes me as being in many ways dated. Written in an era in which a minority of women were employed, its arguments for female participation in the work force seem particularly outmoded. Beauvoir’s truly paranoid hostility toward the institutions of marriage and motherhood — another characteristic of early feminism — is so extreme as to be occasionally hilarious. Every aspect of the female reproductive system, from puberty to menopause, is approached with the same ferocious disdain. Females of all living species are “first violated . . . then alienated” by the process of fertilization. Derogatory phrases like “the servitude of maternity,” “woman’s absurd fertility,” the “exhausting servitude” of breast-feeding, abound. (How could they not, since the author sees heterosexual love in general as “a mortal danger?”) According to Beauvoir, a girl’s first menstruation, which many of us welcomed with excitement and pride, is met instead with “disgust and fear. ” It “ inspires horror” and “signifies illness, suffering and death.” A first menses, in her view, leads the girl to be “disgusted by her too-carnal body, by menstrual blood, by adults’ sexual practices, by the male she is destined for.”

“The Second Sex” like a poisonous river) her reflections on sexual initiation and marriage make them sound like torture. She chooses the most brutal examples of deflorations — mostly rapes — to make her points. Wedding nights “transform the erotic experience into an ordeal” that “often dooms the woman to frigidity forever.” It isn’t surprising, she adds, “that ‘conjugal duties’ are often only a repugnant chore for the wife.” “No one,” she argues, “dreams of denying the tragedies and nastiness of married life.” Conjugal love, in Beauvoir’s view, is “a complex mixture of attachment, resentment, hatred, rules, resignation, laziness and hypocrisy.” Even marriages that “work well” suffer “a curse they rarely escape: boredom.” Already alarmed? Wait until you come to the discussion of motherhood. A woman experiences the fetus as “a parasite.” “Maternity is a strange compromise of narcissism, altruism, dream, sincerity, bad faith, devotion and cynicism.” “There is nothing like an ‘unnatural mother,’ since maternal love has nothing natural about it.” It is significant that the only stage of a woman’s life Beauvoir has good things to say about is widowhood, which, in her view, most bear quite cheerfully. Upon losing their spouses, she tells us, women, “now lucid and wary, . . . often attain a delicious cynicism.” In old age, they maintain “a stoic defiance or skeptical irony.”

The other pivotal notion at the heart of “The Second Sex” — a more problematic one, which Beauvoir came to on her own — is her belief that, in Parshley’s translation, “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” This preposterous assertion, intended to bolster her argument that marriage and motherhood are institutions imposed by men to curb women’s freedom, will be denied by any mother who has seen her toddler son eagerly grab for a toy in the shape of a vehicle or a gun, while at the same time showing a total lack of interest in his sister’s cherished dolls. It has also been disputed by certain feminist scholars, who would argue that many gender differences are innate rather than acquired.

Should we rejoice that this first unabridged edition of “The Second Sex” appears in a new translation? I, for one, do not, but
despite this new edition’s shortcomings, one should be grateful that Beauvoir’s epochal work will be drawn to the attention of another generation.
duszek
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by duszek »

The style of S. de Beauvoir is very clear and simple and therefore easy to read, I would say, especially if you are a non-native speaker. I read her autobiography "Mémoires d´une jeune fille rangée".

I could not go on with "Le deuxième sexe" because ... the content was too depressing. It was just too much of sober negative facts about the female condition in this world. No charm, no amusement, no beauty, no joy of living.

Perhaps I am not mature enough to realize the plain truths about this valley of tears. I prefer to stick to my illusions that men are nice blokes, cooperative, hard-working and lovable. :mrgreen:
reasonvemotion
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by reasonvemotion »

As George Bernard Shaw puts it, in substance, " When an individual (or a group of individuals) is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he is inferior. Yes, women on the whole are today inferior to men; that is, their situation affords them fewer possibilities. The question is: should that state of affairs continue?"

Men still cling to the hope that women will remain "inferior", as there are still many who will fight to the end, to keep it this way. They see the emancipation of women as a threat to their their vested interests. Some men are very fearful of female competition. It is seen as taking 'their jobs'. Keeping women in their "rightful" place is a surety that even the least talented of the male species can still feel superior, can feel god like compared to the second sex, women, as long as the oppression of females continues to survive. Which is still prevalent in society today.
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by johngalthasspoken »

reasonvemotion wrote:As George Bernard Shaw puts it, in substance, " When an individual (or a group of individuals) is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he is inferior. Yes, women on the whole are today inferior to men; that is, their situation affords them fewer possibilities. The question is: should that state of affairs continue?"

Men still cling to the hope that women will remain "inferior", as there are still many who will fight to the end, to keep it this way. They see the emancipation of women as a threat to their their vested interests. Some men are very fearful of female competition. It is seen as taking 'their jobs'. Keeping women in their "rightful" place is a surety that even the least talented of the male species can still feel superior, can feel god like compared to the second sex, women, as long as the oppression of females continues to survive. Which is still prevalent in society today.

:shock: WOW, you still haven't learned anything..women have always been the property of men, a resource for men, a means to an end,to fulfill a man's destiny. beyond that women serve no purpose. modernity merely creates the illusion of gender equality.If there was no state to interfere,no woman would claim to be "independent" & "strong".
Women ARE invading male space & taking our jobs across the board, through forced gender quotas,affirmative action,female only shortlists...etc.. All facets of law & government are bias towards women & cater to female needs..since the 60's,there has been a massive transfer of wealth from men to women. Don't forget, we men, foot the bill bill for all your welfare/entitlement programs. these days women can make false rape accusations and get away with it.in case of a divorce,children are being stripped away from their father & given full custody to the mother..if anything women are THE protected class,you females should be glad there is a dominant masculine authority( STATE ) sheltering you from your own stupidity. The sooner men realize that they have no investment in society & for decades through social engineering they've been duped into believing in a mythical gender equality, we can give an end to all this bullshit and put women in their "rightful" place..

watch this, men are waking up
Men of the West
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Bernard
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by Bernard »

The thing is that men are as much slaves in this male style dung-pile social order that rules. Who would - really - in their hearts want superiority on this hapless ship? There are men and women at the helm - I mean here in Australia the monarch of our beloved commonwealth is female, our Governor General is female, our prime-minister is female and, our house speaker is female now I believe, and my local mayor is as well. Are they following a female style paradigm? Maybe the GG is, but only maybe. This male style social order is as much in place via the instigations of females as it is of males. What we are really looking at is a dominance of the left brain in humans, and this occurred long before anyone seems to be able to remember. It is natural that we should give rationality a slight lead in our decisions and practical life applications - its like the rudder of a ship, whilst our right brain is more like the sails. But what we have is nearly all rudder. Its boring!
reasonvemotion
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by reasonvemotion »

O.K. Well my post got some response as it was planned to do. The previous posts only generated lack lustre replies, so I decided to put forth another view. It was good to know everyone is still awake. LOL


What are the laws in America concerning divorce settlement? Is it 50/50 or is every case different. That seems to be an issue as he is wary of marriage in this video.
johngalthasspoken
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by johngalthasspoken »

he's talking about the West in general..he's Canadian btw.
reasonvemotion
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by reasonvemotion »

He is Canadian BTW. Yes I gleaned that from his O pronounciations.

My comment on that video. That guy has to stop smoking and grow some balls. The men here would chew him up and spit him out, or laugh at him.
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by johngalthasspoken »

ughh! way to trivialize an important message..western males have voluntarily surrendered their balls & their manhood to the state, but the sheep are waking up one by one , to the social engineering that has been underway to destroy our civilization for decades.
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by johngalthasspoken »

reasonvemotion wrote: The men here would chew him up and spit him out, or laugh at him.
:lol: :lol: your countrymen are no exception to the disease of modernity..just do a search on youtube, you'll find plenty of your fellow countrymen complaining about feminism & emasculation
Impenitent
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by Impenitent »

and here I thought the French were renown for their extended love making...

-Imp
reasonvemotion
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Re: The Second Sex

Post by reasonvemotion »

your countrymen are no exception to the disease of modernity..just do a search on youtube, you'll find plenty of your fellow countrymen complaining about feminism & emasculation


http://clementineford.tumblr.com/post/3 ... ,m%20,....

She's got it right. My thoughts exactly!




and then there are plenty of these here.

http://www.mookychick.co.uk/how-to/how- ... ie_men.php


Maybe I am wrong, I only live here.

Google all you like. Mateship is rampant here. LOL.


mateship:
1. the state of being a mate.
2. Australian.a mode of conduct among Australian men that stresses equality, friendship, and solidarity.
Australia friendship between men: friendship, especially between two men or within a group of men, on terms of equality and mutual support ( informal
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