The Second Sex Simone De Beauvoir Analysis

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Women throughout history have been subordinate to men, being seen as a sinful temptation to the wholesome man. Even though women were allowed to vote by the time the 1940’s rolled around, women were far from equal. Instead of having a career, women were expected to be married, have a family, and become a housewife to serve their husbands. In The Second Sex, author Simone de Beauvoir, published in 1949, discusses what it means to be a woman and the hardships and stereotypes they faced. During World War II, 1939 - 1945, women were forced into the workforce due to the fact that countless men were off at war. Women at this time were empowered, which can be seen through characters such as Rosie the Riveter a woman who is showing off her biceps and triceps on…show more content…
de Beauvoir challenges the “true woman” narrative throughout the novel. One example of this is when she states, “Not every female human being is necessarily a woman” (3), she believes that not all females are the “perfect wife” or “perfect woman” that the media liked to portray. Women deserve the right to choose the lifestyle they want to live, not simply deal with the cards that have been dealt to them. Mme. de Beauvoir in particular did not want to be a housewife who was left to do the cooking and cleaning, and raising bratty children; she wanted to be educated and have a career. She was not alone either, there were plenty of women who wanted to attend universities, become educated, and have careers; furthermore, they thought of themselves as more than the traditional housewife image that was being depicted in the media. If a woman was not the stereotype of a “perfect wife”, then this begs a question that even Mme. de Beauvoir asks, “what is a woman?” (5). Biologically, the answer is simple, she is a human with two X chromosomes; however, the biological answer is not the one Mme. de Beauvoir was looking for. She was questioning why sex mattered and why one gender had to be dominant over the

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