Women In Simone De Beauvoir's The Second Woman

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Throughout history, man has been assumed to be a subject and essential being while woman is assumed to be an object and unessential being, therefore, "most women throughout history have been enslaved by men" (1).Until recent times, women have been deprived of being involved in the political, cultural and religious institutions. They were deprived of owning property or inheriting lands and wealth. Since ancient times until the twentieth century, "some cultures practiced what anthropologists have called ritual widow murder" (1).To illustrate, women used to commit suicide shortly after the death of their husbands. In addition, Women were "forbidden to leave their homes after dark" or without their husbands or a male relative (1). In…show more content…
In Simone de Beauvoir 's The Second Sex, de Beauvoir argues that women have historically been treated as inferiors and secondary to men. Her book is strongly emerging with the second wave of feminism that calls for basic equalities in some social issues such as the rights of women in voting and inheriting. Further, the second wave highlights the struggle of women in sexuality, abortion, domestic violence, and business field. In addition, Simone de Beauvoir argues that, in all cultures, men are able to dominate and as a result, women have surrendered and become subordinate to what society have been dictated them to do. To de Beauvoir, "one is not born, but rather becomes a woman" (de Beauvoir p.). To demonstrate, women conditions are not supported by hormones, it is only shaped by culture and society. Thus, being a woman is a sign of subordination, weakness, and passivity. For instance, a girl child is not born weak and submissive by nature rather, culture and society determine this fate for her. In other words, a woman is culturally programmed to think and act in a certain manner and hence, a woman has always been constructed as an "other." In this regard, de Beauvoir refers to the master-slave relationship and the slave 's awareness of his subordination, to urge women about her emancipation. Moreover, Simone de Beauvoir proves that myth is a lie and not relevant to reality. To illustrate, myth usually depicts women in a stereotypical portrayal. It either idealizes women like an angel or a fairy, or a wicked witch, giving them no other possibility in life. Additionally, in The Second Sex, it is mentioned that women are associated with "immanence" that forces them to sacrifice their

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