Friday, 19 August 2011

Book Review: The Second Sex, by Simone De Beauvoir

The Second SexThe Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

De Beauvoir. Simone. The Second Sex. Translated and Edited by H. M. Parshley. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.


Simone De Beauvoir, is the writer of many books of fiction including Les Mandarins (The Mandarins,1954); Memoires d'une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, 1958). Her philosophical, existentialist feminist treatise, The Second Sex, was written when she was close friends with existentialists Jean Paul Sartre. In this controversial non-fiction book, De Beauvoir states that women are not the first sex, but the second sex, the “Other.” We are not the first chromosome, we are the second chromosome. She describes women as being in relation to men, not as a separate identity, but existing as an attached appendage. Her book´s treatise and primary purpose was to demonstrate the many myths that have perpetuated throughout history, religion and science that say both directly and indirectly that women, is "the Other", that women are the weaker sex, less qualified for everything under the sun.

For me, when I read The Second Sex, I was utterly fascinated and enthralled. This book gave me a richer foundation from which I can look and revere my own womanhood. It also gives me a more profound sense of pride of being born with two XX chromosomes instead of just an XY.


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