Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex

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(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)Introduction by Margaret Crosland; Translation by H. M. ParshleyFrom the Hardcover edition.
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1,269 printed pages



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    Aytanhas quoted3 years ago
    Although the future frightens her, the present dissatisfies her; she hesitates to become woman; she frets at still being only a child; she has already left her past; she is not yet committed to a new life. She is occupied, but she does not do anything; because she does not do anything, she has nothing, she is nothing. She tries to fill this void by playacting and mystifications. She is criticized for being devious, a liar, and troublesome. The truth is she is doomed to secrets and lies. At sixteen, a woman has already gone through disturbing experiences: puberty, menstrual periods, awakening of sexuality, first arousals, first passions, fears, disgust, and ambiguous experiences: she has hidden all these things in her heart; she has learned to guard her secrets preciously. The mere fact of having to hide her sanitary napkins and of concealing her periods inclines her to lies.
    Aytanhas quoted3 years ago
    The eternal feminine” corresponds to “the black soul” or “the Jewish character.” However, the Jewish problem on the whole is very different from the two others: for the anti-Semite, the Jew is more an enemy than an inferior, and no place on this earth is recognized as his own; it would be preferable to see him annihilated. But there are deep analogies between the situations of women and blacks: both are liberated today from the same paternalism, and the former master caste wants to keep them “in their place,” that is, the place chosen for them; in both cases, they praise, more or less sincerely, the virtues of the “good black,” the carefree, childlike, merry soul of the resigned black, and the woman who is a “true woman”—frivolous, infantile, irresponsible, the woman subjugated to man.
    Daryahas quoted4 months ago
    Everything that has been written by men

    about women should be viewed with suspicion,

    because they are both judge and party.

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