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  • One is not born a woman, but becomes one.”

  • French existentialist and feminist philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex, in

  • 1949 to investigate popular definitions of femininity. She concluded that those definitions

  • had been used to suppress women, through the ages.

  • For De Beauvoir, the views of individuals are socially and culturally produced. Femininity

  • is not inherentit is a construct that has been learned through socialisationto

  • keep men dominant.

  • De Beauvoir argued that women have historically been treated as inferiorand secondary

  • to men for three reasons. She explained that society teaches womenone, to fulfill

  • a male’s needs and therefore exist in relation to menand two, to follow external cues

  • to seek validation of their worth. Her third point was that females have historically had

  • far fewer legal rights, and therefore less public influence.

  • De Beauvoir uses a comparisonsaying that a girl istreated like a live doll’.

  • What did she mean?

  • A doll is a powerful means of identification. Through it, the girl learns to identify with

  • the condition of being dressed up, made pretty and preened overwhilst not having any

  • agency of her own. She learns to objectify herselfjust as men objectify women.

  • The doll is submissiveits role is to be dressed up, listen to its owner’s secrets,

  • comfort her when she is lonely and lie at home when she’s at school.

  • De Beauvoir argues that when the girl grows up, she will find herself in the same situation

  • as her doll. As a woman, it will be her role to attract a husband with her beauty, and

  • to maintain it to ensure he doesn’t stray, to quietly listen to his problems, and wait

  • at home for him when he’s at work.

  • An accessorybe it plastic, or flesh and blood.

  • De Beauvoir stated that even if a woman didn’t marry, she would still be held to male standards

  • through external pressures such as the beauty, diet and fashion industrieswhich

  • are all complicit in perpetuating the objectification of women.

  • To achieve liberation, De Beauvoir believed, women must recognise many of thesesocial

  • normsas constructions. Only then will they have the freedom to escape their context

  • and determine their own destiny.

  • Written against a backdrop of intense conservatism, The Second Sex was published just five years

  • after French women had been granted the right to vote, at a time when few women worked.

  • De Beauvoir’s argument thatone is not born, but rather becomes a womanis still

  • valid today.

  • A more detailed examination of her ideas can be found in the MACAT analysis.

One is not born a woman, but becomes one.”


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B1 中級

シモーヌ・ド・ボーヴォワール『第二の性』序説-マカットの文学分析 (An Introduction to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex- A Macat Literature Analysis)

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    Aming Chiang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日