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Reconfiguration Of Social Relation: The Second Sex By Simone De Beauvoir

1086 words - 4 pages

There has been a long and on going discourse on the battle of the sexes, and Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex reconfigures the social relation that defines man and women, and how far women has evolved from the second position given to them. In order for us to define what a woman is, we first need to clarify what a man is, for this is said to be the point of derivation (De Beauvoir). And this notion presents to us the concept of duality, which states that women will always be treated as the second sex, the dominated and lacking one. Woman as the sexed being that differs from men, in which they are simply placed in the others category. As men treat their bodies as a concrete connection to the world that they inhabit; women are simply treated as bodies to be objectified and used for pleasure, pleasure that arise from the beauty that the bodies behold. This draws us to form the statement that beauty is a powerful means of objectification that every woman aims to attain in order to consequently attain acceptance and approval from the patriarchal society. The society that set up the vague standard of beauty based on satisfaction of sexual drives. Here, women constantly seek to be the center of attention and inevitably the medium of erection.
An elevation of beauty is treated as a form of improvement, both for men and for women. Simply put, women emphasize their differences in order to gain a sense of equality and avoid comparison from men. However women are limited in the sense that beauty in itself is very restricting. And the fact that women direct their beauty towards men shows us that men are the basis and the end means of beauty. In which this beautification is not really a form of self-improvement; there is no real flourishing of the women. In reverse, women tend to be more dependent and less of themselves as they become more beautiful. They become more alienated with themselves and in society. Hence, equality is not really achieved but becomes even more deferred.
The difference between men and women has a sense of reciprocity. Reciprocal means that men and women are different from one another and that an individual cannot really assert oneself without having to alienate the other sex. Moreover, the differences found in the predisposition of roles in the sexes leave women the need to assert themselves in order to be recognized as human being and shift from the object being directed to the subject who is capable of action.
Assertion is attained through 1) alienation of the self or by 2) overcoming alienation and going against the norm. We first focus on the alienation of the self, and highlight this concept by associating it with beauty pageants. Beauty pageants are a form of alienation where the contestant isolates from herself and merely becomes a precious commodity. If you think about it, the main reason why women join beauty pageants is to boost their significance. They try to be more than what they are now by asserting their beauty. They...

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