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Simone De Beauvoir The Second Sex Essay

1882 words - 8 pages

Simone De Beauvoir's book, The Second Sex, takes us on a tour from thebeginning of human race to the contemporary world of the1940's during which she lived. She encompasses all aspects of life from economics and culture, to the internal workings of the body. She discusses how others perceive women through beliefs, thoughts, and prejudices in all societies throughout the world. Her research is an attempt to answer one simple question- why are women constantly seen as inferior to men, in effect the "second sex." Her book is an in-depth analysis which distinguishes between inherent truths and artificial differences that separate females from males. She starts her analysis examining biological differences that truly separate the sexes. "The bond that unites her to her oppressors is not comparable to any other. The division of the sexes is a biological fact, not an event in human history."Biologically, in humans the product of the two sexes are required for procreation, but it is the female who possess the womb with which to carry the developing embryos. It is she who contains the possibilities to assure the continuation of the species. The male contains the possibilities of fertilization needed in order for her egg to even begin to develop into human form. In this case both are of equal necessity for the continuity of the species. Reproduction, for Beauvoir, creates many reasons for the subordination of females to males. These qualities are transendant.She speaks of the way females of all species tend to initiate and attract the male. She solicits him, and then she awaits his embrace. She waits to be taken by the male. Beauvoir exclaims that as the male penetrates the female, after her solicitation, he violates her inwardly. His organ is a vivid object that exploits her organ. The male invokes himself inside her. His outward organ enters the woman's internal organ. He most often, because he has the tool to, designates all of the factors of enjoyment and pleasure to his satisfaction. She often has little say In the matter. He is the aggressor, the suppressor, and ultimately the successor. It is through sex that a male exhibits his power and control upon the "other" sex. It sex and in her nine months of pregnancy she is made to become one, and then separated from both beings.Beauvoir then describes a woman's menstrual cycle. She tells of how the central nervous system is afflicted with drastically fluctuating hormonal levels, which imbalances her body. These monthly changes are beyond her control. Once again she is alienated from her own body.Many other physical differences exist, and attempt to justify women's oppression. Generally, man is a stronger being than the average female. His center of gravity is around his arms and chest, whereas the woman's center of gravity circulates around her belly and hips. Her internal organs are much smaller than the males. Her over all physique is very different from her partners.All of these factors described,...

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