feminist philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir, wrote the second sex in 1949 to define
popular definition of femininity. This was shown clearly from the introduction
“If her functioning as a female is not enough to define
woman, if we decline also to explain her through “the eternal feminine,” and if
nevertheless we admit, provisionally, that women do exist, then we must face
the question: what is a woman?”
claims that the concept of femininity is not inherent but rather acquired by society.
She argues that throughout history women have been treated as inferior and
secondary to men. Whereas “man learns his power” and fulfill his needs by
women, women should accept their situation and act as if there were satisfied.
She believes that man occupies the role of the subject and woman on the other
hand is the object. woman is the other and by identifying her as that society
is denying her humanity.
investigates the reason behind the female subordination. She turns to biology, psychoanalysis, and historical
materialism. She finds out that these disciplines show differences between men
and women but they do not have a persuasive answer for women inferiority.
stresses that woman should contribute to the economy of society and participate
in labor. She believes that her role should not be constricted to childbearing
and housework. Otherwise her reproductive would be the primary purpose of her
life and when she loses that she loses her identity.
states that a girl is “treated like a life doll.” She compares the situation of
a woman to a doll. A man expects his woman to be like a doll. The doll is an
obedient object its role is to dress up, be silent, do not express any
feelings, always be satisfied and wait for its owner to come home and does not
have agency of her own.
liberation for women, Simone de Beauvoir believes that women must ignore all
these “social norms” which has been obstacles for them. After that they will
have their freedom to escape those standards and determine their own