de Beauvior, Simone. “The Second Sex.” In Social Theory Re-Wired, edited by Wesley Longhofer and Daniel Winchester, 337-346. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2012. (10)
Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of “The Second Sex” is one which is still a driving force in feminist theory and social theory in the realm of academics. Her piece examines the role of the female as “woman” and, therefor, the “other”. Historically examined as a piece of feminist literature which can be granted to have been a turning point in the feminine awareness, de Beauvior’s piece collects ideas which the feminist movement are still working with to this day. Perhaps most interesting, which is not a phrase used lightly as her piece resonates with body positivity, pro-feminism and a dismantling of the patriarchal bars forced upon the female psyche, is that of the “other”. As de Beauvior explains, the term “woman” in itself is the creation of an “other” or a separate being from men, something that women’s rights movements have embraced and therefor excluded themselves from success. By implementing a “women” orientation, instead of a “we” orientation similar to the Marxist revolutionists or the Free Speech Movements, Women’s rights have taken a hit in their progression because of their classification of themselves into de Beauvoir’s “other”, as “humanity is mall, and man defines woman, not in herself, but in relation to himself”62. This creation of limitations based upon women by men is nothing new, obviously, but it relates to so many aspects of society which individuals rarely notice as “men have always and everywhere paraded their satisfaction of feeling they are kings of creation”63. De Beauvior’s examination and critique of women as the “other” is a necessary piece, not jut for feminist insight, but for the growth of humanity and the acceptance of females, not only as equal humans whom should be granted the same access to rights as males, but as human being who should be seen as thus.