Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, Simone de Beauvoir's masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of "woman," and a groundbreaking exploration of inequality and otherness. This long-awaited new edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation. Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir's pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was sixty years ago, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.
I'm reading it for the second time.
One part is a solid historical look at what the life of women really was like before "women's lib." Those who would romanticize the good old days where the little
Another part is a psychoanalytic nonsense that posits that women can cause their own miscarriages due to ambivalence about pregnancy or unresolved mommy issues. This is the "WTF" part of the book and I wish it was more easily skipped.
The last, and thankfully smallest part, are those paragraphs that could be written today in 2022 with very little changes. The ones that speak about men who want casual sex and shame women who give it to them, the ones that call out the hypocrisy of men who ban abortions while pressuring their mistresses to undergo the procedure. Those parts are the ones that make this worth reading still today; the ones that will stick with me.
This has been on my reading list since college. I'm glad I didn't read this in college, it's way too long and I probably wouldn't have understood most of this at the time. The book makes me wish I took some kind of women's studies in college, since I'm very much
Even though this is a philosophy book mainly, it does focus on female writers. She talks about a ton of writers I've read before like Virginia Woolf, Colette, George Eliot, and Dorothy Parker. There are some I've heard about, but haven't read yet. And there is a but of French writers I never heard of before. I find it helpful you know some of the people she is talking about before hand. It helps you get what her point is at time.
I like that she points out philosophy is pretty much a male dominated subject. While there are some notable female philosophers, there isn't a lot. She's not afraid to bluntly point out some sexist comments that were said by Aristotle, Plato, Freud, and Nietzsche. While I like them and wouldn't call them full on sexist, she makes a point. John Stuart Mill and Michel de Montaigne are two examples she uses as one who understood women a bit more.
While the introduction says she is Protestant, she isn't afraid to attack the Bible either. She points out several times how the Bible is wrong about women. While there are some examples or being a good women, women are always less than men. They get very little and very short chapters in the book. They usually are the Mary or the Eve character. God is a man even though women give birth, but that's all they do according to men at the time.
Besides the page numbers, the one thing I didn't like with this is when she uses numbers. She doesn't do much sourcing other than quoting works of fiction, but every now and then she quotes scientist and psychologist as well. Some of the numbers she uses seemed random to me. She didn't do a great job saying were she got them or it's unclear at times. She comes off as pseudo with science and psychology. Thankfully, the translator adds notes and a selected bibliography at the end. She even corrects her at some points.
Overall, this book is worth the read. More men should be interested in her works. Especially men into philosophy. This book might make you realize the voice of a women is just as important as the voice or a man in philosophy. It also makes you aware who is the voice in a philosophy work.