The Second Sex Quotes

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The Second Sex The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
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The Second Sex Quotes (showing 1-30 of 98)
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition: the clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“All oppression creates a state of war. And this is no exception.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Two separate beings, in different circumstances, face to face in freedom and seeking justification of their existence through one another, will always live an adventure full of risk and promise." (p. 248)”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“What would Prince Charming have for occupation if he had not to awaken the Sleeping beauty?”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a color, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“If the feminine issue is so absurd, is because the male's arrogance made it "a discussion”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Women's mutual understanding comes from the fact that they identify themselves with each other; but for the same reason each is against the others.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered this becoming practically impossible.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“أن الرجل يعتبر جسمه كما لو كان كائنا مستقلا يتصل مع العالم اتصلا حرا خاضعا لا رادته هو .. بينما يعتبر جسم المرأة حافلا بالقيود التي تعرقل حركة صاحبته . ألم يقل أفلاطون : "الأنثى هي أنثى بسبب نقص في الصفات"
أن الإنسانية في عرف الرجل شيء مذكر فهو يعتبر نفسه يمثل الجنس الإنساني الحقيقي .. أما المرأة فهي تمثل الجنس " الآخر”
سيمون دي بوفوار, الجنس الآخر
“Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“And without a doubt it is more comfortable to endure blind bondage than to work for one's liberation; the dead, too, are better suited to the earth than the living.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“If they want to flirt or initiate a friendship, they should carefully avoid giving the impression they are taking the initiative; men do not like tomboys, nor bluestockings, nor thinking women; too much audacity, culture, intelligence, or character frightens them.

In most novels, as George Eliot observes, it is the dumb, blond heroine who outshines the virile brunette; and in The Mill on the Floss, Maggie tries in vain to reverse the roles; in the end she dies and it is blond Lucy who marries Stephen. In The Last of the Mohicans, vapid Alice wins the hero’s heart and not valiant Cora; in Little Women kindly Jo is only a childhood friend for Laurie; he vows his love to curly-haired and insipid Amy.

To be feminine is to show oneself as weak, futile, passive, and docile. The girl is supposed not only to primp and dress herself up but also to repress her spontaneity and substitute for it the grace and charm she has been taught by her elder sisters. Any self-assertion will take away from her femininity and her seductiveness.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“يتخذ مركب النقص لدى المرأة شكل الرفض المخجل لأنوثتها : قد تكون المرأة عاجزة عن تحريك أداة ثقيلة فيبدو عجزها واضحا بالنسبة إلى الرجل إلا أن التطور الفني لديها قد يلغى الفارق العضلي الذي يميز الرجل عن المرأة وتصبح معادلة له في العمل”
سيمون دي بوفوار, الجنس الآخر
“...counselling man to treat her as a slave while persuading her that she is a queen.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“The younger and healthier a woman is and the more her new and glossy body seems destined for eternal freshness, the less useful is artifice; but the carnal weakness of this prey that man takes and its ominous deterioration always have to be hidden from him...In any case, the more traits and proportions of a woman seem contrived, the more she delighted the heart of man because she seemed to escape the metamorphosis of natural things. The result is this strange paradox that by desiring to grasp nature, but transfigured, in woman, man destines her to artifice.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“The body is the instrument of our hold on the world.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“إلى جانب ميل المرء إلى تأكيد نفسه كشخص , هناك ميل إلى الهروب من حريته وتحويل نفسه إلى غرض أو إلى متاع أن هذا الطريق لأن المرء السلبي العائش في الضياع يصبح فريسة لإرادة الآخرين , عاجزاً عن أغناء ذاته محروماً من كل القيم”
سيمون دي بوفوار, الجنس الآخر
“It is not in giving life but in risking life that man is raised above the animal; that is why superiority has been accorded in humanity no to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Weakness' is weakness only in light of the aims man sets for himself, the instruments at his disposal and the laws he imposes.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“...her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“But women do not say 'We', except at some congress of feminists or similar formal demonstration; men say 'women', and women use the same word in referring to themselves.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“يُقال لنا أن الأنوثة في خطر ويحثوننا قائلين "كن نساء .. أبقين نساء" !! فكأنما كل كائن إنساني مؤنث ليس إمرأة بالضرورة بل ينبغي له أن يساهم بهذا الواقع الخفي الذي هو الأنوثة وهل تتكفل المبيضات بإفراز الأنوثة أم أن هذه تكمن في سماء أفلاطونية ؟”
سيمون دي بوفوار, الجنس الآخر
“In particular those who are condemned to stagnation are often pronounced happy on the pretext that happiness consists in being at rest. This notion we reject, for our perspective is that of existentialist ethics. Every subject plays his part as such specifically through exploits or projects that serve as a mode of transcendence; he achieves liberty only through a continual reaching out towards other liberties. There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future. Every time transcendence falls back into immanence, stagnation, there is a degradation of existence into the ‘en-sois’ – the brutish life of subjection to given conditions – and of liberty into constraint and contingence. This downfall represents a moral fault if the subject consents to it; if it is inflicted upon him, it spells frustration and oppression. In both cases it is an absolute evil. Every individual concerned to justify his existence feels that his existence involves an undefined need to transcend himself, to engage in freely chosen projects.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“لا يمكننا أن نقارن بين الأنثى والذكر في النوع البشري إلا من الزاوية الإنسانية ولا يُعرف الإنسان إلا بأنه كائن غير معطى وأنه يصنع نفسه بنفسه ويقرر ما هو عليه”
سيمون دي بوفوار, الجنس الآخر

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