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Extracts From: The Second Sex

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,468 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form

When this book was first published in 1949 it was to outrage and scandal. Never before had the case for female liberty been so forcefully and successfully argued. De Beauvoir’s belief that ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’ switched on light bulbs in the heads of a generation of women and began a fight for g
Paperback, Vintage Feminism Short Edition, 120 pages
Published March 5th 2015 by Vintage Classics (first published January 1st 2015)
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Amal Bedhyefi
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well , Let me tell you this from the beginning , this was not an easy read for me.
These extracts are mainly composed of the original book's introduction, conclusion and Chapter 14 : The Independent Woman .
It took me almost a week to try and grasp the majority of her thoughts as I am , unfortunately , unfamiliar with the historical references and most of the philosophers mentioned .
Although this book was written nearly 70 years ago , there are many aspects of Simone de Beauvoir's analysis that st
Julie Ehlers
The Independent Woman is a tiny book, approximately 100 pages and with dimensions about half those of a standard trade paperback; it includes "extracts" from The Second Sex, namely the introduction, a chapter entitled "The Independent Woman," and the conclusion. You can hardly blame Vintage for wanting to contribute to the tiny feminist book craze, and upon reflection it's kind of surprising that they haven't thought of doing this before, given what an intimidating behemoth The Second Sex is. Bu ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gift to the world SDB has been. Such concise brillant reflections. I should have read this 20 years ago.
May 17, 2019 added it
This edition of The Second Sex is just a little collection of extracts from the original work and, now that I'm more familiar with Beauvoir’s way of thinking (and writing), I'm sure I'll pick up the full version of The Second Sex very soon.
In this little book you'll find the introduction to Beauvoir’s most famous work and the important points of her theory. I found myself agreeing to much of what she was saying.
Simone de Beauvoir was an extremely intelligent (and sometimes very sarcast
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

Will definitely get my hands on the full version.
Mehmed Gokcel
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The second sex, the other, the object, the oppressed... Women have lived a historical destiny that consistently placed them in a position of inferiority to the extent that it got assumed the norm. Simone de Beauvoir's challenge to this paradigm comes from a very realist position of an acknowledgement of 'what is' and pushing to suggest 'what ought to be.' The 'controversial' suggestion she makes is to merely see woman as a subject, a human being and as a complete individual... Outrageous, right? ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Definitely going to read the entire text at some point. Her thoughts and observations about the female-male relationship are mind blowing.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the shortened version of Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. With this work, De Beauvoir, can be labeled as one of the pioneers of feminism, even before Friedan or Lorde.

My MA dissertation theoretical framework has been born. Yay.

A quote I really liked regarding the fact that women are often shamed for having sex whereas men are not:

It is understood that the male has integrated the forces of the species into his individuality, whereas the woman is the slave of the species. She is repres
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, feminist
Thought provoking and amazing. Influence of Marx and Foucault is evident in her writing. Just bought the complete novel!
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This edition is just a little collection of extracts from the original work and, now that I'm more familiar with her line of thinking, I'm sure I'll pick up the full version of The Second Sex.

In this little book you'll find the introduction to her work and the most important points of her theory. I found myself agreeing to much of what she was saying.
Simone de Beauvoir was an extremely intelligent (and sometimes very sarcastic) woman, who had a lot to say - and a beautiful way to say it, too.

Jane Glossil
1. Introduction: I found the 27-paged Introduction too long, and quite difficult to read and understand. To me, the main points were of Woman as a human being, of Woman being the object but not the subject, and of Woman being the other.

2. The Independent Woman: This excerpt from The Second Sex is interesting. I enjoyed reading it. The context in this selection is more of a criticism against Woman rather than a defense of her being. It is interesting that through this criticism, Woman is prompted
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it

Certain paragraphs were very interesting, and putting it into historical perspective makes this very impressive, but this was REALLY HARD to read. Almost two months to read 93 pages is not okay (I wasn't reading the entire two months, don't be afraid).
Dec 29, 2015 added it
Collecting 3 chapters from Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, my edition of this book includes the key passages from the original text (which is over 600 pages), a text which, once published, inspired and changed the thought process of many women. Another classic feminist text, I decided to read this as my second book of the 2016 Classics Challenge, held by Stacey/prettybooks.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I discovered this classic in Year 11 of Secondary school. We were studying the second wa
Syed Muhammad
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Second Sex is considered as one of the most revolutionary books of feminist history and attributed with starting the second wave of the feminist movement. Even though it was written over 70 years ago, I found it be the most refreshing and enlightening take on feminism that I've ever come across. Her words resonated with many of own thoughts and verbalized them more eloquently than I could ever imagine. Even though this book only contains excerpts from the original text, I think it captures i ...more
Cami Golub (Bookmilla)
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simone De Beauvoir was ahead of her time in so many things. She thought equality as a must, as a way of living that had been suppressed from humanity since the beginning.
The reason why i took half star out on this rating is because, i know this were other times, but she thought of herself as the most progressive and accepting being. And, even when she was progressive, she wasnt as accepting. I feel like she couldn't understand the fact that the male of that time had been raised with that cu
Jam Pilarca
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."

By no means was this an easy read. At 100~ pages,
Lea Dokter
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although some of de Beauvoir's observations (thankfully) are not wholly applicable anymore 69 years after The Second Sex's original publication, it nevertheless remains a vital piece of feminist writing. De Beauvoir's accurate, razor-sharp and often cynical rhetoric serve the purpose of this book well. ...more
Jessica Summers
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Can be a bit difficult to read but very informative. It is interesting to see how much has changed but also what hasn't changed scince 1949. Sometimes his book made me really annoyed and other times I really connected to it because Simone de Beauvoir has articulated things that I had thought but never put into words before. Because she writes with such authority sometimes it is difficult to distinguish what is an observation and what is her internal belief.
A must read because it is such an impo
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it overly reductive and essentialist. I can imagine it being important in its time, but it didn’t really feel worth it to read when there is better contemporary writing that is intersectional with a deeper understanding of gender and class.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking. Troubling.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Good introduction to the complexity of de Beauvoir's work and the insightfulness and, unfortunately, the relevance of it even today. ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
lovely to realize how little has changed since 1949 :)
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I loved this honestly. The language in this one is much easier to understand due to it being written in 1949 and not the 1700s. Simone pegs almost every single thing that is wrong with patriarchy in society and all of this is horrifyingly still present in today's society. Moving from Mary Wollstonecraft's ideas, Simone is much more forward-thinking in regards to sexual relations and women. She is much more open and really nails how different and unfair the thinking between men and women are in t ...more
Wilhemina Wingates
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This book is a cleverly assembled collection of three excerpts from Simone De Beauvoir's book: Le Deuxieme Sexe, adequately named : "la femme independante" for it is a reiteration of Beauvoir's perspective on the independant woman.

Beauvoir explores what it means to be an independent woman in her time and the significance, both psychological and social of the emancipation of a female.

She highlights most of all the role of a female's financial independence, and the effect that self-reliance woul
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short book contains excerpts from The Second Sex, widely considered to be the starting point of second wave feminism. This book contains the introduction from the first volume, conclusion from the second volume and the chapter titled The Independent Woman. I found it much more difficult to read than I had expected; I'm not sure if this is because it isn't a very good translation, or if it's because academic texts tend to be almost deliberately hard work to read.

The Second Sex obviously had
Brian Taylor
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Admittedly beyond me at times, the extracts certainly altered my understanding of gender and our species. They shed light on the disadvantages both men and women suffer in the act of oppressing the female and make a case for how both sexes share some of the culpability. At times I felt my cranium physically expand.
The Independent Woman is a brilliant introduction to Simone de Beauvoir's work. Her writings shaped modern feminist theory, and this book is such a palatable teaser to her broader ouevre. Bonus: the cover is gorgeously designed! A go-to gift for all your smart, badass, and beautiful friends 💗 ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute lil' intro into de de Beauvoir's feminism and philosophy. Excellent personal introduction added by Natalie Haynes. <3 ...more
Rita Conde
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, fiction
Extracts from The Second Sex mainly focus on chapter 14 of the original text, The Independent Woman. It is a sharp and important exploration of women's rights and freedom, built upon the rejection of the "feminine mystique". In it, Simone de Beauvoir's analyses how far we still have to go to achieve true equality. 70 years later and most of it still applies, which was slightly disheartening.

In parts, especially when it came to women in art, it reminded me very much of Virginia Woolf's a room of
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Second Sex, even in this short version, is unrelentingly enlightening. It isn't enlightening in a profound or philosophical sense which much of philosophy caters, it is enlightening in a human sense, a social sense. It reaffirms the belief that change can be brought. It is practical philosophy.
You are changed after reading this. Whether you choose to stay changed or revert back to your old ways is up to you, but know that once this is read, a sane and reasonable person will like to stay cha
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Simone de Beauvoir was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, political and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including "She Came to Stay" and "The Mandarins", and for her 1949 treatise "The Second Sex", a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary ...more

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