Simone de Beauvoir

“The fact is that men encounter more complicity in their woman companions than the oppressor usually finds in the oppressed; and in bad faith they use it as a pretext to declare that woman wanted the destiny they imposed on her. We have seen that in reality her whole education conspires to bar her from paths of revolt and adventure; all of society - beginning with her respected parents - lies to her in extolling the high value of love, devotion, and the gift of self and in concealing the fact that neither lover, husband nor children will be disposed to bear the burdensome responsibility of it. She cheerfully accepts these lies because they invite her to take the easy slope: and that is the worst of the crimes committed against her; from her childhood and throughout her life, she is spoiled, she is corrupted by the fact that this resignation, tempting to any existent anxious about her freedom, is mean to be her vocation; if one encourages a child to be lazy by entertaining him all day, without giving him the occasion to study, without showing him its value, no one will say when he reaches the age of man that he chose to be incapable and ignorant; this is how the woman is raised, without ever being taught the necessity of assuming her own existence; she readily lets herself count on the protection, love, help and guidance of others; she lets herself be fascinated by the hope of being able to realise her being without doing anything. She is wrong to yield to this temptation; but the man is ill advised to reproach her for it since it is he himself who tempted her.”


Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
tags: feminism
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The Second Sex The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
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