Simone de Beauvoir – WOMAN of ACTION™ ~Tribute

 

A Celebration of Women

 

… is excited to Celebrate the Life of this trail blazing woman, ahead of her times.  She is famous for her work in the area of gender equality;  the abolition of what Simone called the “eternal feminine“, equality between the male and female sexes, and woman’s role in society. 

 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

 

Simone de Beauvoir 

 
 

 

Simone de Beauvoir was born as Simone Lucie-Ernestine-Marie-Bartrand de Beauvoir on January 9, 1908 in Paris, France. She attended Sorbonne for an education and in 1929 passed agregation in philosophy. From 1931 to 1943, Simone was a teacher, but in 1943, started her true writing career.

Most of Simone’s works included her opinions of existentialism, the belief in individuality and freedom of individuality, as well as her feministic beliefs. In 1943, Simone wrote She Came to Stay, illustrating how the human conscience treats other consciences as opponents and what society’s meaning was. She also wrote The Blood of Others in 1944. Working alongside other famous existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir produced a rich corpus of writings including works on ethics, feminism, fiction, autobiography, and politics.

Beauvoir’s method incorporated various political and ethical dimensions. In The Ethics of Ambiguity, she developed an existentialist ethics that condemned the “spirit of seriousness” in which people too readily identify with certain abstractions at the expense of individual freedom and responsibility. In The Second Sex, she produced an articulate attack on the fact that throughout history women have been relegated to a sphere of “immanence,” and the passive acceptance of roles assigned to them by society. In The Mandarins, she fictionalized the struggles of existents trapped in ambiguous social and personal relationships at the closing of World War II. The emphasis on freedom, responsibility, and ambiguity permeate all of her works and give voice to core themes of existentialist philosophy. *The brief Conclusion sums up de Beauvoir’s radical view of human freedom: “… we are absolutely free today if we choose to will our existence in its finiteness, a finiteness which is open on the infinite.”  She ends with a call for us to realize and act on this fundamental truth of our existence.

The Mandarinsappeared in 1954, winning the Prix Gancourt, a type of award. This book talked about leaving personal status in exchange for political activism. In 1964 came A Very Easy Death, dealing with the issue of aging and society’s attitude towards the elderly.

Simone also wrote a couple autobiographies, the most famous ones being Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter in 1958 and All Said and Done in 1972. In her autobiographical works, Simone usually put her own life in the time period that she lived in and saw how things worked out.

Probably one of Simone’s most famous works was an essay called “The Second Sex”.

This dealt with the abolition of what Simone called the “eternal feminine”, equality between the male and female sexes, and woman’s role in society. This became a true classic of feminist literature. The Second Sex (French: Le Deuxième Sexe) is a 1949 book by the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir. One of her best-known books, it deals with the treatment of women throughout history and is often regarded as a major work of feminist philosophy and the starting point of second-wave feminism. Beauvoir researched and wrote the book in about 14 months. She published it in two volumes and some chapters first appeared in Les Temps modernes.

*The Vatican placed it on its List of Prohibited Books.

Woman as Other  – ” FOR a long time I have hesitated to write a book on woman. The subject is irritating, especially to women; and it is not new. Enough ink has been spilled in quarrelling over feminism, and perhaps we should say no more about it. It is still talked about, however, for the voluminous nonsense uttered during the last century seems to have done little to illuminate the problem.

After all, is there a problem?
And if so, what is it?
Are there women, really?

Most assuredly the theory of the eternal feminine still has its adherents who will whisper in your ear: ‘Even in Russia women still are women’; and other erudite persons – sometimes the very same – say with a sigh: ‘Woman is losing her way, woman is lost.’

Her philosophical approach is notably diverse. Her influences include French philosophy from Descartes to Bergson, the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, the historical materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and the idealism of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F Hegel. In addition to her philosophical pursuits, de Beauvoir was also an accomplished literary figure, and her novel, The Mandarins, received the prestigious Prix Goncourt award in 1954. Her most famous and influential philosophical work, The Second Sex (1949), heralded a feminist revolution and remains to this day a central text in the investigation of women’s oppression and liberation.

One wonders if women still exist, if they will always exist, whether or not it is desirable that they should, what place they occupy in this world, what their place should be. ‘What has become of women?’ was asked recently in an ephemeral magazine.”

Through her own writings, Simone de Beauvoir became a forerunner of the feminist movement and was an advocate of existentialism. She also co-created a monthly review called Le Temps modernas with a close personal friend. Simone died on April 14, 1986 in Paris, France at 76 years old.

 

 

A Celebration of Women

 

welcomes this amazing author and woman of the world into our Alumni through this Tribute.

Brava Simone!

 

 

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