The Eyes Of Feminism By Simone De Beauvoir

2343 WordsAug 19, 201510 Pages
Of the first person to attempt to view history through the eyes of feminism, Simone de Beauvoir asserts that man is the great subject and woman is the other – man is seen as essential, woman is not. Her primary argument is that men fundamentally oppress women by characterizing them as the ‘other’. The author also believes that women’s inferiority in society is not a result of natural, sexual differences but rather of differences in the societal development of men and women. She argues that women are not born passive; rather, “kept in a situation of inferiority”, one becomes used to the fact that she “is inferior” (xxiv). Sex is a fixed physiological difference between males and females, usually assigned at birth. Gender, on the other hand, refers to the differences of a man and a woman determined by a particular culture and society that the individual belongs to. Socially constructed responsibilities, behaviors, and attributes for men and women are considered gender roles. According to Joan W. Scott, gender is “used to designate social relations between the sexes” (Joan Scott 1056). While aspects of biological sex are similar across different countries and cultures, aspects of gender and how ominously gender roles are emphasized may be different. In these manners, gender inequality refers to the unfair treatment and discrimination against individuals based on their gender and the imbalance between the sexes. Gender inequality exists because it remains beneficial to a
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