The Myth Of Woman By Simone De Beauvoir

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Simone De Beauvoir in The Second Sex suggests that to resolve the tension between bad faith and authenticity, people must regard women as subjects and not objects. They must also collectively fight against the idea of womanhood in order to remain authentic to themselves. The myth of woman is the idea that women are inherently different than men. Man believes that he posits himself first, and then posits others. In the myth of woman, men see women as others that are incapable of positing themselves. The reality is that women are the same as men in an existential sense. They are both subjects, who posit themselves before they posit others. Man uses the myth of woman to subjugate women and treat them as lesser, as “[the myth of woman] justifies all privileges and even authorizes their abuse” (De Beauvoir). Just as Pygmalion sculpts Galatea, man sculpts the idea of woman. The consequence of this is that man perpetuates the idea of womanhood, and women obey it. Beauvoir encourages women to fight against this idea of womanhood, arguing that “To pose women is to [deny]… that she is a subject, a fellow human being” (De Beauvoir). Most people unfortunately do not fight back against this idea of womanhood, and remain passive to it. This passivity can be seen in one of Jean-Paul Sartre’s examples within Being And Nothingness. A woman is on a date with a man and she remains passive to this man’s advances even though she is not interested in him. The lady is in bad faith: she knows
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