The Second Sex: Mythodologies and Contradictions, "What Is a Woman?"

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The Second Sex: Mythologies and Contradictions, “What is a Woman”? Racel Robles Phiolosophy 327 Professor Conway Woman, Wife, Mother, Lover, Slut, Bitch…is this what a women is, what she is defined to? In andocentric society, women have been place in many lights, from the “good mother” to the “treacherous whore”. In The Second Sex, Beauvoir breaks down the construction of myths created by men in society to establish patriarchal “supremacy” over women. Such myths, Beauvoir explains, are derived trough literature and Social beliefs. The construct of the “essence of women” have been grossly misconstrued by a male dominated world. In her essay, she strongly argues about the two-sided opposition of the “self” and “other” through an existentialist perspective, which is through the experience of the human condition. She boldly announces that the male has appointed himself as “self” and the female as “other” in order to gain dominion and authority to call the female inferior, passive, or weak. I will take an in depth look at the contradictions and myths that men have created of women as outlined by Beauvoir. I will examine the social constructs of women, the influence of male writers, and lastly the influence of literature. Beauvoir begins by stating the men have always been in control, they have always had the “power”. This power was used to keep women in a state of dependency, hence reinforcing dominance over her. Men seek to enslave, to control and to provide for his own existence. Men create their moral attitude by renouncing the being side of his humanity and embrace his own existence. This however, creates a difficult situation between man and nature. What can man do to create a balance of both? Beauvoir writes “his life is a difficult enterprise whose success is never assured”. Here, Beauvoir states, that men find it

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