Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 294
Gender Roles/Beauvoir: thesis: outrageous, bourgeois society structures itself along the seperation between private and public and prescribes gender-separated life plans for women and men with the options of familyisation and individualisation.
I 295
Woman: Thesis: The woman functions as one and the other of the man. As the contrast set by him, she embodies nature in relation to his reason, an original genrefulness in relation to his individuality, immanence in relation to his transcendence, in short: she is object for him as the subject.
I 296
Thesis: Being a woman is not based on nature in the sense of an essential nature, but being a woman is socially constructed. Quote: "One is not born a woman, one becomes it[on le devient]". (1)
Kuster: This quotation is often mispresented: "One is not born a woman, one is made a woman". This is misleading because the text continues: "No biological, psychological or economic purpose determines the form that the female person takes in society"(2).
Kuster: So there are no natural and social determinants, therefore no internal constraints or external circumstances that impose certain patterns of behaviour and existence with unavoidable necessity on women. Becoming a woman is not a passive process, but an active one.
I 297
Since human existence (...) basically means being able to place oneself in a relationship to one's own nature, the starting position of women is determined to a greater extent by their biology, but nevertheless not already determined.
Brocker I 301
Immanence/Femininity/Beauvoir: immanence (See Immanence/Beauvoir) is the forced experience of women. Their possibilities of a free realization of their existence are significantly limited by the social expectations of a female subject.
Contradiction: It is almost impossible for them "to take on their being as autonomous individuals and their female fate at the same time" (3). See also Self-consciousness/Beauvoir.
Brocker I 303
Relationship/Woman/Man/Beauvoir: the peculiarity of this relationship is that there is no struggle for recognition between them. The woman remains "the unessential that never becomes the essential, [...] the absolute other without reciprocity" (4). With a woman, a man fulfils a dream for himself, or rather a deep wish: she offers him an alternative form of recognition, one that is not won in battle and therefore does not have to be asserted incessantly. See Emancipation/Beauvoir.

1. Simone de Beauvoir, Le deuxième sexe, Paris 1949. Dt.: Simone de Beauvoir, Das andere Geschlecht. Sitte und Sexus der Frau, Reinbek 2005 (zuerst 1951), S. 334.
2. Ibid:
3. Ibid p. 329.
4. Ibid p. 192

Friederike Kuster, „Simone de Beauvoir, Das andere Geschlecht (1949)“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Beauvoir, Simone de
Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-05-30
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