Sunday, October 12, 2008

Simone de Beauvoir

conceptualizing woman separates us from them, the man. This idea was a
more poignant one that stood out in de Beauvoir's The Second Sex because
it made the very word woman a damaging one, as she expresses in saying,
"the antifeminists have had no trouble in showing that women simply are
not men." It reminded me of the "bitch" discussion we had on Tuesday and
how the one student said she thought that that was synonymous with the
"c" word. To de Beauvoir, woman is synonymous with the "c" word, because
it creates a barrier from men and makes us the "Other." Furthermore,
when de Beauvoir says that "the attitude of defiance of many American
women proves that they are haunted be a sense of their femininity,"
expresses this idea of the word being a negative because they attempt to
do male things so that they are part of the male game instead of playing
the female game or just simply being a person in the game.

I also thought the slave concept was an interesting juxtaposition. I
felt that it proved that the male is actually fighting against his fear
of the female form. De Beauvoir stated that "in the legends of Eve and
Pandora men have taken up arms against women." Would not this mean that
men are in fact slaves to women? They want to dominate us because of
their lack of understanding of women. It's like killing an animal and
mounting it on one's wall, they are able to say I conquered that which
is thought of as difficult to conquer. This I feel is wholly expressed
in de Beauvoir saying that "it more or less successfully conceals a
desire for self-justification," because they are so wrought with
uneasiness and uncertainty of their supposed superiority. They must
prove and, where I believe the slavery of man to himself comes in,
constantly prove that they are superior to something that does not have
any qualitative measure to superiority.

so, to bring this last thought to pop-culture,we are constantly trying
to define what does it mean to be female. When we see movies that depict
women, like Fatal Attraction, we see a man very much so controlled by
his nether regions that he loses all concept of reality. Doesn't he see
the manipulation by Glenn Close's character? Doesn't he see that the
idea of no strings attached is an allusion? This is where women control
much more than a man could ever and in resisting this control men
entangle themselves deeper into the web that is being spun.

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