Simone de Beauvoir: 10 brightest statements
1) Man is defined as a human being and woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.
2) One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.
3) Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition: the clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day. The housewife wears herself out marking time: she makes nothing, simply perpetuates the present … Eating, sleeping, cleaning – the years no longer rise up towards heaven, they lie spread out ahead, grey and identical. The battle against dust and dirt is never won.
4) All oppression creates a state of war; this is no exception.
5) Ones life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion.
6) In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.
7) To emancipate woman is to refuse to confine her to the relations she bears to man, not to deny them to her; let her have her independent existence and she will continue nonetheless to exist for him also: mutually recognising each other as subject, each will yet remain for the other an other. The reciprocity of their relations will not do away with the miracles – desire, possession, love, dream, adventure – worked by the division of human beings into two separate categories; and the words that move us – giving, conquering, uniting – will not lose their meaning. On the contrary, when we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy that it implies, then the 'division' of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form.
8) Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it.
9) On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself – on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger. In the meantime, love represents in its most touching form the curse that lies heavily upon woman confined in the feminine universe, woman mutilated, insufficient unto herself.
10) Each of us is responsible for everything and to every human being.
P.S. There is some good news for all strong women, who respect themselves and their rights: soon LitWorld will publish a book by Lina J. Potter "First Lessons". It is a story of a feminist in the era of the Inquisition.
Subscribe To Our Newsletters
Love books and want to stay in the know? Subscribe to our newsletter to get all the latest news and updates!