Another person in the public eye who subverts traditional genderroles is Eddie Izzard, who alternates between wearing conventional'male' clothes and dresses and make-up. Boy George, too, was knownfor his bright clothes and make-up in the 1980s. Such antics mayseem radical and unrealistic to the average person, but thereare signs that attitudes towards gender may be changing. A recentarticle in noted a growing trend towardssexual ambiguity. Some people, particularly in the younger generation,are refusing to be labelled as straight, gay or bisexual but "areaware of the fact that sexuality is not set in stone" (DavidNorthmore, quoted in ). The article pointsto the CKOne and CKBe advertisements which used androgynous modelsas another sign that this may be the era of so-called 'flexi-sex'"where boundaries are blurring and labels are losing theirmeaning and power" (). Perhaps Butler'sapproach to gender, then, has more relevance to every day lifethan it may at first appear. Perhaps it is time for a new wayof tackling feminist issues. Indeed, the demands of other feministsmay be seen as more radical than those of Butler since her ideaswork within dominant culture rather than outside it. Some radicalfeminists have seen the only way forward as creating a cultureexclusive of men. Sexual relationships, too, should only be enteredinto with other women, as summed up by the slogan attributed toto Grace Anderson: "Feminism is the theory: lesbianism isthe practice" (quoted in Charvet, 1982, p.129). Ideas such as thesemay well seem unrealistic to many women. Similarly, ShulamithFirestone wrote in her book, , that the onlyway women would ever be free would be if the means of reproductionwere taken away from the woman's body and replaced by artificialmeans. By taking such an uncompromising position, radical feministsexpressing ideas like these may well isolate themselves from themajority of women. If we want to change the way society operates,change needs to be made from within that culture, not outsideit:
"Of what use is such a notion for negotiating the contemporarystruggles of sexuality within the terms of its construction."
BIBLIOGRAPHYBooks:Beauvoir, Simone de (1949), , Pan Books, London .Bristow, Joseph (1997), , Routledge, London.Butler, Judith (1990), , Routledge, London.Charvet, John (1982), , J.M. Dent & Sons, London.Leach, Robert (1991), , PhilipAllan, London.Segal, Lynne (1997), 'Sexualities', in Woodward, Kathryn, ed.,, Sage, London.Skeggs, Beverley (1993), 'A Good Time For Women Only', in Lloyd,Fran, ed., , Batsford, London.Articles:'Gender as Performance: An Interview with Judith Butler' (1994);interview by Peter Osborne and Lynne Segal, in 67 (summer 1994). , , 5 April 1998, p.1.
Simone de Beauvoir is one of the best-known French writers and thinkers of the twentieth century, and among the best-known female writers of all time. Her study of the oppression of women throughout history, The Second Sex (1949), is a founding text of modern feminism. De Beauvoir was prominent in the circle of left-wing Parisian intellectuals associated with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. interest in her long-term relationship with Sartre and controversies around The Second Sex have often eclipsed recognition of de Beauvoir’s fiction. Yet she was an acclaimed and popular novelist; The Mandarins (1954) received the prestigious Prix Goncourt. De Beauvoir was a perceptive witness to the twentieth century whose works span from her childhood days before World War I to the world of the 1980s.
Beauvoir’s theorizing took a distinctively sociological dimension in The Second Sex, contributing to the social basis for the study of gender. Similarly, the scope of her research methodology contributed to revisionist history, as she theorized from sources and documentation from women themselves, including letters, diaries, autobiographies, case histories, political and social essays, and novels.
Analysis of The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir Essay
While not generally acknowledged as a sociologist, Beauvoir nevertheless contributed to sociology in The Second Sex, The Coming of Age (La Vieillesse 1970), a study of old age, and to a lesser extent, her writings on the media and death and dying. Simone de Beauvoir is also internationally read and widely known for her novels, autobiographies, and travelogues. Beauvoir’s theorizing corrects androcentric biases found in earlier gender-neutral theoretical frameworks, particularly in her use of social categories to inform individually oriented philosophical theories of self-determination and freedom. She systematically examined the historically situated or lived experiences of women relative to men.
should abandon the morals that our fathers have taught us
The theme of responsibility is a crucial element of the existentialist philosophy developed by Sartre. De Beauvoir agrees with Sartre that human beings are free, without a God to give meaning or purpose to their lives, in a world without preordained values. This freedom leads to anguish, because people can rely only on themselves and are thus responsible for everything that happens to them. De Beauvoir attempted to explain and popularize existentialism in several essays, including The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947) and Existentialism and the Wisdom of the Ages (1948). The simplicity of her writing style makes these texts more accessible than the abstruse, sometimes impenetrable prose of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.
The French existentialist philosopher, writer, and social essayist Simone de Beauvoir is most widely known for her pioneering work Le Deuxieme Sexe (1949) or The Second Sex. Her expose of woman as ”Other” and her calling attention to the feminine condition of oppression as historically linked to motherhood are considered her major contributions to modern feminist thought.