Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 24, 2017

#10 Installment 1- Feminist existentialism.

In my first installment I want to talk about the significance influence on feminist existentialism. So what really is feminist existentialism? There are many views on feminist as a whole but existentialism involves more. Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending the equal social, political, and economic rights for women. With that, the cultural movement which holds that the starting point of philosophical thinking must be the individual and the experiences of the individual. Altogether we can see many concepts such as women freedom, interpersonal relationships, and just experience living throughout the human body.

Many of you might be familiar with a feminist existentialism, she goes by the name of Simone de Beauvoir. Simone was a French writer, existentialism philosopher, and a political activist and feminist. Simone wrote several novels, autobiographies, and essays on this topic in philosophy.

One of Simone’s outstanding treatise was The Second Sex, which published in 1949. This detailed analysis portrayed a glimpse of women’s oppression of contemporary feminism. To me, it is quite astonishing to see just how much Simone was credited for and what kind of feminist she were and what she stood for. In her novel, she was pretty much stating that although men are capable of handling most things in life, so are women. As women we too are capable of any choice as men, and thus can choose to elevate ourselves in any manner as we like. In the chapter "Woman: Myth and Reality" of The Second Sex, de Beauvoir argued that men had made women the "Other" in society by application of a false aura of "mystery" around them. She argued that men used this as an excuse not to understand women or their problems and not to help them, and that this stereotyping was always done in societies by the group higher in the hierarchy to the group lower in the hierarchy. I feel that this can become an issue because women who do not follow domestic norm will be looked down in society.

“Women's mutual understanding comes from the fact that they identify themselves with each other; but for the same reason each is against the others.” –Simone

The Second Sex was one of Simone’s best books ever published. As she introduces her text by asking the question “What is Woman?” it is then clear to see that not only did this novel explore feminism but it also put a label on women as well for being what they are and certain things woman weren’t allowed to do. While women are considered the “Other” Simone hit on certain points as to why we are considered as vulnerable as men. Simone defines women as the second sex because women are in relation to men. I would more so think of us women as being the “imperfect man” in my eyes. J

Despite her contributions to the feminist movement, especially the French Women's Liberation Movement, and her beliefs in women's economic independence and equal education, de Beauvoir was initially reluctant to call herself a feminist. 



  1. Great commentary on the work of de Beauvoir. While she does not consider herself a feminist I would quickly call herself one especially by the modern sense of the word. I myself am a little more fond Mary Wollstonecrafts works and philosophy on feminism. I'm also a fan of Virginia Wolf's thoughts on women's rights, as well as society's expectations of them. de Beauvoir ask many good question about women and society. The perception of it all and how does being a different gender effect the life that you live. All in all good work can't wait until the next installment.

  2. "men had made women the "Other" in society" - but it would be Bad Faith to deny women's own role is allowing themselves to be so objectified and denigrated. Whatever our gender we all bear personal responsibility for the various essential projections of ourselves we embrace. "Labels" are a choice. We're all human beings.

  3. I think feminism has been greatly stigmatized in our society because it's meaning has been taken advantage of. Many people now think that feminism supports women getting more than they deserve when the whole reason the feminist movement started was to bring equality between males and females. I hope that this stigma does not get worse and history repeats itself, but with more women gaining access to education I think that society is going down the right path.