Continuing Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) with guest Jennifer Hansen.
We explore the Hegelian foundations of the text: How does one become a Subject and how do women traditionally get shut out of this process? What do they do to compensate for or react to being so mutilated? We get into the “Lived Experience” sections of the text where Beauvoir details how this drama unfolds in upbringing, marriage, and other stages of life. How does religiosity among women reflect their situation? Beauvoir says that men even claim logic itself, using it as a tool to get women to assent to their own subjugation, which many women therefore reject.
We’re still left with these questions: How do we modernize this critique given the evolution in women’s positions since the book was written? And while it shows how social forces shape women’s roles, what’s the exact connection with biology? Could the entirety of women’s situation be different, or do biological factors inevitably determine some of its more invidious parameters?
End song: “Wrong Side of Gone” by Beth Kille as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #13.