Beauvoir, Simone  de  (1949.2009). The Second Sex. Alfred A. Knopf.




James W, Prescott, Ph.D.


"There is a good principle that created order, light and man; and a bad principle that created chaos, darkness and woman." Pythagoras (circa 582-507 B.C.)

(In Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949/2009).



Gender Inequality has existed ever since human history has been written. Pythagoras has given a moral definition of being male and female that has set humanity and its civilizations on a collision course with the extinction of Homo sapiens. No species on this planet is as violent toward its females and her offspring than Homo sapiens.


There is not a theistic religion on this planet that has affirmed the full equality of the feminine with the masculine, which has set in stone the perpetration of violence against women and her children. Prescott (1989,1995ab) has reviewed this history in essays:

Genital Pain vs. Genital Pleasure:
 Why The One and Not The Other?;Violence Against Women:
 Philosophical and Religious Foundations of Gender Morality”; “OPINION: The challenge: achieve gender equality”; and “A Proposed “Bodily Sovereignty” Amendment To The U.S. Constitution”.


Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex originally published in France (1949) and recently reprinted in a new translation by Alfred A. Knopf (2009) is considered the authoritative translation of her work and the leading intellectual document of the feminist cultural movement. It is the foundation for restoring full equality between man and woman that was lost with the passing of the hunter-gathers some 8,000-10,000 years ago.





A few quotations:


“What is a woman?” (p.5).


“The female is female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities”, Aristotle said. “We should regard women’s nature as suffering from natural defectiveness.” And Saint Thomas in his turn decreed that woman was an “incomplete man,” an “incidental” being” (p.5).


“Humanity is male, and man defines woman not in herself, but in relation to himself; she is not considered an autonomous being. (p.5).


“He is the Subject, he is the Absolute. She is the Other.3 “ (p.6)


“Why do women not contest male sovereignty?” (p.7)


“The tie that binds her to her oppressors are unlike any other. The division of the sexes is a biological given, not a moment in human history. Their opposition took shape within an original Mitsei (being with), and she has not broken it. The couple is a fundamental unit with the two halves riveted to each other: cleavage of society by sex is not possible. This is the fundamental characteristic of woman: she is the Other at the heart of a whole whose two components are necessary to each other” (p.9); and


“Biological need—sexual desire and desire for posterity—which make the male dependent on the female, has not liberated women socially” (p.9).


“How in the feminine condition, can a human being accomplish herself? What paths are open to her? Which ones lead to dead ends? How can she find independence in dependence? What circumstances limit women’s freedom and can she overcome them? These are the fundamental questions we would like to elucidate. This means that in focusing on the individual’s possibilities, we will define these possibilities not in terms of happiness but in terms of freedom” (p.17).


“All oppression creates a state of war” (p.754).


“justice can never be created within injustice” (p.759).


“But is it enough to change laws, institutions, customs, public opinion, and the whole social context for men and women to really become peers?” (p. 760).


“The mother would enjoy the same lasting prestige as the father if she assumed equal material and moral responsibility for the couple; the child would feel an androgynous world around her and not a masculine world; were she more affectively attracted to her father—which is not even certain—her love for him would be nuanced by a will to emulate him and not a feeling of weakness: she would not turn to passivity “ (p.761).


“Objections to this system always imply respect for sexual taboos; but it is useless to try to inhibit curiosity and pleasure in children; this only results in creating repression, obsessions, and neuroses; exalted sentimentality, homosexual fervor, and the platonic passions of adolescent girls along with the whole procession of nonsense and dissipation are far more harmful than a few childish games and actual experiences.” (p.762).


“The direct, natural, and necessary relation of person to person is the relation of man to woman,” said Marx4. From the character of this relationship follows how much man as a species-being, as man, has become to be himself and to comprehend himself; the relation of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human being. It therefore reveals the extent to which man’s natural behavior has become human, or the extent to which the human essence in him has become a natural essence—the extent to which his human nature has come to be natural to him.


“This could not be better said. Within the given world, it up to man to make the reign of freedom triumph; to carry off this supreme victory, men and women must among other things and beyond their natural differentiation, unequivocally affirm their brotherhood (p.766)”.


In OPINION, I stated:


“Abigail Smith Adams identified two elements that are necessary for women's equality: "voice or representation." The 19th Amendment provided for the equality of voice voting, but it did not provide for the Equality of Representation. It is only with the Equality of Representation that the second half of the "rebellion" can be achieved and where gender equality has any hope of realization. Thus, the following proposal.


In the furtherance of the uncompleted rebellion fomented by Anthony and Stanton, I propose that a nonpartisan commitment be made to the equal representation of women in Congress and in all legislative bodies of this nation.


I can think of no other single act that could achieve so much in so little time that could redress the inequality of women or reprioritize the social, moral and political concerns of this nation.


Without Equality of Representation in the legislative bodies, I do not believe women will ever become equal with men; that power will always remain with the privileged male class; and violence rather than peace will continually characterize the male-dominated society”.


To that end, I propose the joining of the voices of Abigail Smith Adams and Simone de Beauvoir to revolutionize human cultures where women have an Equal Voice and Representation for the future of their nation, their families and children.



Past Is Prologue


How does a Culture of Violence that arises from the Patristic/Theistic Cultures give birth to a Culture where the reality “it (is) up to man to make the reign of freedom triumph” becomes possible? We are informed by Beauvoir (1949/2009) that:


“All oppression creates a state of war” (p.754) and


“justice can never be created within injustice” (p.759).


We have become Cultures of War and Cultures of Injustice that has brought Human Culture to the brink of extinction. How does Culture place an innocent newborn on the life path of depression, alienation, authoritarianism and violence (homicidal and suicidal): or the life path of peace, harmony and egalitarianism?


Ashley Montagu stated in The Natural Superiority of Women (1952):


"Women are the mothers of humanity; do not let us ever forget that or underemphasize its importance. What mothers are to their children, so will man be to man" (pp. 247-248).





The Child Is The Future of Humanity