Simone de Beauvoir 1908-1986
It was 100 hundred years ago that the philosopher/writer. Simone de Beauvoir was born.
There was a time in my life when I was very interested in her and her ideas. I shared her interests in atheism, socialism, marxism, ethics, French existentialism, Jean Paul Satre, and Hegalianism. She was a remarkable woman with a wondeful mind.
Most people would know her best for her book, The Second Sex, She is considered the mother of feminism. With her intellectual threads of interests, I mentioned above, she gave a profound understanding of the position of women in society and suggested a way to move foreward so that men and women might equally take their place in Society.
Her existentialist clarion call, "Women are not born but made" , (Essence does not come before existence) ,lead women in their feminist effort to demand and create for themselves a prominent and equal place in Society.
I have spent part of the day reading some more about Madame de Beauvoir and her thought. She is an example of another person from a borgeois background to lead a radical and revolutionary social movement of ideas. (The poor and the downtrodden seldom lead in their own cause. This fact has always fascinated me.)
Here is a brief broadcast on Deutsche Welle radio on Simon de Beauvoir:
There probably is now a generation of young women who have not read her contributions to feminism and yet they are enjoying the fruits of her intellectual ground work. Since her death she has been recognized as a philosopher and not just writer/essayest of ideas she gleaned from Sartre with whom she shared a lifelong relationship. (A fascinating story in itself.) It may be time for a new generation to rediscover her.
Here are some websites in which you can read more about Simone de Beauvoir and her ideas.