Beauvoir Simonede

Beauvoir Simonede

(1908-86) French feminist writer, whose main contribution to social theory – in The Second Sex (1953) – was an account of PATRIARCHY in which the ‘feminine’ is seen, in Hegelian terms, as culturally constructed, as ‘other than’ male. This ‘otherness’ is explained as arising from the historical cultural fact of the SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOUR, but is in part also determined by women's sexual reproductive capacity, which restricts women's freedom compared with that of men. The only answer she suggests is that women should refrain from marriage and from childbirth and the responsibilities of motherhood.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000