Simone De Beauvoir

It’s Women’s History Month!

I am really excited about it. Ever since my 100 day project I have had this list of women who inspire me that I want to paint. Some of them I even sketched way back during my project!
I am fascinated with history, and especially that of the women. Partly because we have often been neglected through the ages. Tell me you don’t read a Jane Austen novel and wonder about how they dealt with things like menstruation. I think about this a lot, about how the history of women was relegated to the private and invisible sphere. I am excited to celebrate all of my Sheroes, but I will also be thinking of all of those women who didn’t get their stories passed down to us, but are just as important, none the less.

Yesterday I painted Simone De Beauvior, the French philosopher and author of the Second Sex. You can read all about her via the link to her Wikipedia page, but here’s the jist of The Second Sex if you are click shy:

Women who do not follow the domestic norm are looked down upon in society.

Man represents both “the positive and the neutral,” which doesn’t need to be explained or defined, and it is self-explanatory. “Thus humanity is male and man defines woman not in relation to herself but as relative to him; she is not regarded as an autonomous being.”

De Beauvoir defines women as the “Second sex” because women are defined in relation to men.

De Beauvoir argued that women have historically been considered deviant, abnormal. De Beauvoir said that this attitude limited women’s success by maintaining the perception that they were a deviation from the normal, and were always outsiders attempting to emulate “normality”. She believed that for feminism to move forward, this assumption must be set aside.

For the late 40’s this was some pretty mind blowing stuff! She’s an early pioneer of what we know as modern feminism, and a very interesting woman as well.

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