Dr. Cybelle H. McFadden
- Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
- Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, 2014
Le Deuxième Sexe (v.1-v.2), by Simone de Beauvoir
I first read the English translation of Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex in an Introduction to Women’s Studies course in college. In graduate school, I read the original French text and was amazed by the depth of Beauvoir’s philosophy. Her philosophy allows for freedom, especially for women, since one is in a constant state of becoming; that is, despite strong cultural restrictions, the body does not always determine, but rather informs experiences. Her concept of the body as a situation suggests that many meanings are possible for female bodies depending on the way in which the individual uses her body and the context in which she places her own body. This two-volume seminal work of feminist theory has not only influenced my scholarship, but has profoundly shaped the way I view gender and lived experience.