The second sex (1948) – le deuxième sexe in French
The Second Sex
The Second Sex is a book divided into two volumes. The first volume explores female identity through myths and symbols, in a very extensive historical study. The main conclusion of this first volume is that women are always seen as a receptacle and placed on the side of passivity, when they are not assimilated to an object or a good to be exchanged. The second volume proposes to compare these representations with the real life of a woman in the 20th century. Simone de Beauvoir then calls on “lived experience” to retrace the different destinies of women, that is to say the different choices that a woman can make to fulfill herself. The last part, “The independent woman”, proposes a path to women’s liberation. The main themes addressed by The Second Sex are sexual identity, human freedom, emotional relationships, family and happiness.