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Simone de Beauvoir Speaks on American TV (in English) About Feminism, Abortion & Extra (1976)


France has lengthy been recognized for the cultural prominence it grants to its philosophers. Even so, such prominence doesn’t merely come to each French thinker, and a few have needed to work tirelessly certainly to realize it. Take Simone de Beauvoir, who most powerfully introduced her arrival on the mental scene with Le Deuxième Sexe and its well-known declaration, “On ne naît pas femme, on le devient.” These phrases stay well-known right this moment, 36 years after their writer’s loss of life, and their implications concerning the nature of womanhood nonetheless kind the mental foundation for a lot of observers of the female situation, in France and elsewhere.

Le Deuxième Sexe was first printed in English in 1953, as The Second Intercourse. By that time de Beauvoir had already traveled extensively in the US (and even written a e book, America Day by Day, concerning the expertise), however her readership in that nation had solely simply begun to develop. An avowed feminist, she would via the following many years grow to be a increasingly more oft-referenced determine amongst American writers and readers who sought to use that label to themselves as properly.

One such feminist was the psychologist Dorothy Tennov, who’s finest remembered for coining the time period limerence. Just a few years earlier than she did that, she traveled to France to conduct an interview with de Beauvoir — and certainly “in her Paris condo, offered the TV crew was all-female.”

Aired on public tv station WNED in 1976, this wide-ranging dialog has Beauvoir laying out her views on a bunch of topics, from abortion to homosexuality to feminism itself. “What do you assume ladies really feel most about feminism?” Tennov asks. “They’re jealous of the ladies who usually are not simply the type of servant and the slaves and objects — they’re themselves,” de Beauvoir says. “They worry to really feel an infériorité in regard with the ladies who work exterior, and who do as they need and who’re free. And possibly they’re afraid of the liberty which is made doable for them, as a result of freedom is one thing very valuable, however in a means a bit fearful, since you don’t know precisely what to do with it.” Right here we see one motive de Beauvoir’s work has endured: she understood that man’s worry of freedom can also be lady’s.

Associated content material:

An Animated Introduction to the Feminist Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir

The That means of Life In response to Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy on Discovering That means in Previous Age

Lovers and Philosophers — Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvoir Collectively in 1967

Simone de Beauvoir Tells Studs Terkel How She Turned an Mental and a Feminist (1960)

Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre Taking pictures a Gun in Their First Picture Collectively (1929)

Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the e book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll via Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.

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