Word count: 350
Simone de Beauvoir writes: “Humanity is male, and man defines woman, not in herself, but in relation to himself; she is not considered an autonomous being […] And she is nothing other than what man decides; she is thus called ‘the sex,’ meaning that the male sees her essentially as a sexed being; for him she is sex, so she is it in the absolute. She is determined and differentiated in relation to man, while he is not in relation to her; she is the essential in front of the essential. He is the Subject; he is the Absolute. She is the Other” (pgs. 5-6)
1) Provide a brief commentary on this passage–what exactly is Beauvoir saying here?
2) Do you think she is correct about this? Is her account overstated, or is she on to something? Examples from your own experience as welcome.