Sunday, May 10, 2009

75b Simone de Beauvoir, a second lecture

Simone de Beauvoir played an important role in the rise of feminism. Her books, "The Ethics of Ambiguity, (1947) " and "The Second Sex, (1949)" were unique and maybe "La deuxieme sexe" is still the bible of feminism.

She develops themes in her philosophizing derived from Sartre. Her most well known quote is: "You are not born as a woman, but you become one."

In "The Second sex" she distances herself from institutions and practices that try to reduce the woman to pure body, which means Beings-in-themselves, She emphasizes that the human being... the woman is a psychophysiological unity and she demands that the ontological freedom, which we have, can be lived.

That has been obstructed by men untill now through history. The man was always the "Self" and the woman always the "Other", an object. He had subjected the woman and reduced her to a body.

For the first time in history women have now, because of the availability of anticonceptives and acccess to paid jobs, the opportunity to develop a real Self.

"The Second sex" is a passionate summons to women to grab that chance and to men to stop regarding women as "the other". It is not her opinion that women should decline motherhood. She just wants that a woman can decide for herself on this matter in freedom.

When a social equality has been created between men and women and women are allowed to create a personal life free and independent, then there will arise new cultural identities. No longer the rigid man/woman role patterns.

She was very lyrical about these ideas and expectations: "There will arise new physical and affective relations between the sexes which are beyond our imagination. Between men and women there already have arisen friendships and rivalries, comradships, sexually and puritain, which we havent seen discovered in the past ages."

The human condition is ambiguous, according to Simone de Beauvoir. We are closely related with the others, but we will never be one with them. We are an individual consciousness and a unity of body and mind, and also apart from and united with the other.

The self and the Other are the core issues of Simone de Beauvoir's philosophy. And in that - and I may refer to a reark of Mickorod that she was regarded a better philosopher than Sartre - she has given the individualistic and rational existentialism of Sartre a human dimension.

Grown up with Sartre since I was 18...and in the years I have read the autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir, now I see what she really meant in regard of existentialism. It is in the emotion that we really can meet eachother.

The Discussion

[13:22] Herman Bergson: So far on Simone de Beauvoir...
[13:22] Herman Bergson: Feel free to give your opinion..:-)
[13:22] arabella Ella: I was just about to ask for your opinion Herman?
[13:23] arabella Ella: what do you think of her ideas yourself?
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: i wondr how she and sartre remained so close they were so opposite
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: well not opposite
[13:23] Herman Bergson: I think she gave existentialism a human face
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: but different in many ways
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: in thougth
[13:24] Herman Bergson: For Sartre we are pure consciousness,,,,,she said we are BODY and consciousness
[13:24] Mickorod Renard: I wondered whether she prefered the distance that their dif opinions provided
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: perhaps
[13:24] Zen Arado: There will arise new physical and affective relations between the sexes which are beyond our imagination." do you think this has happened?
[13:24] arabella Ella: but herman what do you think of her desception of what happens in relationships?
[13:25] Herman Bergson: I think it is true....we meet eachother in emotion
[13:25] Herman Bergson: we never can be one...
[13:25] Zen Arado: things have improved
[13:26] Zen Arado: but isnt there still along way to go?
[13:26] Alarice Beaumont: yes. Zen.. it has happened
[13:26] Alarice Beaumont: i think a woman is now more a partner.. not just a sexual object
[13:26] Osrum Sands: The self and the other are not just a sexist thing .. rather a tool used to control and hold power in many fields
[13:26] Alarice Beaumont: and that too... in germany women earn in the same job 22 % less then men
[13:26] arabella Ella: doesn't that depend on the geographical region Alarice?
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Ah..Zen..yes it has happened...
[13:27] Laila Schuman: i disagree... i think that not enough men are able to meet in emotion... not really
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie: we can never be on in body, but we can meet consciously
[13:27] Alarice Beaumont: lol yes it does Arabella... and I'm glad i live in germany .-)
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Remember..."The seoncd sex " was from 1949!!!!
[13:27] Gudrun Odriscoll: thinks have improved, but there is still greed, desire, pain, misunderstanding, jealousy, not being wanted, being wanted, other men and other women, imrpisonment of feelings, blablabal
[13:27] Alarice Beaumont: would hate to live in turky
[13:27] Gudrun Odriscoll: sorry things
[13:28] arabella Ella: also take the example of european males taking asian females as paertners
[13:28] Herman Bergson: Yes Gudrun....that is a real issue
[13:28] Zen Arado: plenty of examples of female inequality yet !
[13:28] Alarice Beaumont: yes.... and acutally I see everything going back to earlier days.. that is a problem
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: it was marvelous tho that simone was able to put words to it that echoed on
[13:29] Alarice Beaumont: but it's still much better then in earlier times!
[13:29] Gudrun Odriscoll: laila, you are right, and arabella you too, women are still objects for many, and men are scared of free, strong, emanicapted women (or at least many)
[13:29] Osrum Sands: surly one is only imprisoned by anothers thougths if you allow it to?
[13:29] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. right Gudrun
[13:29] arabella Ella: i agree Gudrun and Laila
[13:29] Alarice Beaumont: but not all
[13:29] Alarice Beaumont: fortunatley
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: well for some it is not that easy to dismiss
[13:30] Alarice Beaumont: no...and women also build there own "grave"
[13:30] Zen Arado: men can become confused - dont know wtheir proper role I think
[13:30] Herman Bergson: the weird thing is that a strong and fre ewoman is callled mascline
[13:30] Gudrun Odriscoll: osrum, if you allow it to, but in relationships or love or lust not all is rational
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: the body is an object, whether female or male, the mind is the place where we really meet
[13:30] Alarice Beaumont: yes Zen.. that is another problem with which men have to deal nowadays!
[13:30] Laila Schuman: Osrum... only if you allow it? yes you can feel "free" inside... but when there are a group of people agreeing on the outside... you have to bite your tongue and live among them... it is not just a matter of not letting them affect you
[13:30] Gudrun Odriscoll: the body and mind are one, aren't they?
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I think they are not
[13:31] Osrum Sands: true freedom is found within
[13:31] Zen Arado: to me yes
[13:31] Osrum Sands: thats where it matters
[13:31] Alarice Beaumont: not? can you explain that Ari?
[13:31] Laila Schuman: yes
[13:31] Laila Schuman: but try fighting the system...
[13:31] Mickorod Renard: for most men,,it is the fear of change i think,,not a fear of women
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: the body is merely a tool we use to communite our mind to others
[13:31] Osrum Sands: why fight the system
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: well.. but then they are together
[13:32] Osrum Sands: just step out side it
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: :-)
[13:32] Zen Arado: not knowing how to treat women?
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: hihi.. nope..
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: I think they are partners in life
[13:32] Laila Schuman: because sometimes being free on the inside is not enough
[13:32] Gudrun Odriscoll: ari, they conditon each other, this is why one goes for embodied AI, after a time of thinking about disembodied AI
[13:32] Zen Arado: some women dont want to be liberated!
[13:32] arabella Ella: if you take the USA there are so many groups were women stil take traditional roles and wear costumes dating back more than 100 years ... do they have a choice?
[13:32] Herman Bergson: OH ..STOP
[13:33] Alarice Beaumont: ;-)
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:33] Herman Bergson: THAT REMARK OF ZEN..
[13:33] arabella Ella: and in the EU there is a petition circulating as the four heads of the EU are likely to be all males ... it is like a male club
[13:33] Mickorod Renard: what were we discussing Herman?
[13:33] Alarice Beaumont: is correct in many ways.
[13:33] Guitar Stantz is Offline
[13:33] Alarice Beaumont: waht Zen said
[13:33] Gudrun Odriscoll: without my body, I do not have my mind, if of course you are going to extract my mind (not possible yet) and put it into a glass jar, then I might have a new body, a glass jar, an encapsulation
[13:33] Herman Bergson: didnt ~I say STOP?...:-)
[13:33] arabella Ella: i disagree Zen
[13:34] Gudrun Odriscoll: sorry Herman, delays
[13:34] Herman Bergson: that remark of Zen.... some women dont want to be liberated!
[13:34] Herman Bergson: that is what would be called BAD FAITH by Sartre
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: oh
[13:35] Herman Bergson: An atempt to escape from the responsability to choose
[13:35] Zen Arado: they like the role?
[13:35] Gudrun Odriscoll: ah
[13:35] Gudrun Odriscoll: they, women?
[13:35] Laila Schuman: that can be safe and comforting
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: some women are fearful of change too
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: but they choose even tho they do not
[13:36] Herman Bergson: that is cryptic Aristotle
[13:36] Zen Arado: they want men to be strong and masculine
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: it is called propaganda, social conditioning is the reason some women choose to be dominated
[13:36] Laila Schuman: i would say.... emotional and real
[13:37] Gudrun Odriscoll: what about all these women who have a job, run the household, have a partner, have kids, do psychological and whatever re-creation, do more and more, have a choice, and at the end it is too much.
[13:37] Mickorod Renard: women have been brainwashed into working so that consumerism can grab hold of more money
[13:37] arabella Ella: do they have a choice? are they constrained by others? are they afraid of revolting and prefer trhe status quo?
[13:37] Alarice Beaumont: one has a choice Arabella
[13:37] Laila Schuman: or like safety
[13:37] Zen Arado: maybe they are socially conditioned
[13:37] Alarice Beaumont: but it can be limited in it's doing
[13:38] arabella Ella: no Alarice many women in many countries do not have any choice
[13:38] Alarice Beaumont: yes that is right
[13:38] Zen Arado: Saudi Arabia
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: I think Simone de Beauvoir was saying that is time for the 'strong and mascuiline' be relegated to 'role play' and life be returned to the influence of reason
[13:38] Laila Schuman: very true
[13:38] arabella Ella: some countries do not allow contraception for example
[13:38] Herman Bergson: ok..hold on...
[13:38] arabella Ella: some countries do not allow females to work outside the house
[13:38] Osrum Sands: neither do men have choice in many countries ... or at least many men
[13:38] Zen Arado: yes Ari
[13:38] Mickorod Renard: I like that Ari
[13:38] Herman Bergson: HOLD ON
[13:39] Herman Bergson: there is an intersting distinction regarding emancipation..
[13:39] Herman Bergson: there are two ways of looking at emancipation...
[13:40] Herman Bergson: emacipation in the sense as becoming the equal of the man
[13:40] Herman Bergson: and cultural emancipation...
[13:40] Herman Bergson: which means ..creating a new identity....that was what Simone de Beauvoir hoped for
[13:40] Zen Arado: ah yes
[13:41] Mickorod Renard: mmmmm?
[13:41] Zen Arado: identity = role?
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: men and women are equal in essense, the male has the handicap of testosterone
[13:41] Herman Bergson: no longer te second sense
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: stop telling us ari
[13:42] arabella Ella: like present day French female politicians herman?
[13:42] Zen Arado: there will always be biological difference
[13:42] Gudrun Odriscoll: is this why business women and female managers here in the uk go to doctors and have testosterone injected? should try it
[13:42] Mickorod Renard: its interesting though that when a mans tostesterone gives up,,they become less interested in women
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: oh gudrun!!!!! true????
[13:42] arabella Ella: good idea Gudrun
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: no, no gudrun not the way to go
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: for that reason
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: ???
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: i think not
[13:42] Laila Schuman: ick
[13:43] Zen Arado: they need to be more agressive in business?
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: assertive
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: what we do not need in this world is the 'butt kicking' women as represented in the cinema and tv
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: kicking
[13:43] Gudrun Odriscoll: I know, but it really happens! Just thought could be fun, sorry, we take so many meds during our lives, some are on prozac, some on testosterone
[13:44] Herman Bergson: yet this is intersting how Simone de Beauvoir in 1949 already had a vision on what we now are discussing
[13:44] Zen Arado: why Ari
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: very true Herman
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: this is not the solution en
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: but the war
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: the war changed a lot
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: Zen
[13:44] arabella Ella: so do we need patronising men instead of butt kicking women Ari?
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: maybe we should try and find an example of woman before they were conditioned by man,,,,Eve?
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: We need women to reassert their nature to fix things
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: :-))
[13:45] Gudrun Odriscoll: eve out of a rib, igitt
[13:45] Zen Arado: strong women threaten us?
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: not me
[13:45] Samuel Okelly: do we know how, if at all, SdB articulated an ideal social and cultural role for women?
[13:45] Osrum Sands: Re self and the other concept ... sems to me from listening to the discussion that many are busy trying to be the other rather then enjoying being the self
[13:45] Laila Schuman: Black women in the US... are a really good example
[13:45] Zen Arado: make us feel weak?
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: agressive women is not natural
[13:46] Herman Bergson: Yes Samuel..she had a dream
[13:46] Zen Arado: 'natural' can change :)
[13:46] Gudrun Odriscoll: why is this, life could be so much easier, strong men and women together, weak ocassionally, cause it is life.
[13:46] Mickorod Renard: I thought king was a man
[13:46] arabella Ella: could you please tell us more arout her dream herman?
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: Women can be succesful without aggression.
[13:46] Ewa Aska is Online
[13:47] arabella Ella: so can men Ari
[13:47] Zen Arado: assertiveness :)
[13:47] Herman Bergson: as I said...she saw arise new roles
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: you should have seen wht the media did to our presidential candidate Hilllary clinton they took her apart from head to toe literally!!! she was too hardm, too soft,too aggressivve, too fat, unbelievable!!!
[13:47] Osrum Sands: does it come back to how one sees the other
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: yes, Arabella, hence my testerone comment
[13:47] Osrum Sands: as an oponent or partner
[13:47] Gudrun Odriscoll: women can be agressive occasionally, why not. sometimes men make them agressive, hah
[13:47] Samuel Okelly: i mean was her view limited to the role of women merely equallying that of men or was a greater statement on gender roles?
[13:47] arabella Ella: Ari ... gender should be complementary not a power struggle
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: Aggresion is our problem, look at Bush
[13:48] Zen Arado: Maggie Thatcher?
[13:48] Laila Schuman: golda meyer
[13:48] Zen Arado: she was pretty agressive :)
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: assertive
[13:48] Herman Bergson: Good example laila
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: is a much better word
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: If women behave like men then there will be no women left
[13:49] Laila Schuman: Black women must be nurturning... look how many are forced to raise children or grand children alone
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)))
[13:49] arabella Ella: we are all a consequence of both nature and nurture ... we need to change a lot where nutrture is concerned in my view to create better complementarity
[13:49] Laila Schuman: but as they do it alone they must be very strong too
[13:49] Zen Arado: tes thats the problem no difference?
[13:49] Laila Schuman: so what does strong mean
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: I agree Arabella
[13:49] Laila Schuman: testosterone... or something else... like to survie...endure
[13:50] Mickorod Renard: I am sure men have x n y chromus,,doesnt that say sometthing?
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: In the nurturing of males we tend to reinforce their natural aggressiveness
[13:50] Gudrun Odriscoll: something broken off the x,
[13:50] Zen Arado: women have babies thats a big difference
[13:50] Herman Bergson: Ok..ok...
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: and think little 'johnny' is manly
[13:50] arabella Ella: exactly ari and for females nurturing is key ... a bit too much sometimes
[13:50] Laila Schuman: i say you do not have to butt heads to be strong... strength can be something else
[13:51] Herman Bergson: I dont think we will solve the rpoblem today in this class..:-)
[13:51] arabella Ella: i agree laila
[13:51] Gudrun Odriscoll: inner strength
[13:51] Laila Schuman: you don't have to be "mannish"
[13:51] Zen Arado: or men feminine?
[13:51] Osrum Sands: Strength look at Gandi
[13:51] Alarice Beaumont: what is "mannish" laila?
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: yes Laila, strength of the mind, of reason
[13:51] Osrum Sands: defeated the most powerful empire of the time with peace
[13:51] Laila Schuman: acting like a male
[13:51] Alarice Beaumont: hahaha
[13:52] Laila Schuman: being so agressive
[13:52] Alarice Beaumont: see ... you already have in mind how a male should act!
[13:52] Gudrun Odriscoll: strength with feelings, emotion, compassion, consideration (all attributed to the female )
[13:52] Zen Arado: we should disconnect these qualities from sexes
[13:52] arabella Ella: sensitivity
[13:52] Zen Arado: gender roles
[13:52] Laila Schuman: you are right
[13:52] Mickorod Renard: I think there are many men with those attributes too
[13:52] Gudrun Odriscoll: we should, but look round, they still are gender biased
[13:52] Zenobia Vertes is Online
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: ditto
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: i agree with Mick
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: well I am not in fovor of neutral gender, I am proud to be a man but I am equally proud of women in my life
[13:53] Zen Arado: we have to escape our cultural conditioning
[13:53] Herman Bergson: OK...I think we have said enough on this subject..:-)
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: good ari
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: lol'
[13:53] Zen Arado: how men are supposed to behave
[13:53] Alarice Beaumont: :-)
[13:53] Zen Arado: and women
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: next herman?????
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:54] Alarice Beaumont: we should go on with this one :-)
[13:54] Herman Bergson: What is so valuable is that a woman in 1949 already told us what it is all about
[13:54] Zen Arado: yes
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: exactly
[13:54] arabella Ella: brilliant thoughts she had
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: and I am thankful to her
[13:54] Gudrun Odriscoll: hm
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: what was that then?
[13:54] Alarice Beaumont: yes... and it needed a long, long time to get something done in that way!
[13:54] Zen Arado: i have her book but never read it
[13:54] Samuel Okelly: i think cultural conditioning has served us well - it has brought us to where we are now hasnt it? sure it isnt what many see as ideal but with vision and determination we can change that cant we?
[13:54] Laila Schuman: and to relate the freedom to choose... with the necessity to choose... existentially
[13:54] Herman Bergson: So I agree with Mickorod..she was a beter philosopher than Sartre..she had vision,,,Sartre had only observation
[13:55] Zen Arado: yes but i think it slows change
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: still, Sartre had a handicap
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: interesting
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: well i read it somewhere Herman
[13:55] arabella Ella: yes herman she certainly had vision which is admirable especially for a female in those days
[13:55] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. needs generations and generations... and i fell it going backwards again!
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Yes Alarice...
[13:56] Herman Bergson: I agree
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: for the sake of future generations, women must persevere
[13:56] Mickorod Renard: There was a statement somewhere where it said she was effected by the war as well
[13:56] Laila Schuman: what i see in young women is a misconception of what freedom means...what the woman was liberated from and for
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: would be nice Ari.. but a lot of women want to stay home ... and like the old role
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Aristotle...your statement will be logged on the internet...:-)
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes, Laila, it is easy for succeding generations to forget
[13:57] Samuel Okelly: did SdB want women to merely mirror men or did she posses a bigger view for gender in general?
[13:57] Herman Bergson: The later Samuel..
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: well, if they choose to stay home then they have that right
[13:57] Mickorod Renard: at least perservere until man finds a way to do the washing without them
[13:57] Gudrun Odriscoll: woman gudrun says good night to the others, bye bye
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: sorry duty calls!!!!
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Gudrun, Gemma
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: bye Gud
[13:58] Zen Arado: bye Gudrun
[13:58] Samuel Okelly: tc G
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: hihi... life wouldn't be that interesting any longer Mick!
[13:58] arabella Ella: bye Gudrun, bye Gemma
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Ok..Gemma has to leave...
[13:58] Qwark Allen: cya later :-D
[13:58] Qwark Allen: ty herman
[13:58] Qwark Allen: ty all
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: bye Gemma
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Time to dismiss class..(^_^)
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: he he he
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: bye Qwark
[13:58] arabella Ella: bye Qwark
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: bye quark
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Qwark
[13:58] Samuel Okelly: tc Q
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks you so much, Herman
[13:59] Herman Bergson: thank you all for your participation..;-)
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: yes,,thanks Herman
[13:59] Zen Arado: thanks Herman
[13:59] Samuel Okelly: thanks again herman :)
[13:59] arabella Ella: thank you herman ... who is the next philosopher please?
[13:59] Alarice Beaumont: thanks Herman :-)
[13:59] Alarice Beaumont: Oh Herman.. don't know whether I make it on Thursday.. I will try tho .-)
[14:00] Herman Bergson: ok Alarice..if absent are excused..:-)
[14:00] Laila Schuman: who will be next please?
[14:00] Alarice Beaumont: :-)
[14:00] Herman Bergson: the next...
[14:01] arabella Ella: bye everyone bye herman
[14:01] Herman Bergson: a completely different approach of philosophical issues there
[14:01] Osrum Sands: bye
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Arabella
[14:01] Alarice Beaumont: bye Arabella :-)
[14:01] arabella Ella: sorry Os ;)
[14:01] Zen Arado: bye Arabella
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: must go guys and gals
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: ouch
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: Os you ok?
Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-06-11 07:29:53

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