TRANSLATED BY CONSTANCE BORDE AND SHEILA MALOVANY-CHEVALLIER
ANNOTATED AND INTRODUCED BY MARTINE REID
‘Everyone who cares about freedom and justice for women should read The Second Sex’ Guardian
Simone de Beauvoir famously wrote, ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, woman’. In this groundbreaking work of feminism she examines the limits of female freedom and explodes our deeply ingrained beliefs about femininity. Liberation, she argues, entails challenging traditional perceptions of the social relationship between the sexes and, crucially, in achieving economic independence.
Drawing on sociology, anthropology and biology, The Second Sex is as important and relevant today as when it was first published in 1949.
A masterpiece ― Vogue
Discovering The Second Sex was like an explosion in my skull, shattering illusions bred in a conventional fifties childhood…Re-reading the book now I realise how much of it is still entirely relevant, and that (despite advances) women are as much in need of liberation as ever — Bel Mooney
De Beauvoir was not just a genius as a theorist. She dared to live it. Challenging conventional marriage and sexual practice, she used her own experience to explore the emotional costs of jealousy, attachment, monogamy, bohemianism, sexuality, of love — Susie Orbach
A fine piece of work, a lucid translation ― Independent
A fresh, much expanded, more intelligible book which repays re-reading by adherents of the old version, and cries out for attention from young women who have not been exposed to this most powerful of feminist thinkers ― Irish Times
About the Author
Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908. In 1929 she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agrégation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught at the lycées at Marseille and Rouen from 1931-1937, and in Paris from 1938-1943. After the war, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Mordernes. The author of several books including The Mandarins (1957) which was awarded the Prix Goncourt, de Beauvoir was one of the most influential thinkers of her generation. She died in 1986.