I remember Simone de Beauvoir for saying, in The Second Sex
(which was the definitive declaration for women’s independence):
"Woman's brain is smaller; yes, but it is relatively larger. Christ was made a man; yes, but perhaps for his greater humility. Each argument at once suggests its opposite, and both are often fallacious."
Along with being a writer, she is a French existentialist, and essayist. She was raised in a respected bourgeois family, and atheist while still an adolescent, and decided to devote her life to writing and studying. Philosophy for her was a discussion and study of the essentials of existence-- though she was also fascinated by beauty and aesthetics. In case it wasn’t obvious from the above citation, Beauvoir was also what we might refer to as a raging feminist. She also draws heavily on Sartre’s conception of human beings as creatures who are free. Undoubtedly, her link to Sartre was the reason that she received the unwanted title of existentialist. Among other things, she also was an anti-colonialist, publicly criticising France's position in Algiers, a pro-abortionist and a socialist with Marxist sympathies.
Her final words on Sartre's death were:
"My death will not bring us together again. This is how things are. It is in itself splendid that we were able to live our lives in harmony for so long."
The Woman’s Timeline:
1908- Born January 9 at Paris
1913- Starts school
1919- Decreasing in family's fortune
1925- Studies literature with Robert Garric
1926- Starts studying philosophy at the Sorbonne.
1929- Meets Jean Paul Sartre.
- Teaches philosophy at the Lyceum in Rouen
, where she stays for four years
- Sartre lives now in Berlin. She travels twice.
- Starts Quand Prime le Spirituel
- Teaches philosophy at the Moliere Lyceum for seven years
- Travel to Italy with Sartre
- Travels to Greece
with Sartre and Jacques-Laurent Bost
- Starts L'Invitee
- Sartre fights in war.
- Simone Joins the Paris Exodous
- June 21, Sartre is taken as a war prisoner
- June 29, she comes back to Paris, and regains her place at teaching.
- She signs a document, where it says she is not a freemason nor a Jew.
- Sartre returns to Paris. Together, they start a bicycle trip through France.
- Her father dies.
- First visit to the USA
- Visits Sweden with Jean Paul Sartre
- Returns to USA and then visits South America with Sartre
- Then they travel to Alger.
- publishes La Deuxieme Sexe
- travels to Africa and through Europe with Sartre
- Finishes her relationship with Algren
- starts a relationship with Lanzmann
- Publishes Les Mandarins
. She wins the prix Goncourt
- Simone and Sartre give support to the Algerian independence
- She visits China with Jean Paul Sartre
- Travels to Rome
- Publishes La Longe Marche
- She supports the manifestation against de Gaulle
- Camus dies in a car accident
- visits Cuba with Sartre and meets Fidel Castro and Che Guevara
- Two months in Brazil with Sartre
- meets Sylvie Le Bon who will later become her adoptive child
- Sartre and Simone are invited to Moscow
- Une Mort tres douce
- Visits the USSR and Japan with Sartre
- Visits Egypt, Israel and Sweden with Sartre
- La Femme rompue
- Sartre and Simone become the editor of "La Cause du peuple".
- She signs the "manifesto du 343" about women saying they had an illegal abortion.
- She starts demonstrations to support abortion
- Becomes the president of the Womens' Rights League
- Sartre dies.
- She publishes her correspondence with Sartre
- She dies.