It’s time to reclaim the legacy of Simone de Beauvoir and see feminism for what it is 

In the shadow of the horrific alleged rape in Unnao and alleged rape and murder in Kathua, and worldwide acknowledgment of workplace harassment of women (#MeToo, #TimesUp), feminism has an important role to play

“One is not born, but rather, becomes a woman,” wrote Simone de Beauvoir in her seminal book The Second Sex. At the time, the book was considered so radical that the Vatican put it on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited books). Beauvoir died at the age of 78 on this day 32 years ago, leaving behind a legacy of revolutionary thinking, activism, and having spurred the beginning of the ‘second wave’ of feminism.

Simone de Beauvoir
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius. Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir

As an existentialist, Beauvoir believed that human beings create their own values through their consciousness, and not simply by some inborn “essence”. She drew upon this philosophy to describe the sex-gender distinction, in which she explains that there is a difference between biological sex assigned to a child at birth, and the social and historical construction of gender and the stereotypes that become associated with them. Her argument is that all children are born the same way, but become conditioned by the society around them to think that men must behave a certain way and women in certain others. She calls women the ‘second sex’ because historically, women have always been defined in relation to men, as though the male was the ideal — that women could only aspire to be, but can never really become [ . . . ]

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The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement

Realism in literature has its origins in 19th century Europe. The French writer who is credited as having created the Realist movement is Honoré de Balzac. But, what is realism in literature and how did Balzac help to start it? In this article, we will go deeply into answering these two interrelated questions.

The best way to begin to understand realism in literature is by defining the term realism. As its most simple and broad, realism is a representation of reality.

Before the 19th century, writers were not interested in representing everyday life in their works. It is important to note, before we go any further that, realism is not the same as plausibility. Realism is the representation of everyday experiences and activities of the characters whereas plausibility means created a plot that has internal coherence.

So, when we say that before the 1800s writers did not depict everyday life in their work, it does not mean that everything produced before then was in the realm of fantasy. It is simply, that writers did not often write about ordinary people leading ordinary lives, at least not in the level of detail as some did from the 19th century.

But depicting everyday life is not enough for realism, this depiction must lack any romanticizing

Although Realism began in painting and literature (prose and plays) and then, in the twentieth century, to cinema.

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