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.
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 [ . . . ]
A collective of 100 prominent French women including famed actress Catherine Deneuve have denounced the puritanism that followed in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, declaring that men should be free to hit on women [ . . . ]
PARIS — Even as the Harvey Weinstein scandal has forced Americans to confront the reality of sexual harassment and assault, it has more than touched a nerve here in France.In a country where flirting is a way of life, and where a unique blend of Gallic machismo and age-old codes of chivalry can be seen in virtually every corner cafe, women, it would seem, have had enough.A social media campaign erupted here almost simultaneously with the appearance of #MeToo in the United States — except French women took it further with #balancetonporc, which loosely translated means “squeal on your pig.” As in the United States, after women began naming and shaming their attackers, some of the most prominent men in French public life stood accused of sexual assault [ . . . ] More at: Weinstein scandal sparks an uproar in France – The Washington Post