Existentialism Philosophy






Simone de Beauvoir: feminist vs. revelation
 

Known typically for her association with Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir exerted an enduring influence upon modern day feminism. "One is not born, but rather becomes a woman" is the primal theme in The Second Sex. Some may not deem her a major philosopher, but to humanists, socialists and Marxists, she is an original thinker. Philippe Knab deduces that in the Second Sex, “firstly, she put forward a series of empirical claims about women as the Other, that is, about what the role gender played in her society. Secondly, she puts forward a philosophical argument for why sexism is wrong. Clearly, the validity of the empirical part of the argument depends on one's historical cultural background. Some contemporary readers might feel inclined to discard Beauvoir’s feminism altogether because they do not recognize themselves or their society in her argument.

If a woman is a work in progress, becoming what a feminist envisions might seem consistent with that Sartre prime decree: "Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does."
Although, our nature is universal, the difference between the genders is frequently denied. For Simone de Beauvoir to be correct that "sexism is wrong", the ideal society which she advanced, compels a reputation of the very gender pronouncement that is found in the utmost revelation; namely the Bible. The accepted role for females is clearly stated in King of kings' Bible - Enoch 96:12 I have sworn to you, ye sinners, that neither mountain nor hill has been nor should be a servant to woman (Gen. 3:16-17 - women's liberation CONDEMNED).

She would argue that one’s responsibility for behavior is coherent with the freedom of the choice. "In Ethics of Ambiguity, Madame de Beauvoir penetrates at once to the central ethical problems of modern man: what shall he do, how shall he go about making values, in the face of this awareness of the absurdity of his existence? She forces the reader to face the absurdity of the human condition and then, having done so, proceeds to develop a dialectic of ambiguity which will enable him not to master the chaos, but to create with it." For the secular humanity, Simone de Beauvoir offers a reasoned and obtainable ethics based on an atheistic existentialism.

The crucial query for women in search for their professed emancipation rests upon their acceptance or rejection of divine authority. When Sartre concedes that our own will was not the cause of our being "thrown into this world", why would women deed that they know better? Feminists serve secular humanism when they believe that Marx knew more than God.

Philippe Knab then cites that a key to an understanding of Beauvoir’s analysis of sexism is her account for how women occupy the position of the Other. Beauvoir argues that, in order to define their identity as superior, men declared themselves master of Nature, which includes women. By doing this, men put women in a Hegelian slave position. In Beauvoir own words: "[W]oman has always been, if not the slave of the man, at least his vassal".

No wonder that the feminist view of the world is based upon a refusal to obey the will of the Supreme Being. The true struggle they persist in avoiding is their submission to The Plan for humanity. "The Women's Liberation Movement is the social struggle which aims to eliminate forms of oppression based on gender and to gain for women equal economic and social status and rights to determine their own lives as are enjoyed by men."

Knab sums up that “as such, the 'Other' refers to any marginalized, exploited, subjugated, dominated, or oppressed group . . . When Beauvoir argues that "One is not born, but rather becomes a woman," this simply means there is nothing in the human condition that assigns women to the role as the Other.” Is this conclusion valid or is this perspective simply a bias coming from a feminist?

The common confusion that Existentialism is always based upon atheism, Marxist politics and secular humanism ethics, prevents many from sincerely probing the intuitive insights that deserve an examination.

If rules exist and are valid as guides for meaningful, ethical and just conduct, who’s rules should we observe? The earnest feminist would have you adopt a guilt mindset that only total equality between the genders, can be the accepted standard. The extreme feminazi would strive to subjugate men into a revengeful version of the ‘masculine Other’. Both deny the created role, designed for a purpose and revealed as the proper way to achieve a feminine harmony with masculine union.

Simone de Beauvoir professed that only by accepting the ambiguity imbedded in the human condition, can we find the strength to live and the source of happiness. The ambiguity of the human condition is found in the “privilege … of being a sovereign and unique subject amidst a universe of objects, is what the individual shares with all his fellow-men. In turn an object for others, he is nothing more than an individual in the collectivity on which he depends.”

Why deny the dependability that comes from the Word of God, and substitute that trust with a flawed belief in the perfectability of mankind? Simone de Beauvoir is correct in her equivocalness in an ocean of absurd relativism. Nonetheless, she fails to replace the jubilation that comes from the gift of grace that accepts the order of design and the substance of purpose.

Existentialism that embrasses faith, consents to divine laws of nature and accepts the designed differences in gender, will attain mastery over the ambiguity. If not this way, mother nature would be in a constant ira state and mankind’s utopian equality might scream the universal pain of childbirth.

Gensis - 3:16 Unto the woman He (God) said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be subject] to thy husband, and HE (thy husband) SHALL RULE OVER THEE.

Who do you follow and where do you place your trust?

SARTRE – January 27, 2005


posted by SARTRE at 1/26/2005 |


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