ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Enlarged Product-Mix to the Rescue

 such as oppression and exploitation are the staple of the historical process which determines the destiny of man. The specificity of biology is the only additional element to differentiate the dialectics of the second sex. However much you and I may rail, there is no escape from the tyranny of this specificity; while each other element of exploitation can be tackled on the plane of human endeavour, this one cannot be. That the Second Sex is so described is an accident of culture, itself the outcome of the historical process; with very little bending of effort, it can be redesignated as the Other Sex. But the physical attributes of the sexes will not be altered thereby, mounting tantrums against Nature are for the present nonproductive inducements, whether progress in bio-physics and the molecular sciences will, in the course of the next couple of thousand years, make a breakthrough can only be speculated upon. For Simone de Beauvoir, as life reached its denouement, it was thus a kind of double tragedy, Read her adieu to Sartre, never mind the foundation of existential faith, the companion had been rendered into the wife. It is a magnificent story of an immutable fidelity, but it is also a magnificent negation of the belief which, through intellection, she had arrived at and had dug herself in. In the process, she also exposed the precarious basis of her sexual philosophy, You can render the Second Sex into the Other Sex, but whether you can travel beyond the semantic detour is hardly an issue of philosophical assertion waiting to be transformed, through active combat, into an empirical reality; that will depend upon the forces of nature, much beyond the force of circumstances shaping the hurlyburly of existential living. In the placement of history, Simone de Beauvoir will at most be a footnote to Jean-Paul Sartre. One can hardly conceive a greater affront to the Second Sex, but there it is.

Dear reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top