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Thursday, June 24, 2010

The First Sex

No, it isn't the loss of innocense. It is the men. The Second Sex being us, women. "The Second Sex" as a term for women was introduced in a book of the same title by Simone de Beauvoir, a leading French feminist, who was also the lover of Jean Paul Sartre, the great existentialist. Sigh. Their conversations must have been oh so much better than sex.

No, de Beauvoir and Sartre were never married to each other. Sartre, though, was legally bound to another. But Simone thinks of marriage as "The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength, each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving. It is even more deceptive to dream of gaining through the child a plenitude, a warmth, a value, which one is unable to create for oneself; the child brings joy only to the woman who is capable of disinterestedly desiring the happiness of another, to one who without being wrapped up in self seeks to transcend her own existence.”

And that "one is not born a woman, one becomes one," de Beauvoir said. So what was I after my mother had successfully delivered me into this world? A bag of bones, a pound of flesh and a bottle of blood collectively known as an un-gendered "baby"? Come on, Simone! What the hell are you talking about? Do you mean "woman" is a title that one earns like CEO or General or Bitch or Jerk? Can't it be inherited like that of a King or Queen or Prince or Princess? Or by virtue of our make, our differences more than similarities, can't we, by default, call ourselves either a man or a woman? Or do we call all people with vagina "girls" until they earn a doctorate degree in womanhood? I hate feminism. Come on, Simone, why don't I introduce you to Shakespeare. What's in a name?

Now, let's talk about the first sex.

1 comment:

  1. I just realized "The Sanctuary of Padre Pio" is now found between The First Sex and The Second Sex." Di ko po sinasadya!!