Hypatia 31 (2):319-333 (2016)

Stephanie Rivera Berruz
Marquette University
Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex has been heralded as a canonical text of feminist theory. The book focuses on providing an account of the lived experience of woman that generates a condition of otherness. However, I contend that it falls short of being able to account for the multidimensionality of identity insofar as Beauvoir's argument rests upon the comparison between racial and gendered oppression that is understood through the black–white binary. The result of this framework is the imperceptibility of identities at the crossroads between categories of race and gender. Hence, the goal of this article is to explore the margins of Beauvoir's work in order to decenter the “other” of The Second Sex and make known what is made imperceptible by its architecture, using Latina identity as an interventional guide. I conclude that given the prominence of The Second Sex in feminist theory, this shortcoming must be addressed if feminist theorists are to use it responsibly.
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12226
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