Simone de Beauvoir and the Race/Gender Analogy in The Second Sex Revisited

In Laura Hengehold & Nancy Bauer (eds.), A Companion to Simone de Beauvoir. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 47–58 (2017)
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Abstract

In this chapter I problematize Beauvoir's analogical analyses in The Second Sex, arguing that her utilization of the race/gender analogy omits the experiences and oppressions of Black women. Furthermore, taking into account select secondary literature that emphasizes these issues, I argue that several of Beauvoir's white feminist defenders and critics share in common their non‐engagement with Black feminist literature on Beauvoir. Put another way, Black feminists who explicitly take up Beauvoir in their writings have remained largely unacknowledged in the secondary literature on Beauvoir by white feminists. As a corrective to this erasure, I highlight the scholarly contributions of Black feminists including Loraine Hansberry, Chikwenye Ogunyemi, Deborah King, Oyeronke Oyewumi, and bell hooks.

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Kathryn Gines
Pennsylvania State University

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