Simone de Beauvoir

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Next Chapter

Most don't know of Simone, let alone know that there's a bridge named after her in Paris, France.  I'd like to think Parisians and feminists are proud to know of her.  I recall the first time I saw her portrait and, honestly, my reaction was that she bore an uncanny resemblance to Wallis Simpson.
Wallis Simpson

Simone de Beauvoir
Maybe it's their center-parted, pulled-back, tightly twisted and wind-defying secured hairstyles. Or hair color. Maybe it's the look of certainty they have in their eyes and the determination with which they lived. 

Both ladies have had an impact on women today. 

Simpson may be for some a dramatic, romantic figure for it was because of her a king gave up his throne.  Ironically, the king's niece became queen of that country and continues to celebrate her 60th year as HRH Queen Elizabeth II.  How many women long for the kind of love that King Edward VIII felt for Mrs. Simpson?  He gave up E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  Kingdom, wealth, respect of the royal family and court.  For a twiced-divorced woman, who was also, perish the thought, an AMERICAN!  In the end, she lived life as she wanted and with whom she wanted.  I'm sure the extensive collection of jewelry softened the blow of knowing she'd never be Queen of England. There isn't a bridge that honors Simpson that I know of.  There are numerous gossipy writings and scathing accounts of her partying ways, though.

Simone de Beauvoir, on the other hand, philosophized the world that a woman and a man should be treated equally.  According to, "Simone de Beauvoir revealed herself as a woman of formidable courage and integrity, whose life supported her thesis: the basic options of an individual must be made on the premises of an equal vocation for man and woman founded on a common structure of their being, independent of their sexuality." 

Simpson, it is said, used her feminine wiles to get what she wanted; de Beauvoir used her mind and her pen.

So I suggest that we try and follow in the footsteps of deBeauvoir. 

Why?  I'm not going to get into the history of feminism, but suffice it to say that because of Simone, I, as a women, can share my thoughts on this blog and it should be treated the same as that of any man. We are all equals, despite physical abilities.  Sure men can do one thing standing up.  Big deal.  Personally I enjoy taking a few minutes to sit.  Maybe because I've been on my feet doing nine other things in the last ten minutes and a chance to sit is welcomed.  Woman can give birth; I don't think that makes us 'better'.  It makes us incredible.  Talk about a miracle!  Carry a living being around, nurture it and bring it into the world.  Not 'better' but different.   Men and women are created differently and together, they work well.  So why must we designate one better than the other?  Why pay one more than the other?  Why subject one to ridicule, abuse, and even death, at the hands of the other?

Follow in the footsteps of Simpson, and where does it get you?  Ostracized, banished, and the subject of books.  Be inspired by de Beauvoir and you write your own books! 

And then there's the whole bridge thing to consider.....