Masculinity as an Impasse

Beauvoir’s Understanding of Men’s Situation in The Second Sex

In: Simone de Beauvoir Studies
Manon Garcia Freie Universität Germany Berlin

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The Second Sex can be read as a compelling philosophical exploration of masculinity. Beauvoir proposes to understand masculinity as a situation. It is an impasse as men are stuck in a position where they seek recognition from women, but they construct women in such a way that the recognition women can give them is incomplete and unsatisfying. This understanding of masculinity is crucial for Beauvoir’s emancipatory agenda and suggests that men have nonaltruistic reasons to take part in feminist movements.

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