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Outcry over The Second Sex

In: Simone de Beauvoir Studies
Author:
Sylvie Chaperon Université de Toulouse—Jean Jaurès France Toulouse

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4614-7054
Translator:
Sophia Millman Université de Toulouse—Jean Jaurès France Toulouse

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Abstract

This article explores the critical reception of The Second Sex in France in 1949. Situating debates about the book in the context of the Cold War and the intellectual hegemony of existentialism, the author analyzes the main points of disagreement among different political factions—traditional Catholics, communists, members of the noncommunist left, and progressive Christians. She argues that the sexual questions Simone de Beauvoir raised in the public sphere fueled the primary points of contention.

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