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Sex, Love, and LettersWriting Simone de Beauvoir$
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Judith G. Coffin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750540

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750540.001.0001

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Second Takes on The Second Sex

Second Takes on The Second Sex

(p.155) 6 Second Takes on The Second Sex
Sex, Love, and Letters

Judith G. Coffin

Cornell University Press

This chapter recounts Simone de Beauvoir's interview with the magazine France Observateur regarding the future of women and feminism in France in 1960. It talks about Marie Craipeau, Simone de Beauvoir's interviewer, who plainly considered the future of women dim and expressed how women are disappointingly traditional, slow to “adapt” to a rapidly changing world, and ill-at-ease with modernity. It also explains how women were easily dissuaded from taking on ambitious projects and readily diverted from assuming self-sovereignty or facing their freedom. The chapter describes Beauvoir's vexed relationship with the members of her public, which was a recurring theme of her career as a writer, an engaged intellectual, and a feminist. It emphasizes how the 1960 France Observateur interview reiterated Beauvoir's earlier diagnosis in The Second Sex of the contradictions of femininity and political repercussions.

Keywords:   Simone de Beauvoir, Marie Craipeau, self-sovereignty, feminist, France Observateur, femininity

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