Quotes by Simone De Beauvoir

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Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 April 14, 1986) was a French author, philosopher, and feminist. The scope of her work is broad; she was a novelist, political theorist, essayist, as well as biographer and autobiographer. She is best known for her work Le Deuxime Sexe (The Second Sex, 1949) which contained detailed analysis of women's oppression. more

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Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay.

The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength --each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving. It is even more deceptive to dream of gaining through the child a plenitude, a warmth, a value, which one is unable to create for oneself; the child brings joy only to the woman who is capable of disinterestedly desiring the happiness of another, to one who without being wrapped up in self seeks to transcend her own existence.
Sex pleasure in woman is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken.
One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.
When an individual is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he does become inferior.
What is an adult? A child blown up by age.
One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius.
All oppression creates a state of war.
It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself. It seems unfair. You can't assume the responsibility for everything you do --or don't do.
Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable.
Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself.
It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life. Old age is life's parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time.
To make oneself an object, to make oneself passive, is a very different thing from being a passive object.
Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.
Buying is a profound pleasure.
To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job.
The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women.
In order for the artist to have a world to express he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men.
Since it is the Other within us who is old, it is natural that the revelation of our age should come to us from outside --from others. We do not accept it willingly.
I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.
I have never come across one single woman, either in life or in books, who has looked upon her own old age cheerfully.
At sixty-five one is not merely twenty years older than one was at forty-five. One has exchanged an indefinite future--and one had a tendency to look upon it as infinite--for a finite future. In earlier days we could see no boundary-mark upon the horizon: now we do see one.
At the Cours Desir, on the eve of our First Communion, we were exhorted to go and cast ourselves at our mothers' feet and ask them to forgive our faults; not only had I not done this, but when my sister's turn came I persuaded her not to do so either.
Man is but mildly interested in his immediate surroundings because he can find self-expression in projects. Whereas woman is confined within the conjugal sphere; it is for her to change that prison into a realm.
However deferential and polite the man may be, the first penetration is always a violation. Because she desires caresses on lips or breasts, or even longs for a known or imagined pleasure more specifically sexual, what happens is that a man's sex organ tears the young girl and penetrates into regions where it has not been desired.
The idea of entering upon a life of my own intoxicated me. Until now I had been growing up on the fringe of adult life, as it were; from now on I should have my satchel, my textbooks, my exercise books and my homework.
For the old, it is a never-ending grief to lose those who are younger than themselves and whom they associate with their own future, above all if they are their children, or if they have brought them up: the death of a child, of a small child, is the sudden ruin of a whole undertaking; it means that all the hopes and sacrifices centred upon him are pointless, utterly in vain.
The crisis of the menopause rudely cuts the life of woman in two; the resulting discontinuity is what gives woman the illusion of a "new life"; it is another time that opens before her, so she enters upon it with the fervor of a convert; she is converted to love, to the godly life, to art, to humanity; in these entities she loses herself and magnifies herself.
My body was changing, and my life was changing too: my past was being left behind.
Women perceive the child's first movement with varied feelings, this kick delivered at the portals of the world, against the uterine wall that shuts him off from the world. One woman is lost in wonder at this signal announcing the presence of an independent being; another may feel repugnance at containing a stranger.

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