Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, commonly known as Simone de Beauvoir, was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist.
Simone de Beauvoir was born on January 9, 1908, in Paris, France. At the age of 21, she formed a romantic partnership with Jean-Paul Sartre, who played an influential role in the remainder of her life and her philosophical beliefs. De Beauvoir published many works of fiction and non-fiction aligned with existentialist ideas. Her best-known work is 1949's The Second Sex, a feminist text. She died in Paris on April 14, 1986.
De Beauvoir and Sartre shared a life-long romantic partnership. As best-friends/lovers, they often influenced other's work and philosophy because of their common interests and beliefs. They did not believe in the institution of marriage because they did not want their lives to be dominated by institutional norms. They often dated other people and participated in a 3-way relationship.
Simone de Beauvoir gained infamy in her era for her book, Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex). There was immense controversy when it was published because it evaluates reasons why women's role in society was characterized as inferior to men. Some critics characterized the book as pornography, and the Vatican placed it on the Index of Forbidden Books.
~We create ourselves~ In regard to existentialism and The Second Sex, the essence of her book discusses how a female's perspective of herself and her body changes over time according to society's attitude on women. There is no definite answer to female subjugation; it depends upon whether the individual sees herself as a free subject or as an object of society.
The Second Sex has traditionally been read as an application of existentialism to the problem of women. Beauvoir's central thesis: that under patriarchy woman is the Other, and that 'one is not born a woman, but becomes one.'