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2021.04.12.02

Simone de Beauvoir

… de Beauvoir considers the problem of woman and casual sex, that for many reasons, it is not an easy option for woman, those options being largely biological in nature, the threat of getting pregnant, the threat of picking up a man that will do her harm, the fact that paying for sex is not satisfying to woman the way it is to man…

if she is satisfied, she will want to hold on to her lover for a longer time. She is rarely completely sincere when she claims to envisage nothing more than a short-term adventure just for pleasure, because pleasure, far from freeing her, binds her; separation, even a so-called friendly one, wounds her.1

… i think of S and the idea that he is in a “friends with benefits” relation with G… i told him to be careful about that, that, i intuitively understand that G’s feelings may well go beyond the FWB status, woman, i seem to understand, is built differently in her attitudes about sexual connection… i am too, it was not impossible for me to have a one night stand, but in general, i preferred a partner i might like to wake up with in the morning, that i might be able to have a relationship with… i was only once ever capable of a sexual relationship with two women at once and the overlap was very brief…

… de Beauvoir gets into the idea that woman can have it all, family, career, fulfillment, that she is generally not successful at doing so… there are most likely some superwomen out there, who are unusually focused and efficient, but most are not nor should they have to be… the situation has gotten better in the United States, men are more willing to be domestic as they need to be to support their wives, but during the pandemic, it has been he wive’s careers that have been put on hold more often than the man’s due to the increased child care and education demands brought on by the closing of schools…

… a woman who desires a life of accomplishment, a career, is in for a mighty struggle and most will fall short of their goals… most will compromise… but in a way, that is true of us all… the difference, de Beauvoir points out, is that men make a different set of compromises than women, and maintain a career, women generally compromise out of a career…

Inasmuch as the woman wants to be woman, her independent status produces an inferiority complex; inversely, her femininity leads her to doubt her professional opportunities.2

In general, the superior caste is hostile to the parvenus of the inferior caste: whites will not go to see a black doctor, nor men a woman doctor; but individuals from the lower caste, imbued with the feeling of their generic inferiority and often full of resentment of someone who has prevailed over destiny, will also prefer to turn to the masters; in particular, most women, steeped in the adoration of the male, avidly seek him in the doctor, lawyer, office manager.3

… as i read the passage above, i realize myself as an exception, i prefer women in most situations where i require assistance, i have had women is doctors for over a decade now, and i prefer it that way, i fear the judgment of men doctors, the idea that i have to be a man with a man, i am not a man’s man, i do not like dealing with men in most circumstances, largely because i favor the feminine in myself…

Sure of themselves, they reckon that the book or painting will be successful without effort; timid, they are discouraged by the least criticism; they do not know that error can open the road to progress, they take it for an irreparable catastrophe, like a malformation. This is why they often overreact, which is harmful to themselves: they become irritated and discouraged when recognizing their errors rather than drawing valuable lessons from them.4

… this describes H and her bread baking efforts… she easily got very discouraged rather than take her failures as opportunity to gain information for the next try, i put a lot of energy into cajoling and supporting her, telling her it’s a process and that she had to give herself over to it… she got there… at the same time, the perfect classic French Omelette is something i’ve been working on for nearly six months now, and i am not there yet… almost daily i make them almost daily i fall short… i am not discouraged, i accept that it is a difficult skill to master and that time and repetition is the only way mastery can be achieved…

Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom.5

… i like this quote… not sure why, it rings true…

… damn, i thought i would finish de Beauvoir this morning, i stuck to it as i was approaching the end fo the page count, but, there is a conclusion that seems much like the actor overplaying a death scene… tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, at some point i will finish… i have another 23 pages to go…

  1. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 733). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  2. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 738). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  3. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 739). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  4. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 743). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  5. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 748). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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