Kathryn Gines (RSA)
Kathryn T. Gines, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy
Simone de Beauvoir, Oyèrónké Oyewùmí and Maria Lugones: Histories, Facts, and Myths of Woman/Women
This talk examines and challenges Simone de Beauvoir’s analysis of the situation and oppression of “woman” in The Second Sex. In this text Beauvoir explores the “great historical defeat of the female sex” which is attributed in part to new tools disrupting the gendered division of labor, the domination of men, paternal rights replacing maternal rights, and the advent of patriarchal family structures founded on private property. She also examines “history”, “facts” and “myths” that have contributed to woman’s situation as Other. I complicate the narrative that emerges from her analysis by expanding the histories, facts and myths from which we can derive source materials about “woman” to include the situations and oppressions of women of color. More specifically, I turn to the counter-narratives offered by Oyèrónké Oyewùmí and Maria Lugones.