Simone de Beauvoir | The Second Sex (I)

Simone de Beauvoir on girl and her diary:

illustration by Caitlin Shearer

Others announce: «To be read after my death» or «To be burned when I die». The little girl’s sense of secrecy that developed at prepuberty only grows in importance. She closes herself up in fierce solitude: she refuses to reveal to those around her the hidden self that she considers to be her real self and that is in fact an imaginary character: she plays at being a dancer like Tolstoy’s Natasha, or a saint like Marie Lenéru, or simply that singular wonder that is self. There is still an enormous difference between this heroine and the objective face that her parents and friends recognise in her. She is also convinced that she is misunderstood: her relationship with herself becomes even more passionate: she becomes intoxicated with her isolation, feels different, superior, exceptional: she promises that the future will take revenge on the mediocrity of her present life. From this narrow and pretty existence she escapes by dreams. She has always loved to dream: she gives herself up to this penchant more than ever; she uses poetic clichés to mask a universe that intimidates her, she sanctifies the male sex with moonlight, rose-coloured clouds, velvet nights; she turns her body into a marble, jasper or mother-of-pearl temple; she tells herself foolish fairy tales.

– Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex {The Girl}

Sarah Bakewell | Στο καφέ των υπαρξιστών: ελευθερία, ύπαρξη και κοκτέιλ βερίκοκο

Sabina Socol

Περί Simone de Beauvoir ο λόγος…

Ως παιδί, ήθελε να καταβροχθίσει καθετί που έβλεπε. Κοιτούσε λαίμαργα τις βιτρίνες των ζαχαροπλαστείων – «τη διαυγή λάμψη των καραμελωμένων φρούτων, τη νεφελώδη στιλπνότητα των ζελέ, την καλειδοσκοπική διάταξη των ζαχαρωτών – πράσινα, κόκκινα, πορτοκαλί, βιολετιά: ορεγόμουνα τα ίδια χρώματα όσο και τις απολαύσεις που μου υπόσχονταν». Ευχόταν να ήταν όλο το σύμπαν βρώσιμο για να μπορεί να τα φάει, όπως έφαγαν από το ζαχαρωτό σπιτάκι ο Χάνσελ και η Γκρέτελ. Ακόμα και ως ενήλικη, έγραφε: «Ήθελα να ροκανίσω ολάνθιστες αμυγδαλιές και να μασουλώ δαγκωνιές από το αμυγδαλωτό ουράνιο τόξο του ηλιοβασιλέματος».

– Sarah Bakewell, Στο καφέ των υπαρξιστών: ελευθερία, ύπαρξη και κοκτέιλ βερίκοκο

Simone de Beauvoir | She Came to Stay (II)

Last Year at Marienbad | dir. Alain Resnais (1961)

‘It always interests me,’ said Pierre with astonishment.

‘But you never ask me questions spontaneously.’

‘I feel that as soon as you have something to say, you say it to me,’ said Pierre.

He stared at her a little uneasily.

‘When did it happen?’

‘What?’ said Françoise.

‘That I didn’t ask question?’

‘Several times recently,’ said Françoise with a little laugh. You looked as if you were thinking of somthing else.’

She hesitated, doubtful. Confronted with Pierre’s trust, she was ashamed. Every time she had kept silence with regard to him she had prepared an ambush into which he had quietly fallen. He did not suspect that she had been laying traps for him. Wasn’t she the one who had changed? Wasn’t it she who was lying when she spoke of blissful love, of happiness, of jealousy overcome? Her words, her behaviour no longer corresponded fully to her deeper feelings. And he continued to believe her. Was that faith or indifference?

– Simone de Beauvoir, She Came to Stay


Simone de Beauvoir | She Came to Stay (I)

Paris in the 1940s | Robert Doisneau

At the next table a rather tired blonde and a very young man were affectionately holding hands; the youth was talking ardently in a low voice, the woman smiling cautiously, without letting a single wrinkle furrow her once pretty face; the little professional from the hotel was dancing with a sailor, clinging tightly against him, her eyes half-closed; the attractive brunette seated on her bar stool, was munching banana slices, with an expression of boredom. Françoise smiled proudly. Each one of these men, each one of these women present here tonight was completely absorbed in living a moment of his or her insignificant individual existence. Xavière was dancing. Elisabeth was shaken by convulsions of anger and despair. And I – here I am at the very heart of the dance-hall – impersonal and free. I am watching all these lives and all these faces. If I were to turn away from them, they would disintegrate at once like a deserted landscape.

– She Came to Stay, Simone de Beauvoir

Inspiration | Influential Women (I)

Στις 8 Μαρτίου γιορτάζουμε την Παγκόσμια Ημέρα της Γυναίκας. Είναι μια μέρα που αφορά στα δικαιώματα των γυναικών – στη θέση μας στην κοινωνία. Ευκαιρία λοιπόν να μοιραστώ μαζί σου μερικές γυναίκες που θεωρώ πως αποτελούν θετικά πρότυπα για κάθε μια από εμάς εκεί έξω.

Σήμερα θα τις παρουσιάσω πολύ συνοπτικά, αλλά υπόσχομαι να γράψω χωριστά post για την κάθε μια ώστε να τις γνωρίσεις καλύτερα. Άφησε μου σε σχόλιο για ποια θες να μάθεις περισσότερα.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Patrick Demarchelier for Vanity Fair Magazine

We teach girls shame. Close your legs, cover yourself; we make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. As so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up—and this is the worst thing we do to girls—they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.

– We Should All Be Feminists –

Frida Kahlo

The Life & Times Of Frida Kahlo (2005) dir. by Amy Stechler | Frida Kahlo from an unsent letter to Diego Rivera

source: Dial N for Noir

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir photographed by Brassaï

If the feminine issue is so absurd, is because the male’s arrogance made it «a discussion».

– The Second Sex –

Gloria Steinem

Yale Joel—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

 Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.

J.K. Rowling

Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.

Virginia Woolf

Suppose, for instance, that men were only represented in literature as the lovers of women, and were never the friends of men, soldiers, thinkers, dreamers; how few parts in the plays of Shakespeare could be allotted to them; how literature would suffer! We might perhaps have most of Othello; and a good deal of Antony; but no Caesar, no Brutus, no Hamlet, no Lear, no Jaques –literature would be incredibly impoverished, as indeed literature is impoverished beyond our counting by the doors that have been shut upon women.

– A Room of One’s Own –

Emma Watson

Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom.

Αυτές ήταν και είναι μερικές απ’ τις γυναίκες της δημόσιας σφαίρας που με τη ζωή, το έργο και τον λόγο τους έχουν αποτελέσει θετικό παράδειγμα για εμένα. Είναι φεμινιστικά πρότυπα · και ναι, ο φεμινισμός δεν είναι βρώμικη λέξη. Μην το ξεχνάς.