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No More Nice GirlsCountercultural Essays$
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Ellen Willis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680795

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680795.001.0001

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Rebel Girl: What De Beauvoir Left Us

Rebel Girl: What De Beauvoir Left Us

Chapter:
(p.159) Rebel Girl: What De Beauvoir Left Us
Source:
No More Nice Girls
Author(s):

Ellen Willis

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816680795.003.0013

This chapter examines Simone de Beauvoir’s impact on feminist politics and feminism more generally. De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, remains the most cogent and thorough book of feminist theory yet written. With its exhaustive portrayal of the ways in which male domination and female subordination penetrate every aspect of everyday life and shape our cultural myths and fantasies, it offers detailed evidence for the basic claims of second wave feminism: that male supremacy is a coherent system of power relations, and that “the personal is political.” De Beauvoir’s influence pervades the early radical feminist critiques of Marxism. It was de Beauvoir who first pointed out the reductionism of Friedrich Engels’s attempt to trace women’s oppression to the formation of classes. She argues that “historical materialism takes for granted facts that call for explanation”.

Keywords:   feminist politics, feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, male domination, female subordination, power relations, Marxism, Friedrich Engels, historical materialism

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