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50 sentences of Simone de Beauvoir to understand her thinking

50 sentences of Simone de Beauvoir to understand her thinking

February 21, 2024

Although throughout history feminism has been present in diverse people who have defended equal rights, it was not until the 19th and beginning of the 20th century that it began to spread and provoke real changes in society, such as suffrage and the right to vote or access to education or the world of work.

There were many people who caused the arrival of modern feminism and its evolution to the current situation. One of the most iconic people linked to her evolution is Simone de Beauvoir, a philosopher and writer who fought to denounce the situation of inequality of women with respect to men and which is considered one of the precursors of contemporary feminism.


In this article you can find 50 phrases of Simone de Beauvoir that will help you achieve a better understanding of your thinking.

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50 phrases by Simone de Beauvoir

Below you can see a selection of phrases by Simone de Beauvoir, ideal for understanding his way of conceiving feminism and politics .

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1. I would like each human life to be pure and transparent freedom

In this sentence the author reflects her hope that the human being can be free.


2. Knowing oneself is not a guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can give us the courage to fight for it

Knowing ourselves makes us know who we are and what we want, giving us an objective to fight for and try to be happy.

3. The secret of happiness in love consists less in being blind than in closing your eyes when you need

For the author love is not idolizing the other person and not see any failure or error, but be able to love the other person taking into account that the failures are there.

4. Between two individuals harmony is never given, but must be conquered indefinitely

Maintaining a relationship, whatever the type of link we are talking about, is a constant effort for it to survive.

5. That nothing defines us. Let nothing hold us. Let freedom be our own substance

We can love or identify with something or someone, but we must remain ourselves. Freedom is a fundamental aspect for this author .


6. The problem of women has always been a problem for men

It is one of the most famous phrases of the writer, in which reflects the difficulty of women in a patriarchal society centered on the figure and point of view of the male.

7. A free woman is just the opposite of an easy woman

The author considers that the fact that the woman accommodates herself and try to adjust to gender roles It is what does not let her be free.

8. The truth is one and the error, multiple

This phrase shows us the belief that pursuing the truth is a complex feat in which we can fail in many occasions and in many ways.

9. Beauty is even harder to explain than happiness

The concept of beauty is abstract and subjective, as well as changing over time even in the same person.

10. There is a secret to living happily with the beloved: do not pretend to modify it

A common mistake that many people make is to try to change their partner: make them a person they are not. That can generate deep frustrations and suffering for both parties. It is necessary to love someone for what he is and not for how we would like him to be.

11. No woman is born: it becomes so

Probably the most remembered phrase of Simone de Beauvoir , makes reference to that for her the woman must configure her own concept and identity of the term "woman", leaving behind the vision of her as identified by her relationship with others.

12. In itself, homosexuality is as limited as heterosexuality: the ideal would be to be able to love a woman or a man, any human being, without feeling fear, inhibition or obligation

The author defends the need that every person can love whoever wants to love is of the opposite sex or of the same, without needing to be restricted in a specific category.

13. The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our understanding of the world and the sketch of our project

Our body is seen as another element in the process of understanding our reality and approaching what we want to be or do.

14. Through work it has been like the woman has been able to cross the distance that separates her from man. Work is the only thing that can guarantee complete freedom

This phrase establishes the need for access to the labor market by women, so that he has the same opportunities as man and can be independent.

15. Only after women begin to feel in this land as at home, you see a Rosa Luxemburg, a Madame Curie.They show dazzlingly that it is not the inferiority of women that has determined their insignificance

Referents are essential in order to be reflected in someone and be able to fight for something. The fact that the woman has been little valued is not because they are inferior but to other circumstances.

16. The family is a nest of perversions

The traditional concept of family includes different aspects and roles of sex and gender, presenting the man as strong, resistant, hard, aggressive and hardworking and the woman as submissive, obedient, affectionate, weak and dedicated to the care of the home.

17. The nature of man is evil. Your kindness is culture acquired

The role of culture and education was always important for de Beauvoir, considering the author that allows growth and virtue.

18. The fact that there is a privileged minority does not compensate or excuse the situation of discrimination in which the rest of his companions live

Simone de Beauvoir considered that it was necessary to have total equality between all and that one should not be allowed to exploit others.

19. It is permissible to violate a culture, but on condition of having a child

The author believes that culture can be changed as long as it is to improve it and boost its development.

20. Charm is what some have until they start to believe it

This phrase is a criticism of many people's narcissism.

21. What is an adult? A child inflated by age

This phrase tells us what it means to be an adult, the acquisition of knowledge and experiences that have changed the way we are and see the world.

22. Far from the absence of God authorizing any license, on the contrary, the fact that man is abandoned on earth is the reason why his acts are commitments

The author believes that human beings should commit themselves to their actions and to the world, being especially responsible for their own actions.

23. Man is neither a stone nor a plant, and can not justify himself by his mere presence in the world. Man is man only by his refusal to remain passive, by the impulse that projects him from the present to the future and directs him towards things with the purpose of dominating them and giving them form. For man, to exist means to reshape existence. Living is the will to live

This phrase aims to show the human need to change the world and the importance of the will in the process of living.

24. Let us not deceive ourselves, power does not tolerate more than the information that is useful to it. Denies the right of information to newspapers that reveal miseries and rebellions

The author reflects on the manipulation of information who realizes the power.

25. Feminism is a way of living individually and fighting collectively

Another well-known phrase by Simone de Beauvoir, proposes feminism as a way of defend the rights of the collectives at the same time that it supposes a way in which each one can see and act in life.

26. Writing is a skill that is learned by writing

Nothing is achieved without effort, and everything needs sacrifice and time to reach the marked goal.

27. I am unable to believe in infinity, but I also do not accept the finite

A phrase that impels us towards nonconformity, not to be left alone in the prefixed options but we can create new options.

28. No one is more arrogant towards women, more aggressive or disdainful, than the man who feels anxious about his manhood

It is a reflection on the need of some people to make their alleged virtues known by attacking others.

29. Live in such a way that nothing you do should merit the reproach or condemnation of those around you

It is important to live according to what we believe and be free, regardless of what they will say.

30. The obedient slave chooses to obey

The author indicates that whoever obeys what is ordered does it because they want, since it can be revealed.

31. Wrinkles on the skin are that indescribable something that comes from the soul

A reflection on the passage of time and aging.

32. It is absolutely impossible to face any human problem with a mind devoid of prejudice

The human being tends to form judgments about things in advance, with what pretending to be objective is not possible.

33. There is no natural death: nothing that happens to man is natural since his mere presence questions the world. Death is an accident, and even if men know and accept it, it is undue violence

A reflection on death.

34. One of the benefits that oppression offers oppressors is that the humblest of them feel superior: a poor white man in the southern United States has the consolation of saying he is not a dirty black man. The luckiest whites skillfully exploit this pride. In the same way, the most mediocre of men is considered as a demigod in front of women

This phrase expresses how oppression is used as a way to maintain a position of superiority in front of the world, as a defense mechanism against the feeling of weakness and helplessness.

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35. The most scandalous thing about scandal is that one gets used to it

However rare and striking a phenomenon is, if it is repeated over time people tend to get used to it.

36. The oppressor would not be so strong if he did not have accomplices among the oppressed themselves

A critique of the fact that much of the power of machismo is due to the fact that many women considered women inferior and should submit.

37. In a certain sense the mystery of the incarnation is repeated in each woman; Every child that is born is a god who becomes a man

The human being is free at birth, but the passage of time configures it in a certain way that makes him see the world in a standardized way.

38. No biological, physical or economic destiny defines the figure that the human female has within the society; the civilization as a whole is the one who elaborates that intermediate product between the male and the gelding that is qualified as feminine

In this sentence Simone de Beauvoir expresses that the concept of woman or woman is a construct that has been developed and considered secondarily and without interest until now.

39. Change your life today, do not bet on the future. Act now, without delay.

A criticism towards procrastination. If you want something, do it now and do not expect others to do it in the future.

40. When I was a child, when I was a teenager, the books saved me from despair: that convinced me that culture was the highest value

The author expresses the importance of culture in the face of teaching how to fight and live .

41. The day a woman can not love with her weakness but with her strength, not escape from herself but find herself, not humiliate herself but affirm herself, that day love will be for her, as for man, source of life and not a deadly danger

The author reflects her opinion of the need for both sexes to see love as a strength, not as something imposed by another. Criticizes the view that love was what the man feels for the woman and that it should or should not consent instead of being something that the two members of a couple decide freely.

42. When a contradiction is impossible to solve except for a lie, then we know that it is a door

Another phrase that expresses the idea that it is necessary to move forward and explore in the search for solutions.

43. When an individual remains inferior, the fact is that it becomes inferior

This phrase reflects that if a person considers himself inferior and allows others to treat her as such , in a way it is.

44. That's what I consider true generosity: you give everything of yourself and still always feel that it costs you nothing

The essence of generosity is to give without asking for anything in return and without the fact that giving is a nuisance. Otherwise, we would not be faced with real generosity.

45. No existence can be validly realized if it limits itself

Living alone for and for oneself is not healthy, it leads to selfish and harmful attitudes towards oneself and towards the world. We are social beings and as such we need each other. Contributing allows us to realize ourselves as people.

46. ​​The man defines himself as a human being and the woman as feminine. When she behaves like a human being is said to be imitating the male

The author considers that the historical concept of woman has been used in a purely instrumental way, not considering the person but property .

47. Happy people have no history

In this life, things are not usually achieved without a struggle, which implies suffering and effort. Who is presented as happy with what you have will not try to improve your situation.

48. It seemed to me that land would not have been habitable if it had not had anyone to admire.

This phrase makes it clear that it is necessary to be able to admire and love other people in order to inspire themselves and see life as something worthwhile.

49. Life has value whenever the lives of others are valued, through love, friendship, indignation and compassion

For the author it is necessary to know how to love and value others or else life itself loses meaning and meaning.

50. Tragedies are fine for a while: you're worried, you're curious, you feel good. And then it becomes repetitive, it does not progress, it becomes terribly boring. It's very boring, even for me

Seeing the bad things in life is necessary and can lead to finding a solution, but focusing only on the negative can end up generating victimhood and preventing progress.


An Introduction to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex- A Macat Literature Analysis (February 2024).


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