Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Woman: Myth and Reality, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1199

Essay

Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex is considered to be one of the fundamental sources that shape modern feminist views. The core value of her work is the investigation of the real meaning of the concept of gender in contemporary society, and its impact on women’s role in society, and the relationships between males and females. This paper is the study of Beauvoir’s essay, Woman: Myth and Reality, which is a part of her well-known book. The goal of this essay is to analyze Beauvoir’s argument considering the so called “myth of the Eternal Feminine”, and interpret Emily Young’s article about female body images set by the contemporary popular culture through the lens of Beauvoir’s work.

Simone de Beauvoir introduces the concept of the myth of the Eternal Feminine, a combination of characteristics and stereotypes considering women, which are often contradictious. The concept that a human being can incorporate all the qualities, thought to be intrinsic to femininity, is implausible; therefore, the woman’s inner essence is viewed as mysterious and even mystical. The truth is that women are different. Nevertheless, in case the behavior of flesh-and-blood women contradicts to the societal image of female behavior, this is femininity of the given woman that is put in question rather then the concept of femininity itself.

Women are different from men; from time to time their behavior seems unexplainable to their fathers, brothers and husbands. In a male-dominated society, the viewpoint men hold is considered to be the ultimate one; therefore, from the mystery women behavior is for men, a global Mystery of Femininity was born. The truth is that men often hide their ignorance towards women’s desires and feelings, and lack of mental capacity to understand by the presence of this mystery. When one lacks time and effort to understand something, announcing it indefinable is the perfect way to deal with it.

The real reason for which Simone de Beauvoir’s Woman: Myth and Reality is of such a great importance for modern women studies, is that it debunks the myth of female mysteriousness. For centuries, women were viewed as inconceivable creatures because of some inherent qualities their gender granted them. The author’s thesis is that the woman does not become anything just because she is a woman. According to de Beauvoir, the answer to the question “what she is?” cannot be found in woman’s inner realm, just because the human being is not anything at itself. Human, regardless of gender, is to be measured by his or her acts. Woman remains a mystery only until she has not revealed itself through her deeds. That is why, according to de Beauvoir, female colleague or comrade is not a mystery. Therefore, the feminine nature is mysterious as women’s role in society has for centuries been a passive one; she is the one, who accepts the deeds and goods males bring. She does not act and, therefore, cannot say for sure what she is.

“…in the company of living enigma man remains alone with his dreams, his hopes, his fears, his love, his vanity…is for many a more attractive experience than an authentic relation with a human being” (787-788) – this words reveal the true role of mystery in relationship. When one lives with the creature that is inconceivable by its nature, there is no need to put efforts to conceive it. Announcing feminine nature a mystery rescues men from the burden of paying attention, sympathizing, and seeing into the women’s feelings, desires and motives. When the woman is unknown one can endow her with any virtue or vice he wants to see in her; announcing her unknowable allows keeping this illusion forever.

One of the author’s strongest arguments is that the essence of a human being is revealed through his or her deeds. Social roles one play, are indeed descriptive of one’s personality. Nevertheless, it is clear that in her works de Beauvoir described bourgeois women, who lived in the first half of the twentieth century in Europe and the USA. Contemporary women have lots of opportunities to “reveal” themselves, to find out what they are through their performance.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of the twenty-first century the notion of Feminine Mystery has not lost its meaning. The inner essences of female doctors, lawyers, engineers and programmers are still covered with the veil of feminine mystery in male apprehension. Therefore, there should be something more than action that forms the essence of a human being. It is obvious that he views of the world, and perception of some basic concepts, like love, success and family, women share, are often somehow tied to physiological and psychological qualities conditioned by gender. The nature of this tie should become the subject of further research, which can remove the veil of mystery from one more aspect of the phenomenon of Feminine Mystery.

Emily Young’s article about the impact of standards set by pop culture for the female body images describes the appalling situation that exists in contemporary U.S society. Girls as young as seven are already concerned by their size; unrealistic images of girls featured in movies, music videos, magazines and advertisements make millions of females diet, workout and make plastic surgeries in order to achieve the standards set by popular culture. This phenomenon can be seen as one of the manifestations of the principle described by de Beauvoir. She says that individuals often project the values they adhere into the myth; in this case, a woman is identified with the notion of Beauty. As it was already mentioned, the standards of beauty set by the mass media are unattainable for most women.

Young’s article conveys the concept that a woman can live and be happy with the body nature gave to her. The author cites experts and scientists who prove that women of all ages and especially young girls should be protected from the media influences, which promote distorted body image. The fundamental idea that connects Beauvoir’s writing to Young’s article is that these are blood-and-flesh women who should be taken as a basis of the image of the real-life women rather the fantastic images, offered by the concept of Feminine Mystery, or fashion magazines. At the same time, Young’s writing proves that even granted the opportunity to express and reveal one’s self through deeds contemporary women are still focused on the desire to match the standards set by the male-dominated society.

Almost seventy years had passed between the two works that were analyzed in this paper. Lots of things changed for women in this period: they got access to the education and workplaces that had been previously reserved for males, the role of women in the labor market has increased significantly, and the scope of opportunities for them has grown. Nevertheless, the Feminine Mystery, debunked by Beauvoir, has not dispelled. The society contemporary women dwell in, still has so many stereotypes females have to match, that only few find enough time and strength to look for the answer to the questions “what I actually am?”

Works Cited

Beauvoir, Simone de. Woman: Myth & Reality, in Jacobus, Lee A (ed.) A World of Ideas. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006, 780-795. Print.

Young, Emily. Pop culture setting unrealistic standards for young women? 15 May 2005 Web. 28 Jan. 2011.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Email and Voicemail Monitoring, Essay Example

When it comes to email and voicemail monitoring, it is important to consider the implications of these actions on behalf of both the employee as [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 340

Essay

Description of Place: A Forest, Essay Example

The logic behind the significance of specific locations to individuals inevitably varies. Some places may hold pertinence since they are the sites of important personal [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 315

Essay

Quality Management System, Essay Example

Customer needs and expectations are the products any customer attaches to a company and knows that he or she will get it when need arises. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 337

Essay

What Does It Take To Be a Good Parent Assignment, Essay Example

The issue of what does it take to be a good parent is contentious, insofar as the thematic remains susceptible to subjective interpretations. One may [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

Human Rights Violations and the Legal System, Essay Example

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR), advanced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, was a watershed moment, insofar as with this [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1122

Essay

The Critical Consulting Firm, Essay Example

Week 5 Issues The CanGo operation provides interesting insights into, unfortunately, how to conduct employee relations poorly. This is obviously not the company’s intent; on [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1287

Essay

Email and Voicemail Monitoring, Essay Example

When it comes to email and voicemail monitoring, it is important to consider the implications of these actions on behalf of both the employee as [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 340

Essay

Description of Place: A Forest, Essay Example

The logic behind the significance of specific locations to individuals inevitably varies. Some places may hold pertinence since they are the sites of important personal [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 315

Essay

Quality Management System, Essay Example

Customer needs and expectations are the products any customer attaches to a company and knows that he or she will get it when need arises. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 337

Essay

What Does It Take To Be a Good Parent Assignment, Essay Example

The issue of what does it take to be a good parent is contentious, insofar as the thematic remains susceptible to subjective interpretations. One may [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

Human Rights Violations and the Legal System, Essay Example

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR), advanced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, was a watershed moment, insofar as with this [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1122

Essay

The Critical Consulting Firm, Essay Example

Week 5 Issues The CanGo operation provides interesting insights into, unfortunately, how to conduct employee relations poorly. This is obviously not the company’s intent; on [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1287

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!