Coalition as a counterpoint to the intersectional critique of The Second Sex

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Abstract

The analogy Simone de Beauvoir draws between “les femmes” and “des Noirs d’Amérique” is a key part of the intersectional critique of The Second Sex. Intersectional critics persuasively argue that Beauvoir’s analogy reveals the white, middle-class identity of The Second Sex’s ostensibly universal “woman”, emphasizing the fact that the text does not account for the experiences of black, Jewish, proletariat or indigenous women. In this essay, I point to multiple instances in The Second Sex in which Beauvoir endorses a coalition between workers black and white, male and female. When Beauvoir writes on economic injustice, she advocates for an inclusive workers party where racial and sexual differences become immaterial as workers come together in a collective struggle. I thus propose that Beauvoir’s Marxism is an overlooked, yet important, counterpoint to the intersectional critique of The Second Sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalSartre Studies International
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Beauvoir
  • Existentialism
  • Feminism
  • Intersectionality
  • Marxism
  • Race-gender analogy

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