100 Best Simone De Beauvoir Quotes To Inspire You

Quotes by Simone de Beauvoir fall under famous feminist quotes.
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Simone de Beauvoir was a French writer and also a political activist who revolutionized feminism.

She was famous for her ideals and philosophical views on feminism which she defined in her book, 'The Second Sex' where she portrayed women as the other who are exclusively depicted as opposite to males. According to her philosophy, a woman is not born as one but becomes one because of the societal constructs and ideals that defines her gradually as she grows.

Here's a great list of some of the best quotes by Simone de Beauvoir based on her sayings, writings and philosophical ideals which had a major impact and played an integral role in the feminist movement.

Check out, [Anais Nin quotes] and [Sylvia Plath quotes] too.

Best Simone de Beauvoir Quotes From 'The Second Sex'

Simone de Beauvoir's quotes assert the importance of feminism.

Here is a list of Simone de Beauvoir feminist quotes focusing on 'The Second Sex' quotes and including women's oppression quotes about feminism.

1. "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman."

-'The Second Sex'.

2. "In order for the artist to have a world to express he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men."

-'The Second Sex'.

3. "When she does not find love, she may find poetry."

-'The Second Sex'.

4. "All oppression creates a state of war."

-'The Second Sex'.

5. "The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project."

-'The Second Sex'.

6. "Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth."

-'The Second Sex'.

7. "Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition: the clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day."

-'The Second Sex'.

8. "If the feminine issue is so absurd, is because the male's arrogance made it a discussion."

-'The Second Sex'.

9. "Two separate beings, in different circumstances, face to face in freedom and seeking justification of their existence through one another, will always live an adventure full of risk and promise."

-'The Second Sex'.

10. "Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized."

-'The Second Sex'.

11. "Women's mutual understanding comes from the fact that they identify themselves with each other; but for the same reason each is against the others."

-'The Second Sex'.

12. "If they want to flirt or initiate a friendship, they should carefully avoid giving the impression they are taking the initiative; men do not like tomboys, nor bluestockings, nor thinking women; too much audacity, culture, intelligence, or character frightens them."

-'The Second Sex'.

13. "To be feminine is to show oneself as weak, futile, passive, and docile."

-'The Second Sex'.

14. "To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job."

-'The Second Sex'.

15. "What would Prince Charming have for occupation if he had not to awaken the Sleeping beauty?"

-'The Second Sex'.

16. "Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom."

-'The Second Sex'.

17. "...counselling man to treat her as a slave while persuading her that she is a queen."

-'The Second Sex'.

18. "It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex."

-'The Second Sex'.

19. "And without a doubt it is more comfortable to endure blind bondage than to work for one's liberation; the dead, too, are better suited to the earth than the living."

-'The Second Sex'.

20. "One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered this becoming practically impossible."

-'The Second Sex'.

21. "Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it."

-'The Second Sex'.

22. "Woman is shut up in a kitchen or in a boudoir, and astonishment is expressed that her horizon is limited."

-'The Second Sex'.

23. "The body is the instrument of our hold on the world."

-'The Second Sex'.

24. "But women do not say 'We', except at some congress of feminists or similar formal demonstration; men say 'women', and women use the same word in referring to themselves."

-'The Second Sex'.

25. "The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength, each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving."

-'The Second Sex'.

26. "...In any case, the more traits and proportions of a woman seem contrived, the more she delighted the heart of man because she seemed to escape the metamorphosis of natural things."

-'The Second Sex'.

27. "A man never begins by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex; it goes without saying that he is a man."

-'The Second Sex'.

28. "'Weakness' is weakness only in light of the aims man sets for himself, the instruments at his disposal and the laws he imposes."

-'The Second Sex'.

29. "That the child is the supreme aim of woman is a statement having precisely the value of an advertising slogan."

-'The Second Sex'.

30. "It is not in giving life but in risking life that man is raised above the animal; that is why superiority has been accorded in humanity not to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills."

-'The Second Sex'.

31. "The category of Other is as original as consciousness itself. The duality between Self and Other can be found in the most primitive societies, in the most ancient mythologies; the division did not always fall into the category of the division of the sexes. "

-'The Second Sex'.

32. "If I want to define myself, I first have to say, 'I am a woman'; all other assertions will arise from this basic truth.."

-'The Second Sex'.

33. "Legislators, priests, philosophers, writers, and scientists have striven to show that the subordinate position of woman is willed in heaven and advantageous on earth."

-'The Second Sex'.

34. "One of the benefits that oppression secures for the oppressor is that the humblest among them feels superior."

-'The Second Sex'.

35. "The truth is that just as - biologically - males and females are never victims of one another but both victims of the species, so man and wife together undergo the oppression of an institution they did not create."

-'The Second Sex'.

36. "She is defined and differentiated with reference to man and not he with reference to her; she is incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the Absolute -- she is the Other."

-'The Second Sex'.

37. "We will not let ourselves be intimidated by the number and violence of attacks against women; nor be fooled by the self-serving praise showered on the 'real woman'."

-'The Second Sex'.

38. "In oppressing, one becomes oppressed."

-'The Second Sex'.

39. "Masculine desire is as much an offence as it is a compliment."

-'The Second Sex'.

40. "If so few female geniuses are found in history, it is because society denies them any means of expression."

-'The Second Sex'.

Famous Simone de Beauvoir French Feminist Quotes

Simone De Beauvoir's works emphasize how important equality amongst all genders is in society. Here is a list of famous quotes by Simone De Beauvoir who was a French feminist.

41. "She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

42. "I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity."

-'The Coming of Age,' 1970.

43. "I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom."

-'The Blood of Others,' 1946.

44. "It was said that I refused to grant any value to the maternal instinct and to love. This was not so. I simply asked that women should experience them truthfully and freely"

-'Force of Circumstances Vol. III,' 1963.

45. "The Communists, following Hegel, speak of humanity and its future as of some monolithic individuality. I was attacking this illusion."

-'Force of Circumstances,' 1963.

46. "It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life. Old age is life's parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny"

-'The Coming of Age,' 1970.

47. "The power he exercises is no more dictatorial than, for example, Roosevelt's was."

-'The Long March,' 1957.

48. "What is an adult? A child blown up by age."

- 'A Woman Destroyed,' 1967.

49. "It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself... It seems unfair. You can't assume the responsibility for everything you do — or don't do."

-'Les Belles Images,' 1966.

50. "Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it"

-'Force of Circumstances Vol. III,' 1963.

51. "When Sartre and I met not only did our backgrounds fuse, but also our solidity, our individual conviction that we were what we were made to be."

-Interview by John Gerassi in 'Society,' 1976.

52. "Anguished, she thought, 'I don't want to be just another blade of grass.'"

-Regina, 'All Men Are Mortal'.

53. "We were two of a kind, and our relationship would endure as long as we did: but it could not make up entirely for the fleeting riches to be had from encounters with different people."

-Interview with 'The Garden,' 2005.

54. "No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction."

-Interview with Betty Friedan.

55. "If I had amnesia, I'd be almost like other men. Perhaps I'd even be able to love you."

-Raimon, 'All Men Are Mortal'.

56. "Time is beginning to flow again."

-Raimon, 'All Men Are Mortal'.

57. "I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me."

-'All Said and Done,' 1972.

58. "At the present time there still exist many doctrines which choose to leave in the shadow certain troubling aspects of a too complex situation. But their attempt to lie to us is in vain. Cowardice doesn’t pay."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

59. "He had not applauded, he had remained seated, but he had looked at her steadily. From the depths of eternity he had looked at her and Rosalind became immortal. If I could believe him, she thought, if only I could believe him!"

- 'All Men Are Mortal'.

60. "Men of today seem to feel more acutely than ever the paradox of their condition. They know themselves to be the supreme end to which all action should be subordinated, but the exigencies of action force them to treat one another as instruments or obstacles, as means."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

61. "You're unique like all other women."

-Raimon, 'All Men Are Mortal'.

62. "The failure described in Being and Nothingness is definitive, but it is also ambiguous."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

63. "In spite of so many stubborn lies, at every moment, at every opportunity, the truth comes to light, the truth of life and death, of my solitude and my bond with the world, of my freedom and my servitude, of the insignificance and the sovereign importance of each man and all men."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

64. "From the very beginning, existentialism defined itself as a philosophy of ambiguity."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

65. "We must not confuse the present with the past. With regard to the past, no further action is possible."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

66. "I'm never afraid. But in my case it's nothing to be proud of."

-Raimon, 'All Men Are Mortal'.

67. "One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion."

-'The Coming of Age,' 1970.

68. "Since it is the Other within us who is old, it is natural that the revelation of our age should come to us from outside — from others. We do not accept it willingly."

-'The Coming of Age,' 1970.

69. "A conquest of this kind is never finished; the contingency remains, and, so that he may assert his will, man is even obliged to stir up in the world the outrage he does not want. But this element of failure is a very condition of his life; one can never dream of eliminating it without immediately dreaming of death."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

70. "Society cares about the individual only in so far as he is profitable. The young know this. Their anxiety as they enter in upon social life matches the anguish of the old as they are excluded from it."

-'The Coming of Age,' 1970.

71. "To will freedom and to will to disclose being are one and the same choice; hence, freedom takes a positive and constructive step which causes being to pass to existence in a movement which is constantly surpassed."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

72. "The more widespread their mastery of the world, the more they find themselves crushed by uncontrollable forces. Though they are masters of the atomic bomb, yet it is created only to destroy them."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

73. "I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

74. "That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

75. "What should a society be, so that in his last years a man might still be a man?

The answer is simple: he would always have to have been treated as a man."

-'The Coming of Age,' 1970.

76. "In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

77. "To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

78. "A man attaches himself to woman -- not to enjoy her, but to enjoy himself."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

79. "In Plato, art is mystification because there is the heaven of Ideas; but in the earthly domain all glorification of the earth is true as soon as it is realized."

-'The Ethics of Ambiguity,' 1947.

80. "I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

81. "If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

82. "Two separate beings, in different circumstances, face to face in freedom and seeking justification of their existence through one another, will always live an adventure full of risk and promise."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

83. "What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

84. "Be loved, be admired, be necessary; be somebody."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

85. "Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

86. "Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

87. "Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

88. "She would never change, but one day at the touch of a fingertip she would fall to dust."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

89. "The young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All."

- Simone de Beauvoir.

90. "Love is then renunciation of all possession, of all confusion."

― 'The Ethics of Ambiguity.'

91. "To want to prohibit a man from error is to forbid him to fulfill his own existence, it is to deprive him of life."

― 'The Ethics of Ambiguity.'

92. "One has no right to make up one's mind about the future in advance.”

― 'The Woman Destroyed'.

93. "Happiness is a rarer vocation than people suppose."

― 'Prime of Life.'

94. “The goal toward which I surpass myself must appear to me as a point of departure toward a new act of surpassing.”

― 'The Ethics of Ambiguity.'

Quotes About Simone De Beauvoir Poems

Beauvoir's quotes are famously known by all feminists and were greatly influential.

Simone de Beauvoir had written a few poems as well as being a feminist philosopher. Here are some Simone de Beauvoir quotations from her poems as well as quotes from Simone de Beauvoir on love. The following quotes also feature lines from other poets who composed poems in praise of Beauvoir or 'The Second Sex'.

95. "The World’s a Ghetto

The Second Sex Cuts the Floor

It’s a dog-eat-dog-turn-left-kind-of-day

Soul Sisters love

Wordplay"

-Lady Labyrinth, 'Not De Beauvoir.'

96. "Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth

Its sage bite makes even more wise the scum bag

Oh What a state the State's in hiding the Truth."

-'Villanelle: Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth.'

97. "Champion of noise nuissance the State drills tooth

Keeps all scum bags sleepless till they sag and lag

Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth?"

-'Villanelle: Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth.'

98. "Scum bag the State drags on nails to give It worth

Ride with medical care the wheezing old hag"

-'Villanelle: Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth.'

99. "The Second Sex Cuts the Floor

I’m not De Beauvoir

And you’re no Satre."

-Lady Labyrinth, 'Not De Beauvoir.'

100. "Wisdom teeth sink not well in scum bag for sooth

No, the Great State first hoists its colours not flag

Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth."

-'Villanelle: Who's afraid of the Virgin Wolf's wisdom tooth.'

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Simone de Beauvoir quotes then why not take a look at [Betty Friedan quotes], or [Bell Hooks quotes].

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