Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

not something I want to see in a review of a feminist work

Francine du Plessix Gray (b. 1930) reviews a new translation of Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex:

The other pivotal notion at the heart of “The Second Sex” — a more problematic one, which Beauvoir came to on her own [*] — is her belief that, in Parshley’s translation, “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” This preposterous assertion, intended to bolster her argument that marriage and motherhood are institutions imposed by men to curb women’s freedom, will be denied by any mother who has seen her toddler son eagerly grab for a toy in the shape of a vehicle or a gun, while at the same time showing a total lack of interest in his sister’s cherished dolls.

. . . seriously, you think toddlers are immune to gender socialization, alone out of every other kind of socialization?

Also, please note that SteelyKid (female) eagerly grabs for toys shaped like vehicles, guns [**], and dolls.

I only wish this paragraph had been earlier in the review, because that would have saved me a precious minute or two out of my day.

[*] As opposed to the one that, and no I am not making this up, she got from a man.

[**] A broken air-powered Nerf dart gun from the mantel, which she delighted in pumping up.

Tags: gender

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