Posted: February 10th, 2022

Simone de Beauvoir’s Account of the Place of Love in the Life of a Woman

Simone de Beauvoir’s Account of the Place of Love in the Life of a Woman
According to Simeone de Beauvoir states that the meaning of love is not the same between men and women. The difference in the meaning of love is the one bringing the great misunderstanding that separates them. Beauvoir’s greatest essay, The Second Sex, begins with the sentence “The Woman in Love”. The essay states that the way women gain entry into the world made by man (world with values which are already made) as an inferior other is the same way they enter the world of love, life, and romance as an inferior other to man. To men, love is easy, while to women, love itself is life. This paper discusses Simone de Beauvoir’s account of the place of love in the life of a woman.
According to Beauvoir, love was intended to be equal between men and women. That means that love cannot be divided equally between women and men primarily because men’s standards of courtship and love were created. Therefore, women use everything they have to get love. For women, love requires total devotion to body and soul (De Beauvoir, 1). Beauvoir states that in the process of love, women must entirely abandon themselves. As such, women allow themselves to be reified by their male colleagues. Therefore, according to the Second Sex, love is a social creation developed by men for their benefit at the cost of women. The entire relinquishing in the love process is the outcome of construction dominated by men.
Similarly, Beauvoir argues that love has an implication of male superiority. For example, when it comes to love, males always initial the first move. Men are the chief movers in the love enterprise because men are the given metaphysical. That means that men are the absolute (De Beauvoir, 1). On the other hand, women are explained in negative conformity to men. For instance, dating and courtship are all foreseen on the men making the initial move. That is, women’s love entirely depends on men. If the first move is made by a woman, then the behavior will be considered unladylike or unwomanly. Women are entirely enslaved to men’s first move.
Additionally, Beauvoir highlighted the women othering in the love enterprise and to be loved through words. The notion of wanting to be loved enhances oneself to be a slave to a subject (De Beauvoir, 9). Instead of understanding what love is, making a woman become a slave of a man, the need to be loved. St. Augustine also dealt with the desire to be loved rather than knowing the meaning of love in his entire life as a Christian theologian and philosopher. However, St. Augustine dealt with the love dilemma from a man’s standpoint and not from a woman. Even though Beauvoir is impacted by Augustine, he struggles with the same challenge as that of Augustine but from the situational standpoint of being a woman.
Besides, the love language pinpoints the irrelevance of women in love structure. First, women always have the image of a man taking over their consciousness or being beside them when they think of love. The image of love and courtship that are male-centered influences the women’s language, as stated by Simone. He states that humans are basically image-based animals who create language to indicate imagery (De Beauvoir, 9). For example, the language mainly used by ladies portrays male dominance. Men have made women objects in the same love language because ladies agree to the structure of male dominance that explains them and their lives which reduces them to mere facticity. Therefore, terms such as I feel small in your arms, used mainly by women, continue to promote male-dominated courtship and love structures.
Similarly, Beauvoir man (the metaphysical given) created portrayed himself as a god, and the whole love system shows this. Women depend on god (man) for their happiness and well-being (Salvation) the same way it exists in conventional theology (Simons, 30). Women are objectified in love as well as praising men for acquiring the satisfactory praise of men for work well handled. That is what Beauvoir means by to love is to surrender everything for the benefit of a master.
Love is a construction and system of rationality whereby subjectivity and consciousness dominate over those of women. In the desire and needs to be loved, ladies become obedient and subject themselves to the desires and whims of men in their times of delighted love and rapture (Gines, 260). That is why love is just men’s work. In most cases, men only love in moments. However, women are often in the process of wanting and needing love. That makes them become enslaved to love, therefore, being subjects to men.
In conclusion, according to the essay, the Second Sex, Beauvoir believes that love is not the same for both men and women. He argues that women always enter the human-made world with ready-made values and beliefs. In the same way, they often enter into the world of love, life, and romance. However, the desire to be loved always makes women a subject of a man.

Works Cited
De Beauvoir, Simone. “AND THE SECOND SEX.” When Sex Became Gender 165 (2013).
Gines, Kathryn T. “Comparative and competing frameworks of oppression in Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 35.1/2 (2014): 251-273.
Simons, Margaret A., ed. Feminist interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir. Penn State Press, 2010.

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