ISSN: 13682679
First published in 1998
4 issues per volume
Volume 14 Issue 1 & 2
Cover Date: May 2011
Re-reading de Beauvoir after race: Woman-as-slave revisited
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Authors:  Sabine Broeck 
DOI: 10.1386/ijfs.14.1-2.167_1

Keywords
whiteness,critical theory,de Beauvoir,decolonial,feminism,slavery,gender,

Abstract

This article reads Simone de Beauvoir's Ethics of Ambiguity (2000, [1948]) and The Second Sex (1989, [1949]) in light of recent decolonial critiques of (post) modernity. It situates de Beauvoir's employment of the woman-as-slave analogy within the heated controversies of her political moment. Marxists, Existentialists, Jewish intellectuals and Pan-Africanists, among others, engaged around issues of anti-fascist, anti-colonialist and anti-capitalist struggle. De Beauvoir's avant-gardist project to insert early feminist articulation into these controversies laid the foundation for international second-wave feminism. Radical as it was in terms of her formulation of (white) gender difference, however, her work was based on a rhetorical distancing of white women from slavery which separates black women from the conceptualization of gender altogether, and thus has erased the history and claims of black women from the critical purview of feminism.
L'article interroge les textes Pour une morale de l'ambigut et Le seconde sexe par Simone de Beauvoir sous la lumire de la critique dcoloniale rcente de la (post)modernit. Il situe l'emploi de l'analogie la femme comme esclave par Beauvoir dans les controverses chauffes de son moment politique. Marxistes, Existentialistes, intellectuels juifs et Pan-Africanistes entre autres taient engags dans et autour de luttes antifascistes, anticolonialistes et anticapitalistes. Le projet avant-gardiste de Beauvoir, de faire entrer des propositions du premier courant fministe dans ces controverses jetait les fondements pour la deuxime vague internationale du fminisme. Avec toute la radicalit de sa formulation de la diffrence des genres (blancs), cette analogie tait fonde sur un distanciement rhtorique des femmes blanches de l'esclavage, qui sparait les femmes noires compltement de toute conceptualisation de genre et qui a occult l'histoire et les revendications des femmes noires du domaine critique du fminisme.
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