idea of patriarchal oppression but she also discusses the idea of woman as submissive.Patriarchal society and our own female consciousness place us in the “deep rooted, age-old experience of women in giving and preserving life, nurturing and sustaining.”
Women have primarily been looked upon as the giver of life, femininity has beenassociated with motherhood above all else. The reproductive quality of the female bodyrepresents a problem to de Beauvoir, as it enforces the idea of woman as primarily acaregiver.“Since the earliest days of the patriarchate, they (men) have thought best to keep womanin a state of dependence.”
At the beginning of the chapter “Dreams, Fears, Idols” under the section of myth, De Beauvoir re-iterates the patriarchal dominance of man, and theenforcing of an established otherness for woman. This sense of the “Other” is created bythe “consuming” of woman by man and by man taking her as his “possession.” The link between man and woman resembles the Master-Slave relationship. By assuming such arole, man will constantly be seeking to prove himself and assert his ideas “his life is adifficult enterprise with success never assumed.”
Man will never feel successful becausehe is constantly trying to control woman; the female is man’s possession. De Beauvoir points out that the male is in a state of dependence by having a longing for control over the female; their own issues of possession come from an innate sense of jealousy and ahunger for power. De Beauvoir is altering the description of the female gender as flawed by describing men in such a manner.
Keohane / Gelpi 9.
De Beauvoir 171.
De Beauvoir 172.