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Quotes by Simone de Beauvoir

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Simone de Beauvoir. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Simone de Beauvoir

Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir (UK: , US: ; French: [simɔn də bovwaʁ]; 9 January 1908 – 14 April 1986) was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory.

Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiographies and monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues. She was known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; and for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins. Her most enduring contribution to literature is her memoirs, notably the first volume, “Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée” (1958), which have a warmth and descriptive power. She won the 1954 Prix Goncourt, the 1975 Jerusalem Prize, and the 1978 Austrian State Prize for European Literature. She was also known for her open, lifelong relationship with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Quote: Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of four person hands wrap around shoulders while looking at sunset
Photo Credit: Helena Lopes

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


Quote: It's not a very big step from contentment to complacency. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It's not a very big step from contentment to complacency.


Quote: Love is then renunciation of all possession, of all confusion. One renounces being in order that there may be that being which one is not. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Love is then renunciation of all possession, of all confusion. One renounces being in order that there may be that being which one is not.


Quote: It's only arrogance if you're wrong. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It's only arrogance if you're wrong.


Quote: When we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy it implies, then the division of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

When we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy it implies, then the division of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form.


Quote: Have you ever felt in your inmost being, the conscience of others?' again she was trembling, the words were not releasing her. 'It's intolerable you know. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Have you ever felt in your inmost being, the conscience of others?' again she was trembling, the words were not releasing her. 'It's intolerable you know.


Quote: Patience is one of those feminine qualities which have their origin in our oppression but should be preserved after our liberation. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Patience is one of those feminine qualities which have their origin in our oppression but should be preserved after our liberation.


Quote: The women of today are in a fair way to dethrone the myth of femininity; they are beginning to affirm their independence in concrete ways; but they do not easily succeed in living completely the life of a human being. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The women of today are in a fair way to dethrone the myth of femininity; they are beginning to affirm their independence in concrete ways; but they do not easily succeed in living completely the life of a human being.


Quote: The body is the instrument of our hold on the world. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: The characteristic feature of all ethics is to consider human life as a game that can be won or lost and to teach man the means of winning. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The characteristic feature of all ethics is to consider human life as a game that can be won or lost and to teach man the means of winning.


Quote: The ballot box is a most inadequate mechanism of change. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The ballot box is a most inadequate mechanism of change.


Quote: Woman is determined not by her hormones or by mysterious instincts, but by the manner in which her body and her relation to the world are modified through the action of others than herself. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Woman is determined not by her hormones or by mysterious instincts, but by the manner in which her body and her relation to the world are modified through the action of others than herself.




Quote: There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future.


Quote: There are cases where the slave does not know his servitude and where it is necessary to bring the seed of his liberation to him from the outside: his submission is not enough to justify the tyranny which is imposed upon him. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

There are cases where the slave does not know his servitude and where it is necessary to bring the seed of his liberation to him from the outside: his submission is not enough to justify the tyranny which is imposed upon him.


Quote: It was easier for me to think of a world without a creator than of a creator loaded with all the contradictions of the world. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It was easier for me to think of a world without a creator than of a creator loaded with all the contradictions of the world.


Quote: But I miss you to the point of anguish. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

But I miss you to the point of anguish.


Quote: But an action which wants to serve man ought to be careful not to forget him on the way, if it chooses to fulfill itself blindly, it will lose its meaning or will take on an unforeseen meaning; for the goal is not fixed once and for all; it is defined all along the road which leads up to it. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote: But an action which wants to serve man ought to be careful not to forget him on the way, if it chooses to fulfill itself blindly, it will lose its meaning or will take on an unforeseen meaning; for the goal is not fixed once and for all; it is defined all along the road which leads up to it.- black text on quotes background

But an action which wants to serve man ought to be careful not to forget him on the way, if it chooses to fulfill itself blindly, it will lose its meaning or will take on an unforeseen meaning; for the goal is not fixed once and for all; it is defined all along the road which leads up to it.




Quote: The individuals who seem to us most outstanding, who are honored with the name of genius, are those who have proposed to enact the fate of all humanity in their personal existences. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The individuals who seem to us most outstanding, who are honored with the name of genius, are those who have proposed to enact the fate of all humanity in their personal existences.


Quote: Counselling man to treat her as a slave while persuading her that she is a queen. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Counselling man to treat her as a slave while persuading her that she is a queen.


Quote: At bottom, antipsychiatry is still psychiatry. And it doesn't really address itself to women's problems. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

At bottom, antipsychiatry is still psychiatry. And it doesn't really address itself to women's problems.


Quote: Tragedies are all right for a while: you are concerned, you are curious, you feel good. And then it gets repetitive, it doesn't advance, it grows dreadfully boring: it is so very boring, even for me. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Tragedies are all right for a while: you are concerned, you are curious, you feel good. And then it gets repetitive, it doesn't advance, it grows dreadfully boring: it is so very boring, even for me.


Quote: Few books are more thrilling than certain confessions, but they must be honest, and the author must have something to confess. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Few books are more thrilling than certain confessions, but they must be honest, and the author must have something to confess.


Quote: 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. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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.


Quote: Harmony between two individuals is never granted-it has to be conquered indefinitely. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Harmony between two individuals is never granted-it has to be conquered indefinitely.


Quote: Can one say that there is a way of crying out, of speaking, which is properly feminine? Personally, I don't think so. In the end, I find this is another way of putting women in a kind of singularity, a ghetto, which is not what I want. I want them to be singular and universal at the same time. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote: Can one say that there is a way of crying out, of speaking, which is properly feminine? Personally, I don't think so. In the end, I find this is another way of putting women in a kind of singularity, a ghetto, which is not what I want. I want them to be singular and universal at the same time.- black text on quotes background

Can one say that there is a way of crying out, of speaking, which is properly feminine? Personally, I don't think so. In the end, I find this is another way of putting women in a kind of singularity, a ghetto, which is not what I want. I want them to be singular and universal at the same time.


Quote: There is a kind of universality in the human condition, masculine or feminine. That's one thing I continue to believe. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

There is a kind of universality in the human condition, masculine or feminine. That's one thing I continue to believe.


Quote: Feminism is one way of attacking society as it now exists. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Feminism is one way of attacking society as it now exists.


Quote: It is for man to establish the reign of liberty in the midst of the world of the given. To gain the supreme victory, it is necessary, for one thing, that by and through their natural differentiation men and women unequivocally affirm their brotherhood. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It is for man to establish the reign of liberty in the midst of the world of the given. To gain the supreme victory, it is necessary, for one thing, that by and through their natural differentiation men and women unequivocally affirm their brotherhood.


Quote: I went to get a detective story. You have to kill time. But time will kill me too -- and there´s the true, preestablished balance. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

I went to get a detective story. You have to kill time. But time will kill me too -- and there´s the true, preestablished balance.




Quote: To protest in the name of morality against 'excesses' or 'abuses' is an error which hints on active complicity. There are no 'abuses' or 'excesses' here, simpily an all-pervasive system. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

To protest in the name of morality against 'excesses' or 'abuses' is an error which hints on active complicity. There are no 'abuses' or 'excesses' here, simpily an all-pervasive system.


Quote: At the moment of their emancipation, women have a need to write their own histories. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

At the moment of their emancipation, women have a need to write their own histories.


Quote: The emancipation of women must be the work of women themselves, independent of the class struggle. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The emancipation of women must be the work of women themselves, independent of the class struggle.




Quote: Authentic love must be founded on reciprocal recognition of two freedoms. For each of them, love would be the revelation of the self through the gift of the self and the enrichment of the universe. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Authentic love must be founded on reciprocal recognition of two freedoms. For each of them, love would be the revelation of the self through the gift of the self and the enrichment of the universe.


Quote: The day had been spent in the expectation of these hours, and now they were crumbling away, becoming, in their turn, another period of expectancy...It was a journey without end, leading to an indefinite future, eternally shifting just as she was reaching the present. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

The day had been spent in the expectation of these hours, and now they were crumbling away, becoming, in their turn, another period of expectancy...It was a journey without end, leading to an indefinite future, eternally shifting just as she was reaching the present.


Quote: You can't define the future. And in my opinion, you can't define the avant-garde. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

You can't define the future. And in my opinion, you can't define the avant-garde.


Quote: Jealousy is not contemptible, real love has a beak and claws. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Jealousy is not contemptible, real love has a beak and claws.


Quote: I could see no reason for being sad. It´s just that it makes me unhappy not to feel happy. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

I could see no reason for being sad. It´s just that it makes me unhappy not to feel happy.


Quote: I don't want to be just another blade of grass. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

I don't want to be just another blade of grass.


Quote: Woman is shut up in a kitchen or in a boudoir, and astonishment is expressed that her horizon is limited. Her wings are clipped, and it is found deplorable that she cannot fly. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Woman is shut up in a kitchen or in a boudoir, and astonishment is expressed that her horizon is limited. Her wings are clipped, and it is found deplorable that she cannot fly.


Quote: Every war, every revolution, demands the sacrifice of a generation, of a collectivity, by those who undertake it. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Every war, every revolution, demands the sacrifice of a generation, of a collectivity, by those who undertake it.


Quote: Anger or revolt that does not get into the muscles remains a figment of the imagination. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Anger or revolt that does not get into the muscles remains a figment of the imagination.


Quote: The fear of death never left me; I couldn't get used to the thought; I would still sometimes shake and weep with terror. By contrast, the fact of existence here and now sometimes took on a glorious splendour. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The fear of death never left me; I couldn't get used to the thought; I would still sometimes shake and weep with terror. By contrast, the fact of existence here and now sometimes took on a glorious splendour.


Quote: 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 no to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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 no to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills.


Quote: As long as there have been men and they have lived, they have all felt this tragic ambiguity of their condition, but as long as there have been philosophers and they have thought, most of them have tried to mask it. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

As long as there have been men and they have lived, they have all felt this tragic ambiguity of their condition, but as long as there have been philosophers and they have thought, most of them have tried to mask it.


Quote: From the very beginning, existentialism defined itself as a philosophy of ambiguity. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: That's what's so wonderful about you, you're so self-sufficient that I feel that you've created your own self. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

That's what's so wonderful about you, you're so self-sufficient that I feel that you've created your own self.


Quote: It is doubtless impossible to approach any human problems with a mind free from bias. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It is doubtless impossible to approach any human problems with a mind free from bias.


Quote: My worst mistake has been not grasping that time goes by. It was going by and there I was, set in the attitude of the ideal wife of an ideal husband. Instead of bringing our sexual relationship to life again I brooded happily over memories of our former nights together. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

My worst mistake has been not grasping that time goes by. It was going by and there I was, set in the attitude of the ideal wife of an ideal husband. Instead of bringing our sexual relationship to life again I brooded happily over memories of our former nights together.


Quote: Feminism is a revolutionary movement which is different from the class struggle movement, the proletarian movement, but which is a movement which must be leftist. By that I mean at the extreme left, a movement working to overthrow the whole society. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Feminism is a revolutionary movement which is different from the class struggle movement, the proletarian movement, but which is a movement which must be leftist. By that I mean at the extreme left, a movement working to overthrow the whole society.




Quote: If the feminine issue is so absurd, is because the male's arrogance made it a discussion. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: To show your true ability is always, in a sense, to surpass the limits of your ability, to go a little beyond them: to dare, to seek, to invent; it is at such a moment that new talents are revealed, discovered, and realized. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

To show your true ability is always, in a sense, to surpass the limits of your ability, to go a little beyond them: to dare, to seek, to invent; it is at such a moment that new talents are revealed, discovered, and realized.


Quote: There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation.


Quote: Americans are nature-lovers: but they only admit of nature proofed and corrected by man. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Americans are nature-lovers: but they only admit of nature proofed and corrected by man.


Quote: What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our lives that we must draw our strength to live and our reasons for living. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our lives that we must draw our strength to live and our reasons for living.


Quote: The day knowledge was preferred to wisdom and mere usefulness to beauty... Only a moral revolution -- not a social or a political revolution -- only a moral revolution would lead man back to his lost truth. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The day knowledge was preferred to wisdom and mere usefulness to beauty... Only a moral revolution -- not a social or a political revolution -- only a moral revolution would lead man back to his lost truth.


Quote: Suddenly I was struck motionless: I was living through the first chapter of a novel in which I was the heroine; she was still almost a child, but we, too, were growing up. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Suddenly I was struck motionless: I was living through the first chapter of a novel in which I was the heroine; she was still almost a child, but we, too, were growing up.


Quote: Sometimes speech is no more than a device for saying nothing -- and a neater one than silence. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Sometimes speech is no more than a device for saying nothing -- and a neater one than silence.


Quote: It's true that what you find in New York is something other than America. Only small towns and small countries are self-satisfied; a real capital goes beyond its borders. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It's true that what you find in New York is something other than America. Only small towns and small countries are self-satisfied; a real capital goes beyond its borders.


Quote: When someone you love dies you pay for the sin of outliving her with a thousand piercing regrets. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

When someone you love dies you pay for the sin of outliving her with a thousand piercing regrets.


Quote: On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself -- on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself -- on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.


Quote: Picasso never thought of himself as avant-garde. I just find it a bad way to think of yourself. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Picasso never thought of himself as avant-garde. I just find it a bad way to think of yourself.


Quote: I realized that even if we went on talking till Judgment Day, I would still find the time all too short. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

I realized that even if we went on talking till Judgment Day, I would still find the time all too short.


Quote: The way I approached a question, my habit of mind, the way I looked at things, what I took for granted -- all this was myself and it did not seem to me that I could alter it. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The way I approached a question, my habit of mind, the way I looked at things, what I took for granted -- all this was myself and it did not seem to me that I could alter it.


Quote: I willingly trust myself to chance. I let my thoughts wander, I digress, not only sitting at my work, but all day long, all night even. It often happens that a sentence suddenly runs through my head before I go to bed, or when I am unable to sleep, and I get up again and write it down. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote: I willingly trust myself to chance. I let my thoughts wander, I digress, not only sitting at my work, but all day long, all night even. It often happens that a sentence suddenly runs through my head before I go to bed, or when I am unable to sleep, and I get up again and write it down.- black text on quotes background

I willingly trust myself to chance. I let my thoughts wander, I digress, not only sitting at my work, but all day long, all night even. It often happens that a sentence suddenly runs through my head before I go to bed, or when I am unable to sleep, and I get up again and write it down.


Quote: You have to start from where you are today and from what can be done. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

You have to start from where you are today and from what can be done.


Quote: Legislators, priests, philosophers, writers, ans scientists have striven to show that the subordinate position of woman is willed in heaven and advantageous on earth. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: When Goya was 80 he drew an ancient man propped on two sticks, with a great mass of white hair and beard all over his face, and the inscription, I am still learning. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

When Goya was 80 he drew an ancient man propped on two sticks, with a great mass of white hair and beard all over his face, and the inscription, I am still learning.


Quote: She offered her mouth to him, as if enchanted. A Persian princess, a little Indian, a fox, a morning glory, a lovely wisteria -- it always pleased them when you told them they looked like something, like something else. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

She offered her mouth to him, as if enchanted. A Persian princess, a little Indian, a fox, a morning glory, a lovely wisteria -- it always pleased them when you told them they looked like something, like something else.


Quote: That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: The Communists, following Hegel, speak of humanity and its future as of some monolithic individuality. I was attacking this illusion. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: Woman has always been man's dependent, if not his slave; the two sexes have never shaped the world in equality. And even today woman is heavily handicapped, though her situation is beginning to change. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Woman has always been man's dependent, if not his slave; the two sexes have never shaped the world in equality. And even today woman is heavily handicapped, though her situation is beginning to change.


Quote: It is not the inferiority of women that has caused their historical insignificance; it is rather their historical insignificance that has doomed them to inferiority. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It is not the inferiority of women that has caused their historical insignificance; it is rather their historical insignificance that has doomed them to inferiority.


Quote: Indeed, there is nothing more arbitrary than intervening as a stranger in a destiny which is not ours. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Indeed, there is nothing more arbitrary than intervening as a stranger in a destiny which is not ours.


Quote: The human species is forever in a state of change, forever becoming. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The human species is forever in a state of change, forever becoming.


Quote: One day I'll be old, dead, forgotten. And at this very moment, while I'm sitting here thinking these things, a man in a dingy hotel room is thinking, I will always be here. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

One day I'll be old, dead, forgotten. And at this very moment, while I'm sitting here thinking these things, a man in a dingy hotel room is thinking, I will always be here.




Quote: There was a time, in the nineteenth century, for example, when women spoke mostly about the house, children, birth, and so forth, because it was their domain. That's changing a little, now. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

There was a time, in the nineteenth century, for example, when women spoke mostly about the house, children, birth, and so forth, because it was their domain. That's changing a little, now.


Quote: Old age is life's parody. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Old age is life's parody.


Quote: 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. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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.




Quote: One can not, without absurdity, indefinitely sacrifice each generation to the following one; human history would then be only an endless succession of negations which would never return to the positive. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

One can not, without absurdity, indefinitely sacrifice each generation to the following one; human history would then be only an endless succession of negations which would never return to the positive.


Quote: The state of emotional intoxication allows one to grasp existence in one's self and in the other, as both subjectivity and passivity. The two partners merge in this ambiguous unity; each one is freed of his own presence and achieves immediate communication with the other. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

The state of emotional intoxication allows one to grasp existence in one's self and in the other, as both subjectivity and passivity. The two partners merge in this ambiguous unity; each one is freed of his own presence and achieves immediate communication with the other.


Quote: Insects were scurrying about in the shade cast by the grass, and the lawn was a huge monotonous forest of thousands of little green blades, all equal, all alike, hiding the world from each other. Anguished, she thought, I don't want to be just another blade of grass. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

Insects were scurrying about in the shade cast by the grass, and the lawn was a huge monotonous forest of thousands of little green blades, all equal, all alike, hiding the world from each other. Anguished, she thought, I don't want to be just another blade of grass.


Quote: I think it's wrong to write in a totally esoteric language when you want to talk about things which interest a multitude of women. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

I think it's wrong to write in a totally esoteric language when you want to talk about things which interest a multitude of women.


Quote: She confessed her preference for trousers; every active woman likes low heels and sturdy materials. The significance of woman's attire is evident: it is decoration, and to be decorated means to be offered. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

She confessed her preference for trousers; every active woman likes low heels and sturdy materials. The significance of woman's attire is evident: it is decoration, and to be decorated means to be offered.


Quote: Anyway I know only too well that all life is nothing but a brief reprieve from death. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Anyway I know only too well that all life is nothing but a brief reprieve from death.


Quote: It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them.


Quote: To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face.


Quote: Being on the fringes of the world is not the best place for someone who intends to re-create it: here again, to go beyond the given, one must be deeply rooted in it. Personal accomplishments are almost impossible in human categories collectively kept in an inferior situation. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

Being on the fringes of the world is not the best place for someone who intends to re-create it: here again, to go beyond the given, one must be deeply rooted in it. Personal accomplishments are almost impossible in human categories collectively kept in an inferior situation.


Quote: Living by proxy is always a precarious expedient. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Living by proxy is always a precarious expedient.


Quote: Retirement revives the sorrow of parting, the feeling of abandonment, solitude and uselessness that is caused by the loss of some beloved person. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Retirement revives the sorrow of parting, the feeling of abandonment, solitude and uselessness that is caused by the loss of some beloved person.


Quote: Self-consciousness is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Self-consciousness is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself.




Quote: A writer is hoisted up onto a pedestal only to scrutinize him more closely and conclude that it was a mistake to put him up there in the first place. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

A writer is hoisted up onto a pedestal only to scrutinize him more closely and conclude that it was a mistake to put him up there in the first place.


Quote: The nearer I come to the end of my days, the more I am enabled to see that strange thing, a life, and to see it whole. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The nearer I come to the end of my days, the more I am enabled to see that strange thing, a life, and to see it whole.










Quote: However gifted an individual is at the outset, if his or her talents cannot be developed because of his or her social condition, because of the surrounding circumstances, these talents will be still-born. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

However gifted an individual is at the outset, if his or her talents cannot be developed because of his or her social condition, because of the surrounding circumstances, these talents will be still-born.




Quote: What do you believe in ?
People's sufferings, and the fact that it is abominable. One should do everything to abolish it. To tell you the truth, nothing else seems to me of any importance. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

What do you believe in ?
People's sufferings, and the fact that it is abominable. One should do everything to abolish it. To tell you the truth, nothing else seems to me of any importance.


Quote: Choice springs from the totality of the person. Thus, to study, to analyze what a person is, does not eliminate the idea of freedom. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Choice springs from the totality of the person. Thus, to study, to analyze what a person is, does not eliminate the idea of freedom.


Quote: I would certainly like to see some young women take up psychoanalysis seriously and reconstruct it from an absolutely new viewpoint. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

I would certainly like to see some young women take up psychoanalysis seriously and reconstruct it from an absolutely new viewpoint.


Quote: Youth and what the Italians so prettily call stamina. The vigor, the fire, that enables you to love and create. When you've lost that, you've lost everything. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Youth and what the Italians so prettily call stamina. The vigor, the fire, that enables you to love and create. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.


Quote: There has to be a certain relationship between the life and the writing style, and that is really a problem. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

There has to be a certain relationship between the life and the writing style, and that is really a problem.


Quote: It must be said in addition that the men with the most scrupulous respect for embryonic life are also those who are most zealous when it comes to condemning adults to death in war. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

It must be said in addition that the men with the most scrupulous respect for embryonic life are also those who are most zealous when it comes to condemning adults to death in war.


Quote: 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. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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.




Quote: Fathers never have exactly the daughters they want because they invent a notion a them that the daughters have to conform to. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Fathers never have exactly the daughters they want because they invent a notion a them that the daughters have to conform to.




Quote: There are moments when you have to write certain things and you don't have to think of your sex. If you are writing about the population of the thirteenth district in Paris, even if you are writing on the women in the thirteenth district, there's no need to consider your sex. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of Simone de Beauvoir quote; white text on black background

There are moments when you have to write certain things and you don't have to think of your sex. If you are writing about the population of the thirteenth district in Paris, even if you are writing on the women in the thirteenth district, there's no need to consider your sex.


Quote: Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized.


Quote: 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. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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.


Quote: Her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly.


Quote: Ah, if only there were two of me, she thought, one who spoke and the other who listened, one who lived and one who watched, how I would love myself! I would envy no one. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Ah, if only there were two of me, she thought, one who spoke and the other who listened, one who lived and one who watched, how I would love myself! I would envy no one.


Quote: She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.


Quote: They don't like being seen through: as for me I'm straight I don't join their act I tear masks off. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

They don't like being seen through: as for me I'm straight I don't join their act I tear masks off.


Quote: 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. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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.


Quote: I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for the truth; and truth rewarded me. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: Even if one is neither vain nor self-obsessed, it is so extraordinary to be oneself -- exactly oneself and no one else. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Even if one is neither vain nor self-obsessed, it is so extraordinary to be oneself -- exactly oneself and no one else.


Quote: Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying.


Quote: Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.


Quote: The writer of originality, unless dead, is always shocking, scandalous; novelty disturbs and repels. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The writer of originality, unless dead, is always shocking, scandalous; novelty disturbs and repels.


Quote: The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women.


Quote: What is an adult? A child blown up by age. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them.


Quote: If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: To make oneself an object, to make oneself passive, is a very different thing from being a passive object. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

To make oneself an object, to make oneself passive, is a very different thing from being a passive object.


Quote: One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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

Longer Version/[Notes]:

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.


Quote: Art is an attempt to integrate evil. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Art is an attempt to integrate evil.


Quote: I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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.


Quote: Sex pleasure in woman is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Sex pleasure in woman is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken.


Quote: Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female -- whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female -- whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.


Quote: Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself.


Quote: 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: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time.


Quote: To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


Quote: I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom. by author Simone de Beauvoir overlaid on photo of photo of author Simone de Beauvoir with quote

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


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