Focusing on the second volume of The Second Sex (“Lived Experience”), this chapter investigates Beauvoir’s descriptions of the bodily and mnemonic habits that make women intelligible to themselves and others. Special attention is paid to the two social activities that seem to prevent women from filling the role of the slave in Hegel’s struggle for recognition: maternity and care work, which leaves no lasting alienable product. This analysis of Beauvoir’s “Lived Experience” shows how the meanings of gender get “re-actualized” generation after generation. It also poses difficult questions for our ability to tell when a given practice – such as narcissism, religiosity, heterosexual romance or lesbianism – is a rigid repetition and when it functions as a line of flight.
Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.