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Simone de Beauvoir Quotes


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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.
 

No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.
 

One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius.
[Positive]
 

One is not born a woman - one becomes one.
[Women]
 

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

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 the absolute truth.
 

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

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.
 

Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable.
 

Society, being codified by man, decrees that woman is inferior; she can do away with this inferiority only by destroying the male's superiority.
 

That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.
[Helping Other People]
 

The fact that we are human beings is infinitely more important than all the peculiarities that distinguish human beings from one another.
[Helping Other People]
 

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

The role of a retired person is no longer to possess one.
[Retirement]
 

The word love has by no means the same sense for both sexes, and this is one cause of the serious misunderstandings that divide them.
 

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

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

This has always been a man's world, and none of the reasons that have been offered in explanation have seemed adequate.
 

Those interested in perpetuating present conditions are always in tears about the marvelous past that is about to disappear, without having so much as a smile for the young future.
 

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


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