simone de beauvoir dumpstered biological essentialism by pointing out that biological facts dont exist in a vacuum but are encased in cultural valuation of those facts

e.g. if it is a biological fact that men are on average and on the whole physically stronger than women, this fact would not have any bearing on the treatment of women in a society that did not value the ability to physically dominate.


the beauty of this argument is that it renders discussions of "biological wiring" completely moot, because it demonstrates that what really matters is the ethics of how we choose to treat people as they exist, not figuring out what "nature intended" or other such nonsense

@dankwraith this sounds like something i actually wanna read now

@cerret de beauvoir was a philosophical heavyweight and an incredible writer and should probably be given most of the credit for modern existentialism but she wasnt, for Some Reason. i wonder what that Reason could possibly be

@dankwraith hmmmmm. what books would you recommend, or if you recommend all of them, what order should i go in

@cerret if youre primarily interested in existentialism, The Ethics of Ambiguity. it mostly deals with the dilemma of radical freedom vs the conditions of circumstance which is uhhh pretty fucking relevant today imo.

if its feminist theory you want, read The Second Sex. she was one of the (if not the first) first writers to articulate the distinction between gender and sex. "One is not born, but becomes a woman."

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