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We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women's Lives

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A philosophical exploration of female submission, using insights from feminist thinkers--especially Simone de Beauvoir--to reveal the complexities of women's reality and lived experience What role do women play in the perpetuation of patriarchy? On the one hand, popular media urges women to be independent, outspoken, and career-minded. Yet, this same media glorifies a speci A philosophical exploration of female submission, using insights from feminist thinkers--especially Simone de Beauvoir--to reveal the complexities of women's reality and lived experience What role do women play in the perpetuation of patriarchy? On the one hand, popular media urges women to be independent, outspoken, and career-minded. Yet, this same media glorifies a specific, sometimes voluntary, female submissiveness as a source of satisfaction. In philosophy, even less has been said on why women submit to men and the discussion has been equally contradictory--submission has traditionally been considered a vice or pathology, but female submission has been valorized as innate to women's nature. Is there a way to explore female submission in all of its complexity--not denying its appeal in certain instances, and not buying into an antifeminist, sexist, or misogynistic perspective? We Are Not Born Submissive offers the first in-depth philosophical exploration of female submission, focusing on the thinking of Simone de Beauvoir, and more recent work in feminist philosophy, epistemology, and political theory. Manon Garcia argues that to comprehend female submission, we must invert how we examine power and see it from the woman's point of view. Historically, philosophers, psychoanalysts, and even some radical feminists have conflated femininity and submission. Garcia demonstrates that only through the lens of women's lived experiences--their economic, social, and political situations--and how women adapt their preferences to maintain their own well-being, can we understand the ways in which gender hierarchies in society shape women's experiences. Ultimately, she asserts that women do not actively choose submission. Rather, they consent to--and sometimes take pleasure in--what is prescribed to them through social norms within a patriarchy. Moving beyond the simplistic binary of natural destiny or moral vice, We Are Not Born Submissive takes a sophisticated look at how female submissiveness can be explained.


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A philosophical exploration of female submission, using insights from feminist thinkers--especially Simone de Beauvoir--to reveal the complexities of women's reality and lived experience What role do women play in the perpetuation of patriarchy? On the one hand, popular media urges women to be independent, outspoken, and career-minded. Yet, this same media glorifies a speci A philosophical exploration of female submission, using insights from feminist thinkers--especially Simone de Beauvoir--to reveal the complexities of women's reality and lived experience What role do women play in the perpetuation of patriarchy? On the one hand, popular media urges women to be independent, outspoken, and career-minded. Yet, this same media glorifies a specific, sometimes voluntary, female submissiveness as a source of satisfaction. In philosophy, even less has been said on why women submit to men and the discussion has been equally contradictory--submission has traditionally been considered a vice or pathology, but female submission has been valorized as innate to women's nature. Is there a way to explore female submission in all of its complexity--not denying its appeal in certain instances, and not buying into an antifeminist, sexist, or misogynistic perspective? We Are Not Born Submissive offers the first in-depth philosophical exploration of female submission, focusing on the thinking of Simone de Beauvoir, and more recent work in feminist philosophy, epistemology, and political theory. Manon Garcia argues that to comprehend female submission, we must invert how we examine power and see it from the woman's point of view. Historically, philosophers, psychoanalysts, and even some radical feminists have conflated femininity and submission. Garcia demonstrates that only through the lens of women's lived experiences--their economic, social, and political situations--and how women adapt their preferences to maintain their own well-being, can we understand the ways in which gender hierarchies in society shape women's experiences. Ultimately, she asserts that women do not actively choose submission. Rather, they consent to--and sometimes take pleasure in--what is prescribed to them through social norms within a patriarchy. Moving beyond the simplistic binary of natural destiny or moral vice, We Are Not Born Submissive takes a sophisticated look at how female submissiveness can be explained.

51 review for We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women's Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karen Adkins

    When I read a very good history book on underage marriage in the US (thank you Nick Syrett for writing it!), I really struggled with my own judgmental tendencies. The author at the time (in the book and later on) reminds us that often times, women submit to not-great or oppressive early marriages because that's the best of their extremely limited options. Manon Garcia's book really smartly provides the theoretical framework to support this empirical account. A philosopher by training, she argues When I read a very good history book on underage marriage in the US (thank you Nick Syrett for writing it!), I really struggled with my own judgmental tendencies. The author at the time (in the book and later on) reminds us that often times, women submit to not-great or oppressive early marriages because that's the best of their extremely limited options. Manon Garcia's book really smartly provides the theoretical framework to support this empirical account. A philosopher by training, she argues that because Western philosophy is so relentlessly focused on both individualism and freedom as unalloyed goods, that there is comparatively little analysis of submission as a concept and constraint. She answers the very basic question: why do we submit, and what does it mean? Using de Beauvoir's *The Second Sex* as her orientation, she makes a really interesting argument about how gender oppression, while not natural or essential, is so built into lived experience (through social, economic, legal structures, etc.) that women are essentially formed into seeing submission as a norm, and indeed, given constraints in a life, that refusal to resist can be the best option in times. I wasn't fully persuaded by her argument (to be specific, her use of Spivak to challenge de Beauvoir's own limitations around her analysis was too quick--I think de Beauvoir is a more limited and challenging guide here because it is so clear that her audience is primarily white, bourgeois women), but the argument is overall interesting. And Garcia writes so well that this was a quick read despite the fact that the theory is dense.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Morgenrote85

    Es un estudio filosófico muy interesante del concepto de sumisión, con alcances en el análisis existencial, fenomenológico y político. También es una estudio muy actual y provocador de la filosofía beauvoiriana de la mano del existencialismo francés, la fenomenología de Husserl y Heidegger, Hegel y la tradición marxista. Definitivamente hay que leer más de Garcia (su libro sobre Consentimiento, sale también a finales de este años). PERO. NO COMPREN LA TRADUCCIÓN AL ESPAÑOL, DEL ORIGINAL AL FRANC Es un estudio filosófico muy interesante del concepto de sumisión, con alcances en el análisis existencial, fenomenológico y político. También es una estudio muy actual y provocador de la filosofía beauvoiriana de la mano del existencialismo francés, la fenomenología de Husserl y Heidegger, Hegel y la tradición marxista. Definitivamente hay que leer más de Garcia (su libro sobre Consentimiento, sale también a finales de este años). PERO. NO COMPREN LA TRADUCCIÓN AL ESPAÑOL, DEL ORIGINAL AL FRANCÉS, EDITADO POR SIGLO XXI EDITORES. Desafortunadamente, y con mucha pena tengo que decir, es una edición mal traducida, con errores graves de edición y coloca a esta investigación en la sección de Antropología y no de Filosofía. Al final, cuando también terminé la edición en español (que por cierto no está dentro de este catálogo) me quede con una sensación de sospecha sobre si lo que había leído era correcto o no y muchas veces tuve que confrontarla con otras ediciones (inglés y francés). Es una pena. Les mande un correo a Siglo XXI señalando estos graves errores... ojala respondan y corrijan.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maher Razouk

    وفقا لفرويد ، المازوشية هي اشتقاق ، مرحلة ثانية ، من السادية. إذا اعتبر المرء ، مثل فرويد ، أن الرغبة الجنسية هي شكل من أشكال غريزة الحفاظ على الذات ، فإن النزعة المازوشية ، بميولها المدمرة ، لا يمكن أن تكون منطقية. هذا لأن المازوشية تبدو على وجه التحديد أنها تتعارض مع غريزة الحفاظ على الذات. لحل هذا التناقض ، يقترح فرويد فرضية الارتباط الزمني بين السادية _ والتي تُفهم على أنها الرغبة (الجنسية بمعنى ما) في إحداث الألم _ والمازوشية. يعرّف فرويد المازوشية بأنها عكس السادية ، لكنه يفسّرها على أنها ش وفقا لفرويد ، المازوشية هي اشتقاق ، مرحلة ثانية ، من السادية. إذا اعتبر المرء ، مثل فرويد ، أن الرغبة الجنسية هي شكل من أشكال غريزة الحفاظ على الذات ، فإن النزعة المازوشية ، بميولها المدمرة ، لا يمكن أن تكون منطقية. هذا لأن المازوشية تبدو على وجه التحديد أنها تتعارض مع غريزة الحفاظ على الذات. لحل هذا التناقض ، يقترح فرويد فرضية الارتباط الزمني بين السادية _ والتي تُفهم على أنها الرغبة (الجنسية بمعنى ما) في إحداث الألم _ والمازوشية. يعرّف فرويد المازوشية بأنها عكس السادية ، لكنه يفسّرها على أنها شكل ثانوي منحط من السادية. في الأوهام تظهر المازوشية في الذنب: لدى الطفل رغبة سادية تتحول إلى مازوشية بسبب الذنب الذي يشعر به تجاه هذا الخيال : نابع من الذنب. المتعة تتحول إلى ألم وإذلال . لذلك لم تعد تُفهم المازوشية على أنها انحراف سلبي بل على أنها تحول دافع سادي مكبوت على الذات. . Monan Garcia We Are Not Born Submissive Translated By #Maher_Razouk

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rhoda

    A good 2/3 of this book is a summary of salient bits of "The Second Sex." Your mileage will vary depending on how familiar you already are with Simone de Beauvoir's work. Garcia's writing is lucid and precise, but I wished, especially for a work that so deeply engages with de Beauvoir's phenomenological approach to doing philosophy, that Garcia would incorporate more examples from either her own life or the lives of other women to bolster her thesis on submission as women's destiny. As it is, th A good 2/3 of this book is a summary of salient bits of "The Second Sex." Your mileage will vary depending on how familiar you already are with Simone de Beauvoir's work. Garcia's writing is lucid and precise, but I wished, especially for a work that so deeply engages with de Beauvoir's phenomenological approach to doing philosophy, that Garcia would incorporate more examples from either her own life or the lives of other women to bolster her thesis on submission as women's destiny. As it is, the book reads very much like the distillation of a doctoral dissertation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ibey A

    Really struggled to finish this book mostly because it felt like a review of another book, I already get a lot of that from visual media but even with that you get insight from these people about how it has affected their lives, the author tried to bring this book from 1949 to 2020 without actually referencing anything from the today world or her experiences. Made it had to relate

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hala

    i found the topic very interesting and im planning on doing more research on it, however the way the book was written didnt capture me. its not smoothly written and there isnt any chemistry between the writer and the reader. wouldn’t recommend to a friend

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    This topic needs more attention.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dianna Dekelaita

  9. 5 out of 5

    Britthebohemian

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vivasvan Gautam

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    Caitlin Claunch

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sharayah Preman

  13. 4 out of 5

    Skye Cleary

  14. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

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    Lilah

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    Lindsay

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    Ashley Davis

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    Gabs Raffetto

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marrysparkle

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    Jana Byars

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    Patty

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    Laura Weldon

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    Laura

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    Melissa

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    Kate Atonic

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    Reads With Rachel

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    Marta Luce Abdari

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    Nikki

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    Karla Rosado

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    Frances Brown

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    Samantha Mac Donald

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    Jamie Moore

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    Emily Chandler

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    Julia Cortazar

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    Alyssa Montague

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  49. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Dick

  50. 4 out of 5

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  51. 4 out of 5

    Dubravka

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