November 21, 2019

Revolutionary According to Sartre, bad faith is an act

Revolutionary and thought-provoking,
Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex is
a novel that challenged the subordination of women brought upon by men and
illustrated a feminist and philosophical perspective on rights of women. Working
alongside with Jean-Paul Sartre, De Beauvoir’s work in The Second Sex underlies Sartre’s concept of bad faith in relation
to De Beauvoir’s concept of the “battle of the sexes.” Being confined by her
own immanence in a male-dominated society, De Beauvoir illustrates that the feminine
subject “declares herself as their equal” in relation to the transcendence of
the male for the struggle for recognition because it is affecting her free will
and responsibility (De Beauvoir 428). By recognizing the female, the male
attempts to “find himself” as a stable identity to transcend as the male figure
through “the devaluation of femininity” and the oppression of women. Lastly, De
Beauvoir believes that the construct of femininity is itself a product, as
Sartre puts it, of bad faith because “one is not born, but rather becomes, a
woman.”

            Conceived
by Jean-Paul Sartre, the concept of bad faith underlies Simone De Beauvoir’s concept
of the so-called “battle of the sexes.” In order to explain how the concept of
bad faith relates to the concept of the battle of the sexes, one has to
understand Sartrean philosophy. According to Sartre, bad faith is an act of
deceiving oneself by rejecting the notion of freedom and one’s facticity, even
though human beings are aware of that very vaguely. Bad faith is basically the
act of living inauthentically by rejecting one’s freedom and facticity by
saying something like “I had to do it because I had no choice.” An example of bad faith includes that
a person accepts that he or she does not have free will and adopts the social
roles imposed upon them which prevents them from being the individual they can
be. This notion of bad faith connects to two concepts known as voluntarism and
determinism. Voluntarism is the belief that our actions are unconditioned and a
product of our free will, while determinism is the belief that everything we do
has a definite cause and that there is a reason for every action; it lacks the
notion of free will. Therefore, the idea of bad faith and determinism go hand
in hand by the fact that humans tell a lie to themselves to identify who they
are because it is already predetermined by one’s facticity or features of the
“being” that limits one’s projects and possibilities. An example of how bad
faith and determinism relate is for a human to say “I am a product of my time
hence that is why I made that choice.” People tend to stick with “safe and
easy” choices failing to recognize the multitude amount of choices available to
them. As Sartre puts it, people desire to be a “being-in-itself” than to be a
“being-for-itself.” Being-in-itself is something that is permanent and concrete
and lacks the ability to change something like an object, while being-for-itself
is something that has a “free foundation of its emotions as of its volitions,”
basically describing humans because their actions are not permanent and are
able to change. (Sartre 316). By desiring permanence and try to be the “being-in-itself,”
humans fall into bad faith and their projects are limited by their facticity
and fail to recognize the freedom that exists and the ability to make whatever
choice they desire like a “being-for-itself.” Connecting this to De Beauvoir’s
concept of the “battle of the sexes,” “society…decrees that woman is
inferior: she  can do away with this
inferiority only by destroying the male’s superiority” (De Beauvoir 427). Since
the beginning of time, women have been oppressed and considered to be inferior
to men, and it is considered to be “the eternal fact of human nature.” The fact
it is the “eternal fact of human nature” is itself bad faith because it
presents a changeless essence that dictates human behavior. This illustrates
the concepts of immanence and transcendence in relation to the “battle of the
sexes.” Immanence says that women are confined within their appropriate sphere
of activity, while transcendence allows men to “transcend” the physical aspect
of their being to “conquer the natural world.” Both men and women want to
transcend and “conquer the natural world” with their projects, but men would
not be able to have a “stable identity,” and there is a struggle for
recognition and “each free being wishing to dominate the other” (De Beauvoir
428). However, within the “battle of the sexes,” there is bad faith because
society has standards for women and because of those standards women are
confined within their own immanence and unable to transcend, while males are
able to transcend to attain the natural world. Clearly, Sartre’s concept of bad
faith underlies De Beauvoir’s concept of the battle of sexes.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

            Confined by her immanence within
sexist societies, De
Beauvoir illustrates that the feminine subject “declares herself as their
equal” in relation to the transcendence of the male for the struggle for
recognition (De Beauvoir 428). According to De Beauvoir, “the ‘modern’ women
accepts masculine values: she prides herself on thinking, taking action,
working, creating, on the same terms as men; instead of seeking to disparage
them, she declares herself as his equal” (De Beauvoir 428). However, in order
to understand what De Beauvoir means by being “their equal,” one has to
understand the concepts of immanence and transcendence. De Beauvoir uses
“immanence” to portray the misogynistic societies, in which women are confined
to their sphere of activity in a closed-off realm where women are passive and domestic.
“Transcendence” designates the opposing male to transcend the physical aspect
of his being and identifying himself as superior. However, men refuse to
“accept his companion as an equal in any concrete way” making the women
subordinate to men’s superiority and her being immersed in her own immanence
(De Beauvoir 428). A woman, according to De Beauvoir, seeks to be considered as
an equal, but men want to consider themselves as superior and there is a
struggle for recognition between the two sexes; women desire to have projects,
accomplishments, and activities, but men have relinquished their existential
right to transcendent and be forced to be immersed in their immanence. Due to this
oppression, “instead of displaying mutual recognition, each free being wishes
to dominate the other” (De Beauvoir 428). This is contrary to Hegel’s concept
of mutual recognition. Hegel believed that women have freedom but need to be
denied that freedom to have a functional working-class society; there needs to
be mutual recognition. On the contrary, De Beauvoir does mention “why men
enslaved women in the first place” and that “it might have led to a
collaboration between the two sexes” (De Beauvoir 429). However, she mentions
that men enslaved women “by means of identification with the other” (De
Beauvoir 429). She believes that men oppressed women so that they are able to
transcend while, the women are still confined to the society, immersed in her
own immanence.

            By
recognizing the female, the male attempts to “find himself” as a stable
identity through oppression and “the devaluation of femininity” to transcend as
the male figure. According to De Beauvoir, “man is concerned with the effort to
appear male, important, superior” (De Beauvoir 429). Men want to be
transcendent, and they desire the freedom to make choices and to carry out
projects of their choice. De Beauvoir illustrates that man is afraid of losing
his dignity and honor and that “he is afraid of the personage, the image, with
which he identifies himself” will be non-existent (De Beauvoir 429). Due to
worrying about his “image,” De Beauvoir illustrates the struggle between the
transcendence and the immanence and the battle between the two sexes. She
believes that in order for man to find himself a stable identity he needs to
suppress “the other” (women) so that he (man) can transcend above “the other” to
fulfill his projects and desires. Human existence, according to De Beauvoir, is
an interplay of these forces: immanence and transcendence. However, throughout
generations, men, being privileged with his transcendence, have always
relinquished the existential right of women to transcend forcing her to be confined
within society’s standards, so that men are able to “find themselves.” Ironically,
by finding himself a “stable identity,” man is falling into bad faith because
man wants to achieve a transcendent identity that is permanent and once because
human beings desire permanence. Additionally, man wants a permanent identity
that is recognized in the eyes of his woman and seen as the provider and
protector of the household. Therefore, man establishes an “image” that is “permanent”
because it does not change, and this is bad faith because man is denying his
freedom to continue changing his transcendent image. Via control and
domination, man suppresses woman in order to identify himself of who he is and
creates an image and persona of what he is, while a woman becomes a
transcendent existent trapped in her own immanence of the being.

            De
Beauvoir believes that the construct of femininity is itself, as Sartre puts
it, a product of bad faith because “one is not born, but rather becomes, a
woman” (De Beauvoir). Basically, De Beauvoir is saying is that society with all
its rules and regulations are confining women to “be a woman.” Since the
beginning of time, women have been considered to be a certain way and that they
are not considered to be “womanly” if they do something out of line. De
Beauvoir is challenging the notion of feminine mystique, which is the idea that
woman’s role in society is to be a wife, mother, and housewife
and nothing else. However, De Beauvoir is right that the construct of
femininity is a product of bad faith because one is accepting
that they do not have free will because society is imposing certain standards
on them (facticity). Furthermore, logically speaking it makes sense that if
someone is taught their entire life to look like a “women,” behave like a
“women,” and play a submissive role in the household and in jobs, it is going
to affect one’s freedom and authenticity. The construct of femininity is a
product of bad faith because society teaches that women should be a certain way
and thus it is society is suppressing the women into the confinement of her own
immanence. Bad faith is a lie about oneself that can deny not only our freedom,
but also our facticity. De Beauvoir mentions that even though a female is grown
up as a “woman” because society is imposing those characteristics on a her, she
chooses to continue to be “the women” society wants her to be. By choosing to
continue to be a woman because of her facticity and denying her freedom, this
is why De Beauvoir says that the construct of femininity is a product of bad
faith. By lying to oneself and denying one’s freedom and facticity, De Beauvoir
illustrates that the construct of femininity is a product of bad faith because
women allow themselves to be confined by identities that society imposes on
them, and their choices to be ruled by society’s identities that are imposed on
them do not reflect who they truly are. Women have the option to rebel,
for instance, and demand rights that were stolen from them. They have the right
to demand their rights from the men who have oppressed them, but yet they
choose to continue to be a “women,” and according to De Beauvoir, this is bad
faith. Clearly, the construct of femininity is a product of bad faith.

            Indeed, the concept of bad faith, by
Jean-Paul Sartre, underlies Simone De Beauvoir’s concept of the so-called
“battle of the sexes” to illustrate the struggle for recognition between the
males trying to transcend while trapping the females in their own immanence.
This struggle for recognition further illustrates how males finds a “stable
identity” of himself by oppressing women and fleeing from one’s anxiety from
continuingly changing one’s identity. Lastly, De Beauvoir illustrates that the
construct of femininity is itself a product of bad faith.

            

x

Hi!
I'm Allison!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out