Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal

Comparative and Competing Frameworks of Oppression in Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, by Kathryn T. Gines

In “Comparative and Competing Frameworks of Oppression in Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex,” Kathryn T. Gines draws attention to the epistemological standpoint of ignorance that some of Beauvoir’s supporters maintain concerning certain limitations of her feminist philosophy. Gines argues that comparative and competing frameworks of oppression pose major problems throughout The Second Sex: on the one hand, by collapsing diverse systems of oppression as the same, and on the other hand, by distinguishing between these systems of oppression in a way that privileges gender difference and oppression above other forms of oppression. Moreover, Gines discusses the problems inherent in the way in which the “woman” Beauvoir describes is most often a white woman as well as to Beauvoir’s problematic figurative description of free white women as prostitutes, slaves or as enslaved.

Article available through Philosophy Documentation Center, here.


Kathryn Gines is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The Pennsylvania State University as well as Founding Director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers and a founding Co-Editor of the journal Critical Philosophy of Race. Her book, Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question, was published in 2014 by Indiana University Press. Other recent publications include “A Critique of Postracialism: Conserving Race and Complicating Blackness Beyond the Black-white Binary,” Du Bois Review 11:1 (2014); “Reflections on the Legacy and Future of Continental Philosophy With Regard to the Critical Philosophy of Race,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy 50:2 (2012); and “The Man Who Lived Underground: Jean-Paul Sartre and the Philosophical Legacy of Richard Wright,” Sartre Studies International 19:2 (2011).

Kathryn T. Gines, “Comparative and Competing Frameworks of Oppression in Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex,” in “Philosophy and Race,” ed. Alexis Dianda and Robin M. Muller, special issue, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 35:1–2 (2014), pp. 251–73.

About GFPJ

The Journal, published semi-annually in association with the Department of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research, provides a forum in which contemporary authors engage with the history of philosophy and its traditions.

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