21 phrases of Simone de Beauvoir: important feminist philosopher

Simone de Beauvoir was a French philosopher and writer who challenged the precepts of her time and fought for gender equality. Let’s see the most famous phrases of her.

Last update: 15 September, 2022

Simone de Beauvoir was a French writer, teacher and philosopher who fought for gender equality and the vindication of women’s rights during the 20th century. He wrote several texts on political, social and philosophical topics. She is considered the mother of feminism and free love.

His thought is part of the philosophical current of existentialism and his most famous work, entitled the second sex, is one of the fundamental roots of modern feminism. In this text try to answer the question “Why are women not as free as they should be?”.

At the time, it was such a controversial work that became on the list of banned books by the Vatican. Next, let’s see who this great thinker was and let’s get to know her most famous phrases.

Brief biography of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir was born on January 9, 1908 in the city of Paris, within a bourgeois family with a very strict Christian morality. Therefore, in her childhood and part of her adolescence, she received a Catholic education in a convent school, which led her to consider being one of them.

However, at the age of 14, her intellectual curiosity led her to rebel against religious faith, declaring herself an atheist and defending that religion was a way of subjugating human beings.


At 15, Simone de Beauvoir was already determined that she wanted to be a writer. After having passed the baccalaureate in 1925, he began his higher studies at the Catholic Institute of Paris, where he completed his mathematical training, while furthering his literary education at the Sainte-Marie de Neuilly Institute.

In 1926 he began his philosophy studies at the Sorbonne. There he would meet the philosopher Jean Paul-Sartre, with whom he established a romantic relationship that, for his time, was highly questioned.

She rejected Sartre’s marriage proposal, asked never to live under the same roof and be free to have other lovers. Thus, with these agreements, they remained together until his death in 1980.

With Sartre they lived a disruptive love relationship with respect to the canons of the time.

works and works

She worked as a professor of literature and philosophy, but when World War II came, he was unable to continue teaching. So he focused on his literary career and published his first novel: She came to stay (1943), where he raises the complexity of interpersonal relationships in an existentialist framework.

In the 1940s he founded with Sartre the magazine the modern times, which served to spread his ideology. In this magazine he exposed the advances of the second sex (1949), Beauvoir’s most important work, considered one of the main foundations of modern feminism.

In the 1950s he collaborated with Sartre and supported the independence of Algeria and Hungary. In the 1970s, she participated in demonstrations for the right to abortion and equality for women.

In addition to her contributions to feminism, it is worth noting her reflections on literary creation, the development of the left before and after World War II, pain and the perception of the self, the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and the profound premises of existentialism.

At the end of his career, he devoted himself to the study of aging, old age, and death. He died in Paris on April 14, 1986, at the age of 78 years. He shares a grave with Sartre in the Montparnasse cemetery.

The best quotes of Simone de Beauvoir

Next, we show the most famous phrases of Simone de Beauvoir, which very well collect her existentialist and feminist thought.

Phrases about free love

In these sentences we see how Simone de Beauvoir defends free, independent and untethered love. But above all, love for oneself. In addition, we see that this great thinker was not only in favor of love between a man and a woman, but between people of the same sex.

1. “I am too smart, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to fully take care of me. Nobody knows me or loves me completely. I only have myself».​

two. “The day a woman can love not with her weakness, but with her strength, not escape from herself, but find herself, not humiliate herself, but affirm herself, that day love will be for her, as for man, a source of life and not a mortal danger».

3. “There is a secret to living happily with the person you love: do not try to change it”.

Four. «In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be able to love a woman or a man; to any of them, to a human being, without feeling fear, restriction or obligation».

5. Why one man and not another? He was weird. You meet a guy for life, just because he was the one you met when you were nineteen.”

Phrases about women

For Simone de Beauvoir, it is civilization that has defined what it means to be a woman. However, it is she herself, as an individual, who must configure her own concept and identity, leaving behind the notion imposed and shared by all.

6. «You are not born a woman: you become one».

7. “A free woman is just the opposite of an easy woman”.

8. «The man is defined as a human being and the woman as feminine. When she behaves like a human being she is said to be imitating the male ».

9. «No biological, physical or economic destiny defines the figure that the human female has within society; civilization as a whole is the one who elaborates that intermediate product between the male and the castrated, which is qualified as feminine».

10. «Women are not victims of a mysterious fate: our ovaries do not condemn us to a life of submission».​

Phrases about freedom

Simone de Beauvoir’s existentialist thought is evident in her emphasis on individual freedom. A life independent of categories that define us a priori and tie us to pre-established patterns.

eleven. “Let nothing define us. Let nothing hold us. Let freedom be our very substance.

12. “Live in such a way that nothing you do should deserve the reproach or condemnation of those around you”.

13. “No existence can be validly realized if it limits itself”.

Phrases about androcentrism

Simone de Beauvoir also addressed androcentrism, which consists of the vision of the world centered on men, to the detriment of women.

14. «The 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».

fifteen. «Thus, humanity is masculine and man defines woman not in herself, but as relative to him».​

16. “No one is more arrogant towards women, more aggressive or contemptuous, than the man who cares about his manhood”.

17. «The problem of women has always been a problem of men».

Simone de Beauvoir was a forerunner of modern feminism, which finds great support in her phrases.

Phrases about feminism and equality

Simone deBeauvoir defended gender equality and fought for the vindication of women’s rights. The following reflections show part of his position on the matter.

18. “The point is not that women just take power out of the hands of men, because that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It is precisely about destroying that notion of power».

19. «It has been through work that women have been able to cross the distance that separates them from men. Work is the only thing that can guarantee you complete freedom.”.

twenty. «Feminism is a way of living individually and fighting collectively».

twenty-one. “Never forget that a political, economic or religious crisis will be enough for women’s rights to be questioned”.

Final thoughts

Simone de Beauvoir was a great thinker who challenged the precepts of his time and rebelled against injustices towards women. Today, some of his works are the foundation of demands for freedom and gender equality.

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