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Knopf, Inc and although the publishers had been made aware of the problems with the English text, they long stated that there was really no need for a new translation, even though Beauvoir herself explicitly requested one in a 1985 interview: "I would like very much for another translation of The Second Sex to be done, one that is much more faithful; more complete and more faithful." has met with generally positive reviews from literary critics, who credit Borde and Malovany-Chevalier with having diligently restored the sections of the text missing from the Parshley edition, as well as correcting many of its mistakes.
Other reviewers, however, including Toril Moi, one of the most vociferous critics of the original 1953 translation, are critical of the new edition, voicing concerns with its style, syntax and philosophical and syntactic integrity.
The biographer Deirdre Bair, writing in her "Introduction to the Vintage Edition" in 1989, relates that "one of the most sustained criticisms" has been that Beauvoir is "guilty of unconscious misogyny", that she separated herself from women while writing about them.
Bair writes that the French writer Francis Jeanson and the British poet Stevie Smith made similar criticisms: in Smith's words, "She has written an enormous book about women and it is soon clear that she does not like them, nor does she like being a woman." Bair also quotes British scholar C. Radford's view that Beauvoir was "guilty of painting women in her own colors" because The Second Sex is "primarily a middle-class document, so distorted by autobiographical influences that the individual problems of the writer herself may assume an exaggerated importance in her discussion of femininity. Halperin writes that Beauvoir gives an idealized account of sexual relations between women in The Second Sex, suggesting that they reveal with particular clarity the mutuality of erotic responsiveness that characterizes women's eroticism.
The philosopher Judith Butler writes that Beauvoir's formulation that "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" distinguishes the terms "sex" and "gender".
Borde and Malovany-Chevalier, in their complete English version, translated this formulation as "One is not born, but rather becomes, woman" because in this context (one of many different usages of "woman" in the book), the word is used by Beauvoir to mean woman as a construct or an idea, rather than woman as an individual or one of a group.
The French Parliament in 1967 decided to legalize contraception but only under strict qualifications.Christina Hoff Sommers dismissed The Second Sex, writing that its "reputation as a masterpiece, a work of art, or even an inspiring manifesto, depends heavily on no one reading it." Sommers described the book as a "tangle" containing "sweeping declarations", and that Beauvoir "made no effort to distinguish relevant from irrelevant material", and was careless in her use of evidence.The rise of second wave feminism in the United States spawned by Betty Friedan’s book, Feminine Mystique, which was inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s, The Second Sex, took significantly longer to reach and impact the lives of European women.When she agrees to grow old she becomes elderly with half of her adult life left to live.
and women in and outside marriage: "The day when it will be possible for the woman to love in her strength and not in her weakness, not to escape from herself but to find herself, not out of resignation but to affirm herself, love will become for her as for man the source of life and not a mortal danger." Among writers, Beauvoir chooses only Emily Brontë, Woolf and ("sometimes") Mary Webb (and she mentions Colette and Mansfield) as among those who have tried to approach nature "in its inhuman freedom".
Even though The Second Sex was published in 1949 and Feminine Mystique was published in 1963, the French were concerned that expanding equality to include matters of the family was detrimental to French morals.