Google has celebrated what would have been the 106th birthday of the French feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir with a Google Doodle on the search engine’s home page.
Born Simone-Lucie-Ernestine-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir on 9 January 1908 in Paris, De Beauvoir is best known for her book The Second Sex, one of the most important works of 20th-century feminism, and novels such as She Came to Stay and The Mandarins.
De Beauvoir had a lifelong partnership with Jean-Paul Sartre, which did not exclude other relationships. She said the absence of marriage and children allowed her to pursue her studies and writing.
The doodle features an image of the writer in front of Parisian street buildings with canopies, which suggest the Cafe de Flore in the 6th district of Paris with which Beauvoir and Sartre were associated.
Beauvoir and Sartre were proponents of the philosophy of existentialism and both edited the magazine Les Temps Modernes. De Beauvoir edited it until her death in 1986.
Selected Simone de Beauvoir Quotations
• One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.
• To emancipate woman is to refuse to confine her to the relations she bears to man, not to deny them to her; let her have her independent existence and she will continue none the less to exist to him also; mutually recognizing each other as subject, each will yet remain for the other an other.
• Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.
• This has always been a man’s world, and none of the reasons that have been offered in explanation have seemed adequate.
• 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.
• The most sympathetic of men never fully comprehend woman’s concreted situation.
• Society, being codified by man, decrees that woman is inferior; she can do away with this inferiority only by destroying the male’s superiority.
• When we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy it implies, then the “division” of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form.