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Feminist Writings$
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Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret A. Simons, and Marybeth Timmermann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039003

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039003.001.0001

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Preface to The Great Fear of Loving

Preface to The Great Fear of Loving

(p.84) Preface to The Great Fear of Loving
Feminist Writings

Simone de Beauvoir

, Marybeth Timmermann
University of Illinois Press

“How do other women do it?” This heart-wrenching leitmotiv is repeated all throughout the collection of testimonies given to us today by the honorable Dr. Weill-Hallé. The exhausted, harassed, frightened, and hounded women who come to ask her for help believe themselves to be the victims of some singular and obscure malediction. To them their despair seems too absolute to not be abnormal. Each one imagines that surely other women know of ways to escape the traps into which they have fallen and the insidious danger that incubates in their blood. But alas, this is far from true. Dr. Weill-Hallé recounts individual cases in a deliberately terse style; each one of these stories makes us feel the throbbing of a unique life, and yet the tremendous and painful import of her book comes from the fact that it gives us a sampling of tragedies that are repeated a thousand times each day. Each year in France, there are at least five hundred thousand abortions, but how many unwanted pregnancies are endured in anguish? How many children are born unwanted, unloved, or mistreated? How many households are devastated by excessive burdens and how many couples are torn apart for fear of another pregnancy? How many women’s careers have been shattered and loves been lost? How many women are tortured by obsessive fears or pushed ...

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