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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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It’s About Time Women Put a New Face on Love

It’s About Time Women Put a New Face on Love

(p.76) It’s About Time Women Put a New Face on Love
Feminist Writings

Simone de Beauvoir

Marybeth Timmermann

University of Illinois Press

It’s about time women put a new face on love. They are becoming both independent and responsible, active builders of the world. But this metamorphosis still causes dismay. A thousand prophets mutter that they will drag love to its ruin, and with it all poetry, illusion, and happiness. Until now our civilization has never known a love that was not founded on inequality. Women capable of genuine passion kneel worshipfully before their master, sovereign, god. This idea is so deeply rooted in men’s hearts that if a woman does not lie prostrate at their feet, they fear that they may themselves be forced to play the ignominious slave. The myth of the patient Griselda has been replaced by that of the praying mantis. The one gives, the other exploits. The gifts that the first showers upon him are a burden, and the second succeeds in wringing profit from the male only through submission to him; both are parasites who camouflage, each in her own way, their dependence. Is it not possible to conceive a new kind of love in which both partners are equals—one not seeking submission to the other? Or in the society of the future will there only be room, as so many claim, for a comradeship in which sex occurs only at absolute need?...

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