Simone de Beauvoir and Guy Debord essay

Simone de Beauvoir, being of the prominent proponents of the feminist movement, viewed the problem of the oppression of women and their secondary role in the society as a complex social problem, which was closely intertwined with other problems affecting the life of the entire society and referring not only to material but also ethical domain. First of all, it should be said that Simone de Beauvoir stand on the ground that the society imposes certain gender roles since the beginning of the life of an individual. At the same time, she argued that the modern society is totally dominated by males, who define basic cultural norms and principles, which, in their turn, affect gender roles, models of behavior and, therefore, define the rules which girls and boys learn since their childhood. As a result, women are actually learned to be inferior compared to men, even though initially both men and women are born equal.

In this respect, it is possible to speak the problem of inequality in broader, social terms. Simone de Beauvoir argued that the inferiority and secondary position of women was, to a significant extent, determined by their socioeconomic position and low social status. To put it more precisely, she laid emphasis on the fact that men traditionally occupied the leading position in the society, while women had to focus entirely on their households and bringing their children up. This inequality was provoked by the inequality of economic opportunities of men and women. As men controlled the socioeconomic relations in the society, they had advantageous position in the labor market than women could not afford living without the support of men.

In such a situation, Simone de Beauvoir insisted on the economic liberation of women which will definitely to the improvement of their socioeconomic position for they would get equal opportunities compared to men. In other words, as women could earn as much as men did and as women could take the positions men did, women would become truly equal to men and they could implement the fundamental idea of feminism the liberation of women, and the idea of socialism the equality of all people and equal redistribution of wealth within the society. However, it is impossible to achieve these goals by means of economic reforms or social changes solely. Instead, the change of moral and ethical norms is needed to recognize the equality of all people.

In this respect, Guy Debord’s views on the modern society are, to a significant extent similar to those of Simone de Beauvoir. To put it more precisely, he stands on the ground that the modern society is degrading steadily leading to the widening gap between rich and poor. At the same time, he argues that the modern society has lost any moral and ethical ground on the basis of which it would be possible to build up a moral and just society. Instead, consumerism became the mainstream trend widely promoted by modern media. The consumerism accelerates human degradation. In such a situation, Guy Debord insists on the necessity of the development of new, moral values which should free people from chains of consumerism. In such a way, people should understand that the pursuit of material wealth is not the ultimate goal of their existence.

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