Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Mothers of Feminism

Philosophy? A guilty pleasure of mine.

Feminism? Fresh from Imogen Sutton, who has studied a major figure in the Feminist movement.

How could I resist this event?

If I had known Simone de Beauvoir had never conceived children - or known anything at all about her - I might have understood beforehand the endearing irony of the event's title: "Imogen Sutton: Daughters of de Beauvoir."

After a short introduction to the film and a fumble with the light switch, darkness fell, and the screen brightened. Although there were no subtitles – forgivable since the film was produced nearly thirty years ago - it was an enjoyable and enlightening watch.

Faces of writers like Kate Millett (an old friend of the French writer) and Ann Oakley spread across the screen as they shared their discoveries of feminism through de Beauvoir's ground-shaking work.

Feminism has always been a concrete thing for me, as I was born on the eve of the 21st century. Not for these women, though. They pulled the cloth from their eyes and perceived their passive position in society: they were living through their husbands.

And this was all realised because the deeply introspective Simone de Beauvoir shouted into the void so effectively with The Second Sex, first published in 1949. 

Sutton admitted, with disappointment, that de Beauvoir and her work are still relevant today. Women continue to be oppressed "in all departments."

I left feeling unexpectedly wised-up and quite 'feminist-ed.'

G. E. Knight

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