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Submission or the Perpetuation of Patriarchy: A Philosophical Discussion on De Beauvoir’s Legacy

Part of Ideas and Ideals: Thoughts for a Better Tomorrow

Join the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Emory University for Ideas and Ideals: Strong Female Voices, a monthly online gathering exploring how we redefine power, consent, and submission.  

Conversation moderated by Abby Kluchin 

As booklovers, ardent feminists, and philosophers alike rejoice over the US release of The Inseparable, a never-before-published work by Simone de Beauvoir, the latest installment of Ideas and Ideals: Strong Female Voices explores the question of female submission with two philosophers and experts on the iconic thinker's works.  

Manon Garcia is the author of We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women’s Livesan essay published in spring 2021 by Princeton University Press which explores female submission in all of its nuances using insights from feminist thinkers—especially Simone de Beauvoir. Her essay takes a closer look at the concept of submission, acknowledging its appeal in certain instances and avoiding any antifeminist, sexist, or misogynistic perspectives. Skye Cleary has written extensively about love and existentialism. She is at work on a book about the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, which will be published next year.  

The two philosophers will discuss the complexities of women’s lived experience, the role women play in the perpetuation of patriarchy, and how de Beauvoir has informed their views on gender, justice, and submission. As they reflect on how hierarchies shape women’s experience, Manon Garcia and Skye Cleary will heed a call to take control of our own destinies.

Manon Garcia is a French philosopher and an assistant professor of philosophy at Yale. She is the author of On ne naît pas soumise, on le devient (ed. Flammarion, 2018) that she translated into English and expanded as We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women’s Lives (ed. Princeton University Press, 2021). The book is also being translated in Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Turkish. Her second book, La Conversation des sexes: Philosophie du consentement, is coming out in France in October 2021. 

Skye C. Cleary is the author of Existentialism and Romantic Love and co-editor of How to Live a Good Life. Her book about Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy is due to appear next year. She teaches at Columbia University, Barnard College, and the City College of New York.

Abby Kluchin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion and coordinator of the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies program at Ursinus College. She is also co-founder and Associate Director at Large of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

This series, organized by the Cultural Services Book Department is made possible through the support of the Institut Français, Paris.