One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.
— Simone de Beauvoir
All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them.
Society, being codified by man, decrees that woman is inferior; she can do away with this inferiority only by destroying the male's superiority.
Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female - whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.
Art is an attempt to integrate evil.
I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity.
What is an adult? A child blown up by age.
Sex pleasure in woman is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken.
Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself.
Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay.
One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.
To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job.
Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth.
The word love has by no means the same sense for both sexes, and this is one cause of the serious misunderstandings that divide them.
This has always been a man's world, and none of the reasons that have been offered in explanation have seemed adequate.
The writer of originality, unless dead, is always shocking, scandalous; novelty disturbs and repels.
If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat.
In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.
Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable.
All oppression creates a state of war.
When an individual is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he does become inferior.
To make oneself an object, to make oneself passive, is a very different thing from being a passive object.
One is not born a woman, but becomes one.
It is not in giving life but in risking life that man is raised above the animal; that is why superiority has been accorded in humanity not to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills.
Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying.
No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.
In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid.
The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women.
I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth - and truth rewarded me.
Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.
Buying is a profound pleasure.
It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life. Old age is life's parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time.
I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
Why one man rather than another? It was odd. You find yourself involved with a fellow for life just because he was the one that you met when you were nineteen.