Simone de Beauvoir: A Nazi, a pedophile, and a misogynist

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on AVFM Romania and is also available in Portuguese.

As the non-feminist sector of the society gets increasingly more vocal, the sector of the society that is not yet aware of the toxic nature of this ideology reacts with a set of arguments that merely reveal that the factual reality is not yet entirely known to the public.

A while ago, a group of coffee-shop feminists were trying to convince me that feminism is not as bad as I say it is and that if I just read more about feminism, I would eventually understand. As an example to support this thesis, the aforementioned feminists recommended that I read the writings of Simone de Beauvoir, the French Marxist-feminist known for her book The Second Sex. Of course, those feminists were unable to fathom that someone had taken their ideology seriously enough to read its literature and then rationally end up utterly rejecting it. As with any other cult, such a thing is inconceivable for the true believers of the sect.

In the headline of this post, a series of allegations were made toward the eminent feminist and it’s only fair for us to prove them—which is exactly what we’re going to do in the following lines.

Between 1943 and 1944, as France was under Nazi occupation, Simone de Beauvoir worked as a sound director for Radio Vichy.1 Radio Vichy was the state’s radio station in the so-called zone libre (free zone) of France, following the capitulation of the French Republic in front of Nazi Germany in 1940. We say the so-called because the Vichy regime, although theoretically neutral from a military standpoint, was in fact an active collaborator of the Nazi regime,2 and today it is an acknowledged fact by all parties involved that the institution of Radio Vichy was the de facto mouthpiece for Nazi propaganda on the airwaves in France.

De Beauvoir apologists might say that she was forced by circumstances to work there, just like many individuals now claim to have been forced to collaborate with the Securitate during the Communist regime. But de Beauvoir’s manuscripts written in that period, which were revealed afterwards, tell a different story.

Even feminist authors, such as Dr. Ingrid Galster, who have dedicated years of their lives studying Simone de Beauvoir had to admit, albeit grudgingly, that the attitude manifested by de Beauvoir as a sound director in the Nazi propaganda machine was at the very least one of subtle collaborationism,3 and the way through which she ended up working there was not following a coercion—but a perfectly conscious choice. De Beauvoir was already a member of the public workers’ union and could have chosen to work in a city hall, for instance. But she had to choose to work somewhere else other than teaching because her career in teaching was done—even though she already had the qualifications and the prestige necessary for teaching, given that she had been the second most performing doctoral student in her generation, lagging only behind her lifetime lover, Jean-Paul Sartre.4

The reason for which she could no longer teach is exactly related to pedophilia and Jean-Paul Sartre. In 1943, Simone de Beauvoir was fired for behavior leading to the corruption of a minor.5

Once again, the apologists of de Beauvoir might rush to say that the 1943 moment was a singular incident or, as it was told to me once, an incident outright invented by the Nazi persecution who couldn’t stand her once they realized she was a Marxist empowered independent woman. But nothing could be further from the truth.

De Beauvoir’s sexual interest for children is a theme spreading throughout her life. She was amongst the first philosophers who tried to unite the genre that had begun in the 1930s (and that lasted until 1980s in Western Europe) of female pedagogical pedophilia.6 She attempted this unification with her essay “Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome,” published for the first time in Esquire magazine in 1959 and then republished multiple times until the mid-1970s. In that essay, de Beauvoir glorifies Brigitte Bardot for her childish physical aspect, which retains the perfect innocence inherent in the myth of childhood, and then paints her as a Houdini for girls who will release and empower them out of the chains in which they had been subjugated.7, 8

The 1959 essay was just the beginning. In 1977, de Beauvoir, alongside most of the Marxist French intelligentsia, signed a petition demanding nothing more and nothing less than the legalization of pedophilia and the immediate release of three individuals who were due to serve long jail sentences for sexually exploiting several boys and girls aged 11 to 14. The petition signed amongst others by de Beauvoir and Sartre was published in Le Monde and was saying, among other things, the following:9

Such a long time in remand to investigate a simple `vice’ affair, where the children have not been victims of the slightest violence, but have to the contrary testified before the examining magistrates that they consented — although the law at present denies them their right to consent — such a long time in remand we do consider scandalous in itself. Today they risk to be sentenced to a long prison term either for having had sexual relations with minors, boys as well as girls, or for having encouraged and taken photographs of their sexual plays. We believe that there is an incongruity between the designation as a `crime’ which serves to legitimize such a severity, and the facts themselves; even more so between the antiquated law and the reality of every day life in a society which tends to know about the sexuality of children and adolescents[…]

So, in de Beauvoir’s opinion, 11-year-old children in late 1970s France tended to be sexual beings. Since puberty was not installing and is not installing even today at that age for the overwhelming majority of children, we consider apt to name de Beauvoir’s advocacy as nothing short than a plea for pedophilia, regardless of which definition of the word one chooses.

The 1977 petition triggered an entire discussion at the societal level in France about the laws concerning age of consent, a discussion in which the abolitionist camp (of which de Beauvoir and her lover were part of) united into Front de libération des Pédophiles (FLIP—The Pedophiles Liberation Front) and the intentions of the members of FLIP were explained quite clearly by themselves in the discussion broadcasted on the radio in April 1978 by Radio France Culture.10 FLIP was going to be remembered as a pioneer within the ranks of the French pedophiles movement, even though the organization itself didn’t last long because of its internal disagreements.11

Besides de Beauvoir and Sartre, there were other people involved in the advocacy for pedophilia in that period, including people who then ended up leading the destinies of France—and we refer here, for instance, to Bernard Kouchner and Jack Lang, respectively, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education(!) in early 2000s in the first term of Jacques Chirac.12

All these make de Beauvoir not just a pedophile apologist but an active supporter. However, what makes her an abuser is her activity through which she was recruiting pupils, abusing them, and then passing them to Jean-Paul Sartre, sometimes separately, sometimes in an integrated ménage à trois. The Telegraph writes in a review of Carole Seymour-Jones’s book, Simone de Beauvoir? Meet Jean-Paul Sartre, a book meant to analyze de Beauvoir’s relationship with Sartre, the following:13

For long periods, the couple became a “trio”, though the arrangement rarely worked out well for the third party: at least two of de Beauvoir’s former pupils found themselves becoming first her lover, then Sartre’s, only for the couple to close ranks against them once the fun wore off.[…]

For Seymour-Jones, de Beauvoir’s affairs with her students were not lesbian but paedophiliac in origin: she was “grooming” them for Sartre, a form of “child abuse”.

For de Beauvoir (as well as for Sartre), age didn’t matter as long as the partners were younger than her and Sartre.14 The possibility that others might get hurt or sexually exploited wasn’t even remotely on the eminent feminist’s radar, who thought that “grooming” girls in order for Sartre to take their virginity (Sartre’s words, not ours) was in and of itself an act of sexual empowerment for those girls.

But if the escapades with a Nazi and pedophilia flavor don’t convince you of the questionable character of de Beauvoir, let’s have a look through her feminist writings, which are so filled with misogyny that it’s hard to find an equivalent in other sectors of the society. This aspect per se isn’t surprising to us, considering that feminism is in and of itself a misogynistic ideology. But let’s not digress.

De Beauvoir’s pillow book, The Second Sex, is a book about which contemporary feminists say that it is “remarkably fresh”—a book that had the following to say about wives:15

The wife feeds on him like a parasite; but a parasite is not a triumphant master.

Over a quarter of a century later, in 1975, in a dialogue with another feminist, Betty Friedan, de Beauvoir was going to clarify her position beyond all reasonable doubt. In a discussion about the way to compensate the mothers who stay home and care for children, de Beauvoir answered unequivocally:16

No, we don’t believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction.

Are we clear? In the eminent feminist’s vision, women are a bunch of inert creatures who are incapable of choosing what’s good for them as responsible adults. In fact, nobody besides Simone de Beauvoir and her Marxist-feminist ideology knows what’s best for women. Therefore, no women should be authorized to choose anything that contradicts de Beauvoir.

In the same dialogue, she gets even more clear:17

In my opinion, as long as the family and the myth of the family and the myth of maternity and the maternal instinct are not destroyed, women will still be oppressed.

Actually, de Beauvoir’s hatred toward maternity and mothers in general is very obvious throughout her book. Let’s offer some more samples:

Motherhood relegates woman to a sedentary existence; it is natural for her to stay at home while men hunt, fish, and go to war.18

[The mother] is plant and animal, a collection of colloids, an incubator, an egg; she frightens children who are concerned with their own bodies and provokes sniggers from young men because she is a human being, consciousness and freedom, who has become a passive instrument of life.19

And when this eminent feminist started bashing women’s bodies, nobody could stop her:

The psychic attitude evoked by menstrual servitude constitutes a heavy handicap.

[…]a woman’s body—and specifically the girl’s—is a “hysterical” body in the sense that there is, so to speak, no distance between psychic life and its physiological realization. The turmoil brought about by the girl’s discovery of the problems of puberty exacerbates them. Because her body is suspect to her, she scrutinizes it with anxiety and sees it as sick: it is sick.20

The mammary glands that develop at puberty have no role in the woman’s individual economy: they can be removed at any moment in her life.21

De Beauvoir then goes on to explain in her book how evil and oppressive the family is for the development of a girl. If the father has the audacity to be proud and appreciative of his daughter’s successes, then that’s yet another evidence of oppression and imposition of vassality for the daughter towards the father.22 But if fathers get away fairly easy, mothers who dare to discipline their daughters get an even harsher admonition from the eminent feminist:

Mothers—we will see—are blindly hostile to freeing their daughters and, more or less deliberately, work at bullying them even more; for the adolescent boy, his effort to become a man is respected, and he is already granted great freedom. The girl is required to stay home; her outside activities are watched over.23

So, are we clear? The fact that some parents were not letting their girls go out after a certain hour in the Nazi-occupied France in the middle of World War II constitutes oppression. And bear in mind that de Beauvoir bemoans this aspect—about which there is serious doubt that it was generalized—while 13- and 14-year-old boys were fighting in the war,24 including to keep her safe in order to write rubbish “philosophy” and produce propaganda for the Nazi regime—a regime that also had 14- and 15-year-old boys in their troops.25 I’m almost willing to say that she should have checked her privilege. But I won’t say.

The hypocrisy of this woman is both fascinating to study and revolting at the same time. Simone de Beauvoir, worshiped even today as a great icon of the “good” feminism of the 1960s and studied in the “feminist dialogues” on the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest (SNSPA), has defended with great fervor the revolutionary regime of Ioseb Dzhugashvili (aka Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin) until long after the horrors of Stalinism had already become known in Western Europe.

In other words, while numerous Romanians left in the USSR were being deported into the Gulag, while the intellectual elite of this country was being decimated in concentration camps like Râmnicu Sărat, Pitești, or Aiud, and while even 12-year-old boys were being tortured in Communist prisons for conspiracy against the socialist order,26 Simone de Beauvoir was publishing The Second Sex in which she was explaining how women’s liberation is intimately related to the fate of socialism27 while vehemently denying, alongside with her lover, the Stalinist atrocities that were taking place in the same moments. And we, the Romanian taxpayers, now pay for students to go to SNSPA and study this low-life as if she’s someone we should look up to. Well, this is a real example of state-sponsored misogyny! But I have a feeling that the feminist elite is very comfortable with it.

Dear coffee-shop feminists, if you are recommending us to read Simone de Beauvoir as an example of a “good” feminist, then you either haven’t read her yourselves and you’re mentioning her just to appear cultivated, or, on the contrary, you have read her and agree with what she stood for, in which case any normal non-feminist human being would have to be at the very least insane to believe that you have the best intentions in mind.

The audacity with which de Beauvoir purports nothing short of outright banning certain choices for women because they don’t fall in her ideological lines is the absolute example of a deranged Utopian for whom warm water is a new concept and for whom the planet revolves around herself. And if it doesn’t, then it’s the planet’s fault and it must be banned. The truth must be banned—if the truth is “incorrect.”

If feminists would truly be sincere when they assert that they aim to combat misogyny and increase the spectrum of choices for women, then they would start by throwing the entire ideological arsenal coming from Simone de Beauvoir to the dustbin of history. But they’re not doing that and they’ll never do that because feminism is hypocritical in its best days and totalitarian by its nature and practice in its regular days. And when feminism has a bad day, it demands the extermination of men.

Dear feminists, your declaration of public appreciation for Simone de Beauvoir says far more about yourselves than anything anyone from the non-feminist sector of the society could ever say. You have once again proven that the best anti-feminist argument comes right from the feminists themselves. And for that, we wish to extend our thanks!

References:
Special thanks to Marian Atodiresei, who helped with documentation.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

1 http://my.telegraph.co.uk/expat/stephenclarke/10151800/10151800/ – Stephen Clarke – The women that France needs to remember – or forget; The Telegraph, published at September 5, 2013

2 https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/VichyRegime.html – The Holocaust: The French Vichy Regime

3 http://www.lexpress.fr/culture/livre/ce-qu-on-n-ose-pas-voir-sur-beauvoir_822547.html – Dupuis Jérôme – Ce qu’on n’ose pas voir sur Beauvoir; L’Express, published at January 3, 2008

4 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/3672534/Simone-de-Beauvoir-Meet-Jean-Paul-Sartre.html – Tim Martin – Simone de Beauvoir? Meet Jean-Paul Sartre; The Telegraph, published at April 12, 2008

5 http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/savile-beauvoir-and-the-charms-of-the-nymph/ – Andy Martin – The Persistence of the ‘Lolita Syndrome’; The New York Times, published at May 19, 2013

6 ibidem

7 ibidem

8 Simone de Beauvoir – Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome (with many half-tone illustrations) p.10; 14 – First Four Square Edition – The New English Library LTD., 1962

9 We received the following communication: Le Monde, January 26, 1977 – https://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/00aug29b1_from_1977.htm

10 Sexual Morality and the Law, Chapter 16 of Politics, Philosophy, Culture –Interviews and Other Writings 1977-1984, p.275

11 Le Mouvement Pédophile en France – http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=http://bibliobleue.fpc.li/Revues/Gredin/N0/MvtFrance.htm

12 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/feb/24/jonhenley – Jon Henley – Calls for legal child sex rebound on luminaries of May 68; The Guardian, published at February 24, 2001

13 Ibidem 4

14 http://www.biographile.com/6-degrees-of-infatuation-an-ode-to-frisky-french-writers/28496/ – Kelsey Osgood – 6 Degrees of Infatuation: An Ode to Frisky French Writers; Biographile, published at February 11, 2014

15 Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex, p. 378 – Translated by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier; Vintage Books – Random House Inc., New York, 2009

16 Sex, Society and the Female Dilemma – A Dialogue between Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan; Saturday Review, publicat la 14 Iunie 1975 – p. 18 http://64.62.200.70/PERIODICAL/PDF/SaturdayRev-1975jun14/14-24/

17 Female Dilemma, op. cit. p.20

18 Second Sex, op. cit. p.70

19 Ibidem p.392-393

20 Ibidem p.257-258

21 Ibidem p.43

22 Ibidem p.255

23 Ibidem p. 258-259

24 World War II: Conscription and the Age of Soldiers – http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/age/ww2-age.html

25 Hitler’s Boy Soldiers – http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/hitleryouth/hj-boy-soldiers.htm

26 Târgșor, communist prison for children – National Romanian Television report (English subtitles included) – http://vimeo.com/73694592

27 Second Sex, op. cit. p.60

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