Black and white photograph of French writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir.

Simone de Beauvoir

(1908 - 1986)

Born into an upper-middle-class Parisian family in 1908, Simone de Beauvoir taught philosophy in French lycées from 1931 to 1943 before publishing The Ethics of Ambiguity in 1947 and The Second Sex in 1949. Having supported the student demonstrations in May 1968, she wrote about society’s indifference to the elderly in The Coming of Age, in which she pointed out, “The aged do not form a body with any economic strength whatsoever and have no possible way of enforcing their rights.”

All Writing

The human working stock is of interest only insofar as it is profitable.

—Simone de Beauvoir, 1970

To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.

—Simone de Beauvoir, 1949

It is so difficult not to become vain about one’s own good luck.

—Simone de Beauvoir, 1963

It’s frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself… it seems unfair. You can’t assume the responsibility for everything you do—or don’t do.

—Simone de Beauvoir, 1966

Issues Contributed