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On ne naît pas femme: on le devient – The Life of a Sentence - Oxford Scholarship Online
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On ne naît pas femme: on le devient: The Life of a Sentence

Bonnie Mann and Martina Ferrari


This collection of essays takes up the most famous feminist sentence ever written, Simone de Beauvoir’s “On ne naît pas femme: on le devient,” finding in it a flashpoint that galvanizes feminist thinking and action in multiple dimensions. Two entangled controversies emerge in the life of this sentence: a controversy over the practice of translation and a controversy over the nature and status of sexual difference. Variously translated into English as “One is not born, but rather becomes a woman” (Parshley, 1953), “one is not born but rather becomes woman” (Borde and Malovany-Chevallier, 2010), ... More

Keywords: Simone de Beauvoir, Malovany-Chevallier, Parshley, practices of translation, sexual difference, social construction, feminism, “on ne naît pas femme: on le devient”, “one is not born, but rather becomes [a]‌ woman”

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190608811
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190608811.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bonnie Mann, editor
Head of Philosophy and Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon

Martina Ferrari, editor
Graduate Student in Philosophy, University of Oregon

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