Simone de Beauvoir, the Women’s Movement
Simone de Beauvoir, Le Mouvement des Femmes, Mémoires d’Une Jeune Fille Rebelle, (Simone de Beauvoir, The Women’s Movement, Memoirs of a Rebellious Daughter). Editions internationales Alain Stanké, 1995, Outremont, Québec, Editions du Rocher, Paris, 1996.
Born to a family of French scientists who traveledaround the world, Claudine Monteil recalls her youth spent on two continents, Europe, the United States and the USSR. The Cold War was at his highest tension. Monteil explains her commitment to women’s rights thanks to her mother’s example. After World War II , her mother had to fight to become an academic in chemistry, and eventually became president of one of the elite universities in France. She took this opportunity to obtain from the French authorities the opening to women of some elite schools and of jobs which were until then exclusively reserved to men. Some of her former female students now occupy top positions in France in the political, financial and research areas.
Inspired by her mother’s life, Claudine Monteil meets Jean-Paul Sartre in the May 1968 students groups, but is disappointed by their attitude towards women’s cause. She soon gets involved in the Women’s liberation movement at 20 years of age in 1970. Simone de Beauvoir wants to see her. Though there is a big age difference between them –Monteil is 20, Beauvoir 62- they start a strong friendship which lasts until the death of the author of The Second Sex, in 1986.
The Memoirs of a Rebellious Daughter recalls, day after day, some of the unknown details and anecdotes of these struggles in France which changed women’s condition in France. It shows in an intimate way the fights, the worries, and the sadness when Beauvoir has to face Sartre’s illness and passing. It also empathizes the happy moments and accomplishments of the Women’s Movement and of Beauvoir’s daily support to their cause. In less than five years, even though they are harassed and jeopardized, the women from the Women’s Movement succeed to change French society. This very lively book, full of anecdotes, is a diary of a battle for human , and therefore women’s rights which was won.
This book can be ordered in French, Japanese, or Swedish on Amazon.com, Chapitre.com, Fnac.com or from the publishers (see CV for their names). If you cannot order a copy of it from there, you can order one from the author by sending her a message.