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Simone de Beauvoir and WEB DuBois were existentialists whose ideas were reflected in their works The Second Sex and The Souls of Black Folk respectively They wrote in response to the dominant theories surrounding the cause of and the answer to the discrimination faced by women and blacks Both sharing the existentialist mindset believed neither women nor blacks were born into their individual lifestyles as the weaker gender or race Living a life of subordination and submissiveness was the catalyst for inequality Beauvoirs notion of the Other and DuBois theory of double consciousness are parallel ideas that shed light on the plight of women and blacks Their dual aim was to construct a plan for women and blacks to follow in order to destroy their inferior roles created by society and to also disprove the prevailing ideas concerning the discrimination they faced Beauvoirs ultimate goal was to empower women to throw off the shackles of sexism and to escape from the position of the Other DuBois aimed to lift the veil that covered the view blacks had of the society in which they lived Their desires were radical at the time but proved to be foreshadowing the truth time would expose The Other that Beauvoir writes of deals with the assertion that a dominant group defines itself by creating an Other with traits and characteristics that the dominant group does not have As such the Other refers to any marginalized exploited subjugated dominated or oppressed group In Beauvoirs mind men have created this position for women to occupy Historically a womans place in society has been cemented by social and economic norms decreeing women to be dependent on men Beauvoir cites the exclusion of women from the public sphere of production as an example Therefore women became financially dependent on men resulting in the further subjection of women Women were relegated to the private sphere of domestic life and taking care of the home
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