Simone de Beauvior
Simone de Beauvior (1908 - 1986) never considered herself a feminist, but the books and articles she wrote all depicted her as a strong feministic figure in society. Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex) is a book that investigates women's oppression. Published in 1949 by Beauvoir, the book states her belief that each individual, regardless of sex or age, should have the responsibility of defining themselves, and deal with whatever implications that come with this freedom. "One is not born, but rather becomes a woman." Beauvoir, like Margaret Mead, believed that people are not born with their gender, but are constructed over the years of social indoctrination.
She also conducted studies on the duties of a wife, a mother and a prostitute, to show how women, "instead of transcending through work and creativity, are forced into monotonous existences of having children, tending houses and being a male sex object".
Beauvoir led demonstrations and signed petitions advocating different rights for women. Also, she wrote articles and gave lectures on how women are potentially disadvantaged. In addition, she helped to launch the French Women Liberation Movement and created a feminist section and column in Les Temps Mordenes, a French political, literary and philosophical magazine. All this was done in the 1970s, incidentally a time famous for its many feminist movements.
Throughout her life, Beauvoir managed to advocate changes for women for having universal childcare, equal education, economic freedom, legalising contraception and abortion, and also removing the role of women as 'male sex objects', a trailblazer in helping women achieve gender equality.