Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The best kind of love is authentic love. To love authentically involves respecting one another’s freedom, being tender and caring, and supporting each other’s independent projects. This is what Simone de Beauvoir argued, and to some degree practiced. The problem, as she saw it, was that throughout history, few have loved authentically, primarily because of women’s oppressive situation. Her existential philosophy—which foregrounds freedom from oppression and freedom to choose how to live—underpins everything she says about the challenges of loving well. Beauvoir argues that lesbian relationships and friendships point to ways in which we can transcend the bounds of traditional loving roles and expectations and realize something closer to her ideal of mature reciprocal nonsadistic, nonmasochistic mutual respect. Nevertheless, her nonsystematic approach creates tensions between freedom and commitment, marriage and authentic loving, and pragmatic means and existential ends.

Keywords: Simone de Beauvoir, existentialism, love, marriage, friendship, lesbian relationship, authenticity, freedom, choice, oppression

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.