Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
Who’s to say what makes a woman ‘womanly’? In her book The Second Sex (1949), the French existentialist writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir argued that femininity isn’t innate, but instead foisted upon females from birth. According to de Beauvoir, by pressuring women to conform to male stereotypes of beauty, patriarchal societies have subjugated women, robbing them of their autonomy and objectifying them in ways that belittle their abilities and their intellect. De Beauvoir’s existentialism, however, offered a way out: women are free, she wrote, to reject male views on how they should look and behave, and doing so allows them to become more equal.
Why a sculptor pivoted from gallery installations to big-box stores design
How a verbal paradox shattered the notion of total certainty in mathematics
A tender poem doubles as a guide to sitting comfortably in one’s own company
Values and beliefs
How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years
War and peace
Before he leaves to go to war, Artem, 18, says goodbye to the man who raised him
A mindbending trip that summons the forgotten women of surrealism
To see the Universe more clearly, think in terms of processes, not objects
A son of China’s former one-child policy remembers the sibling he never had
A harrowing account of a 1970 ‘leadership seminar’ spotlights self-help’s dark side