In The Other Within, Fredrika Scarth offers a reading of The Second Sex as an ethical text, driven by Beauvoir's preoccupation with what possibilities have been closed off to women by patriarchal structures, oppression and inequality. Scarth offers a unique and enlightening study of Beauvoir's writing on the female body, and particularly on maternity as an important piece of Beauvoir's writing. Unlike other feminist scholars who find in Beauvoir's writing a repudiation of mother hood, Scarth argues that Beauvoir's writing on maternity can open up new possibilities of embodied subjectivity and agency, agrounding an authentic ethical relationship with the other.
Scarth's project entails a deep rethinking of embodiment and its relation to human freedom and she brilliantly succeeds in this rethinking, showing the relevance of Beauvoir's work for yet another generation of feminists. -- Linda Zerilli, professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University
[Scarth's] focus on the role and representation of the female body in Beauvoir's essay, and particularly on the maternal body, gives her analysis a clear and original focus. * Times Literary Supplement, (Uk) *
Thoughtful and nuanced...an excellent introduction to some of the key debates that have sprung up in recent years in relation to The Second Sex. If offers a well-informed, subtle and often persuasive analysis of Beauvoir's text in the light of her essays on ethics. * H-France Review *
The Other Within is Fredrika Scarth's passionate defense of The Second Sex against those feminist critics who charge Beauvoir with presenting a masculinist account of female embodiment. It is the most thorough-going and effective response to Beauvoir's feminist critics that I have ever seen. -- Margaret Simons, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville