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.
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