What are some important differences in the way Fanon perceives the oppression of the colonized in The Wretched of the Earth and the way de Beauvoir perceives the oppression of women in The Second Sex?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to The Second Sex man is regarded as both positive and neutral, as shown when the word man is used to refer to human beings in general while the term woman is associated with the negative (“A man is in the right in being a man; it is the woman who is in the wrong.”). In The Wretched of the Earth the colonized are not considered or categorized by the colonialist and in this case are rendered nonexistent or just a part in the grand scheme.

In The Second Sex the woman is considered to have originated from man and thus is defined in this regard. On the other hand, in The Wretched of the Earth the colonized are not considered to have any relations with the colonizer and are instead considered second or a means to an end to the colonizer.

The Second Sex bases the prejudice against women on natural conditions that have no chance at change; thus it is expected that the position of the woman due to her physical nature and inability to organize might not change. By contrast, in The Wretched of the Earth the colonized are prejudiced because of historical events which can change over time as confirmed in the conclusion where the author asks the colonized to go for change and not to copy European culture, beliefs and social structures that they have tried to impose as the best alternative.