Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was a French existentialist and feminist philosopher. She was the lifelong companion and lover of Jean-Paul Sarte, and many of her ideas influenced his works. De Beauvoir believed one is not born with any particular essence and is free to become anything. However, society imposes a meaning on each individual, and de Beauvoir interpreted this as the gender norms females must define themselves within or against. She ultimately wanted each individual, but particularly women, to recognize their inherent freedom and step out of the confines of society's limitations.