Presentation on theme: "Developing a Theory of Capitalist Patriarchy and Socialist Feminism Presented by Morgan Irving."— Presentation transcript:
Developing a Theory of Capitalist Patriarchy and Socialist Feminism Presented by Morgan Irving
What is the author trying to argue? The difference between socialist women and socialist feminists needs to be understood to know the difference between radical feminism and socialist feminists Marx Engels Radical Feminists Shulamith Firestone Social Feminism
How does the author try to explain the argument? -Karl Marx Power or powerlessness derives from a person’s class position: hence oppression is a result of capitalist organization and is based in a lack of power and control. Women were just instruments of reproduction A person’s goal in life is to reach “species being” Species beings are the beings who ultimately reach their human potential for creativity, labor, social consciousness, and social living through the struggle against capitalist society and who fully internalize these capacities in communist society. Marx used his theory of class to apply to women, but never questioned the hierarchical sexual ordering of society. He did not see that his criteria for “species being” made it unavailable to women and they would never be able to reach it.
How does the author try to explain the argument? -Frederick Engels Oppression equals exploitation Production and reproduction, giving birth, defines the life of women The act of child-bearing is the source of oppression for women. This is when wife and child become the slaves of the husband The family conceals domestic slavery and there were no differences between domestic slavery and the wage-slavery of the husband He is unwilling to see the relationship between man and woman as anything but a mirror of the political economy.
How does the author try to explain the argument? Radical Feminists Men have power as men in a society organized into “sexual spheres” The sexual division of labor and society expresses the most basic hierarhical division in our society between masculine and feminine roles The biological distinction of male and female is used to distinguish social functions and individual power Patriarchy is a sexual system of power in which the male possesses superior power and economic privilege Women’s position in this power hierarchy is defined not in terms of the economic class structure but in terms of patriarchal organization of society
How does the author try to explain the argument? -Shulamith Firestone Patriarchy is the oppressive system Woman’s reproductive function is inherently central to her oppression, therefore, making men the dominating group. She refuses to view women’s oppression as a more complex subject than women’s sexuality being the source. With her theory, women can never escape oppression because women will always be the ones who give birth
How does the author try to explain the argument? -Social Feminism Analyzes power in terms of its class origins and its patriarchal roots Race falls outside of the diagnosis The assembly of sex roles may differ throughout the world, but power has and does reside with the male Capitalism is a result of patriarchy The nuclear family gives males the power of sexual roles through capitalism Reproduction is a form of women’s oppression, but cannot be the sole reason.
Social Feminism Continued… Women stabilize patriarchal structures (the family, housewife, mother, etc.) by fulfilling these roles Women are reproducing new workers for both the paid and unpaid labor force. They care for the men and children of the society Women work as well in the labor force for lesser wages Women stabilize the economy through their role as consumers
Does the author assume the “white middle-class woman’s norm”? No. The author referenced theories that examined capitalism and used its stance on society, which would be white men. The author briefly did mention other countries and the women’s role there.
Strengths Multiple theories were presented and well explained The strengths and weaknesses were pointed out in all of these theories Showed that women were not completely liberated yet, but steps to fix the problem
Weaknesses Only the radical feminist and social feminism theories were from the 20 th century More theories and no personal accounts to see the proof
How to Change Society…. Diversity Training Manual Understand what class means to women Define classes in terms of woman’s complex realities (housewife, mother, employee, etc.) and her consciousness of that reality View women as an autonomous being Make distinctions of the type of women’s work within the economy Working women outside the home Housewives Welfare women Unemployed women Wealthy women who do not work at all