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Overview Background to Marxist/Socialist Feminism Overview of Marxist/Socialist Feminism Heidi Hartmann.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview Background to Marxist/Socialist Feminism Overview of Marxist/Socialist Feminism Heidi Hartmann."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview Background to Marxist/Socialist Feminism Overview of Marxist/Socialist Feminism Heidi Hartmann

2 Background to Marxists/Socialists Karl Marx – –German philosopher and socialist Socialism- various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

3 Background We have moved from societies that produced good based on –Kinship (Families handled the production of goods for use in their own homes) to –Capitalism (creation of goods by many different people for other people for profit) Different classes created –Capitalist class who own the means of production –Proletariat- those who sell their labor Materialism- change in production leads to changes in work and family

4 Marxist/Socialist Feminists Began to look at how women were oppressed in the economic sphere through: –Low pay for jobs –Segregation into particular female jobs like teaching, nursing, secretarial, cleaning (low pay, low status) –Became a surplus labor force –Unpaid labor in home- caretaking, childrearing –Created an economic dependence on men

5 Marxist/Socialist Feminists Thinkers: Heidi Hartmann, Michele Barrett, Nancy Hartstock Description of Problem: –Women’s oppression lies in the economic realm –Exploitation in paid labor –No pay for home labor Analysis: –Patriarchy and capitalism are intertwined and mutually supporting

6 Marxist/Socialist Feminists Remedies: –Government-subsidized maternal and child health care, child care, education –Waged work for women in home –Comparable worth programs to equalize salaries of men’s and women’s work Contributions: –Gender analysis of women as paid and unpaid workers –Making visible the necessity and worth of women’s unpaid work in the home –Connected women’s labor in home to the functioning of capitalism (women provided the future workers)

7 Marxist/Socialist Feminists Shortcomings: –In communist countries, women have not been freed from men’s control in the home or in the public sphere –State control of work, child care, etc. can still be patriarchal –Women are still seen as primarily wives and mothers –Capitalism is growing

8 Heidi Hartmann While Marxists looked at women’s relationship to economics, they did not look at women’s inequality with men –Marxism cannot explain why women are subordinate inside and outside the family Interrelationship between patriarchy and capitalism “the family wage” –Paid women less- supplemental –“man should be able to support the family on one wage”

9 Heidi Hartmann “the family wage” continued –Women are a surplus labor force –Necessitates the economic dependence of women on men Guarantees their compliance with patriarchy Continues today –Appropriate work for women related to their domestic duties –Part-time work- no benefits –Struggle is against patriarchy and capitalism


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