The Punaluan Family

757 Words4 Pages
Determination of the source of the oppression is part and parcel of transformation process of women’s position in the society. The Family which is a chapter of the Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, by Frederick Engels provides a historical explanation on how the family became a patriarchal institution limiting the woman’s potential as a human being. Engels uses the pioneering work of the nineteenth century anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan’s Ancient Society to show that the institutions and social structures of capitalism are not universal and have not always existed in their current form, but is a product of particular historical circumstances. Paying special attention to evolutions in kinship structures, Engels argues…show more content…
The ancient form of family is the consanguine family in which the community practiced an ‘unrestricted sexual freedom and every man and woman belonged equally to every woman and man.’ Unrestricted or promiscuous sexual intercourse means the nonexistence of prohibitions and restrictions which are now in force. Towards the end of this stage, a certain amount of pairing occurred. The Punaluan family arose with the notion that the sexual intercourse between the children of the same mother was wrong leading to relatively permanent settlements with communistic characteristics. However, the pairing was more obvious towards the later part of the Punaluan family. This marked the gradual development of the pairing family, which is a man-woman relationship where two sexes had more conjugal relations within a single pair loosely connected. Though the pairing family was weak and unstable to make an independent household, the occasional infidelity and polygamy remained as a right of…show more content…
The root cause for the women’s oppression, as Engles introduces, is the private ownership of property. Within capitalism, the family becomes an exploitative institution in which men demand women’s services making the relationship between men and women in society similar to that between the bourgeois and proletariat. Engels emphasizes that the rise of socialism will create a society that will socialise housework and childrearing duties, thereby removing the gendered labour that causes women to be doubly oppressed and creating an classless work force. Engels’ thesis not only laid out for the first time the theoretical framework for understanding the source of women’s oppression but it also provided a clear vision to women’s
Open Document