Compare And Contrast Mill And Marx's Oppression Of Women

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1. Mill and Marx both argue that women are oppressed in modern society. How are their understandings of this oppression similar/different? Mill’s and Marx’s understanding of female oppression by the society is more different than similar. They both mention the fact that women are under the serfdom men in the society. But apart from this, their approaches on this issue differ. According to Marx, in the present society, the bourgeois “sees in his wife a mere instrument of production” and that women are exploited by the bourgeoisie as a common resource because they seduce the wives and daughters of not only the proletarians but also of each other (Marx 259 – 260). He says that the bourgeoisie marriage is “a system of wives in common” (Marx 260) and so in the present society prostitution exists (both private and public) but in a hypocritical manner, not established by law but by the bourgeoisie system. According to Mill, there exists a “legal subordination of one sex to the other” (Mill 1) where the oppression of women is a form of a “primitive state of slavery lasting on” (Mill 6). Thus, where on one hand for Marx, oppression of women has nothing to do with law, for Mill, on the other, it exists because of “the law of the strongest” (Mill 6) that enforces that women “shall never in all their lives be allowed to compete for certain things” (Mill 20). Not only this, but for Mill, unlike Marx, the oppression of women in society goes a lot further to include enslavement of the
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