Marxism Heidi Harmann Analysis

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Heidi Hartmann’s essay examines the unequal relationship between Marxism and feminism – the latter being subordinate to Marxism. Indeed, Marxism is sex blind, as it focuses more on class distinction rather than gender and sex. Hartmann states that social structures enable men to control women. Hartmann proposes a definition of the patriarchy, which is characterized by a solidarity among men (despite a hierarchy within the patriarchy), which brings them together in order to dominate women. Men control women’s labor power by excluding them from production resources (e.g: higher wages) and by restricting women’s sexuality, through a monogamous (middle-class) heterosexual marriage, and the addition of children in the marriage reproduces patriarchal relations and gender hierarchy. …show more content…

Family wages, the sexual division of labor (in the workforce and in the home), are contributing factors, which work against women. However, capitalism might eventually, in the name of profit, lead to the collapse of the oppressive family structure as women will increasingly be able to support themselves (and their children). Yet, capitalism values traits which are tied to masculinity (e.g. power, domination, individualism, competitiveness…) and disavows “female” traits (i.e. nurturing, artistic, irrational, emotional…), in turn making women “dependent” on men. Hartmann also talks about the “double day”, which signifies that working-women still do most of the house chores, so they contribute to the capitalist productions and the male

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