Marxist Feminism And Capitalism

1427 Words6 Pages
The gist of the Marxist-feminist position was that the emergence of capitalism as a social and economic system brought about a clear distinction between the public world of work and the private realm of the home and family. This led to a particular idea about what constituted “work” and production and in this process “women’s work” came to be denigrated and undervalued. Women’s labour was constructed as a labour of love which did not require pecuniary reward. The male head of household was the “breadwinner” who provided or his family. Marxist analysis showed how the home and the family had come to be viewed as a “private” of human life, clearly separate and distinct from the public realm. Here human relations were supposedly based on affection, and particularism. A man’s relationship with his wife and family was not then subject to the rather more abstract and universal principals of justice and equality that governed the public world. However, the idealized view of the family disguised the reality of power relations and inequality that permeated both the public and private realms. The construction of a public/private division effectively served to reduce women and children to the private property of men. It also rendered invisible the vital role that women’s unpaid labour in the home made to capitalist economy. Women, quite literally, reproduced the labour force, provided essential support services for capitalism through their labour in the home and served to ameliorate
Open Document