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Women's and Gender Studies
Anissa Talahite- Moodley

o Household goods made at home became WGSTA03H3S: Theories of mass-produced and had to be purchased Feminism o Families no longer owned means of Fall 2012 production, capitalists did o Workers were hired for low wages! Week 4 readings: (Pp.51-89) Capitalists made $!!!! MARXIST FEMINISM Marx‟s analysis of the Social Structure of Capitalism: - Member of the capitalist class: one who owned According to Marxist feminism, where do gender the means of production (employee) inequalities come from? - Using women for family work w/o paying them - Member of the proletariat class: one who sold - Using women as a reserve army of labour – their labor for a wage (worker) hired when the economy needs workers, fired PROBLEM: - This was not true for women (they didn‟t belong when it does not in any class), - Lower pay for women jobs o They were not allowed to own property in their own name so they couldn‟t be Marxist politics (solutions for inequalities): - Permanent paid work for women part of the capitalist class - Government-subsidized maternal and child o wages they earned belonged to their health care, child-care services, financial husbands so they couldn‟t be part of the allowances for children proletariat class - Union organizing for women‟s workers Marx‟s analysis of the gendered structure of Capitalism: Critiques of Marxist feminism: - wives and mothers are vital to capitalism - Racial and ethnic views (on: women doing house work) may not have been integrated into - their unpaid work in the home maintains bosses the gendered class analyses (capitalists) and workers (proletariats) - Wives and mothers having permanent full-time - if a bourgeois husband (capitalist) fell on hard times, his wife works at home or at a factory to jobs does not mean they don‟t do house work make extra money - Giving welfare-state benefits to women will lock - if a worker‟s (proletariats) wage falls below the them into child cares as their prime role level needed to feed his family, his wife can get Contributions of Marxist feminism: a job in the factory, or start work at home – - Recognition that women are seen as second class „cottage industry‟ citizens PROBLEM: - It provided a gender analysis of the use of - SO, When it comes to the social position of women, through a gendered perspective, the women as paid and unpaid workers in capitalist, whole division of capitalists and proletariats communist, and socialist economies blurs - It made visible how necessary women‟s work in - This adds patriarchy to capitalism the home is to the functioning of the economy and to the social reproduction of future workers - Work in the marketplace and work in the home - It gave the concept of gender consciousness are intertwined in a dual system of capitalism and patriarchy According the Marxist feminism, what were the main What are two significant but invisible parts of the sources of gender inequality? economic process? - Economic structure - Social reproduction: teaching children how to - Material aspects of life o Every major change in production be members of society changes the social organization of work - Domestic work of maintain a husband and and family children (for love, not money) o In preindustrial societies, women‟s BUT: social class is not just a part of a system of gender domestic labor maintained the home, inequality, it is also a part of a system racial inequality. cared for children, grew food, made - So solutions to gender inequality may not work cloth, sewed clothing and etc. if you don‟t focus on racial inequalities o Then came the industrial revolution Joan Acker, Author of Class Questions: Feminist Wages for housework and Government subsidization: Answers says in her book: - Marxist feminism once proposed that all women - The SOCIAL CLASS is gendered & racialized should get paid for housework and childcare - Effects of gendered and racialized class - In some sense, wives are paid: practices: diverse forms of inequality (gender o Family wage: The husband being paid and racial/ethnic segregation in employment: enough to maintain their families as well both hierarchical and horizontal; unequal as them selves distribution of: power, types of work, and o Disadvantage: when the husband pays monetary rewards) his wife, it means that she is an o Class practices: all those activities that economic dependent organize and control production and - In areas where even men don‟t have jobs – distribution (Ex. activities required for welfare-states: production and distribution of goods in a o Women rely on “welfare” –benefits that factory: i.e. hiring workers) include prenatal care, paid maternity o Gendering and racializing processes: leave, maternal and child health shape class practices (ex. hiring white services, cash allowances each month waitresses) for each child, free education through - Focusing on class inequalities as made up of college, and child care services gender and race (Class inequal
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