Marxists feminists see women's subordination as rooted in Capitalism. This is a result of their primary role as an unpaid homemaker, making them Economically dependent within the family.
Their subordinations performs a number of important functions:
- Women are a source of cheap, exploitable labour - they can be paid less based on the assumption that their partners are financially supporting them.
- Women are a reserve army of labour - they can become apart of the labour force and contribute to the economy when needed. However, this is not their primary role.
- Women reproduce the labour force - They nurture the next generation and socialise them enabling them to become the next generation of workers.
- Women absorb anger - Ansley desribe women as the takers of **** who absorb their husbands frustration because of the alienation and exploitation in the workforce - which according to Marxists is an explanation for domestic violence.
The ideology of familism
Barret argues that although women's subordination performs important economic functions for society non-economic factors are not taken into account. The ideology of 'familism' is the source of women's subordination. therefore the overthrow of capitalism is needed to liberate women and free them of their subordination.
Marxists feminists fail to provide reasons for women's subordination in non-capitalists society's. However, in their defence they only seek to explain the position of women in contempary societies.
It is not proven that unpaid domestic labour is in fact the cheapest way of reproducing labour power.