Feminism and the Family 4 cont.

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Marxist Feminism

  • Reject optimism of liberal feminists and argue key feature of family is exploitation of women by men and the capitalist system.

Benston and Ansley

  • Women who stay at home are exploited by the capitalist class because they produce future labour force - no wages for this.
  • Patriarchal ideology is product of capitalism - convinces women their main place is in the home.
  • Reserve army of female labour - last to be employed when economy is strong, first to be laid off in economic recession.
  • Patriarchal family benefits working man - doesn't have to worry about competing with women for jobs - his wages give him economic and social power in the family.
  • Men have the power to get away with barious forms of domestic abuse.

Evaluation of Marxist Feminism

  • Shown how gender roles are created in the family and perpetuated by the requirements of capitalist society.
  • However - nature of the family is pre-determined by needs of capital economic system.
  • Dated model of the family - many families no longer fit into this nuclear set up because of diversity.
  • Ignore recent changes to the economy eg. feminisation of workforcfe and genderquake - women have more economic and social power now and may be able…


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