Radical and Marxist Feminism Outline Notes

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Feminism is a belief in economical, social and political equality of the sexes; it is also a critique of male supremacy combined with efforts to make men and women equal. 


Marxist Feminists believe that the main reason for gender inequality is capitalism and that this inequality reaches all aspects of life including the family. For Marxist Feminists the nuclear family is ‘a valuable economic unit…a stabilising force in Capitalism.’ The reasons it is described thus is that by using the nuclear family the Bourgeois can, in effect, get two lots of labour for the price of one as the women stay at home and look after their husbands and sons, who are working for the Bourgeois, and they don’t have to be paid for domestic work.

One Marxist Feminist, Ansley, believes that husbands use their wives as ‘safety valves’ when they get home from work; this means that ‘wives often absorb their husband’s legitimate anger and frustration at their powerlessness and oppression.’ The husbands do this because if they vented their anger in the workplace where it belongs as they would use their jobs. Marxist Feminists also believe that ideological conditioning is used so that children are taught to be submissive to authoritative figures from


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