Women: Caste, Class or Oppressed Sex
Year Published: 1970
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22816
The author traces the sources of women's oppression, and outlines her understanding of the Marxist approach to its origins. Originally published in International Socialist Review.
But there still remain considerable misunderstandings and misinterpretations of Marxist positions which have led some women who consider themselves radicals or socialists to go off course and become theoretically disoriented. Influenced by the myth that women have always been handicapped by their child-bearing functions, they tend to attribute the roots of women's oppression, at least in part, to biological sexual differences. In actuality its causes are exclusively historical and social in character.
Some of these theorists maintain that women constitute a special class or caste. Such definitions are not only alien to the views of Marxism but lead to the false conclusion that it is not the capitalist system but men who are the prime enemy of women. I propose to challenge this contention.