Feminism Vs Marxism

643 Words3 Pages
Feminism is the struggle against sexism, or discriminatory social practices and ideologies that result in male supremacy and female oppression. Sexism as a form of social oppression is not a modern phenomenon. Paraphrasing Marx and Engels,l it can be stated that the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles and sex struggles because the existence of classes presupposes private ownership of the means of produc- tion, monogamy, and therefore sexism.2 The presence of sexism throughout history accounts for the ease with which it has been taken for granted as a universal feature of all societies or as the product of innate differences between the sexes. This also explains why women today search for its historical origins in an effort to understand its present manifestations. Within the social sciences, the conceptualization of sexism depends upon the basic assumptions about human nature, society, and their relationship which underlie current theories about society and social behavior; theories vary in the emphasis given to either human nature or to society. If priority is given to human nature, persons are considered to have inherent traits such as selfishness, competitiveness, and utilitarianism. Social relations and institutions are viewed, consequently, as products of those individual traits. In this context,, men and women are considered to have innate traits that make them different from each other. For example, while.males are aggressive, strong, instrumental, etc., females are weak, submissive, affective, nurturant, etc. Sex differences in power and in social participation are conceptualized as consequences of these inherent differences between the sexes. When the emphasis is placed upon society, persons are viewed as empty slates, the product of the socialization process which integrates them into a
Open Document