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/marx/ - Marxism

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File: 52fa0036609602a⋯.jpg (112.6 KB, 660x440, 3:2, marx and engels.jpg)


Did Marx or Engels ever talk about what gender was? If so, what did they think about it and how did they see it? If not, can we use dialectical materialism to work out what exactly gender is and what function it serves in the present society?


To my knowledge the most substantive text they wrote about gender was Engels' "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State": https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/index.htm

There is also the first fifteen chapters of August Bebel's "Woman and Socialism" which is considered a must-read Marxist text for those interested in the subject: https://www.marxists.org/archive/bebel/1879/woman-socialism/index.htm

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Sjws didn't exist then



Debate over the role of women in society very much existed back then though. In the US alone you had Thomas Paine, Robert Dale Owen, John Humphrey Noyes, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, Horace Greeley, Thorstein Veblen, William H. Sylvis, and various other notable figures offering their views.

In fact the First International's American sections experienced a takeover attempt by middle-class reformers led by Victoria Woodhull, who wanted to subordinate the working-class movement to "free love," a new universal religion, and other supposed panaceas. Woodhull had gained her initial legitimacy precisely as a supporter of women's rights.

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File: 741f4c7307f7b5a⋯.jpg (47.73 KB, 621x413, 621:413, selmaphoto300rgb-621x413.jpg)

What does /Marx/ think of Selma James? To sum her up her six demands were:

1. We demand the right to work less (for starts a 24 hour week)

2. We demand a guaranteed income for women and men, working or not working, married or not; we demand wages for housework

3. We demand control of our bodies. We demand the right to have or not to have children

4. We demand equal pay for all

5. We demand an end to price rises

6. We demand free community controlled nurseries and child care

Transitioning house-work to wage-labor seems like a strange demand but even if it is intuitively strange I think there's something strategically brilliant about it and certainly Marxist in that it is about the proletarianization of women and their labor, whereas the nuclear family and the woman's position in it traditionally occupies a crypto-feudal space (not entirely unlike slavery in that sense) where your labor is a contract you're born into and it is enforced implicitly and explicitly on various levels.


Another good book is Shulasmith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex. She makes a lot of good points but the two most relevant ones to this thread are that gender is an ideology of sex and both sex and gender will become irrelevant when artificial reproduction is a viable alternative to the family for people. She also does some historiography similar to Engels in the origin of the family, particularly about the change in the family structure and gender during the transition from feudalism to capitalism. She doesnt go super in depth on sex vs gender if that's what you're looking for, I don't know any Marxists that comment extensively on that. I agree with Firestone, I think gender arose from sex and the roles delegated to each sex in the division of labor in early societies, and has shown itself to be adaptable to different cultures but nowadays is used mainly to police people's behavior and reinforce the nuclear family.


I don't know that person but those are strong demands. I don't expect to see them met under any existing government, unfortunately

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