On The Woman Question is a Marxist and feminist blog featuring content from regular contributors, as well as guest posts and interviews.
This blog was born out of a frustration with the paternalism of left wing politics and the unwillingness of many socialists to engage with ‘the woman question’. Far too often, the attitude of socialists towards women’s organising is one of condescension, derision, and even contempt.
Where there is consideration of the woman question, it is subsumed into a superficial class analysis and the specific struggle of half of the human race — and her unique relation to labour and production — is lost.
This attitude is symptomatic of individual prejudice; but also illustrates a lack of theoretical understanding. Through this blog, we aim to address the theoretical gaps, inconsistencies and contradictions of classical Marxism in order to cultivate a rigorous Marxist understanding of female oppression.
Understandably, much Marxist analysis is devoted to worker exploitation at the point of production. Indeed, classical Marxist approaches to ‘the woman question’ have often primarily explored women’s oppression in relation to her role as a worker.
However, analysis of women’s oppression outside the workplace — which produces the conditions of exploitation that are integral to class society — is often lacking. This blog aims to reposition women’s oppression (as well as race oppression) as a central facet of anti-capitalist struggle.
Where other schools of feminist thought have conceptualised women’s oppression as existing above or parallel to economic forces, a Marxist analysis suggests that female oppression is the living, breathing heart of capitalism.
More broadly, a Marxist analysis of sex oppression offers a coherent understanding as to why women have frequently maintained their subjugated position in non-capitalist economies — including those of socialist states.
On The Woman Question acknowledges the primacy of economic forces and believes that Marx’s method of analysis — historical materialism — is the key to understanding female oppression. Using a critical approach, we seek to expand the breadth of Marxist feminist discussion for the twenty-first century.