How might Marxist feminism be either an attractive or problematic approach?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Marxist feminism views the oppression of women and the construction of gender in light of class relations and particularly the division of labor created by industrial capitalism. For Marxist feminists, the oppression of women involves their subjugation as a working class, including division of labor within families. Marxist feminist theorists differ over whether gender is a more important division than social class, but all agree that the two are inextricably tied together. Mainly, it is a theoretical framework for understanding ideology regarding women, especially the creation of gender roles. The approach might be considered attractive because it links ideology regarding gender to a material base. Some might criticize this approach, however, as reductionist, meaning that it discounts the roles played by religion and other forces. Others might argue, paradoxically that by pointing out the oppression of women, Marxist feminists obscure the agency of women by making them the passive victims of patriarchal control. 

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