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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Traditional, or liberal, feminism is concerned exclusively with issues pertaining to gender. Perhaps the earliest women’s movements were ones concerned with women’s suffrage (i.e. right to vote) and reproductive issues (access to birth control and abortion). Another major focus of women’s movements was money – specifically women’s ability to own property and to work in the same jobs as men for equal pay. A more theoretical strand of feminism became concerned with ideologies of oppression. Marxist feminism related the oppression of women as a gender to the more general oppression of various disempowered groups including those marginalized by race and poverty. For Marxist feminists, gender inequality is one of many manifestations of the inherent exploititiveness and inequality inherent in capitalism, and the consider these rectifiable only by change in the entire system of oppression, not by incremental changes such as affirmative action within an inherently hierarchal and oppressive system.