Tag Archive: legitimate rape

Aug 27 2012

Marxist Economic Analysis of the War on Women by GeminiJen

Today is the anniversary of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote in the United States in 1920.  While revolutionary socialist feminists see the suffrage movement as a “reform” within the capitalist structure, even we can’t help feeling the surge of sisterhood as we hit the streets today to celebrate this essential “reform.”  The continued and growing gender gap in voting shows that women realize and continue to use this reform to our political advantage.  And the outpouring of women in the streets in the past two years brings a renewed visibility and welcome energy to the grassroots fight for the complete liberation of women.  And yet…

Why didn’t we fight back sooner? We have to question why this new swell in the women’s movement has occurred only after the attacks against established women’s rights have been so successful.  We have to question why we allowed these attacks on our rights and did not challenge the increasing invisibility of women since the height of the women’s movement in the mid 1970s.  

The underlying systemic cause of women’s exploitation:

I will argue that there are underlying objective biological conditions (of which we are all aware) that led to the oppression and exploitation of women: and, further,  that we have too frequently ignored these underlying systemic and objective causes because they appear to be too overwhelming to address.

First and foremost, women, are still the biological producers of the next generation of the workers who produce society’s wealth. Ever since men first discovered that their sperm had something to do with procreation, men in all societies  have been trying to dominate and  control the reproductive functions of women in an effort to control society’s wealth.

Second, in the current capitalist society in which we live, there is a need for the capitalist to keep the cost of reproducing the next generation of labor out of the market system because it makes it impossible to get the profits necessary to keep the capitalist owners in riches and the capitalist system going.

These systemic economic conditions of women as exploited, unpaid reproductive labor are never discussed in the current feminist and progressive responses to specific assaults on women’s rights such as the  debates over   “legitimate” rape or whether the rights of the zygote supercede the rights of full grown human women in the fight over abortion.

Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. In The Origin of the  Family, Private Property and the State (1884), Engels analyzes the origin of the family as the institution in which males systemically dominate and control the reproduction of the next generation of workers. Women are the “property,” owned by men, through which this reproduction could occur.