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A form of feminism which believes that women's oppression is a symptom of a more fundamental form of oppression. Women are not oppressed by men or by sexism, but by capitalism itself. If all women are to be liberated, capitalism must be replaced with socialism. In Frederick Engels' (1820-1895) writing, women's oppression originated with the development of private property and of regulated family and marital relationships. Men's control of economic resources develops with settled society and the development of separate spheres of life for the two sexes. In capitalist societies, women become segregated into the domestic sphere and men into the outer world of paid work. Economic and social inequality between the sexes is increased and women's' subordination in marriage, the family and in society in general is intensified. Engels assumed that socialist revolution, through which the means of production would become common property, would result in the development of equal access to paid work for both men and women and the consequent disappearance of gendered inequality between the sexes. See: LIBERAL FEMINISM / RADICAL FEMINISM / .

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
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*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names