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The works of
Karl Marx and his theories on capitalism published in his work ‘Das Kapital’
and how exploitation has been the bane of societal anarchy is the benchmark of
this perspective. Feminism has allied itself to Marxism by stressing that the
greed of the bourgeoisie to hoard
maximum profits has left the women in families and households devoid of any
life of their own. These feeble attempts at pointing fingers at the state for
doing absolutely nothing has been of little benefit but evidence does indicate
that women in society have been subjected to oppression.

The first
argument Marxists try to make is that the state has encouraged a specific
family structure in society called the Nuclear Family, which consists of a male
(breadwinner for the family), a woman (responsible for child bearing and child
rearing) and their offspring. This idea of women being exploited in the family
with no paid wages is something that exasperates the feminists. They argue that
this capitalist agenda has resulted in the ‘family’ becoming an ideological state apparatus, an
institution that is programmed to justify capitalism and inequality that persists
in society.

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Marxists also
argue that women often perform dual burdens through the rearing of children
whilst also providing a haven for men to ‘keep him going’. In contrast, the
woman is unconsciously performing the role the state wants her to perform. On
some occasions, the women are subjected to heinous forms of physical torture
like domestic violence in answer to the man’s frustration in the workplace. The
works of Fran Ansley have been cited in numerous research papers to base these
arguments.

The
criticism that this form of feminism receives is the fact that there are
numerous forms of family structures that exist now, even in contemporary
capitalist societies. People choose to cohabit, live in communes, extended
family structures (still exist) and single parenthood etc. The argument being
that the traditional family structure is not the norm, and yet we still see
capitalism at the helm of the state. Apart from that, people argue that the
very critical definition of capitalism is now different than to what Karl Marx
described in his work(s), so the basis for the blame is flawed and outdated.
The critics also point out that Marxists and the Radicals have failed to
identify the progress the women have made in their life. The dependency culture
is now hardly transparent and more women have been seen in the work place as
opposed to primitive times. One final critique of this perspective is that some
women choose to live their life the way they are. The expressive roles they
perform in society (child rearing and bearing) are based on their own personal
choice as they are more susceptible towards their femininity.

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