The Woman Question

  • Ariane Loening


The issue of women’s oppression in a patriarchal society starts with two questions: (1) who is to do the housework and bring up the children; and (2) who is to control reproduction. The first question looks at how women are assigned domestic work without recognition for its value nor their contribution even though her tasks are concerned with survival and absolutely basic. This is justified in society by myths that prescribe the role of women, limiting their purpose as future wives and future mothers that only serve and are to do housework. While in the movement for socialism, there is a mistaken belief that women’s liberation will divide the movement. The question on reproduction looks at how the patriarchal society had moved to control private property and control the women’s right to produce offspring. The paternal law of inheritance ensured that property remained with the male heirs. And the institution of marriage had also given the control of reproduction and management of domestic needs to the males. Women are further denied access to social involvement and the means of production to strengthen male dominance. Women should realize that the struggle for women’s liberation is as important as the struggles of the peasants and laborers to win the land and means of production. The women must become conscious of the connection between the two and realize that the movement for socialism means equality with the men in all aspects of society.


feminism; feminist movement; patriarchy; gender inequality; Marxist feminism; Leninist feminism; patriarchy