On this week’s episode of International Marxist Radio, Fred Weston, a leading comrade of the International Marxist Tendency, discusses the historical roots of women’s oppression.
While we are often told that the oppression of women is innate to human relations, this could not be further from the truth. In reality, in pre-class societies, hunter-gatherer men and women generally existed in an egalitarian relationship. These were arguments raised by Lewis Henry Morgan, a materialist anthropologist whose work informed Engels’ writings, particularly his classic text The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.
The emergence of the patriarchal family did not occur randomly, or as merely the product of a shift in people’s ideas, but was the result of the development of private property, inheritance and class society. And if we can point to a time before these things existed, we can imagine (and fight for) a world where they are consigned to the dustbin of history!
We would like to draw readers’ attention to the issue 41 of In Defence of Marxism magazine, which includes an excellent article by Fred that formed the basis for this discussion. Get your copy of the latest IDoM here: https://www.marxist.com/magazine.htm