Ann Curthoys


Views of society based on a contrast of the position of 'women' with that of 'men' have a different way of organising our understanding of social life than do views which rest on a notion of class division. In current political terms, feminists and socialists have different starting points. Yet socialists have had to come to terms with issues of sexual inequality, while feminists are faced with the problem that while they posit a common 'oppression of women', they must recognise also the very great differences between women according to their social class. This problem is not a new one for feminism. It bedevilled First Wave Feminists, especially those attracted to socialist ideals and organisations. It bedevils modern feminism. No matter how exhaustively and endlessly feminists discuss it, the issues raised under the heading 'women and class' continue to emerge as important and worrying.



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