Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
Marx on Gender and the Family
A Critical Study
Marx has long been accused of not taking women's issues seriously. Heather Brown sets the record straight.
This, the first book-length study devoted exclusively to Marx’s perspectives on gender and the family, offers a fresh look at this topic in light of twenty-first century concerns. Although Marx’s writings sometimes exhibit sexism his work often transcends these phrases. Brown studies his writings on gender, as well as his 1879-1882 notebooks on precapitalist societies and gender.
  • "This short, comprehensive handbook will no doubt provide the basis for a new wave of feminist engagement with Marxism and is a clarion call for all those who regard themselves as Marxists to re-evaluate their ideological conceptions."
    — Barry Healy, Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal

    Overall, from Marx on Gender and the Family emerges a dialectical Marxism, one that points to the beginnings of a unitary theory of gender and class. Noted throughout is that Marx did not systematically examine gender as a category and the aim of the book is not to try and construct one. Brown is not scared to highlight some of Marx’s failings, in particular when he falls back on prejudice or moralism when discussing the oppression of women … The most important aspect of the work is that in providing a systematic overview of the totality of Marx’s work on the topic, Brown is able to indicate openings for analysis that can construct the base for the redevelopment of a Marxist-feminist theory.
    —Jenny Morrison, International Socialist Group