Marx vs Gilman

837 WordsNov 9, 20084 Pages
Marx argued that the goal of intellectual work such as his was to change the world; an opinion obviously shared by Gilman since she was also on a mission to change the world, for women. Gilman is known for her humanist-socialist perspective but, I believe that her theories also share a similar quality to Marx’s conflict theory. Whereas Marx sees the conflict, or class struggle, being between the bourgeoisie (the owners) and the proletariat (the workers); Gilman sees the conflict, gender struggle, between men and women. Marx advocated social reform for the proletariat (workers).The focus of Marx’s conflict theory is that by eliminating privilege, the overall welfare of the society can be increased. This would then create a true equality…show more content…
Society created the social classes and deemed them normal; therefore, both the owners and the workers were only playing their designated roles. The main difference in the theories of Marx and Gilman is in how we will reach this social change they preach about. Marxist philosophy is based on revolution, while Gilman’s is based on evolution. Marx believed that, through class consciousness, the workers would eventually recognize they were being exploited, and put an end to privilege. That they would revolt against their oppressors and end Capitalism once and for all; and a new utopia of equality under Communism would emerge. While Gilman believed that, women would not have a revolution against the men, but we would “evolve” into equality. Society would over time, as women became more economically independent, balance its injustices. Then, women would finally be free to develop as individuals, and to offer their untapped resources to their families and society as a whole. So, in modern day society, if we have “evolved” or “revolted” into equality; why are women still paid less than men in the same jobs? What would Marx and Gilman have to say about the subject? Even in the 19th century, Marx pointed to the tendency for capitalism to make super-profits from the exploitation of women and children. He wrote: "The labor of women...was the first thing sought for by capitalists who used machinery.” (Marx, Capital) He would argue that the
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