The Rise, Decline and Return of Marxist Feminism

by Frieda Afary and Farzaneh Raji

In this introduction to the forthcoming Persian translation of Heather Brown’s  Marx on Gender and the Family:  A Critical Study (Brill Press, 2012 and Haymarket Press, 2013), the translators situate Brown’s work in the context of the various tendencies within Marxist feminism from the 1970s to today, and their different explanations of the relationship of gender oppression to capitalism.  They discuss Brown’s assessment of Marx  and feminist critiques of Marx by asking four questions:  1. Did Marx consider the sexual division of labor “natural?”  2.  What is the relationship of capitalist value production to the realm of reproduction, including the family?  3.   What are the major differences between Marx and Engels on the origins of women’s oppression?  4.  What was the concept of women’s emancipation in Marx’s activities, journalism and his life?  The Persian original of this introduction was published by Naqd-e Iqtisad-e Siasi on March 8, 2016.  See

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