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Women's Oppression Today

The Marxist/Feminist Encounter

Michele Barrett, Kathi Weeks (Foreword by)


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Women’s Oppression Today is a classic text in the debate about Marxism and feminism, exploring how gender, sexuality and the “family-household system” operate in relation to contemporary capitalism. In this updated edition, Michèle Barrett surveys the social and intellectual changes that have taken place since the book's original publication, and looks back at the political climate in which the book was written. In a major new essay, she defends the central arguments of the book, at the same time addressing the way such an engagement would play out differently today, over thirty years later.

A foreword by Kathi Weeks examines the importance of approaching all feminist theories as events whose repercussions stretch beyond the circumstances of their creation.

Praise For Women's Oppression Today: The Marxist/Feminist Encounter

“Michèle Barrett’s excellent and lucid discussion of the issues and debates within contemporary feminist theory makes a major contribution to our understanding of the nature of that oppression.” —Mary Evans, London School of Economics

“This book is a school of thought.” —Frigga Haug, author of Female Sexualization: A Collective Work of Memory

“Historically significant and deeply relevant to today’s discussions, Barrett’s interrogation of Marxism, feminism, patriarchy and the state is serious yet accessible: this is a key text in the history (and present) of both Marxism and feminism.” —Nina Power, author of One-Dimensional Woman

“Barrett’s eloquent elucidation of the ties and ruptures between feminism and Marxism at the close of the 1970s is especially timely today ... as austerity measures hit women in particular hardest.” —Lynne Segal, Birkbeck College, University of London

Verso, 9781781680131, 336pp.

Publication Date: August 12, 2014

About the Author

Michèle Barrett is Professor of Modern Literary and Cultural Theory in the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author, among other works, of Women’s Oppression Today, The Anti-Social Family, and Politics of Diversity (co-authored with Roberta Hamilton).