Day 11 – Essay on Patriarchy and Capitalism

Remember that commitment I made to write for 100 days … yeah well it will be 100 writings in one year, it seems to be the only time I have as recent.  Remember when I said I wouldn’t count my school writings, yeah turns out I lied 🙂

Marcy Taylor

Heidi Hartmann Presentation

Text:  The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Towards a more Progressive Union


It was a well designed plan for Capitalism and Patriarchy to meet.  Years of starvation, monarchy, and patriarchal rule had the people ready – thirsty – for change and when Capitalism walked in, well the people saw the benefits to their relationship.

According to Hartmann, this relationship wasn’t mutually exclusive.  The people gasped in horror when they realized that Capitalism and Patriarchy were, in all actuality, fuck buddies.  They were not exclusive to one another, but the couple assured its people that this “arrangement” is not destructive to the masses.  And Hartmann was there to write the story so that the people would understand this quasi marriage.

Hartmann lets us know that the fuck buddy system isn’t always wine, fooling around, having a cigarette and heading out the door.  Quite the contrary.  Like the time when Capitalism was being stalked by Socialism … yeah, Patriarchy enlisted McCarthy to kill Socialism.  It was an ugly time for both of them; they barely had time to copulate!

But copulate they did … on a massive scale.  All the democracy babies where running around, being cute and shit, but then another argument cropped up for Patriarchy and Capitalism.  The kids … I mean Capitalism saw the benefits of the kids and women working in factories, pumping out profits faster than women could birth them!  Patriarchy got all uptight; talking about a woman’s place is in the home, taking care of the kids (because, well, they were sick, broken and hungry.)  And more importantly, Patriarchy was harping on women making money, which means his harem of women at home would be diminished.  Hartmann quoted this proclamation as “The material base upon which patriarchy rests lies most fundamentally in men’s control over women’s labor power.”  Whatever this means!  Patriarchy just wanted women in their rightful place.  Capitalism ignored his pleas to keep his women at home.

This got Patriarchy pissed!  He sat at home, sad that his women were gone to work, thinking of ways to get back at Capitalism. He was in awe that Capitalism didn’t see the problems with this money making scheme.  I mean, who would be in charge of sex if women got it their heads they were worth more than being a glory hole?    As the women came home, tired, depressed, dirty and unwilling to cook a “decent” meal he left to go hang out with the guys at the pub.  An idea popped into his head as he sipped on his suds and his stroke of brilliance would dazzle the men and create heartache for his lover Capitalism.  He suggested “unions.”   In unison the men sang out, “Unions?”  He explained that if they all got together and DEMANDED that men get paid a family wage then the woman could come back so they could cook, clean and breed.  Of course these unions made shit happen for Patriarchy.

Capitalism basked in the glory of being fought over!  Overcome with joy, she made compromises and allowed a family wage, but also kept women and children at work.  The workers would be segregated but she promised Patriarchy men would be in charge of when, how and how much the woman workers would be paid.  This pleased Patriarchy.

Hartmann made a prediction at this point.  Hartmann claims that as the need for a second income becomes prevalent, the divide of income will increase.  Turns out she’ll be right …

But back to Patriarchy and Capitalism …   During all this time, they are shacking up, usually lying in bed after a good romp, disagreeing and agreeing on how to go about getting their minions to squabble.  If they could get the people to disagree they wouldn’t notice that they were puppets in a well orchestrated Capitalist/Patriarchy show.

But the people took advantage of Patriarchy and Capitalisms fuck sessions.  At some point a group of “progressives” took pity on the children and demanded they be left at home, not working in deplorable conditions.  This got Patriarchy and Capitalism juices flowing.  Patriarchy decided that children would be the woman’s concern, as they were no longer productive and well, he didn’t have time for that shit.  Plus he was glad to have his women back in the kitchen.  Capitalism, not as pleased, did see another source of income … The housewife.  Oh she’d love a new stove, dishwasher, or other shiny object.  There was peace amongst them again.  Lying back, sweaty and tired, they congratulated each other while smoking pot …. “Hey, this could be worth some money Capitalism.”  Don’t be stupid Patriarchy; I need workers who want to work …” Anyways ….

But Hartmann turned out to be a traitor to both Capitalism and Patriarchy, as she was telling the people “women should not trust men to liberate them after the revolution, in part, because there is no reason to think they would know how; in part, because there is no necessity for them to do so.”  BITCH Patriarchy yelled.  Capitalism was laughing until she read, “we think the sexual division of labor within capitalism has given women a practice which we have learned to understand what human interdependence and needs are.”  Asshole Capitalism yelled!!  Patriarchy and Capitalism where not happy!

Hartman wanted to organize people into practicing techniques to struggle against Patriarchy and Capitalism.  WTF?!  After screwing away their angst, Capitalism and Patriarchy calmed down, as they realized most people won’t read the story Hartmann pushed into the public, because most of them were suckling on the glass teat of TV (an invention that Capitalism still threw in the face of Patriarchy … though he did enjoy Leave it to Beaver.)

The people have questions!!  They beg for answers.

Why is this marriage so unhappy?  Besides the satire I provide above, do you think it possible to examine Feminist Thought from economic factors alone?  Why or why not?

Hartmann calls for a new analysis of feminism, one that would include examination of Capitalism and Patriarchy, however, in this new analysis, who sets the parameters and definitions?  Who will be the authors of these theories?  Are men and women included?  Should there be restrictions?  We could do this all day!

Hartmann suggests that men should relinquish their privilege.  How do men give up their privilege?






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