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Socialist feminism draws upon many concepts found in Marxism; such as a Historical materialist point of view, which means that they relate their ideas to the material and historical conditions of people’s lives. Socialist feminists thus consider how the sexism and gendered division of labor of each historical era is determined by the economic system of the time. Those conditions are largely expressed through Capitalist and Patriarchal relations. Socialist feminists, thus reject the Marxist notion that class and class struggle are the only defining aspects of history and economic development.
Marx asserted that when class oppression was overcome, gender oppression would vanish as well. According to socialist feminists, this view of gender oppression as a sub-class of class oppression is naive and much of the work of socialist feminists has gone towards specifying how gender and class work together to create distinct forms of oppression and privilege for women and men of each class. For example, they observe that women’s class status is generally derivative of her husband’s class or occupational status,.e.g., a secretary that marries her boss assumes his class status.