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Shulasmith Firestone is one of the important thinkers of the Second Wave of feminism. In her book the Dialectic of Sex she tackles some of the big problems facing women, and more importantly, lays out a path to understand not only how history has played out, but the why.  She correctly observes it is the sexual-reproductive dynamic between men and women that set the foundation of how society has evolved – and how it continues to evolved today.

Firestone’s analysis foregrounds the importance of biology and sex in human interactions making it the antitheses of the current gender ideology (that features the denial of material reality and sex) we happen to be plagued with today.  We can root some of our criticism of gender ideology in the cogent analysis presented by Firestone.

 

“I have attempted to take the class analysis one step further to its roots in the biological division of the sexes. We have not thrown out the insights of the socialists; on the contrary, radical feminism can enlarge their analysis, granting it an even deeper basis in objective conditions and thereby explaining many of its insolubles. As a first step in this direction, and as the ground work for our own analysis we shall expand Engels’s definition of historical materialism. Here is the same definition quoted above now rephrased to include the biological division of the sexes for the purpose of reproduction, which lies at the origins of class:

Historical materialism, is that view of the course of history which seeks the ultimate cause and the great moving power of all historic events in the dialectic of sex: the division of society into two distinct biological classes for procreative reproduction, and the struggles of these classes with one another; in the changes in the modes of marriage, reproduction and child care created by these struggles; in the connected development of other physically-differentiated classes [castes]; and in the first division of labour based on sex which developed into the [economic-cultural] class system.

And here is the cultural superstructure, as well as the economic one, traced not just back to economic class, but all the way back to sex:

All past history [note that we can now eliminate ‘with the exception of primitive stages’] was the history of class struggle. These warring classes of society are always the product of the modes of organisation of the biological family unit for reproduction of the species, as well as of the strictly economic modes of production and exchange of goods and services. The sexual-reproductive organisation of society always furnishes the real basis, starting from which we can alone Work out the ultimate explanation of the whole superstructure of economic, juridical and political institutions as well as of the religious, philosophical and other ideas of a given historical period.”

The Dialectic of Sex Chapter 1 – Shulasmith Firestone

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