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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.

The two aspects of women's oppression

The two aspects of women's oppression

There are 2 aspects to female [unclear: oppression] The main aspect is that the vast majority of women and men are oppressed because they hold no financial power e.g. a female factory worker is oppressed because, like a male factory worker she is dependent on a wage over which she has no control. The second aspect is that women are discriminated against by a society whose dominant ideology is that women are less intelligent, more sympathetic, more irrational and more emotional then men.

One of the splits in the women's movement at varsity is between the feminist socialist and the socialists. The feminist socialist movement has an intellectual middle-class base and raises middle class demands and yet at the same time claims to be reaching the "average" New Zealand woman. The reason for this ambiguity is that feminists do not see it important to ensure that working class ideas lead the women's movement. Middle-class women are discriminated against because of their enforced roles, due to the second aspect of female oppression. Thus they can unite with working class women against the ideology of male supremacy. But this potential unity will be threatened if middle-class ideas predominate because working-class women will not join a movement which does not recognise or represent their demands which reflect both aspects of female oppression.