The Monopoly of Man

The Monopoly of Man


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A key text by a leading figure in Italian socialist feminism that remains relevant today, addressing the exploitation of women in the workplace and at home.

Anna Kuliscioff (ca. 1854-1925) was a prominent figure in the revolutionary politics of her era, advocating for socialism and feminism. One of the founding members of the Italian Socialist Party, she actively contributed to the late-nineteenth-century flourishing of the Socialist International and the emergence of Italian socialism. For the last decades of her life, Kuliscioff's public militancy revolved around the "woman question." She viewed feminism through the lens of class struggle, addressing the double exploitation of women—in the workplace and at home. Kuliscioff fought a twofold battle: as a socialist, she unmasked the sexism of her colleagues; as a feminist, she criticized liberal-bourgeois feminism. In this key text, she makes her case for a socialist feminism.
Originating as a lecture Kuliscioff delivered in April 1890 at a meeting of the the Milan Philological Circle (which denied membership to women), The Monopoly of Man explicitly links feminism to labor. Kuliscioff argues that labor frees women from the prison of the household and potentially fosters their emancipation; she advances the principle of equal pay for equal work. She declares that woman is enslaved by both her husband and by capital, calls marriage a form of women's servitude, and demands that motherhood be better appreciated as work. It is only when woman is economically independent and resists capitalism, she argues, that she will achieve freedom, dignity, and the respect of man.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262045391
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Series: Insubordinations: Italian Radical Thought
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Anna Kuliscioff (c. 1854-1925) was a feminist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Crimea, she was a leading figure in the Italian socialist movement.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Life and Writings of Anna Kuliscioff
Jamila Mascat
The Monopoly of Man
The Question of Woman and Other Problems
The Condition of Woman throughout History
Woman in the Struggle for Existence
Woman in Primitive Peoples
Woman in the Middle Ages
Modern Woman
Current Causes that Drive Woman to Work
Why I Chose the Question of Woman's Labor
Woman's Moral Parasitism
Repercussions on Man
Economic Independence as a Precondition for Civil and Political Rights
The Privilege of Modern Man
Women Factory Workers
Woman's Invasion of Industries
The Wages of Women
Supposed Causes of Lower Wages: Demand and Supply
Lower Productivity
Lesser Needs
The Actual Causes: Division and Deference
It Is a Complementary Wage
The Law of Custom
Women Teachers
The Wages of Women Teachers
Saleswomen and Retailers
Women Professionals
Women Physicians
Women Lawyers
Women Scholars
The Mother
Hopes and Vows

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