Zero Clout: (Re) Inventing the Objectivity of Gender within the Frame of Marxist Feminism

Author(s): Andrea Jovanović
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Feminist Discourse
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Irma Erlingsdóttir


In 2017, feminism was both celebrated and in crisis, especially Western liberal feminism, with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the cry that the movement was anything but inclusive. Feminist theory is also struggling with deep issues, such as how gender should be conceptualized and if there is a universal theory of gender. This paper addresses these theoretical crises in feminism by focusing on Marxist feminism. Marxism is usually seen as the universalist theory, so re-examining Marxist feminism in this context is a logical start. In doing so, the goal should perhaps be to focus on Marx’s understanding of objectivity. It is argued that his conception might be more fruitful to goal of Marxist feminism. The trajectory of Marxism in the feminist context is divided to two groups: (1) postmodern Marxism that gave up on any form of objectivity and universality and (2) Marxist feminism that tried to stay loyal to Marx but still re-conceptualize his ideas. This work opens up a space for drawing upon Marx’s commodity fetishism in a way that is currently not present in Marxist feminism and yet may be fruitful.