“Gender” for a Marxist Dictionary: The Sexual Politics of a Word

  • Donna J. Haraway


In 1983, Nora Räthzel from the autonomous women’s collective of the West German independent Marxist journal, Das Argument, wrote to ask me to write a “keyword” entry for a new Marxist dictionary An editorial group from Das Argument had undertaken an ambitious project to translate the multi-volume Dictionnaire Critique du Marxism (Labica and Benussen, 1985) into German and also to prepare a separate German supplement that brought in especially the new social movements that were not treated in the French edition.1 These movements have produced a revolution in critical social theory internationally in the last twenty years. They have also produced—and been partly produced by—revolutions in political language in the same period. As Räthzel expressed it, “We, that is the women’s editorial group, are going to suggest some keywords which are missing, and we want some others rewritten because the women do not appear where they should” (personal communication, 2 December 1983). This gentle understatement identified a major arena of feminist struggle—the canonization of language, politics, and historical narratives in publishing practices, including standard reference works.


Gender Identity Feminist Theory Gender Division Gender System Sexual Division 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works Cited

  1. Amos, Valerie, Gail Lewis, Amina Mama, and Pratibha Parmar, eds. 1984. Many Voices, One Chant: Black Feminist Perspectives. Feminist Review 17.Google Scholar
  2. Anzaldúa, Gloria. 1987. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute.Google Scholar
  3. Aptheker, Bettina. 1982. Women’s Legacy: Essays on Race, Sex, and Class in American History Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  4. Barrett, Michèle. 1980. Women’s Oppression Today London: Verso.Google Scholar
  5. Beauvoir, Simone de. 1949. Le deuxième sexe. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  6. Beauvoir, Simone de.. 1952. The Second Sex, trans. H. M. Parshley New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  7. Bebel, August. 1883. Woman under Socialism, trans. D. de Leon. New York: Schocken, 1971 (orig. Woman in the Past, Present and Future, 1878).Google Scholar
  8. Bethel, Lorraine, and Barbara Smith, eds. 1979. The Black Women’s Issue. Conditions 5.Google Scholar
  9. Bhavnani, Kum-Kum, and Margaret Coulson. 1986. “Transforming Socialist-Feminism: The Challenge of Racism.” Feminist Review 23:81–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bleier, Ruth. 1984. Science and Gender: A Critique of Biology and Its Themes on Women. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  11. Bleier, Ruth., ed. 1986. Feminist Approaches to Science. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  12. Brighton Women and Science Group. 1980. Alice through the Microscope. London: Virago.Google Scholar
  13. Brown, Beverley, and Parveen Adams. 1979. “The Feminine Body and Feminist Politics.” m/f 3:35–57.Google Scholar
  14. Bulkin, Elly Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Barbara Smith. 1984. Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Racism and Anti-Semitism. New York: Long Haul.Google Scholar
  15. Butler, Judith. 1989. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Carby Hazel. 1987. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Chodorow, Nancy. 1978. The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. Christian, Barbara. 1985. Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  19. Collins, Patricia Hill. 1989a. “The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought.” Signs 14(4): 745–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Collins, Patricia Hill. 1989b. “A Comparison of Two Works on Black Family Life.” Signs 14(4): 875–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Combahee River Collective. 1979. “A Black Feminist Statement.” In Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism, ed. Zillah Eisenstein, 362–72. New York: Monthly Review.Google Scholar
  22. Coward, Rosalind. 1983. Patriarchal Precedents: Sexuality and Social Relations. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  23. Davis, Angela. 1982. Women, Race, and Class. London: Women’s Press.Google Scholar
  24. Douglas, Mary. 1989. “A Gentle Deconstruction.” London Review of Books, 4 May 17–18.Google Scholar
  25. Duchen, Claire. 1986. Feminism in France from May ‘68 to Mitterrand. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  26. Editors of Questions féministes. 1980. “Variations on Some Common Themes.” Feminist Issues 1(1): 3–22.Google Scholar
  27. Engels, Frederick. 1884. The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State, trans. Eleanor B. Leacock. New York: International, 1972.Google Scholar
  28. Escoffier, Jeffrey. 1985. “Sexual Revolution and the Politics of Gay Identity.” Socialist Review 82/83:119–53.Google Scholar
  29. Fausto-Sterling, Anne. 1985. Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  30. Fee, Elizabeth. 1986. “Critiques of Modern Science: The Relationship of Feminism to Other Radical Epistemologies.” In Feminist Approaches to Science, ed. Ruth Bleier, 42–56. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  31. Flax, Jane. 1983. “Political Philosophy and the Patriarchal Unconscious: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Epistemology and Metaphysics.” In Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, ed. Sandra Harding and Merill Hintikka, 245–82. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  32. Foucault, Michel. 1976. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Pantheon, 1978.Google Scholar
  33. Frankenberg, Ruth. 1988. “The Social Construction of Whiteness.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
  34. Gallop, Jane. 1982. The Daughter’s Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis. New York: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Giddings, Paula. 1985. When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America. Toronto: Bantam.Google Scholar
  36. Gilligan, Carol. 1982. In a Different Voice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Haraway, Donna J. 1985. “Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s.” Socialist Review 80: 65–108.Google Scholar
  38. Haraway, Donna J. 1989. Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Harding, Sandra. 1983. “Why Has the Sex/Gender System Become Visible Only Now?” In Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, ed. Sandra Harding and Merill Hintikka, 311–24. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  40. Harding, Sandra. 1986. The Science Question in Feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Hartmann, Heidi. 1981. “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism.” In Women and Revolution, ed. Lydia Sargent, 1–41. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  42. Hartsock, Nancy. 1983a. “The Feminist Standpoint: Developing a Ground for a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism.” In Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, ed. Sandra Harding and Merill Hintikka, 283–310. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  43. Hartsock, Nancy. 1983b. Money, Sex, and Power. New York: Longman; Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  44. Haug, Frigga, ed. 1980. Frauenformen: Alltagsgeschichten und Entwurf einer Theorie weiblicher Sozialisation. Berlin: Argument Sonderband 45.Google Scholar
  45. Haug, Frigga. 1982.”Frauen und Theorie.” Das Argument 136 (11/12).Google Scholar
  46. Haug, Frigga et al. 1983. Sexualisierung: Frauenformen 2. Berlin: Argument-Verlag.Google Scholar
  47. Haug, Frigga et al. 1987. Female Sexualization: A Collective Work of Memory. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  48. hooks, bell. 1981. Ain’t I a Woman. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  49. Haug, Frigga. 1984. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  50. Hubbard, Ruth, Mary Sue Henifin, and Barbara Fried, eds. 1982. Biological Woman, the Convenient Myth. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.Google Scholar
  51. Hull, Gloria, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith, eds. 1982. All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave. Old Westbury: Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  52. Hurtado, Aida. 1989. “Relating to Privilege: Seduction and Rejection in the Subordination of White Women and Women of Color.” Signs 14(4): 833–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Jaggar, Alison. 1983. Feminist Politics and Human Nature. Totowa, NJ: Rowan & Allen-held.Google Scholar
  54. Joseph, Gloria, and Jill Lewis. 1981. Common Differences. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
  55. Keller, Evelyn Fox. 1985. Reflections on Gender and Science. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Keller, Evelyn Fox. 1987. “The Gender/Science System, or, Is Sex to Gender as Nature Is to Science?” Hypatia 2(3):37–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kessler, Suzanne, and Wendy McKenna. 1978. Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  58. King, Katie. 1986. “The Situation of Lesbianism as Feminism’s Magical Sign: Contests for Meaning and the U.S. Women’s Movement, 1968–72.” Communication 9(1):65–92.Google Scholar
  59. Kollontai, Alexandra. 1977. Selected Writings. London: Allison & Busby.Google Scholar
  60. Kuhn, Annette, and AnnMarie Wolpe, eds. 1978. Feminism and Materialism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  61. Labica, Georges, and Gérard Benussen, eds. 1985. Dictionnaire Critique du Marxism, 8 vols. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  62. Lauretis, Teresa de. 1984. Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lauretis, Teresa de. 1985. “The Violence of Rhetoric: Considerations on Representation and Gender.” Semiotica 54:11–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Lauretis, Teresa de. 1987. Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Lewontin, R. C., Steven Rose, and Leon J. Kamin. 1984. Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  66. Linden, Robin Ruth. 1981. “The Social Construction of Gender: A Methodological Analysis of the Gender Identity Paradigm.” B.A. senior essay, University of California at Santa Cruz, Sociology Board.Google Scholar
  67. Lorde, Audre. 1982. Zami, a New Spelling of My Name. Trumansberg, NY: Crossing Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  68. Lorde, Audre.. 1984. Sister/Outsider. Trumansberg, NY: Crossing Press.Google Scholar
  69. Lowe, Marian, and Ruth Hubbard, eds. 1983. Woman’s Nature: Rationalizations of Inequality. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  70. MacCormack, Carol, and Marilyn Strathern, eds. 1980. Nature, Culture, Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  71. MacKinnon, Catherine. 1982. “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory.” Signs 7(3): 515–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. MacKinnon, Catherine.. 1987. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  73. Marks, Elaine, and Isabelle de Courtivron, eds. 1980. New French Feminisms. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  74. Marx, Eleanor, and E. Aveling. 1885–6. The Woman Question. London: Swann & Sonnenschein.Google Scholar
  75. Marx, Karl. 1951. The Woman Question. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  76. Marx, Karl.. 1964a. Capital, Vol. 1. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  77. Marx, Karl.. 1964b. The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  78. Marx, Karl.. 1972. The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx, trans. and ed. Laurence Krader. Assen: Van Gorcum.Google Scholar
  79. Marx, Karl., and Frederick Engels. 1970. The German Ideology. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  80. Marxist-Feminist Literature Collective. 1978. “Women’s Writing.” Ideology and Consciousness 1(3):27–48.Google Scholar
  81. Mitchell, Juliet. 1966. “Women: The Longest Revolution.” New Left Review 40:11–37.Google Scholar
  82. Mitchell, Juliet.. 1971. Women’s Estate. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  83. Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 1984. “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse.” Boundary 2, 3 (12/13):333–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Moi, Toril. 1985. Sexual/Textual Politics. New York: Methuen.Google Scholar
  85. Money John, and Anke Ehrhardt. 1972. Man and Woman, Boy and Girl. New York: New American Library, 1974.Google Scholar
  86. Moraga, Cherríe. 1983. Loving in the War Years: lo que nunca pasó por sus labios. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  87. Moraga, Cherríe., and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds. 1981. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Watertown: Persephone Press.Google Scholar
  88. Morawski, J. G. 1987. “The Troubled Quest for Masculinity, Femininity and Androgyny.” Review of Personality and Social Psychology 7:44–69.Google Scholar
  89. Mouffe, Chantai. 1983. “The Sex-Gender System and the Discursive Construction of Women’s Subordination.” In Rethinking Ideology: A Marxist Debate, ed. Sakari Hänninen and Leena Paldán, 139–43. Internationale Sozialisanus-Diskussion 3; Argument-Sonderband 84. Berlin/New York: Argument-Verlag/International General.Google Scholar
  90. O’Brien, Mary. 1981. The Politics of Reproduction. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  91. Ortner, Sherry B., and Harriet Whitehead, eds. 1981. Sexual Meanings: The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  92. Reiter, Rayna Rapp, ed. 1975. Toward an Anthropology of Women. New York: Monthly Review.Google Scholar
  93. Rich, Adrienne. 1980. “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” Signs 5(4):631–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Rosaldo, Michelle. 1980. “The Use and Abuse of Anthropology.” Signs 5:389–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Rosaldo, Michelle., and Louise Lamphere, eds. 1974. Woman, Culture, and Society. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  96. Rose, Hilary. 1983. “Hand, Brain, and Heart: A Feminist Epistemology for the Natural Sciences.” Signs 9(l):73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Rose, Hilary.. 1986. “Women’s Work: Women’s Knowledge.” In What Is Feminism? A Re-Examination, ed. Juliet Mitchell and Ann Oakley, 161–83. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  98. Rubin, Gayle. 1975. “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the Political Economy of Sex.” In Reiter, 157–210.Google Scholar
  99. Rubin, Gayle.. 1984. “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” In Pleasure and Danger, ed. Carole Vance, 267–319. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  100. Sandoval, Chela. n.d. Yours in Struggle: Women Respond to Racism, a Report on the National Women’s Studies Association. Oakland, CA: Center for Third World Organizing.Google Scholar
  101. Sayers, Janet. 1982. Biological Politics: Feminist and Anti-Feminist Perspectives. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  102. Scott, Joan Wallach. 1988. Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  103. Smith, Barbara, ed. 1983. Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology. New York: Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press.Google Scholar
  104. Smith, Dorothy. 1974. “Women’s Perspective as a Radical Critique of Sociology.” Sociological Inquiry 44.Google Scholar
  105. Sofoulis, Zoe. 1987. “Lacklein.” Unpublished essay, University of California at Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
  106. Spillers, Hortense. 1987. “Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” Diacritics 17(2):65–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Spivak, Gayatri. 1985. “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism.” Critical Inquiry 12(1):243–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Stoller, Robert. 1964. “A Contribution to the Study of Gender Identity.” International Journal of Psychoanalysis 45:220–6.Google Scholar
  109. Stoller, Robert.. 1968 and 1976. Sex and Gender, Vol. I, New York: Science House; Vol. II, New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  110. Strathern, Marilyn. 1988. The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia. Berkeley: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Thorne, Barrie, and Nancy Henley, eds. 1975. Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance, Rowley, MA: Newbury.Google Scholar
  112. Trinh T. Minh-ha. 1986–7. “Introduction” and “Difference: ‘A Special Third World Women Issue,’” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 8:3–38.Google Scholar
  113. Trinh T. Minh-ha.. 1989. Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  114. Walker, Alice. 1983. In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  115. Ware, Celestine. 1970. Woman Power. New York: Tower.Google Scholar
  116. West, Candace, and D. H. Zimmermann. 1987. “Doing Gender.” Gender and Society 1(2):125–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Wittig, Monique. 1981. “One is not Born a Woman.” Feminist Issues 2:47–54.Google Scholar
  118. Young, Iris. 1981. “Beyond the Unhappy Marriage: A Critique of the Dual Systems Theory.” In Women and Revolution, ed. Lydia Sargent, 44–69. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  119. Young, Robert, and Les Levidow, eds. 1981. Science, Technology and the Labour Process, 2 vols. London: CSE and Free Association Press.Google Scholar
  120. Zetkin, Klara. 1889. Die Arbeiterinnen- und Frauenfrage der Gegenwart. Berlin: Berliner Arbeiterbibliothek.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Elizabeth A. Castelli 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna J. Haraway

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations