“To some a book on the origins of sexual inequality is absurd. Male dominance seems to them a universal, if not inevitable, phenomenon that has been with us since the dawn of our species. The essays in this volume offer differing perspectives on the development of sex-role differentiation and sexual inequality, but share a belief that these phenomena did have social origins, origins that must be sought in sociohistorical events and processes.”
In this way Stephanie Coontz and Peta Henderson introduce a book which fills a yawning gap in Marxist and feminist theory of recent years.
Women’s Work, Men’s Property brings together specialist historical and anthropological skills of a group of American and French feminists to examine the origins of the sexual division of labor, the nature of pre-state kinship societies, the position of women in slave-based societies, and the specific forms taken by the oppression of women in archaic Greece.
Men’s Work, Women’s Property will be welcomed by teachers and students of women’s studies and anyone with an interest in the biological, psychological and historical roots of sexual inequality.