From Nuns to Surrogate Mothers: Evolution of the

Danielle Juteau and Nicole Laurin
From Nuns to Surrogate Mothers:
Evolution of the Forms of the
Appropriation of Women
The central idea of this article is certainly surprising and undoubtedly
bold. We propose to show that our research on the religious communities of
women in the province of Quebec has generated some thoughts capable of
leading feminist theory out of the dead end in which it seems to have been
trapped, as well as furthering the analysis of the ongoing reorganization of
gender relations.
We are living in a time characterized by, among other things, the new
reproductive technologies, surrogate mothers, an increase in female heads
of household; employment of women is higher than ever, but their jobs are
precarious. In such a period, how can one justify a sociological study of
such a narrow category of women as nuns, a category whose numbers
continue to shrink, a category which seems to constitute an anachronism,
even an anomaly?
We will see that it is precisely the seemingly outsider position occupied
by nuns in the sex-class system that makes them a subject of study that
enables us to enrich both our empirical and theoretical knowledge. The work
carried out by nuns cannot be understood in the context of the capitalist
mode of production nor of the domestic mode of production; in addition,
they take on the care of human beings who are neither their children, their
relatives, nor their spouses. As such they challenge both classical and feminist sociological theory.
In this article we trace the development of our theoretical approach.
Our research--and this is the first point--extends feminist thinking and is
embedded more specifically in the theoretical work on the social appropriOriginally published in the Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 25, no. 2
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
ation (both private and collective) of women. We will link this approach to
those with which it has ties--radical feminism and Marxist feminism. In a
third step, we will demonstrate that an approach capable of explaining the
situation of nuns is also capable of resolving problems presently affecting
feminist theory. Finally we will elaborate an analysis of gender relations that
will integrate all the forms, past and present, of private appropriation and
collective appropriation, as well as the modalities that insure their coherence.
Our research on religious communities of women in the province of
Quebec, like many other research projects, is part of the wave of thinking
created by the feminist movement during the past twenty years. It is not
necessary to retrace here the well-known steps by which the lifting of a thick
veil revealed unsuspected subjects of study, which led us to find behind their
most obvious forms their most hidden forms. Feminist scholars have first
focused on women, and then on their labor: first wage labor and domestic
labor, and then childbearing, mothering, reproductive work, and the work
of socialization. And finally they came to nuns (Danylewycz 1981; DumontJohnson 1978; Juteau-Lee 1980; Tremblay 1981), those women who are
doubly hidden, we can say, first behind their convent doors and their veils,
and then, above all, behind the dominant discourse where all is devotion,
sacrifice, prayer, and service. For the past five years we have been engaged
in a research project directed at throwing new light on this hitherto neglected
category of women. We have been involved in a period of prolonged theoretical reflection necessary for the understanding of a category which has
remained most elusive (Juteau and Laurin 1986). Our feminist focus has
permitted us not only to see the nuns, but also to see what they are--women
and workers. A paradoxical category of women and workers, removed from
biological reproduction, not furnishing sexual services, nuns escape what
Delphy has called familial exploitation (1980:33), which differentiates them
from lay women. In other ways they are much like lay women: they clean
and polish, they comfort, they cook, they educate, they mend, they nurture.
Furthermore, the work they carry out is not done within the framework of
the domestic mode of production, as their tasks are performed within the
context of institutions that they themselves organize and manage. Do nuns
represent an irregularity of the system, an exception? The work of Colette
Guillaumin (1981) has led us to respond in the negative. You will recall that
for this writer the relationship of social appropriation involves a collective
form of appropriation, the relationship of sexage being a "general class
relationship where the whole of one class is at the disposition of the other"
Juteau and Laurin
(Ibid.:17), and a private form of appropriation, marriage, which is the
restrictive expression of a relationship which exists before it and outside of
it (Ibid. :17-18). What was clearly apparent was that nuns, although escaping
private appropriation, nevertheless belong to the class of women. Our angle
of analysis was then accurately focused. Far from representing an anomaly,
nuns, as a fraction of the class of women, constituted a key element of the
system of sexage. Our theoretical and empirical approach was thus based on
the materialist feminist perspective, to which, we firmly believed, an ever
growing number of feminists would rally. Well, things went quite otherwise,
as we will see in the next part of this article, which takes up the debates
among certain feminist groups, debates which, after some clear progress,
ended up in a dead end.
Focusing on twenty years of feminist theorizing, the analysis which
follows does not claim to be exhaustive. 1 The breakdown we propose stems
mainly from our approach, which is feminist materialism, and, more specifically, the thesis of the social appropriation of women (Guillaumin 1981).
This theoretical perspective will be situated on a larger canvas on which will
be sketched its relationships, past and present, with certain branches of
feminist analysis. Then comes the second criterion for our breakdown, since
we have retained only two of those branches, namely radical feminism and
Marxist feminism. Although in this way we excluded the cultural feminist
branch based on "la difference," believing that an investigation of the
growing popularity of this branch goes beyond the framework of the present
analysis, we will offer through this article some critical reflections on it. In
short, we will stick to the approach we find most fruitful, in which neither
domination nor the materiality of social facts are overlooked, and which is
concerned with the material bases of the oppression of women.
The interactions, oppositions, interdependencies, and mediations within
the branches inspired by materialism form a system whose evolution involves four stages, each of which crystallizes an important moment in the
ongoing development of feminist theory. 2
In Figure 1, the first stage (I) is marked by the emergence of radical
feminism and feminist Marxism, two distinct branches, whose respective
protagonists will be in conflict and will challenge each other. In the second
stage (IIA), we see the confrontation between the two branches that derived
from the first two, materialist feminism and Marxist feminism. These latter
seem to be closer to each other than their respective theories of origin,
making it possible to predict an eventual meeting point. In that case Figure
1 might have resulted in an inverted pyramid, as the dotted line indicates.
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Juteau and Laurin
However, a wide gulf separated the two positions. The polemical exchange
initiated by Barrett and Mclntosh (1979) with Delphy (1980) at the end of
the 1970s brought it clearly into the open.
If one now looks at the breakdown of this second stage (liB), one will
see that these two branches each have two subcategories. So we now have
four models of interpretation:
1. Marxist feminist analysis based on capitalist patriarchy as a unified
system (Eisenstein 1979).
2. A dualistic type of Marxist feminism that postulates the existence of
two distinct systems of social relations (Kuhn 1978; Mitchell 1971,
1974; O'Brien 1981; Hartmann 1981).
3. Materialist feminist analysis based on the domestic mode of production (Delphy).
4. Materialist feminist analysis centered on the relationship of sexage
Finally, the third stage (III) is characterized by the search for new
theoretical syntheses and by the application of these in empirical analysis.
Analysts now acknowledged the existence of a sexual division of labor
throughout society (Armstrong and Armstrong 1983a; Armstrong et al.
1985; Burstyn and Smith 1985; Vogel 1983), a division which is linked to
the social division of labor. Although their work is correcting some of the
existing gaps, we will see that they are sinking progressively deeper into a
pit that they no longer know how to get out of. By now proceeding to a
diachronic analysis of Figure 1, we will make explicit the reason for this
given situation and furnish, we hope, some theoretical elements needed for
its resolution.
As far back as 1971, as we all certainly remember, Juliet Mitchell
(1971 ) was contrasting the positions of the Marxists and the radical feminists
on the oppression of women. Recognizing the pertinence of analyses based
on the opposition between the sexes, wanting to preserve the gains of a
materialist approach, she asserted that it was necessary to ask feminist
questions and to give them Marxist answers. The varied reactions to her
exhortations eventually led to the second stage of analysis, where the principal players were materialist feminism and Marxist feminism. 3 We will not
linger here over the modalities of the transformations of the Marxist position, because they have been the subject of numerous, very illuminating
analyses (Armstrong and Armstrong 1983a; Eisenstein 1970; Hartmann
1981; Kuhn and Wolpe 1978; Laurin-Frenette, forthcoming; Molyneux 1970;
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
Sokoloff 1980; Walby 1986a). Instead, we will proceed to examine how
materialist feminism was developed out of radical feminism, which it is a
by-product of, and out of Marxist feminism, with which it is in opposition.
First of all, let us establish a distinction between radical feminism in
the United States and in France. They differ noticeably from each other,
while in some other respects agreeing on points such as: the fundamental
opposition between men and women; patriarchal relationships; the common,
central, and main oppression of women as women; benefits enjoyed by all
men (Delphy 1980; Firestone 1970; Millett 1970). Although both sides
recognize the existence of gender relations that are socially constructed
mainly within the family, they suggest different interpretations as to their
basis. Shulamith Firestone, faithful in this to de Beauvoir, ascribes the
inequality of the sexes to the process of biological reproduction, while Kate
Millett presents a theory of patriarchy as a power system formed by the
fundamental relationship between men and women, namely sexual relations.
The great importance of these works should nevertheless not hide the inadequacy of their analysis, their inability to identify the "material basis" of
the oppression and exploitation of women by men. A fierce determination to
preserve the autonomy of women, in both practice and theoretical analysis,
led the radicals to reject the reductionism and economism of the Marxists.
Having done this, they somewhat neglected the material exploitation of
women by men. We mention in passing that in our view this gap opened the
door to biological reductionism and to cultural feminism. In fact, the obscuring of social relationships favors the recourse to explanations that are
culturalist, essentialist, or psychologizing (Juteau-Lee 1981).
It is precisely on this point that the contributions of the French radical
feminists, especially those of Wittig et al. in L'Idiot international (1970)
and those of Delphy (1980, originally published in 1970), break with the
previous theories. In a landmark article, "The Main Enemy," Delphy provided the foundations for a materialist analysis by basing radical feminism
on Marxist principles. The capitalist mode of production, she says, is accompanied by a domestic mode of production, the latter being distinguished
from the former in terms of the relations of production themselves: it is a
question of a relationship of slavery characterized by "the furnishing of
unpaid labor within the framework of a total and personal relationship
(marriage)" (Delphy 1980:35). By centering her analysis of gender relations
on the exploitation of women's labor power in the family, she distances
herself from Firestone and Millett, while drawing closer to feminist Marxists
like Benston. However, she differs from the latter in rejecting any break
between productive activities and nonproductive activities on the one hand,
Juteau and Laurin
and between the services provided without pay by women and commercialized services on the other hand (Ibid. :30). Moreover, she inverts Firestone's
and Millett's reasoning by saying that "rather than its being the nature of the
work done by women which explains their relations of production, it is these
relations of production which explain the fact that their work is excluded
from the realm of value" (Ibid. :26). As a group subject to these relations of
production or destined to be subjected to them, women constitute a class, a
class which is formed neither by biology, nor by sexuality, nor by capitalist
social relations. So the bases of materialist feminism were set up. Made
more explicit by Delphy in an article in the journal L'Arc in 1975 (and
published in English translation in Feminist Issues in 1981), this position
found expanded expression in the journal Questions f~ministes, founded in
1977. Articles by Bisseret, Ferchiou, Guillaumin, Mathieu, and Wittig expressed the preoccupations of the materialist feminists and illustrated effectively their position. It is astonishing that their works, with the exception of
those of Delphy, have had so little impact in American, Canadian, and
British circles, despite their appearing in translation in Feminist Issues. The
fact that they are absent from anthologies, bibliographies, and critical surveys of theory demands an explanation.
So we find ourselves back at stage IIA of Figure 1, a materialist
feminism imbued with Marxist principles, and a Marxist feminism imbued
with feminist issues and concepts, with their eventual meeting seeming
inevitable. In fact, some Marxist feminists gave up the classical Marxist
approach in favor of a transformed Marxism capable of taking adequate
account of the oppression of women and of patriarchy (Beechey 1979). In
1978 Kuhn and Wolpe gave the title Feminism and Materialism to a book
dedicated to the elaboration of a new Marxist analysis of the sexual division
of labor. However,the materialist feminists established clear boundaries between themselves and both the advocates of essentialist analysis and the
advocates of Marxist analysis. The Barrett/Mclntosh (1979) polemical exchange with Delphy (1980) sharply illustrates the gulf that separates them.
First of all, Barrett and Mclntosh criticize Delphy for the imprecision of
such concepts as the domestic mode of production and patriarchy, as well as
the inclusion of all women (including unmarried women because they represent potential wives) in the class of women (1979:97). We will return to
these points in the context of our presentation of Walby's thesis. What
Barrett and Mclntosh fundamentally condemn is an analysis which in their
opinion is economistic, which disregards ideology, the construction of gender, and reproduction, and which, in addition, fails to ascribe the oppression
of women to the economic and ideological relations of capitalism (1979:100).
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
One of the basic differences between these two positions appears clearly
here: while the materialist feminists accord a central place to sex classes and
their material basis, that is, the appropriation of women's work by men, the
Marxist feminists seek above all to insist upon capitalism as the material
basis, and upon the ideological factors which reproduce a sexual division of
labor based on biology.
This polemical exchange, which brings out clearly the characteristics
of each of these positions, does not include all the theses proposed by the
people holding these positions. We will now examine the four main interpretations which characterize stage liB. Marxist feminism is subdivided, as
we have already seen, into two categories. In the first subcategory we find
the postulation of a unified capitalist patriarchal system, capitalism being
necessary to patriarchy and vice versa (Eisenstein 1979). In the second
subcategory patriarchy and capitalism constitute two systems which are
analytically distinct. Dual systems theory comprises many analyses, as Walby
(1986a) points out. Some authors relegate patriarchy to an ideological role,
with capitalism alone occupying the economic role (Mitchell 1971). Other
theoreticians emphasize women's work in reproduction (Dandurand 1981;
O'Brien 1981) and then try to articulate that sphere with the sphere of
production. Despite their unquestionable importance, several studies along
this line contain a major defect; they have a tendency to reduce reproduction
to biological reproduction (Edholm, Harris, and Young 1977), and to place
the work of biological reproduction at the center of the sexual division of
labor. Women's capacity to bear children, their specific place in the process
of reproduction, thus becomes the basis for an almost inevitable sexual
division of labor, of women's place in production (Armstrong and Armstrong 1983a; Vogel 1983) and in history (O'Brien 1981). Paradoxically it
is the Marxist feminists who are renewing Firestone's analysis and giving it
a cultural feminist twist. Specific value is given to women's experiences that
are distinct from those of men--childbearing and mothering--experiences
in the last analysis based on biological differences. Several theoreticians
inspired by radical feminism also come close to basing their analysis on
biological sex and/or cultural differences (Daly 1978; O'Brien 1981). Thus,
a certain radical feminism and a certain Marxist feminism have both evolved
in the direction of a feminism of "la diff6rence," as is indicated by the
dotted lines at the outer edges of Figure 1. The materialist feminists, on the
other hand, object to any analysis founded on biological or cultural difference. The works of Mathieu on social maternity (1984) and Tabet on imposed reproduction (1987) clearly show that it is women's place in repro-
Juteau and Laurin
duction and production that is dependent on the relations of domination
between the sexes and not the reverse.
Let us go back now to the second subcategory of interpretation, the
Marxist feminist analysis which postulates the existence of patriarchy and
capitalism as two distinct systems of social relations. It seems to us that here
it is Hartmann (1981) who suggests the most promising analysis. She shows
that the control exercised by men over women's work (work whose modalities vary in time and space) remains at the center of the relations of domination between the sexes as well as being central to understanding them.
As for the materialist feminists, in addition to the position of Delphy,
which was previously detailed, we return to Guillaumin's analysis (1981).
For Guillaumin, the specific nature of the oppression of women is found in
the relationship of sexage-"the relation in which it is the producing material unity of labor power which is appropriated and not just labor power"
(Ibid. :7; emphasis in original). In other words--and here Guillaumin clearly
differs from Hartmann--it is not just the labor power of women that is
preempted, but its origin, the body that is the reservoir of the labor power
(Ibid.). This form of physical appropriation, sexage, is related to serfdom
and slavery. The appropriation of one sex class by the other constitutes a
generalized relationship and has two forms: a collective form which is
anterior to the private form, marriage, the latter being the institutional
surface of the generalized relationship. In other words, "marriage is . . .
only the restrictive expression of a relationship--it is not in itself this relationship. It legalizes and confirms a relationship which exists before it and
outside of it" (Ibid.:IT-18; emphasis in original). The result of this is that
no woman escapes being in a sex class, or in other words, all women belong
to a sex class. Nevertheless, some of them, such as nuns and prostitutes, do
escape private appropriation.
Guillaumin's approach differs notably from the preceding ones. In her
theory the oppression of women is not based on their exploitation within the
domestic mode of production, and patriarchy is not based on domestic work.
On the contrary, it is the material appropriation of the physical individuality
of the class of women by the class of men that makes possible the use of
women's unpaid labor power, particularly within the framework of a personal and exclusive relationship--marriage. A mere detail? Not at all! It is
a huge nuance heavy with consequence, as we shall subsequently see.
So on one side of Figure 1 we have patriarchal capitalism and on the
other side collective appropriation; in the middle we find the materialist
feminists and the Marxist feminists,who analyze women's productive and
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
reproductive labor within the framework of the domestic mode of production
or of patriarchy. It is between these two groups that, at the third stage, the
debate already begun between the materialist feminists and the Marxists will
be carried on. The two sides of the polygon will now join up (or almost join
up) and will now form (or almost form) the quasi-point of the inverted
The third stage is characterized by the proliferation of syntheses and
sociohistorical analyses such as those of Sokoloff (1980) and Walby (1986a;
1986b). They recognize the existence of two analytically distinct systems of
social relations, patriarchy and capitalism, which jointly determine women's position in both the public and private spheres. Trying to move beyond
both "sexless class" and "classless sex" (Armstrong and Armstrong 1983a),
they frantically and imaginatively articulate patriarchy and capitalism. It is
no longer a question of relegating patriarchy to the domestic sphere. Extending the works of the Marxist feminists, Sokoloff examines the sexual
division of production (domestic and paid), the sexual division of labor
(which cuts across society as a whole), as well as the dialectical articulation
of patriarchy and capitalism, those two systems which both reinforce and
contradict each other.
Sokoloff ascribes women's subordinate place on the labor market to
their position in the domestic sphere. She is also puzzled about the weakening of patriarchy within the family at the same time that it is being
strengthened on the labor market. Might there exist, she asks, a collective
form of patriarchy? Along the same line, Brown (1981) maintains that
patriarchy constitutes not only a familial system but also a social system
which includes family relationships. This social system comprises also the
public aspects of patriarchy, such as men's control of the economy and the
polity, which permits them to collectively control women. With the advent
of state monopoly capitalism, the private form of patriarchy, based on the
family, would be replaced by a public form based on the state and industry.
Although the analyses of Sokoloff and Brown include some very sound
observations, in our view they run into a theoretical dead end. In fact, these
authors posit the private form of the appropriation of women as being
historically and theoretically anterior to the collective appropriation. Public
patriarchy is supposed to be based on private patriarchy, and the exploitation
of women on domestic exploitation. Nevertheless they also assert that public
patriarchy and the exploitation of women could exist in the absence of
private patriarchy and domestic exploitation.
As for Walby, she comes closer to the materialist feminists. She proposes a theory of the patriarchal mode of production that answers the ques-
Juteau and Laurin
tions raised by Barrett and Mclntosh. Accepting Delphy's premises, she
asserts that "the basis of gender relations is the domestic mode of production" (Walby 1986a:37), and then goes on to draw the logical conclusions.
The patriarchal mode of production comprises a "producing c l a s s . . , composed of housewives . . . and a non-producing and exploiting class composed of husbands" (Ibid.:52-53). As a result, only husbands and wives
belong to sex classes; the other women, who escape economic exploitation
within the family, simply constitute a status group socially inferior to men.
Although the proposed analysis is logical, it remains problematical. For
Walby, patriarchal relationships comprise a set of relatively autonomous
structures, namely domestic work, paid work, the state, male violence, and
sexuality; in patriarchy men exploit women through a system of structures
related to each other (Ibid.:50-51). Her analysis--and on this point we are
fully in agreement with her--brings out the importance of patriarchal forces
within the workplace; hence the title of her book, Patriarchy at Work. Walby
thus states that it is women's position in the workplace that determines their
position in the family and not the reverse. On the other hand, this author also
asserts that patriarchal relations are founded on the patriarchal mode of
production, with this mode being based on the exploitation of the producing
class, the housewives, by the nonproducing class, the husbands, bringing
the analysis to what seems to represent a dead end.
So we find ourselves with two models (IIB-2 and IIB-3) which identify
women's unpaid labor in the domestic sphere as the basis of their oppression, and which as a result are unable to explain the situation of the categories of women who escape patriarchal exploitation in the family-yesterday nuns; today single, divorced, and separated women. The result is
the many theoretical acrobatics that these theoreticians skillfully perform.
Like almost all feminists, they theorize the oppression of women in terms of
its most visible form, that which the majority of women undergo in their
lives and which Guillaumin calls private appropriation. Guillaumin's postulation of collective appropriation opens the door to an understanding of the
paradoxes that we find at present, just as it clarifies the situation of nuns.
Recognizing that the collective appropriation of women antecedes their
private appropriation makes it possible to understand why women's situation has improved so little; they cannot escape from their sex class by
evading private appropriation or by selling their labor power.
We will see that in Guillaumin' s work the relationship of appropriation
is theorized in a more total context than that of the capitalist mode of
production. In this way she escapes the pitfalls found in the analyses of the
domestic mode of production. She also escapes the interminable dialectical
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
acrobatics that are performed to articulate patriarchy and capitalism. Finally, the analysis of the sexual division of labor is based on neither the tasks
performed, nor the places in they are performed, nor the articulation of the
capitalist and patriarchal modes of production. Rather, it operates through
the examination of two contradictions: the first is between the private form
of appropriation and its collective form, while the second bears upon the
simultaneity of social appropriation and the sale of labor power.
We will now endeavor to account for the current reorganization in the
sexual division of labor. The growing participation of women in the labor
market, the generalized usage of contraception, the extension of commercial
production to domestic goods and services, as well as other changes in the
material bases of women's activities, have produced an evolution in the
system of sexage, modifying the private and collective forms of appropriation and the relationship between these forms. We believe that a theorization based on the concept of appropriation allows us to take into account
both the totality and the variety of the conditions of the oppression of
women--past conditions, transitory conditions, and new or future conditions. Nevertheless we must extend the parameters of this concept.
So let us briefly recapitulate the broad lines of Guillaumin's thesis in
a way that will make our interpretation and utilization of it explicit. It seems
to us that the theory of sexage is located at the intersection of two conceptual
fields. The first field is that of a theory of production, which emphasizes
property as the fundamental modality of the organization of the relations of
production. Property is related to the means of work, to the products, and
to the agents themselves. In this perspective slavery, serfdom, paid work,
etc. are the historical forms of relations between social classes because they
are the historical forms of appropriation, that is, of the property relationship, and thus of the relations between the agents of, and in, production. The
second conceptual field is a theory of gender relations. They are conceived
as class relations which have their origin in the processes of production and
in other processes whose agents are men on the one hand, and women on the
other. The reference is to domestic production and the production of all the
other goods, services, and products of women (of their bodies) and by
women (their work) for men. These relations resemble those that are characteristic of slavery: the women agents themselves are appropriated in their
physical and psychological individuality, and it is as a consequence of that
that their labor power and the products of their bodies and of their work are
appropriated. The theory of sexage also borrows some elements from a third
conceptual field, the theory of racism; those elements are an integral part of
the analysis of the construction and material and discursive representation of
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the categories of sex. This is an important matter, but we will take the
liberty of leaving it to one side in this article.
For Guillaumin sexage is a general class relationship: all women belong to all men. She also calls this collective appropriation. Private appropriation, which puts some women into relationships with some men, mainly
in marriage and the family, is a particular and restrictive form of collective
appropriation. It must be reconciled with other particular forms of appropriation which also stem from the general relationship between sex classes.
For example, abduction, rape, prostitution, droit du seigneur, adultery, just
to name the most extreme cases, are in contradiction with marriage and the
family. What is perhaps not sufficiently taken into consideration in the
theory of sexage is, in the first place, all the particular modes of appropriation and their variety, in their private form and in their collective form;
and, in the second place, the conditions which insure the coherence and
cohesiveness of the forms of appropriation and the diverse ways in which
these modes occur. We are speaking about the coherence and cohesion of the
class relationship between women and men, of the maintenance of the entity
formed by sex and oppression in the diversity of sites, places, relations, and
institutions that this entity pervades and from which it proceeds. Every class
domination involves the creation and the preservation, through force and
consent, of the conditions that insure the identity of the interests of the
hegemonic class with the interests of the collectivity. The methods used by
the dominant social classes are very well known. What remains to be understood is how men, as a class, effect their domination.
In our view, collective appropriation is effected in the context of general, institutional relations as well as in the context of particular, interpersonal relations between men and women. Collective appropriation is the
power that the class of men in its totality holds, and as a result the power that
each man holds by virtue of his belonging to that class, the power to make
use of the class of women in its totality and also of each woman by virtue
of her belonging to her sex class. Harassment, rape, and prostitution represent different modalities of collective appropriation which bring together
the agents of sex classes against each other; pornography is another one, but
its framework is impersonal. Institutions also establish relations between
agents of sex classes, largely in an impersonal manner, but above all in a
universal manner--that is, in a manner which is applied to the totality of the
classes or to the fractions of the sex classes concerned. There are thus some
institutions which organize different processes of work and of production
and reproduction in which men and women act collectively, such as the
capitalist institutions of production, distribution, and consumption of goods
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
and services; the state; and the Church. These are sex-class institutions, but
that doesn't mean that they do not also represent the interests of the dominant social classes--quite the contrary. In our opinion, at the present time
the collective form of appropriation of women, whether it be institutional or
interpersonal, is increasing and could become the principal form of oppression.
Private appropriation also has various modalities. The private form of
appropriation assures a man the exclusive, personal, and full usage of a
woman. Contrary to what Guillaumin thinks, this private form of appropriation is not really in contradiction with the collective form, at least in its
logic. As far as we are concerned, we lean toward conceiving of it less as
a restriction, a limit on collective appropriation, than as a condition for the
actualization of the general relationship between sex classes, particularly for
some purposes. Marrying a woman probably means keeping other men from
appropriating the sexual services of that woman, her domestic work, and the
children she might bear, but first and foremost it effectuates the production
of those goods, services, and children for the benefit of society--that is, for
the benefit of the class of men in its entirety. Social conditions can change,
the manner of actualizing class relationships can be transformed. In our
opinion, that is what is happening. Although in the past marriage and the
family were the customary framework for the private appropriation of women,
their labor power, their bodies, the products of their bodies and of their
work, there are other modalities of this appropriation which are becoming
more and more important and could eventually supplant the former modalities. We will analyze them later in this article. Generally speaking, there is
a sort of erosion of the conditions of private appropriation, which is bringing
it more in line with the collective, hegemonic form. For example, halfway
between the two forms of appropriation is the single-parent, female-headed
household, which, with government support, brings up for the benefit of
society children whose father, remarried or living with another woman, still
owns and enjoys them.
One can say that the two forms of appropriation in combination make
up various systems of sexage. The coherence of such systems would be
related to the given state of the gender relations and institutions that we call
patriarchal. We will outline the configurations of two systems of sexage.
This analysis will bring us to the core of the theoretical statements we have
made and will clarify some concrete, current questions about the oppression
of women. The first system illustrates the forms and contemporary modalities of oppression that we can call classical for lack of a better term. It can
be situated, for Quebec at least, during the period which we are studying
Juteau and Laurin
within the framework of our research on the religious communities of women-roughly the end of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth
(Juteau and Laurin 1986).
Let us imagine the universe of the women subjected to this type of
sexage as a cage like that found in a hen house. Inside this cage are closed
compartments that correspond to life situations. These situations represent
the specific modalities of appropriation, either private or collective. The
system comprises a relatively strict division of labor among the different
fractions of the class of women. A compartment is assigned to each of the
subdivisions. This organization is static and keeps movement between the
situations to a minimum.
One fraction of the class of women is appropriated in the private form
of appropriation, in the personalized framework of marriage and the family,
which in a way represents two distinct but indissociable modalities of that
appropriation. In this case the conditions of oppression are those described
by GuiUaumin, which are also outlined in various feminist analyses of
domestic work and the material, economic, legal, and ideological context of
that work. In brief, the totality of the individuality of women is appropriated: their body, their work, and the products of their body and work. In
exchange men provide their subsistence. The period of the appropriation is
unlimited, the duration and the conditions of work undefined. The tasks
carried out by women are the material and emotional upkeep of men, children, and dependent members of the family. Finally, the discourse which
legitimates this oppression is that of romantic love and maternal love. Nevertheless it must not be imagined that all the women subjected to private
appropriation are mothers. In fact, one sees a sort of division of functions
among the women who earn their living by their work within the family and
the couple. Some married women have a few children, others have a large
number of children, and many others have none at all. In this context one
can say that reproduction is a speciality. 4 The married woman without
children as well as the spinster occupy a separate place. They don't necessarily have a paying job, and very often they dedicate themselves to the
upkeep of members of their extended family: parents, younger brothers and
sisters, nephews, nieces, etc.
Nuns, like married women and spinsters, carry out unpaid labor. As a
result, it is love that legitimates their oppression--spiritual, mystical love,
expressed in terms of the discourse which gives meaning to the institutions
of marriage and the family. 5 They are brides of Christ; they are sisters to
each other, daughters of their patron saints and their superiors, mothers of
the people they minister to--pupils, orphans, the sick, the aged, the hand-
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
icapped, etc. The ideology is even more explicit concerning them, for they
are from the very beginning called servants--servants of God, of the Church,
of the poor, etc., even little servants of God as well as little sisters, little
daughters, etc. Besides, some of the tasks the nuns devote themselves to are
in part similar to those that other women do in the family. A third of them
do cooking, housekeeping, laundry, etc. 6 In a general way they are employed in the material and emotional upkeep of people, but in the framework
of institutions other than the family: day schools, boarding schools, orphanages, hospitals, hospices, rectories, etc. Another 20 percent of nuns are in
charge of organizing these activities and managing these institutions. The
nuns work in exchange for their subsistence and the lifelong commitment
that ties them to their religious order according to canon law, which neither
fixes nor limits in any way the nature, duration, or conditions of their work.
But here ends the resemblance between marriage or lay celibacy and the
celibacy called consecrated, to use the canonical terms.
In fact, it is the collective form of appropriation that allows nuns to be
put at the disposition of the class of men. This appropriation is carried out
through the medium of the Church, an institution administered by men and
in their class interest--that interest that we previously said overlaps that of
society. The totality of the person is the object of this collective appropriation. In this sense, the ban on any man's appropriating the body of a nun
for his personal pleasure is a condition for the effective possibility of the
collective appropriation of that body as a work machine. One does not
marry a nun; one does not make her bear children; one does not allow her
to return to her family to care for her parents. This means that she can only
belong to everybody if she belongs to nobody, like a prostitute. In fact,
prostitutes are also the object of collective appropriation, but the modality of
that appropriation is exactly the obverse of that which applies to nuns. From
the point of view of the class of men, in the first case it's a matter of
renouncing the body in order to collectively appropriate everything else; in
the second case it's a matter of renouncing everything else in order to
collectively appropriate the body. Finally, the appropriation of nuns is institutional and thus impersonal. In addition, no familiarity or intimacy with
the other sex is allowed them. From this comes the impression that nuns give
of autonomy with regard to men in their personal lives and their work.
Nevertheless, one shouldn't be deluded; the class domination is all the more
severe because it is carried out through the medium of rules and principles
which have a sacred character and an absolute value, even though the
application of these rules and principles is left in part to the dominated
Juteau and Laurin
Prostitutes are not a numerically large fraction of the class of women,
but for the theory of appropriation they represent an interesting case. Don't
we generally hear it said that they practice the oldest profession in the
world? And let us not forget that the oldest form of prostitution was the
sacred prostitution of women dedicated to the gods and cloistered within
temples (Brault 1980). In the case of prostitutes, appropriation in its collective form is carried out in the context of relations with individuals of the
class of men. Moreover, the work of this category of women is not unpaid:
an informal contract fixes the remuneration for their services, stipulates and
limits the form and duration of those services, which are sexual most of the
time, but can also be extended to other types of activity. The body as a
machine to produce pleasure (rather than to produce children or labor power
as in the preceding examples) nevertheless remains the essential, if not
exclusive, object of appropriation.
In the case of the paid worker neither the body nor the products of the
body are appropriated, but only the labor power and what is produced by
that labor power. The latter is exchanged for a wage in the framework of the
capitalist contract, which universally regulates the buying and selling of
labor power. In principle at least, the nature of the tasks, the duration of the
work, and the amount of the remuneration are defined. It is usually considered that the wage scale--the paid appropriation of labor power for
purposes of capital growth--is dependent on the general relationship between social classes in capitalist society and not on the relationship between
sex classes. Nevertheless, the paid exploitation of work, from the earliest
beginnings of industrialization up to the present, also represents, in our
view, a particular mode of the appropriation of women by the class of men.
This does not in any way prevent this form of exploitation, of appropriation
of labor, from also being carried out within the class of men, where it is the
basis of the division of social classes into bourgeoisie and proletariat, to use
the classical terms. The bourgeoisie, owner and manager of the means of
production, has a sex--male. As for the proletariat, understood in the sense
of paid agents of production and the processes deriving from them, it has
two sexes--male and female. Women form a class within the proletariat not
only because of the separation between paid work and domestic work, but
also because of the differentiation within paid work itself--the tasks and
conditions which are prescribed for women and the tasks and conditions of
work which are prescribed for men. In this sense, one can say that paid
women workers undergo a double class oppression. In terms of the theory
that we are using, the sex-class relationship in paid work is organized on the
base of collective appropriation, and more precisely on the base of an
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
institutional modality of that form of appropriation, different from the modalities that we have described in the preceding examples. In effect, the
organizations of capitalist or state production (the state employs some of the
paid work force) allow the class of men who manage these organizations to
draw profit from the class of women in the general and impersonal manner
which constitutes the exploitation of women's paid work. The interests of
the class of men here merge with the general interests of society; they
particularly merge with the interests of the bourgeoisie as the dominant
economic and social class.
On the paid labor market, women occupy a place in many ways distinct
from that of men. In general, they are hired for jobs of material and emotional upkeep of persons and/or for subordinate jobs in various work processes. The ill-paying, little valued, nonunion jobs are their lot. They are the
reserve labor cushion whose fate depends on the fluctuations of the economy. In the former system of sexage the paid women workers were employed first in factories artd then in offices, stores, banks, etc. It is interesting to note that there was a division in the work performed by women
outside of the domestic sphere. On one hand there were the paid workers of
the capitalist establishments, and on the other hand the nuns, who assumed
the duties relating to education, health, and social work services in the
institutions run by the Church. 7 In Quebec this division was maintained up
to the 1960s. The transfer of these services to the state will lead to the
pushing aside and eventual disappearance of the nuns, who will be replaced
by paid women workers in most of the jobs, except for management and
planning jobs, which will be monopolized by men, employees of the state.
Finally let us note that paid work, during the period that concerns us, was
more or less incompatible with marriage. Paid women workers were mostly
single, whether temporarily or permanently so. In certain occupations it was
even required that a woman worker who got married be fired. In other
words, private appropriation and collective appropriation were not compatible when they applied to the same woman. The various modes of collective
appropriation were still less so. The coherence and effectiveness of that
system of sexage rested on differences in the functions performed by the
subdivisions of the class of women. A woman was obliged to become either
a mother or a nun or a worker or a spinster or a whore, because she neither
could nor should fill all these women's roles at the same time. In the new
system, this is not the case. A woman not only can but must be all these at
the same time.
In this new system of sexage, which is in the process of being established, the division of labor among women is blurred and tends to disappear,
Juteau and Laurin
while the amount and nature of the work furnished by women, taken as a
whole, to the class of men remains practically unchanged. Women's universe resembles a squirrel cage--that is, a cylinder whose surface is formed
by rungs. These correspond to the various modalities and forms of appropriation; women pass from one to the other in an unending circular movement. Freedom to move from one rung to another is what makes the system
work. These new characteristics of sexage result from the unprecedented
extension of collective appropriation, mainly but not exclusively through its
institutional modalities.
Today, through the intermediary of the state and capitalist enterprise,
the collective labor power of women is being put at the disposition of the
class of men. Permanently or for periods of varied duration, the great
majority of adult women belong to the paid labor force, including those who
are married and--a relatively new development--those with very young
children. 8 Women work outside the home for a variety of reasons: because
many of them are the sole providers for themselves and their children;
because the wages of many men workers are not sufficient, it seems, to
provide for a family; because the reduction in the number of children per
family and the commercialization of a part of the goods and services formerly produced at home free women from some of their domestic tasks. And
finally, because in the present economic circumstances capitalist enterprise
and the state-employer need the female labor force--cheap, underqualified,
docile, and forced to work by a number of constraints. In large numbers
women find themselves in the so-called "secondary" labor market, in precarious jobs (such as contract labor, part-time jobs, intermittent employment), in jobs that have been downgraded (by technology or otherwise), and
in the other ill-paid, little valued subordinate jobs that they have always
worked at.
In this context not only do the collective appropriation of women and
their private appropriation become compatible, but, even more, they are
interdependent. The conditions for wage-earning women are such that, in
addition to working outside the home, they have to keep on serving men in
the family so as to insure the subsistence of themselves and their children.
The other side of the coin is that the burden of their domestic and family
responsibilities make them ideal recruits for the secondary labor market.
This latter point illustrates an important restructuring of economic and social
stratification that has come about with the constitution in capitalist societies
of a new proletariat composed largely of women. It also includes elderly
people, the young, and people who belong to ethnic minorities. This class
seems permanently condemned to secondary, precarious jobs, and to un-
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
employment and welfare in all its forms, which are the other side of their
situation with regard to jobs. These are the so-called "new poor," and this
poverty is female to such a point that the social class and the sex class of the
new proletariat tend to overlap. 9
Women are poor because neither the collective appropriation of their
labor power on the job market, nor the private appropriation of their body
and their work in marriage and the family, nor the two forms of service
combined allow them to support themselves and their children in the long
term. For women marriage is no longer a guarantee of support and protection for life; common-law unions and living together are even less so. The
modes of private appropriation can still permit some women to derive benefits from the situation of their partner and to share certain privileges of the
social class of that partner, if need be, but on a basis that is only temporary.
Divorce, breakup of couples living together, death of a partner all send
women into poverty, very often with their children, because then they have
to rely solely on the resources that their sex class derives from its collective
appropriation. And these are slim, as we have seen. Even the bourgeois
class no longer supports its women: to begin with, it puts them to work in
paying jobs, and then, when it abandons them, it scarcely pays them enough
to keep up appearances. Bourgeois and petty bourgeois wives, thus reduced
to their sex class, represent a category which perfectly illustrates our thesis
regarding appropriation. This category of the class of women is fascinated
by the myth of small businesses owned by women, very popular right now
and just as illusory as it was at the time that it was proposed to the most
favored elements of the working class.
Private appropriation continues to flourish, and its forms have become
varied. To conventional marriage and family have been added casual unions,
living together, reconstituted families, single-parent families, etc. All these
arrangements are forms of private appropriation as we have defined it, with
one important difference: the duration of the appropriation is indefinite in
principle, but in reality it is limited and the people involved are conscious
of that fact. Commitment in marriage, and even more so in the other couple
arrangements, is a calculated risk, at least implicitly. The conditions of the
interchange between men and women are, then, more complex and more
perverse than they were in the past. The wife, the live-in girl friend, the
lover each still cedes to her partner the use of her body, her labor power, and
the products of her labor--that is, she puts body and soul at his disposition,
carries out the material and emotional work demanded for the upkeep of that
partner and bears his children. In return her subsistence and that of her
children are only partially assured by the partner, who expects the woman
Juteau and Laurin
to also have a paying job; and, besides, his support only lasts for the period
of their union. The decision to end it can be taken by either of the partners,
and divorce or breakup is easily effected, lo In these conditions a woman
can--and often must--belong to several men in succession. Two or three
stable unions in the course of a life are quite common today. The structure
of this serial private appropriation, from the point of view of the theory,
more and more approximates that of collective appropriation in the context
of individual, noninstitutional interaction--that which is found in prostitution, except that the appropriation is not limited to the body and sexual
services. Moreover it is not so long ago that a woman was considered a
prostitute if she had belonged to more than one man, except in the case of
widowhood. In this regard, the rules of normality and morality have changed;
they have been adapted to the new modalities of private appropriation.
Through serial private appropriation the class of men draws from the
class of women everything that it drew in the past, but at less financial,
social, and psychological cost to itself. In effect, the advantages of serial
appropriation for men are immeasurable. Let us mention just the possibility
for them to have children from one or several women, to draw pride and
pleasure from those children without having to participate in their upbringing or education, and without having to assume the full cost of it, financial
and otherwise. After a breakup, women usually keep the children of their
former partner; they also, should the need arise, take care of the children of
their new partner. One can understand the new romanticism that permeates
the relationship between men and their children--a relationship free of the
traditional constraints of fatherhood, which the mothers are obliged to assume in addition to those of motherhood. The appropriation by men of those
children who, more and more often, are in the long run the responsibility of
their mother, approaches a collective and general form of appropriation.
The compulsion to motherhood, despite what we are led to believe, is
stronger than ever. In the old system of sexage the nun, the spinster by
choice, and sometimes even the woman wage worker, escaped this compulsion. It is no longer so. Even infertility in our time is not a sufficient
reason for not becoming a mother. Every woman must want motherhood at
any price, even if she limits herself to one child, as is frequently the case.
Even though fertility and birth rates have declined, a larger number of
members of the class of women than in the past are now involved in
reproduction. ~~ Of course, raising one or even two children no longer stops
a woman from having a paying job, from being an activist, or from doing
volunteer work; nor does it any longer stop her from getting along without
a husband and looking after various men either as a lover or friend. More-
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
over, one no longer has children for the fatherland, or for security in one's
old age, or to carry on the family name or business, but rather to have the
experience of bearing a child and of being a mother or a father, to have with
another person an affective relationship, the only one that you can be assured will endure. In these conditions, one's partner counts for less than
one's child, and one could imagine that in the future everyone--man and
woman--would have a child or procure one with the assistance of a lawyer
or doctor, through a sperm or ovum bank, or through the medium of a
so-called "surrogate mother."
This recent phenomenon o f " surrogate mothers" represents another of
the new modalities of private appropriation. 12 In this case neither the body
nor the labor power (in the strict sense) are appropriated, but solely the child
as a product of the body, as in former times the milk or hair, and nowadays
the ova. The child is bought from its mother according to conditions fixed
in a contract between her and the future father, as in a cottage-industry
arrangement. This distinguishes this type of business exchange between sex
classes from the exchange in paid work and in prostitution. A man can thus
procure a child for himself, while avoiding any personal relation with the
mother of that child. He can subsequently give it into the care of another
woman in a private relationship of appropriation if she is his partner, or in
a paid relationship if the woman is a nanny or a worker in a child-care
establishment. We fear that this "long distance" procreation is evolving
toward a collective mode of appropriation by men of the child-product of
women. Moreover, the medical and scientific establishment, which carries
out the development and utilization of reproductive technologies, is controlled by men. One can imagine, among other versions of '~, Brave New
World," the establishment of private or state enterprises to carry out the
continuous production of children and their distribution.
The heavy dependence of women and their children on the state is the
mark, the condition, and the consequence of the generalizing of the collective appropriation of women in its various modes, institutional and interpersonal, including those mixed forms which are the modalities of private
appropriation in transition. Through the state, as protector and provider, the
class of men compensate in part for the losses that the new modalities of
appropriation bring to women. Unemployment payments, aid for dependent
children, and other forms of public assistance provide women with the
minimum necessities of life that neither their employers, fathers, husbands,
nor lovers give them over the long term. At the same time, by means of the
state--guardian of order, legislator, policeman--the class of men assures
itself the institutional (that is, collective, impersonal) control of the class of
Juteau and Laurin
women. Like other social forms, the system of sexage can only function and
reproduce itself if the state sanctions its legitimacy and absorbs and suppresses the contradictions and tensions that it generates. 13
And what about the nuns? The veils and coifs have been put aside, the
grilles of the convents have been opened. But are we not all supposed to
taste the sublime joys and sorrows of consecrated femininity? All women
are now called upon not only to become mothers in the flesh, but also to
exercise a spiritual maternalism toward humanity in general and toward their
familiars in particular: family, neighborhood, milieu, etc. Formerly reserved principally for the supposedly leisured women of the upper classes,
volunteer work has now become "democratized," diversified. Not only is it
compatible with professional activity and domestic activity, but often it is an
obligatory extension of them. At the lowest level of political parties, social
movements, churches, sects, and groups of all kinds, one finds women in
greater numbers than ever in their roles of volunteer workers and activists.
Think in particular of the new ecological and peace movements, which are
considered to be naturally attractive to women. In Canada the state's retrenchment as provider in the welfare field has brought about the transfer to
the family and to what is called "community care" of some of the elderly,
the sick, the handicapped, etc. This amounts to transferring the job of taking
care of them from the paid women workers of the state, who had taken over
that job from the nuns, to women in the family--the "natural" family or the
foster family--and in volunteer organizations. In effect, the state's economic crisis has also brought about the reconstitution of various forms of
volunteer services, run by the churches and other private organizations, in
which women are the volunteer labor force and reserve army. 14 In general,
the weak, the indigent, and the dependent remain, as they always have been,
in the care of women--and, moreover, of all women without distinction of
matrimonial status, profession, or vocation.
At the end of this reorganization of our appropriation, we are all now
nuns. In addition, at the same time we are all wives, lovers, mothers,
housekeepers, volunteer workers, and paid workers. And will you allow us
to say that we are all--in a sense--prostitutes? Isn't that the message, in
effect, that is being circulated by pornography and even by the ads in the
most elegant fashion magazines? And don't we have to admit that the idea
of the respectable, virtuous woman opposed to that of the fast woman of
easy virtue is well out of date? Don't men have the right to obtain from their
partner, whoever she may be, not just sexual services, but the highest
quality sexual services, to the extent that the most proper matron must play
the geisha for her husband when he feels like it?
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
Women experience their oppression in a way that is no longer the same
as in the past. On the one hand, collective appropriation, in particular that
carried out by institutions, is not felt as class exploitation or domination
(which it nevertheless is) because of the invisibility and anonymity that it
gives to the dominant group. Thus men, individually and collectively, less
and less give the impression of being responsible for the fate of women and
the constraints that weigh on them. On the other hand, private appropriation
is experienced as freedom: freedom to choose one's partner, the kind of
union with that partner, to have or not have children with that partner, to
break up, to divorce, to live alone, to begin again. In reality the only
freedom women have is to circulate among the various sites of their oppression. They are no longer confined for life in a fixed framework of
appropriation: a physical framework--house, convent, brothel--or a symbolic framework--vocation, function, image of femininity to the exclusion
of everything else. Like the squirrel in the cage, they are really running in
circles without getting any place. Compared to the preceding one, this new
system of sexage probably brings women greater material poverty and greater
insecurity, and demands a greater expenditure of physical and psychological
energy. For the class of men, this system is probably more rational, more
economical, and more efficient than the previous one. What is certain is that
it insures the mobilization, circulation, and utilization of the bodies and
labor power of women at an unprecedented level and tempo.
Translated by Mary Jo Lakeland
1. Jagger and Struhl's book (1978) provides an interesting overall analysis of feminist
theories. The collection of articles recently edited by Hamilton and Barrett (1986) gives an
excellent introduction to Canadian feminist work.
2. The first sketch of this schema was worked out in the context of meetings on
feminist theory participated in by Louise Vandelac and Ren6e Dandurand. We believed then
that materialist feminism and Marxist feminist would converge sufficiently to form the point
of the triangle.
3. Marxist feminism includes the Marxist feminists whom Sokoloff has called the
"later Marxists," in contrast to the "early Marxists," whom we have called the feminist
4. In our opinion this is the idea that emerges from the brilliant analysis that Marie
Lavigne did of the fertility of Quebec women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
(Lavigne 1983).
5. We draw this conclusion from the methodical analysis of this discourse that we did
in the framework of our research on religious communities of women; this analysis will be
published later. See also Spielvogel (1987).
6. These observations follow from the systematic study of jobs performed by nuns in
Juteau and Laurin
Quebec between 1901 and 1971, based on a representative sample of religious communities;
the results have not yet been published. Lorraine Duchesne and Maria Vaccaro constructed
the sample, and Lorraine Duchesne analyzed the jobs.
7. The methodical comparison of the lay paid female work force and the religious
female work force, for each of the decades from 1901 to 1971, shows very clearly this
division of labor. These results will be published later. See also Marquis (1987).
8. These facts and those which will be cited further on concerning women's paid
work are very well known. They have been the subject of statistical, economic, and other
studies. The reader will find it interesting to consult the inventive analysis done by Marianne
Kempeneers (1987a; 1987b), based on a Canadian investigation of women's work, career
interruptions, and fertility. We have found this analysis very enlightening. There are also a
good number of studies of women's domestic work and the articulation of their domestic and
paid work. We recall particularly that of Vandelac et al. (1985) and the collective work Le
sexe du travail (1984).
9. On the subject of women's poverty, one should consult, among other studies,
Messier (1984), Armstrong and Armstrong (1983b), Ross (1983), Conseil national du bienfitre social (1979), and Dulude (1984).
10. We should remember that support payments are only customary if the partners
have been married, if the court orders the ex-husband to pay them, and if the latter has
financial assets. In addition, they are usually intended for partial support of the children and
not of the ex-wife. Finally, it is difficult to obtain cost-of-living adjustments of those payments and to obtain payment if the partner fails to pay.
11. In recent decades women's infertility rate--represented by those who have no
children throughout their lives--has decreased significantly (Lavigne 1983; Romaniuc 1984).
12. We are only touching on this extremely important subject of reproductive technologies. As of now, feminist analyses in this field are very incomplete. Louise Vandelac's
studies (1986; 1987) seem very remarkable to us in many respects.
13. For a more detailed analysis of the relationship between women and the state, see
Laurin-Frenette (1981).
14. On this reorganization of volunteer work within the frameworks of the Church and
the state, see Laurin-Frenette (1986).
Armstrong, Pat, and Armstrong, Hugh
1983a Beyond Sexless Class and Classless Sex: Towards Feminist Marxism. Studies in
Political Economy, no. 10 (Winter):7-43.
1983b Unemajoritdlaborieuse:tesfemmesquigagnentteurviemaisgtquelprix. Ottawa:
Conseil consultatif de la situation de la femme.
Armstrong, Pat; Armstrong, Hugh; Connely, Patricia; and Miles, Angela
1983 Feminist Marxism or Marxist Feminism: A Debate. Toronto: Garamond Press.
Barrett, Mich~le, and Mclntosh, Mary
1979 Christine Delphy: Towards a Materialist Feminism? Feminist Review, no. 1:95101.
Beechy, Veronica
1979 On Patriarchy. Feminist Review, no. 3:66-82.
Brault, Marie-Marthe
1980 La prostitution f6minine: analyse et interpr6tation interactionniste d'un ph6nom~ne
de deviance. Ph.D. dissertation, Universit6 de Montr6al.
Brown, Carol
198t Mothers, Fathers, and Children: From Private to Public Patriarchy. In Women in
Revolution, ed. Lydia Sargent. Montreal: Black Rose Books.
Feminist Issues~Spring 1989
Burstyn, Valda, and Smith, Dorothy E.
1985 Women, Class, Family and the State. Toronto: Garamond Press.
1984 Le sexe du travail: structuresfamiliales et systdme productif. Grenoble: Les Presses
universitaires de Grenoble.
Conseil national du bien-&re social.
1979 La femme et la pauvretd. Ottawa: Conseil national du bien&re social.
Daly, Mary
1978 Gyn/Ecology. Boston: Beacon Press.
Dandurand, Ren6e B.
1981 Famille du capitalisme et production des &res humains. Sociologie et socidtds
13,no. 2:95-113.
Danylewycz, Marta
1981 Changing Relationships: Nuns and Feminists in Montreal 1890-1925. Histoire
sociale 14, no. 28: 413-34.
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A Quarterly Journal of Critical Thought
ii i
Special Section o n Karl Polanyi
N u m b e r TS
Fan 1987
Polanyid.eoitt and Mendell: Polanyi: A Biographical Sketch
Martinelli: Thc Economy as an Institutional Process
Gislain: On the Relation of State and Market
Sa/san0: Polanyi, Braudel, and the King of Dahomey
symposium on Jacoby's T h e Last Intellectuals
Anderson and Simon: Counterinsurgency in Guatemala
P/pa: The Kadare Phenomenon
Minow: Law Tuming Outward
Kennedy: Schmitt and the Frankfurt School: A Rejoinder
R.G. Davis: On Platoon
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