“balance is a luxury but equality is a necessity” 12:50
Socialist feminism is described by prominent feminist Barbara Ehrenreich as a hybrid of Marxism and feminism (Ehrenreich 3). Socialist feminism, as a form of Marxism is concerned with economics and division of labor, and sees “housewives [as] members of the working class—not because we have some elaborate proof that they really do produce surplus value—but because we understand a class as being composed of people, and as having a social existence quite apart from the capitalist-dominated realm of production.” (Ehrenreich 4).
Anne-Marie Slaughter takes this approach when analyzing the gendered divide in public and private work. She pushes for more inclusive corporate policy to encourage men as well as women to be able to decide on their own who takes care of loved ones and who earns money. In her essay “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”, she broke ground when pointing out all the ways that the corporate system is still not inclusive to women, as women still hold home-life responsibilities. The idea that work done in the home sphere is equally important to a successful society as work in the public sphere is a pillar of socialist feminism and requires two things from men: flexibility from corporations (typically male-dominated) for those employees who either wish to or need to to be able to balance work and home. Or in the case of hetero-couples for the male partner to feel the same responsibility and reward working within the home as a woman is traditionally thought to. In the video at the top of the page, it is also Ehrenreich also points out how this is beneficial to sam-sex couples, who can serve as a model for straight couples on how work is divided: by merit, opportunity, and goals, rather than by sex.