Definition: The phrase "socialist feminism" was increasingly used during the 1970s to describe a mixed theoretical and practical approach to achieving women's equality. Socialist feminist theory analyzed the connection between the oppression of women and other oppression in society, such as racism and economic injustice.
Socialists had fought for decades to create a more equal society that did not exploit the poor and powerless in the ways capitalism did. Like Marxism, socialist feminism recognized the oppressive structure of capitalist society. Like radical feminism, socialist feminism recognized the fundamental oppression of women in patriarchal society. However, socialist feminists did not recognize gender and only gender as the exclusive basis of all oppression.
Socialist feminists wanted to integrate the recognition of sex discrimination with their work to achieve justice and equality for women, working classes, the poor and all humanity. Among the activist groups that at some point defined themselves as socialist feminists:
- Bread and Roses in Boston (an allusion to the 1912 textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts)
- The Chicago Women's Liberation Union
- Radical Women, started in Seattle