The Origins of Capitalist-Patriarchy

Umaima Miraj, University of Toronto

Theories of the transition to capitalism are essential in understanding the nature of modernity. While some scholars levy these histories to critique the Eurocentrism of modernity, theories of transitions to capitalism have largely omitted gender. I show how seeing capitalism as gendered leads to a more accurate understanding of this crucial transition. Reading the transition to capitalism through a feminist perspective, I show how capitalism is inherently gendered, as it is not only a spatial but social transformation which is superexploitative and overdetermined for women. While critical scholarship continues to focus on the rise of the West and the underdevelopment of the Global South, I contend that by emphasising capitalism as inherently gendered, we can better understand of the essential role of women’s bodies in our politico-economic system.

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 Presented in Session 55. Capitalism, Patriarchy, and the Multi-Layered State