Socialist feminism appears to adopt some of the same tenets of Marxism, but instead of focusing on economic determinism as the primary source of oppression, the socialist feminist sees the oppression as having psychological and social roots.32 They share a genuine concern for women that transcends politics. Their focus is on people, not profits. To the socialist feminist, the prostitute is a victim of the corruption of a society which accompanies class distinctions. The oppression of class in a materialistic society degrades people by categorizing them in a particular class and objectifying them so that they are merely parts of a mechanism that can be replaced by other parts of the same description. In both the socialist feminist and Marxist feminist perspectives prostitution is discouraged, but neither school of thought seeks a legal remedy for its elimination. They believe that the cause of prostitution is in the structuring of society, and that is where the solution will reside.
31. Simone de Beauvoir believed that one of the keys to a womans liberation is economic, a point she emphasized in her discussion of the independent woman. Rosemarie Tong, Feminist Thought: A Comprehensive Introduction (Boulder and San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), p. 211.
32. Ibid., p. 192.
Theoretical View of the Degrading
Nature of Prostitution
Figurative, Not Actual Degradation