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Locating Socialist and Marxist Tropes of Feminisms: A Critical Study of Double Oppression, Gender Inequality, and Sexual Enslavement in The Doll Factory

. Muhammad Murtaza Saqi , Muhammad Afzal Faheem & Hira Kamran


This paper explores the horrifying realities of 1850s London society: Double oppression, gender inequality, misogynistic view of patriarchal society along with the sexual enslavement experienced by the repressed Iris in The Doll Factory. The intersectional feminism, a specific strand of Socialist/Marxist feminisms, recognizes women’s experiences shaped by interrelation of class, race, gender and sexual orientation. Socialist/Marxist feminism analyzes the subordination of women towards men through the legitimation of double oppression – of class and gender on women. Socialist feminism scrutinizes the oppressive social order due to patriarchal system of capitalist society that exploits working-class women by establishing unequal relationships among the genders. Elizabeth Macneal’s The Doll Factory considers gender inequality and sex slavery as a product of capitalist society, experienced by the working-class protagonist, Iris - struggling to escape the misogynistic male society of 1850s London Exhibition in which she fashions the dolls for men, in a sexually pleasurable way. The sexual enslavement – a modern-day slavery portrays objectification of women and obsession of men in order to own women through manipulation and sexual violence. Therefore, the paper aims to achieve women’s liberation by applying the specific tropes of Socialist/Marxist feminism in order to abolish patriarchal oppression and gender inequalities experienced by women along with intersectionality that defines social identities – class, gender and sexuality as interconnected in complex ways that shape individual’s experiences of oppression.

KEYWORDS: Double oppression, Gender inequality, Liberation, Sexual enslavement, Socialist/Marxist Feminisms

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