In a Marxist framework, class struggle is prioritized while gender struggle is only secondary. This debate on class over gender priority and vice versa has dominated Anglo-American critical scholarship. Meanwhile, in Asia, Mao Zedong claims that China’s Cultural Revolution has freed women from both class and Confucian patriarchal domination. His claim, however, is far from the truth since Chinese women still have to fight for their equality. Likewise, there are still ongoing struggles for women’s rights and equality in today’s Western societies. This article argues that various revolutionary social changes in Eastern or Western contexts imply a hierarchical relation where women would fall into the bottom of the hierarchy. Women of different classes and ethnic backgrounds experience multiple subordinations differently under patriarchal domination. These multiple subjugations of women can also be seen in the smallest unit of society such as “family.” However, at the same time, “family” can also become a locus of women’s liberation from those oppressions. Henceforth, “family” can function as an arena of power struggles. This article argues that women’s experiences and struggles against patriarchal and capitalist oppressions are deeply entangled with their class, gender, and ethnicity. Moreover, the very same class, gender, and ethnic groups also create further divisions that ultimately bring women to the lowest rank and under different forms of subordinations, as portrayed in the selected women writers’ fiction in this article.


minority literature, feminist aesthetics, intersectionality, patriarchy, capitalism

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)