The Monogamous Family

Image result for Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the StateTHE MONOGAMOUS FAMILY […] is founded on male supremacy for the pronounced purpose of breeding children of indisputable paternal lineage. […] Monogamy, then, does by no means enter history as a reconciliation of man and wife and still less as the highest form of marriage. On the contrary, it enters as the subjugation of one sex by the other, as the proclamation of an antagonism between the sexes unknown in all preceding history. In an old unpublished manuscript written by Marx and myself in 1846, I find the following passage: “The first division of labor is that of man and wife in breeding children.” And to-day I may add: The first class antagonism appearing in history coincides with the development of the antagonism of man and wife in monogamy, and the first class oppression with that of the female by the male sex. Monogamy was a great historical progress. But by the side of slavery and private property it marks at the same time that epoch which, reaching down to our days, takes with all progress also a step backwards, relatively speaking, and develops the welfare and advancement of one by the woe and submission of the other. It is the cellular form of civilized society which enables us to study the nature of its now fully developed contrasts and contradictions.”

Engels, Friedrich. [1884] 1909. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Translated by Ernest Untermann. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company. [From Chapter II, The Family, pp. 35-101; Section 4. THE MONOGAMOUS FAMILY, pp. 75-101. (Pages 75, 79–80)]

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