Gayle Rubin’s writing “The Traffic in Woman: Notes on the “Political Economy” of Sex” seems to be totally absurd. The idea that sex/gender are defined by the trade of woman in farfetched.
Rubin starts with a Marxist approach to the oppression of woman as a capitalist production device. Rubin claims that men are workers of the world and woman reproduce “the laborer from whom [the] surplus value is taken.
Next Rubin takes an Engels approach to explaining the oppression of women. With this explanation the claim is made that sexuality and reproduction are separate. “Gender identity, sexual desire and fantasy” concepts are products of a society. And within these concepts women learn to be of less value then men and men learn to value women less.
These ideas give the idea that women can be seen as farm animals that are used to produce the workers that the world needs. Also that their place in the world is learned and imbedded in society and culture.
Lastly through the Oedipus Hex concept the male penis is of the greatest value. The penis signifies strength, which equated to being a phallus. Women want this phallus and strive for it after seeing the power that male children are awarded for having a penis. After realizing that they (woman) will never have a penis or the power of the phallus give into the idea of being less than a man.
This is my understanding of the writing and none of which I agree with.