Left Behind By the Alter: Why Queers and Sociologists Need Materialist Feminism


  • Monica Edwards William Rainey Harper College




LGBT rights, materialist feminism, queer theory, same-sex marriage


The United States marriage rights movement just culminated in July 2015 with the Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage constitutional.  The mainstream — the mainstream media and the mainstream LGBT rights movement — all applaud this trajectory, with no attention to those who get left behind in marriage politics.  In this paper, I will argue that same-sex marriage is in need of a materialist feminist analysis.  I will critique my discipline — Sociology — for failing to adequately theorize same-sex marriage as a key component of the 21st Century landscape of the capitalist mode of production.  I will also critique the mainstream LGBT rights movement and the media attention given same-sex marriage for their lack of attention to the classed relations embedded in marriage rights.  A materialist feminist analysis will allow us to see that there’s still a need for a larger, more emancipatory sexual politics. 

Author Biography

Monica Edwards, William Rainey Harper College

Monica Edwards is an Associate Professor of Sociology at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.  She received her PhD from Loyola University Chicago.  Her areas of scholarly expertise are gender and sexuality, with a self-taught interest in materialist feminism.