Perhaps, in the final analysis,
it is possible to argue that women tend to transcend the usual class stratifications in patriarchy,
but for whatever the class of her birth and education, the female has fewer permanent class association than does the male.
Economic dependency renders her affiliations with any class a tangential, vicarious, and temporary matter.
(even the marxist couldn’t get it right !)
long back, Aristotle had already observed that the only slave to whom a commoner might lay claim was his woman !
and the service of an unpaid domestic still provides working-class males with a “cushion” against the buffets of the class system which incidentally provides them with some of the psychic luxuries of the leisure class.
Thrown upon their own resources, few women rise above working class in personal prestige and economic power,
and women as a group do not enjoy many of the interests and benefits any class may offer its male members.
Women have therefore less of an investment in the class system.
but it is important to understand that as with any group whose existence is parasitic to its rulers, women are a dependency class who live on surplus
and their marginal life frequently renders them conservative,
for like all persons in their situation (slaves are a classic example here) they identify their own survival with the prosperity of those who feed them.
the hope of seeking liberating radical solutions of their own seems too remote for the majority to dare contemplate and remains so until consciousness on the subject is raised.
As race the world over, (and caste specifically in India) is emerging as one of the final variables in sexual politics, it is pertinent, especially in a discussion of modern literature, to devote a few words to it as well.
Traditionally, the white male has been accustomed to concede the female of his own race, in her capacity as “his woman” a higher status than that ascribed to the black male.
similarly the upper caste male has been accustomed to concede the female of his own race, in her capacity as “his woman” a higher status than that ascribed to the lower caste male.
Yet as white racist ideology is exposed and begins to erode, racism’s older protective attitudes toward (white) women also begin to give way. ( same as in the Indian caste system)
And the priorities of maintaining male supremacy might outweigh even those of white ( or caste )supremacy;
perhaps sexism may be more endemic in our own society than racism.
For example, one notes in authors whom we would now term overtly racist, such as D. H. Lawrence – whose contempt for what he so often designates as inferior breeds is unabashed – instances where the lower-caste male is brought on to master or humiliate the white man’s own insubordinate mate. ( you can find such examples even say in books of Arundhati Roy’s God of litte things, where she too makes the upper caste women sleep with the lower caste male as a denouement of the the very upper caste to which her family belonged to and she doesnt want to ….. )
Needless to say, the female of the non-white races ( or lower castes) does not figure in such tales save as an exemplum of “true” womanhood’s servility,
worthy of imitation by other less carefully instructed females !