Historically, debates over wage theory have largely concentrated on the tension between wages as a living and wages as a price. Feminist thought contributes to this conversation about wages and wage setting through the central concept of gender. While most contemporary feminist thought is grounded in gender as an analytical construct, there are different understandings of what gender is and how it is constituted. Therefore, in this chapter we trace alternative understandings of gender, beginning with an examination of the classic work of Simone de Beauvoir. De Beauvoir’s influence on the socalled second wave of feminist theorizing and activism in the 1960s and 1970s is summarized. Next we examine the polarization between structural theories of women’s oppression (i.e., patriarchy) and ideologically based theories of the social construction of gender.