Sunday, April 04, 2010

Did you know

Women also played an important role in bringing about the March revolution of 1917 in Russia

Much more so than appears in current history books

The revolution began on International Women's Day and was sparked by women demonstrating against high bread prices.

During 1917 differences between radical and feminist women faded.

With the Bolshevik coup in November 1917, a new chapter in the history of Russian women began.

It was dominated by the philosophy of the "common cause."

In 1919 the Party established a women's section and in 1920 a journal called the Woman Communist was founded.

As feminists before the revolution had argued, the oppression of women was the result of forces different than the forces of class oppression.

The Bolsheviks gave women in the 1920s a platform on which to press for further gains, but the expected release from male oppression was not provided by the revolution.

By the time of Stalin the burden on women had in many ways increased with the introduction of the idea of the New Soviet Woman .

That burden continued to grow through the following years when few families escaped the experience of sudden seizures of family members

The frequent purges of society fell heavily upon women

That was then and today what has changed?
Women today have more freedom to earn and work where they want
More women are in business, often for themselves
Critically this gives them some or more financial freedom
More choice in their lives
This in turn means that women are less tolerant of male behaviour
Maybe but men still dominate in big business and politics women being the exception and few on the ground
Divorce is easier than under Soviet times
Again this frees women to leave unacceptable relationships
Women today can emigrate, which was not possible before, and many Russian women are doing so
Non Muslim Russian women are having fewer babies and having them later
Women in other words are helping to shape Russia in ways that might not be very visible but we suspect in ways that are going to have far reaching consequences

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