Alexandra Kollontai's Role Of Women In The 1917 Russian Revolution

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Prior to the 1917 Russian Revolution, the majority of women were regarded as the property of men. Alexandra Kollontai forced politicial and civil change upon Russia, for both women and the working class, making her a significantly influential individual during that time. Alexandra Kollontai was a feminist and a socialist woman who passionately defended a vision of emancipation premised on equality, comradeship and personal autonomy liberating women from the constraints set upon them. Kollontai began her early career through public protests and early activism, allowing her to form her values and ideologies. This led to her becoming the only female to hold a position in the Lenin government, where she was able to create change. Her writings also …show more content…
Kollontai wrote “The backwardness and lack of rights suffered by women, their subjection and indifference, are of no benefit to the working class, and indeed are directly harmful to it.” (Sypnowich, 1993). Christine Sypnowich is a well-known author and has written seven successful books on topics ranging from political philosophy, jurisprudence and feminism. She focuses on Alexandra Kollontai's stance during the revolution, therefore making the article reliable and relevant. This source presents a female perspective on the topic of a powerful female figure during the revolution. Given the dominance of male figures during the time, there is limited writings about Kollontai, making Sypnowich's a minority view. From this quote it can be implied that she had such great influence over the government by linking moving forward and women's rights together. Kollontai’s ideaologies led to the formation of The Women's Bureau, also referred to as Zhenotdel. Led by Alexandra Kollontai and backed by Lenin and Trotsky, it aimed to rally women to the support of the new regime (Malone, 2015). Lenin described how industrial development was a progressive step because it pulled women out of the home and the patriarchal relationships and instead made them an independent part of society. Lenin said in 1918, “comrades, in a certain …show more content…
She believed that socialism and feminism came ‘hand in hand’. Lenin argued that “only a socialist economy could emancipate women from her lot as a "domestic slave," where "petty housework ... chains her to the kitchen and the nursery, where she wastes her time on barbarously unproductive, petty, nerve-racking, stultifying and crushing drudgery." (Lenin, 1965). This relates to the rights of women and the success of the people's movement. Lenin, a dominate male view at the time supports Kollontai's views and suggests that he viewed Kollontai as an equal who could help his cause. It is implied that industrial development was a progressive step because it pulled women out of the home and the patriarchal relationships and instead made them an independent part of society. His speeches and actions on women however, did benefit Kollontai and the feminist movement allowing for greater action to be taken. Trotsky also explained that “Nothing was revolutionary enough for her” (Lynch, 2008). This implcilty implies that Kollontai refused to believe that nothing could ever be done, there was always something to fight for or improve. Michael Lynch is an award winning author who writes secondary school books to inform students about factual information form the Russian Revolution. This therefore makes the book reliable. Kollontai's philosophy of

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