Unfulfilled Promises to Women

Wendy Z. Goldman’s article explained how the regime hid behind an elaborate mask which portrayed them as women’s rights activists, however in reality strived for a single-minded approach to production and progress.  The focus of Goldman’s article began with an analysis of Soviet legislature concerning beznadzornost, and how to solve the problem of homeless soviet children through the strengthening of the Socialist family.  It then shifted towards the effects of abortion and divorce on women and how the steps toward a more equal woman and man were taken under false pretense.  She concluded that the regime had successfully “brainwashed”, or convinced, the women of the Soviet Union that they had actually experienced a revolution or change in policy.

Women seemed to be affected by each law passed concerning the Soviet family, and whether it was in a good way or not did not concern the Soviet Union who were able to feed off of the good outcomes and ignore the unsatisfactory ones.  Even the legalization of adoption, meant to cope with the growing numbers of homeless children, indirectly changed a woman’s role in society.  As the implementation of adoption and its effects slowly abated, the regime placed a large piece of responsibility on the paternal figures and family, transferring it from state hands.  Women then had to take on a much larger part in responsibility for the children, as the men were needed for industrialization and collectivization.

The increase in family responsibility rested heavily on the women’s shoulders, as their social status transformed and they were coerced into labor.  Pregnancy leave and other legislation was passed which lessened the effects on women, however in a seemingly male dominant society, the regime was still able to convince its women that their lives had been made easier and they had experienced a surge in women’s rights.

One thought on “Unfulfilled Promises to Women

  1. I agree with your assessment of the article. I would add that the ideology of communism and socialism may guarantee gender equality it is an illusion just as it is in most societies. I believe the author should have placed some emphasis on the loss of life after WWII to explain why the Soviet Union reversed it’s stance on the role of women. It came down to the need to repopulate and women served as means to accomplish this. They in effect were a cog in the great Soviet machine playing their part.

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