The Sputnik Generation: Gender Roles as Defining Personality

In Ch. 3 of “Russia’s Sputnik Generation: Soviet Baby Boomers Talk about Their Lives”, editor and historian Donald J. Raleigh interviewed Natalia P. to discover what values, events and ideology shaped the formation of Soviet identity during 1960s and 1970s in the Soviet Union. Natalia P. is a language enthusiast, professor of foreign languages, mother and wife. Throughout this chapter, Natalia reminisced on her childhood during the Khrushchev era (1956-1964) and her adolescence and young adulthood during the Brezhnev era (1964-1982).… Read the rest here

Challenging the Traditional Roles of Women

The role of middle-class women existed solely in the home, which is seen easily in both Sanford and Beeton’s writings. Both women stress the importance of maintaining the role of a domestic housewife. In fact, alternative roles are not presented in either writings. Beeton managed to craft an entire novel dedicated to teach women how to properly execute their duties as a housewife.However, Emmeline Pankhurst, a militant suffragist, challenged these notions, demanding women gain the right to vote, which opposed the traditional roles placed on women.… Read the rest here

Motherhood and Reproduction in the Fascist, Soviet, and Nazi Regimes

In Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and Mussolini’s Italy, all three regimes emphasized the national importance of genetics and increased birth rates as a state resource. In Hoffman and Timm’s chapter on Utopian Biopolitics, Nazi eugenics that promoted selective racial hygiene and purity is contrasted with Soviet non-selective pronatalism.1 Wilson analyzes the woman’s role in Fascism in his article separately.2

Each regime attempted to characterize the woman’s role as a prolific mother in different ways.… Read the rest here

Gender Roles in Goodbye to BerlinThere

In Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin, the characters reflect the gender roles of Nazi Germany by exemplifying the ideal male and female roles in German society. To start, Sally is allowed to focus on meeting a man as her “full-time job” while Chris is expected to go out and work, secure sustainable employment and at some point marry one of these women like Sally. These young adults, while having fun amongst themselves, are expected to form the relationships that will allow the state to succeed by the couples producing offspring.… Read the rest here

The Triumph of the Will

The Triumph of the Will, directed by Leni Riefenstahl in 1935, is a Nazi propaganda film chronicling the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. Riefenstahl shows hundreds of thousands of children and adults saluting and cheering as they see Hitler. The film shows small portions of many Nazi leaders speeches at the Congress. It is very apparent the film is attempting to depict that Germany has once again risen to be a great power, all thanks to the glorious leader Adolf Hitler.… Read the rest here