Nov 30 2017
The Family, Free Love, and the Russian Revolution
By 1917, Bolshevik theorists had created a blueprint for women’s liberation that included “free love” and the emancipation of women from patriarchal domination. Under socialism, the unpaid household labor that women perform would be socialized, done by waged workers in the larger economy. People would eat meals in public canteens, have clothing washed in public laundries, and access daycare centers and schools for their children. Relieved of the difficulties of combining household labour and waged work, women would be freed to enter the public sphere on an equal basis with men. Women and men would choose their sexual partners unfettered by economic constraint and dependence. The family, as an economic unit of production and consumption, bound by religious tradition, property, and law, would eventually wither away, leaving only freely chosen relations. Looking at both Marxist theories of the family and early Soviet practice, this talk will discuss the great experiments with women’s emancipation and free love.
Wendy Goldman | University web page