One Venti Misogyny Latte with a Shot of Cynicism

Beverage Recommendation for this Post: large plain Latte with an extra shot because today you are tackling the patriarchy and you need the extra caffeine

The revolution was so supposed to liberate all of the oppressed and exploited, encouraging everyone to throw off their chains. But that didn’t really happen for everyone, particularly groups that had been oppressed for ages to the point where it was no longer out of the ordinary. Women, for all they had done in the revolution were still only awarded a handful more than they previously had. The image of the ideal average communist revolutionary was never female, in fact their substantial role in the revolution became more and more down played. It soon became that the only woman who could be taken seriously was one who actively worked to embody ‘masculine qualities’ and reject anything else.


The revolution did change a lot of things about the relationships between a man and a women, although those were still the only two options available. While any form of romance was just an ‘opiate’ to distract the masses and something to be rejected, new options did become more available. Where once the church policed marriages on a strict moral level, now the anti-religion masses were able to be more secular about things like divorce. Once an unspeakably immoral act was now a service that could be petitioned for by both men and women.

Even though women had worked in factories to support the war, had fought in the revolution, and were supposed to no longer be suffering under the same societal expectations, they were still living much more oppressed lives compared to their male counterparts. Paid less and still expected to be the primary caregiver in the family, women were put under even more strain. This was coupled with a large push to create large families by the government of the Soviet Union, which was decidedly anti-abortion.

The theories of communism and especially Marxism stress class differences above all else, including gender differences. While initially sounding equalizing this had an adverse effect on the women of the revolution who were inherently expected to do more than their male counterparts. Rather than address the societal issues that plague women, the revolutionary ideas focused more on the subject of class issues. The abolition of state sponsored religion was a step in the direction of giving women more power in their personal relationship, but ultimately the revolution just added to the expectation of women to be an unrealistic ideal that no one could hope to live up to.



8 thoughts on “One Venti Misogyny Latte with a Shot of Cynicism

  1. The title, I love it! I liked this because it talks about the transformation of the role of women in the revolution. It seemed they were making waves in the 1917 revolutions by arguing high prices of bread rations, but this talks about their role afterwards. I love how you put photos of the posters – it emphasizes and supports your argument that women were only taken seriously if they “embodied masculinity.” It was good to help visualize.

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  2. You hit on a lot with this post. The two final pictures you included, the cartoon of the men celebrating Women’s Day and the women over the child, capture exactly what you mean. I liked that you first pointed out that a Marxist revolution was supposed to make everyone equal. That message has been a big draw for women to join Marxist-Leninist groups around the world. In the case of the Soviet Union, as you point out, revolution made somethings better, but did not create the revolutionary society that was expected. Great post!


  3. The pictures you intertwine with your writing really enhance the post! They show the many different sides of the revolution specifically dealing with women/gender roles. Additionally, your entire website overall is really well done. I think the use of starbucks is very unique.


  4. It is so typical that a group espousing equality for all would really only mean equality for half. While I’m sure that the reduced stigmatization of divorce did much to help Russian women, it doesn’t seem like many other changes were made.


  5. Nice post! I really like all the photos you included and I love the title. You did a good job of displaying the frustrations many women experienced after they fought so hard in the revolution and still came out lacking the rights they deserved.


  6. Great post highlighting the incompleteness of the fight to give women a status on equal footing with men in the new post-revolution society. I do have one question about your conclusion though. You say that women were given higher expectations that they simply could not meet, but I’m a little hazy on what those expectations were. Is it that they were expected to be more “masculine” to fit the ideal of a revolutionary while at the same time expected to maintain their role as primary caregiver and homemaker?


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