Review of Women at the Gates

Goldman describes the complex contradictions of Soviet society during the Stalin era, especially in regards to women. She describes the conflict between those who wanted the party to focus on byt or lifestyle issues for females and those who wanted to place byt issues on the back-burner and focus exclusively on the economy. Eventually, Stalin would solve byt problems and production problems together.

Revisiting Socialist Feminism

Revisiting Socialist Feminism Klaus Markstein13 October I. Theory Capitalism and the Oppression of Women With all the modern theories about the oppression of women that circulate today, it is increasingly necessary to highlight how capitalism is actually to blame for this oppression. Socialist theory can precisely explain the reasons for this. Women could not be considered …


On gender

On gender A big part of communism is the elimination of gender oppression. Women have been stomped on and trampled on by men for tens of thousands of years. In much of the world, women are treated as property. It is time to turn the tables. It’s time for total revolution. However, we have …


Soviet Women, Traditionalism, Revisionism

Soviet Women, Traditionalism, Revisionism 28 July 2014 These comments are a reaction to Gail Warshofsky Lapidus’ “Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development, and Social Change.” Much of Lapidus’ essay covers the same ground as these other works: Wendy Goldman’s Women at the Gates, Sheila Fritzpatrick’s Everyday Stalinism, and Hiroaki Kuromiya’s Stalin’s Industrial Revolution. What …


Israel’s pink imperialism

Israel’s pink imperialism In a recent letter, Israel’s Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar instructed the Population and Immigration Authority and the Jewish Agency to grant citizenship to the spouse of any Jew, regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple. “I do not see a distinction between Jews in heterosexual marriage and those who wed …


Review of Some of Us, Part 3

Review of Some of Us: Chinese Women Growing Up in the Mao Era (edited by Zueping Zhong, Wang Zheng, and Bai Di) 15 June 2008 Overall, the autobiographical writings in Some of Us are reactionary. Most of the perspectives in Some of Us are those of elite Chinese women, many of whom pursued academic …


Review of Some of Us, Part 1

Review of Some of Us: Chinese Women Growing Up in the Mao Era (edited by Zueping Zhong, Wang Zheng, and Bai Di) 14 February 2008 “[At the fifty-first annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in 1999 panel discussion ‘Memory and the Cultural Revolution,’ during] the question-and-answer period, someone stated that she had …


Kink versus vanilla

Kink versus vanilla The following letter was sent in response to our review of Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs: “I still don’t see what is wrong with ‘raunch,’ so long as it comes from a point of equal footing. In the non-hierarchical world we would like to see, I feel it’s perfectly fine for …


Review of Some of Us, Part 2

Some of Us is an anthology of autobiographical writings by Chinese women from petty-bourgeois backgrounds who grew up during the Cultural Revolution decade, but later moved to the United States to pursue academic careers. The authors are not representative of the majority of Chinese women. Many of the authors are hostile to communism. In addition, the compilation suffers from the inherent limits of oral history, anecdotal approaches. Nonetheless, the book complicates the victim/victimizer narratives of the Cultural Revolution decade; it contains important insights into gender in the Mao era. Despite its flaws, the book provides a welcome contrast to mainstream anti-communist history.