Sunday, August 12, 2007

Free love - and the communists too.

Emancipated woman – build up socialism!
Strakhov-Braslavskij A. I., 1926

In the Romanov’s times Russian Orthodox Church was part of the state, not only being one of the biggest landlords of the country, but also imposing various restrictions and customs on the everyday life. In 1918 Lenin signed a decree, which declared state independence from the Church. This resulted in drastic changes in the society, especially for the those, whose rights were traditionally limited. Besides gaining the right to vote, women took advantage of the civil marriage institution, because in the monarchy times the Church allowed divorces only in extreme cases.

The early Bolsheviks tended to taking all new ideas to the extreme. A popular theory called “Glass of Water Theory” completely denied the marriage institution and proclaimed that a communist woman should throw off all the traditional gender relations, killing uncontrolled emotions, but promoting free love and sexuality based on mutual respect both to the woman’s and men’s needs and desires. This was a complicated concept, which implied serious changes in mentality, and of course the common folk simplified the whole thing, taking out the only idea, that in the communist times having sex would be as easy as taking a glass of water. Hence the “Glass of Water” Theory.

Later after Lenin’s death in 1924, all the social experiments were cut down. Joseph Stalin was a far more pragmatic person and got rid of all the utopians and theorists. Every soviet woman’s goal was to be the same as the men’s: to make communism a reality, to build factories, refineries and shipyards.

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