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According to a well-known joke, feminism is almost the only foreign word that has not taken root and has not become popular in Russia. Indeed, you look around - there seems to be neither a feminist movement, nor noticeable organizations proudly bearing an seditious name, nor even people who openly call themselves feminists. One Maria Arbatova for the whole country. In almost every interview of any successful woman, the list of achievements, victories and awards is preceded by the words: “Just don’t think that I am a feminist ...” Why is it embarrassing to admit being a feminist? Why is the word “feminist” considered a label? What does the conventional wisdom put into it? Why for most women the question is: “Are you a feminist, or what?” - sounds not only suspicious, but also offensive?

The answers do not lie on the surface. You can refer to our dark peasant past, and to demographic problems, and to our special mentality: they say, “yes, we are Asians ...” But feminists are somewhere in America. Scary women, it’s even dangerous to give them a coat, but if you smile, you’ll go to court in general.

We will try to look for answers to these questions in Russian history. Maybe she will tell us why in Russia feminism is not represented not only at the socio-political level in the form of parties, organizations and unions, but also at the cultural level “in the head”, at the level of worldview and behavioral norm, shared and recognized by the educated majority.

Before the October Revolution of 1917

Although today it is hard to believe, before in Russia there was a powerful nationwide women's movement. Modern political parties can envy its scope. What is the mass feminist demonstration in the spring of 1917 in Petrograd, when more than 40 thousand women came out with a demand for political rights. Notice, then no one “organized the crowd”, didn’t push the buses and did not hand out sandwiches in the crowd.

In the memoirs of Ariadna Tyrkova, a well-known activist of the Russian feminist movement, a member of the Central Committee of the Cadet Party, high school friend Nadezhda Krupskaya, there is such an eloquent episode: “After the Provisional Government announced in 1917 a decision to grant women suffrage, one of the feminists in a fit of enthusiasm approached to a crowd of women standing in line at the bakery. “I congratulate you, citizen,” she proclaimed. “We, Russian women, are going to use our rights.” Women, tired of standing in line, looked at the lady with indifference and misunderstanding. A soldier standing nearby grinned and asked: “What, now I can’t hit my woman?” After that, the line revived. “Oh no dear,” they cried. - Nothing like this. Just try it. Nothing will come of it. Allow yourself to beat? Never. No one has the right now. ” A century ago, “women's rights” was understood as recognition of a woman’s legal capacity, that is, a full-fledged and capable person.

In Soviet times, pre-revolutionary history was greatly corrected, the female movement completely dropped out of it, as it was declared insignificant and bourgeois. Moreover, the feminist idea was generally declared reactionary because it distracted the female masses from the class struggle. Therefore, it is not surprising that over decades of silence, any recall of Russian feminism has gone out of our historical memory.

Today we have little idea of ​​the realities of the life of women of the past, especially since for the sake of which they joined women's organizations and groups. And the reality was such that in terms of status and rights, even a woman from the educated strata was equated “with minors, demented people and being tried”, as well as “wandering foreigners and foreign nationals. Serfdom was abolished in 1861, and women were released from public corporal punishment (i.e. flogging) only in 1863. According to family law, the wife was obliged “to obey her husband, as the head of the family, to be in love, reverence and unlimited obedience to him, to render him all kinds of pleasing and affection as the mistress of the house.” Divorces were not practiced; spouses were obliged to live together under any circumstances. The wife did not have the right to be employed without the consent of her husband. In inheritance law, men had advantages. However, in fairness, we note that Russian women had a certain economic capacity and suffered not because of a lack of property rights, but rather because of their inability to use them, because of their legal illiteracy.

The first Russian feminists of the 1850–1860s were concerned not so much with the issue of political equality of men and women (until 1905, political rights in the Russian Empire did not exist in principle), but with access to education and professional employment. “Women's rights” were interpreted as access primarily to education, to work, equal inheritance rights with men, and later, at the beginning of the next century, as political rights. The growth of cities and the development of industry required labor, including women. Let us recall the Russian literature of the 19th century: traditional estates decline, noble families go bankrupt, women are forced to make their own fortunes and earn a living. Someone sought economic independence, but there were those for whom it was forced. Along with the Turgenev girls, energetic Vera Pavlovna appears. The images of women of the gallant age of Catherine - the mistress and landowner, scientist, writer, philanthropist - are replaced by new types: student, nihilist, bookbinder, publisher, translator, mistress of the seamstress cooperative, doctor, pharmacist, lawyer.

The widespread belief that women did not work before the revolution, brought up children and sat at the embroidery frame is a myth. For example, only during the years of World War I the number of working women increased by 40%, and in 1917 they accounted for almost half of the total work force! The opportunity to be a housewife is the destiny of very, very few. “Live labor income!” - This was the motto of several generations of women included in the labor assistance movement. It is no coincidence that the beginning of women's organizations was associated with the appearance of the first women's production cooperatives, workshops, schools, shops, which gave women the opportunity to live independently.

However, not only the need to earn a living moved the first feminists. The idea of ​​duty to the people was popular among the educated sections of society. As publicists wrote then, the highest ideal of “a modern woman of our middle-class intellectuals is a fruitful working life”, hard work on oneself for self-improvement, for the benefit of society. The famous revolutionary P. Kropotkin recalled: “The girls, having received an aristocratic upbringing, came to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev to learn the business without a penny ... They were eager to apply the acquired knowledge to the benefit ... passed the exam for the teachers of the country ... and hundreds went to the village where it was selfless dedicated themselves to serving the poorest. ” But to serve society, to find one's professional vocation was almost impossible! The set of permitted professions is extremely narrow - midwives, pharmacists, telegraph workers, "according to the counting and writing." I had to fight for the opportunity to engage in each type of professional activity. For example, women were allowed to work as postmen only after the persistent petition of the Women's Equality League to the director of the post and telegraph office of St. Petersburg.

The country did not have a system of female education - neither higher nor professional. The university charter prohibited the education of women in universities until the beginning of the twentieth century, when admission as free listeners was allowed. The debate about the woman’s ability to do science was opened in the Russian press by the outstanding physiologist I.M.Sechenov, one of the founders of the Higher Women's Courses. Despite all the calls and discussions involving authorities - Mendeleev, Kovalevskaya, Pirogov, Granovsky - the government opposed the reform of women's education and the sphere of professional labor. (At the end of the 19th century, 4.8% of the total male population studied at school, 1.6% of the female population was less than 1.6%. Less than 1% of women had higher education than primary, but this unfortunate percentage was strictly forbidden to receive a specialty. ) As a result, there are crowds of Russian students at the democratic universities of Bern, Lausanne, and Geneva. It is known that three quarters of all women who studied at the University of Zurich in the 1860s were Russian students. The most popular discipline is medicine, which is not surprising if we take into account the high level of maternal and infant mortality with an incredible birth rate today (an average of 7 births per woman). Medical assistance to a woman during childbirth was almost absent. When the government once again banned the activities of female obstetric medical courses in 1881, women's organizations raised 700 thousand rubles to resume their work. An unprecedented figure! Moreover, the Bestuzhev Higher Women's Courses were held by women's organizations for twelve years. By 1910, Women's Higher Courses, at their own expense, were already working in all university cities. The merits of the Russian Women's Mutual Charity Society in the development of higher education for women were awarded a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. The emergence of higher female education in Russia is an exceptional merit of Russian feminists.

At the same time, getting an education, defending a doctoral dissertation abroad did not at all guarantee the satisfaction of even modest career claims, at least some application of one's strengths at home. Women were not allowed to teach even in high school. Judicial and advocacy activities were covered for them, along with public service, obtaining ranks, and, consequently, a university career. When the first woman doctor Nadezhda Suslova brilliantly defended her thesis in medicine, surgery and obstetric care in Switzerland, she was denied a passport to return to the country! Obtaining a degree turned out to leave for the outskirts of Crimea, near Alushta, where she provided medical assistance to the surrounding rural population in her home *.

The patriarchal gender system itself encouraged women to seek countermeasures and resistance. According to the historian of the women's movement in Russia, Irina Yukina, “the prohibition policy pursued by the Russian government and the refusal to solve pressing social problems affecting the position of women made the women's movement radical, and contributed to the development and solidarity of its members.”

Russian writers and journalists actively picked up a discussion about emancipation, that is, liberation from dependence and oppression. In this ideological space, and emancipation was then widely understood - and the liberation of peasants, and slaves in America, and “white slaves” (so-called prostitutes), the female emancipation, presented not as a private affair of women, but as an important factor and indicator, logically entered modernization of the whole society. Criticism of the status of women was heard from all sides, there was noted the “age-old slavery of women”, her subordinate position in the family and society, her right to freedom of feeling, to personal freedom.

* You can learn about this amazing woman from the book of the German historian B. Pietrov Encker. Neither in works on domestic history, nor in the museum of the city of Alushta, we found her remarkable biography.

The events of 1905, the Russo-Japanese war marked the beginning of a new era of civic activism, including the political activity of women. The agenda of women's organizations is raising equal voting rights with men.
Feminists submit petitions and petitions to the Duma, zemstvo councils, state and public institutions, organize collection of signatures on appeals, raise the issue of women's political equality at various meetings, congresses and meetings. In addition, women's organizations appealed for support to parliaments and parties of other countries, joined international organizations - the International Women's Sufrazhist Alliance, the International Women's Socialist Secretariat, etc. The largest feminist organization of the time, which called in 1908 the First All-Russian Congress of Women, numbered up to 10 thousand participants. The main resolution of this organization called for universal suffrage "without distinction of gender, religion and nationality."

War and revolution exacerbated many social problems, including gender. In wartime conditions, the government was forced to solve the notorious “women's issue”. Women got up to machine tools, went to nurses, replaced men in many professions. Russian feminists achieved the introduction of suffrage for women in 1917, before this happened in France, Germany, Great Britain and the USA. However, the ensuing October Socialist Revolution changed the political atmosphere. A year later, there was not a single feminist magazine in Russia, not a single feminist organization. Like other public and political associations, they were outlawed and closed.

Under the Councils

According to historians, in 1917 the Bolsheviks had no equal in organizational and propaganda work among urban women of the lower strata. Agitators focused on women workers and soldiers - those categories of women who were not covered by feminist organizations. The ideologists for resolving the female issue - Alexandra Kollontai, Inessa Armand, Nadezhda Krupskaya - called the Bolsheviks “feminists” by the Bolsheviks, strongly criticized for their misunderstanding of the class interests of the working class and encouraged women of the proletariat to solidarity primarily with men of their class. Resumed after the closing in 1914, the journal "Worker" was published several times a month with a total circulation of 40-50 thousand copies. In a language accessible to simple toilers, the Bolshevik program was laid out with an emphasis on war, high cost, and working conditions. A separate line was the policy of the young Soviet state in relation to the woman - the mother, the "bearer of the future." A number of specific measures were declared: the protection and rationing of female labor, the improvement of working conditions, the provision of motherhood and early childhood, childbirth insurance, the fight against child mortality, pre-school education, school reform, reform of home economics, and the eradication of prostitution.

It should be noted that in the "women's issue" Russian social democracy skillfully adopted the program of the German social democrats Kautsky, Bebel and Klara Zetkin. The successes of the German socialists in recruiting women (over 6 years the number of women in their party increased by 16 times!) Attracted the attention of Alexandra Kollontai, the author of numerous works on the tasks of the women's proletarian movement, a new family and the organization of the life of citizens on a communist basis. Her literary works are better known abroad, where they have been reprinted several times, and many books are written about the work and personality of Alexandra Mikhailovna, an outstanding figure in the international women's socialist movement. However, Kollontai herself did not call herself a feminist, she is known for her attacks on "bourgeois feminism." But today her name is included in any reader or collection of texts under the heading of socialist or Marxist feminism.

Since the biography of Kollontai, the “sexually emancipated communist,” as she wrote about herself, is poorly known, there are many speculations and legends about her. It is widely believed that Kollontai called for free love, community of wives, the abolition of marriage and family. The names of her works really look intriguing: “The Cross of Motherhood”, “Love and New Morality”, “Relations between the Sexes and the Class Struggle”, “Love of Labor Bees”. She wrote that the question of the equation of women in rights, proclaimed by the Soviet government, is not solved automatically: "By law, women got all the rights, but in practice they still lived under the old yoke." This yoke is an inequality in family life. Only a radical breakdown of patriarchal life can help a woman become free. How to put this into practice? Unload women in the household, save her strength with the help of a professional cleaning lady, central laundry room, public dining room, by organizing communal houses. Caring for children is not a private task, but a public one, the labor republic assumes the responsibility of raising children. “Emancipation of a woman is accomplished only with a radical transformation of life,” Kollontai proclaims. She believed that marriage with its patrimonial authoritarian principle, absorbing individual will, would die away in the future, believed in a new relationship between the sexes based on complete freedom, equality and comradely solidarity. Главное – организация потребления, проведение великой реформы по отделению кухни от брака. Извечная тема – «быт убивает любовь»! «Пусть мужчина научится любить женщину не за то, что она хорошо месит тесто, а за то, что в ней есть привлекательного, за ее личные свойства, за ее человеческое “я”», – призывала Александра Михайловна.

С ней солидарен поэт Николай Асеев (1925 год):

Быт – Кащей, С ним на борьбу От пеленок и щей.

Работница мира, сорви чадру, Сама управляй судьбой!

Лишь тот тебе муж, и друг, и брат, Кто трудится рядом с тобой.

А как же политическая активность женщин? Что стало с ней в новой России? Женщина работница считалась отсталым «кадром» рабочего класса, с целью партийной мобилизации создавались отделы по работе среди женщин. Эти органы РКП(б) действовали, что называлось, на местах в течение всех 20 х годов, вовлекали в свою ра боту женщин активисток, вели политическое просвещение. Цель была не только расположить работницу к советской власти, но и выполнить вполне утилитарные задачи, а именно: «поставить женщину в такие условия, при которых она могла проявить максимум своей трудовой энергии», «планомерно вовлекать женщин в партийную жизнь и строительство республики». Выдвинутая Коллонтай при поддержке советского правительства «женская программа» во многом была утопичной, далеко не все из задуманного удалось выполнить. Изменился курс партии – изменилась и политика в отношении женщин. В 1929 году были ликвидированы женотделы. Сворачивалась работа «красных юрт», красных женщин агитаторов, движение делегаток, жен директоров и инженеров. Общественная инициатива женщин была поставлена под контроль и могла реализоваться только в рамках партийной коммунистической работы. Так было почти до конца советского периода нашей истории.

Женские организации советского времени – женсоветы, Комитет советских женщин – не играли самостоятельной политической роли, были лишены политической инициативы и решали насущные повседневные проблемы. Благодаря им сформировался тип женщины общественницы. Таким образом, у советской женщины не было возможностей политического волеизъявления в рамках каких либо других структур, кроме КПСС. Диссидентское движение никогда не озвучивало феминистских ценностей. Единственный пример независимой женской инициативы – это группа «Мария» в Ленинграде, близкая по духу православной культуре.

В годы перестройки политическая жизнь страны резко изменилась, на смену монополии одной партии пришло многообразие партийных форм и объединений. Появились многочисленные женские организации, но политически ориентированных, тем более феминистских среди них было немного. В 1991–1992 годах в подмосковной Дубне прошли независимые женские форумы, собравшие активистов женских общественных организаций. Однако политический успех их был кратковременен. Вначале 1990 х на волне демократического подъема движение «Женщины России» вошло в российскую Государственную думу. Но в последующих составах Думы оно закрепиться не сумело, не преодолев 5 процентного электорального порога.


Сегодня незначительное участие российских женщин в общественных и политических организациях отражает ситуацию низкой гражданской активности в целом. Согласно социологическим данным, только 1,2% опрошенных женщин лично участвуют в деятельности той или иной женской общественной организации. На вопрос о том, чем должны заниматься женские общественные организации, только 8% назвали «политическую борьбу за права женщин».

Политическая активность женщин в настоящее время может быть проиллюстрирована деятельностью женских неправительственных организаций (НПО) и отдельными женщинами политиками. Женских неправительственных организаций немного, их роль в политической жизни страны скромна. Наиболее заметные организации основаны на мобилизации традиционной женской роли – материнства. Таковы, например, Комитеты солдатских матерей. Женские объединения разделяют судьбу всего гражданского общества и находятся в таком же положении, как и другие НПО. Отдельным организациям удается добиться стабильной деятельности. Так, серьезно заявляют о себе кризисные центры. Однако прямой связи между полом политика и его гендерно ориентированной программой или платформой не существует. Иными словами, совсем необязательно, что, войдя в политику, женщина начнет представлять и защищать интересы женщин как группы населения. Примеры современных женщин политиков свидетельствуют, скорее, об обратном. Вступив в жесткий политический мир, они принимают правила игры этого мужско го клуба и действуют соответственно. Вместе с тем в странах, например Скандинавских, где число женщин в парламентах приближается к 40%, социальная политика государства стала не только «гендерно чувствительной», но и дружественной женщинам. Возможно, роль отправной точки, способной задавать тон в политических процессах, играет некая «критическая масса» численности женщин во власти.

Число (процент) женщин, входящих в политическую эли ту, политические партии, выборные представительные органы России, демонстрирует колоссальный разрыв между представленностью гендерных групп во власти и в общественной жизни страны. А ведь участие женщин в политической жизни, в выборных органах – это вопрос престижа страны, показатель степени ее демократизации. По данным 2001 года, по уровню представленности женщин в Думе (7,6%) мы разделили с Ираком далеко не почетное 84 е место. В странах Северной Европы этот показатель превышает 38%. Сейчас у нас в нижнюю палату Госдумы четвертого созыва (2004–2007) избрано 45 женщин, что на десять больше, чем в предыдущую. Председатель Центральной избирательной комиссии А.Вешняков в начале 2006 года предложил ввести норму, согласно которой в списке партии, которая идет на выборы, обязательно должны быть женщины, причем не менее одной трети от списка. Очевидно, чиновник подразумевал квоты на представительство женщин, которые существуют во многих странах, от Узбекистана до ЮАР.

* * *

При низкой политической активности современных россиянок и отсутствии феминизма как политической силы, гендерные темы в политике остаются. Поднятый вопрос о квотах, обеспокоенность партий привлечением электората, в том числе женского, периодически возобновляющиеся дискуссии о переходе к контрактной армии или разрешении многоженства – все это не позволяет сбросить со счетов исторический опыт российского феминизма. Прежде в нашей стране феминизм был прогрессивным социальным движением, надо полагать, что он необходим и на современной политической карте страны.
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  1. Stage 1. Awareness of their own attitude to feminism
    At the beginning of the discussion, students are asked to name their associations with the word “feminism”. Associations are written on the board. The teacher discusses with students what feelings this concept evokes, what is the attitude to feminism in our society. Students are then asked to fill out a questionnaire (Appendix 1). The best option is when the teacher reads the questions and the students
  2. Этап 2. Заполнение таблицы «Основные направления феминизма»
    In the future, students are divided into three groups. Each group is offered a text describing one type of feminist movement (see Appendix 2). Students get acquainted with the text and find in it the information necessary to fill in the corresponding line in the table “The main directions of feminism”. After completing work on microgroups, students report the information they find. Итогом данного
  3. Nationalists Against Feminism
    Most nationalists have a negative attitude to the idea of ​​gender equality. Russian nationalists are no exception here, and since anti-egalitarianism and hierarchy are embedded in the very essence of nationalism, there is nothing surprising in this. The ideal gender order in Russia (a patriarchal family with two or more children, the father is the head of the family) is recognized by nationalists as the norm, while
    Goals and objectives: 1. To show the most important socio-economic events from the history of Russia in the first half of the 19th century. (Patriotic War of 1812. The Decembrist uprising of 1825, peasant unrest, defeat in the Crimean War, etc.). And against their background, to reveal the further development of revolutionary democratic thought in the writings of A.N. Radishchev, V.G. Belinsky, A.I. Herzen and others, and its influence and statement in
    В истории западной цивилизации общественное движение за равноправие женщин складывается во второй половине XIX века, когда женщины впервые выступили как самостоятельная организованная политическая сила. Термин «феминизм» как синоним женской эмансипации, начинает широко использоваться в Европе в нача ле ХХ века. Идея равных социальных прав женщин и мужчин восходит ко времени эпохи
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    Сексуальные представления и нормы поведения меняются от поколения к поколению. В период так называемой сексуальной революции стало возможным открыто обсуждать сексуальную жизнь, полу чать достоверную информацию, был ослаблен общественный контроль за интимной жизнью граждан. Начало сексуальной революции на Западе совпадает с подъемом студенческого демократического движения и второй волной
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    According to the Interdepartmental Commission on Environmental Safety (Russian Security Council), which considered the issue of worsening the demographic situation, it was reported: “... the population of the Russian Federation in 1995 decreased by 0.2% (380 thousand) and amounted to 148 million. human. The number of deaths exceeded the number of births 1.6 times. Fertility is declining. The number of births decreased by
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    According to forecasts, in 2015 in Russia there will be 400-500 thousand HIV-infected, among which the most common age category is 25-30 years old. Russia risks losing an entire generation of citizens. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has become one of the characteristic features of our time. No matter how much they promised to find a vaccine against this deadly virus, they did not find it. AIDS is still dying
  13. Laughter in Russia
    Смех в России — вообще дело особое. В силу исторических условий он слишком часто раздавался "сквозь слезы". Когда монгольские баскаки ехали на Русь за данью, знающие люди напутствовали их: если русские плачут, значит, у них осталось еще что-то, что можно забрать. Но если они смеются — значит, брать уже нечего. Народный смех в России был, как и везде, громким, надрывным и пьяным. Not
  14. The origin of veterinary medicine in Russia
    Archaeological studies show that in the territory of modern Russia, primitive man was a farmer and livestock farmer for another 6-8 thousand years BC. Primitive people brought domesticated animals to this region in the process of natural resettlement and development of new agricultural territories. Such movements were necessary for the development of new pastures and land
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