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Women, Family Values, and the Russian Revolution Unit


Women,Family Values, and the Russian Revolution


Stalin believed that the western/capitalist ideals on the family andthe economy were evil. One of the ways that he thought capitalismdemonstrated this evil was in how the system treated women as secondclass citizens. Thus, he was eager to highlight the unfortunateaspect of the family under the capitalist system. According to Stalinand most of the Bolsheviks, women were burdened by the bourgeoisconcept of the family where women were expected to remain at home,bear children, raise them, and take care of their husbands. Stalinenvisioned a new concept of the family that recognized women as equalto men and capable of being actively engaged in economic activitiesand employment.

Stalin also believed that capitalism had no place for morals. Hebelieved that capitalism and the bourgeoisie did not value ethicalbehavior whatsoever. Ideally, the capitalist concept of capitalismthat encouraged people to pursue material gain and exploit othersleft little room for morals. To him, the allowing privateorganizations and individuals to freely pursue material gains deniedthe government enough space to control the behavior of the masses.Consequently, a select few dominated the means of production andexploited others. Such behavior was immoral, and its continuedpresence normalized it. Thus, the practice was extended to thehousehold unit. In the capitalist families, husbands controlled mostof the resources as they were the ones involved in gainfulemployment. Hence, the men had the power to control and exploit theirwives and other women in their lives.

One of the ways that men exploited women in the larger society was inthe perception of sex as a casual commodity. The notion of&quotdisorderly sex life&quot was, at least according to Stalin andthe Bolsheviks, a way of men exploiting women under a capitalistsystem. In most cases, the men misused their sense of power insociety to objectify women. Thus, Stalin promised that socialistsystem would correct such ills. It would balance power between menand women to improve morals and restore the sanctity of sex amongcouples. Therefore, according to Stalin, the Russian revolution, andthe Socialist system were the best methods of restoring family valuesand advancing the place of women in society as a way of promotingequality and justice.