Petersburg in the noble Domontovich family of Ukrainian, Russian, and Finnish background, at age twenty-two she married her cousin Vladimir Kollontay, but after the birth of a son in became increasingly dissatisfied with domestic life. Inafter a year of study in Switzerland, she embarked on a career as a revolutionary journalist, joining the then-illegal Russian Social Democratic Party.
She left the Bolshevik party shortly afterwards, believing it inimical to female interests Farnsworth, Kollontai was born to upper class parents and joined the party in the late 19th century as a means to further the revolution for women and feminism Fanrsworth, Clements routinely claims that Kollontai became a party advocate not merely because she believed in the emancipation of women from the family, but that party work provided her with the satisfaction that intimate relationships had failed to provide Clements, In other words, her advocacy in party matters was, among other things, a means of working through her own personal problems with intimacy and commitment.
Kollontai held that human instincts, freed from traditional morality—which was itself a projection of bourgeois economic relations—would lead to a natural harmony of interests. Such an idea had little affect on her party comrades in the early s Clements, This idea got her into much trouble Clements, She held that under a money-based economy, women became the property of men.
As soon as trade replaced family based subsistence farming, women were shunted to the background. In other words, mercantile relations were deadly to the position of women in society Clements, It has been very successful. Under the impact of the monstrous successes of capitalism, the middle classes of the population were hit by waves of need.
The economic changes had rendered the financial situation of the petty and middle bourgeoisie unstable, and the bourgeois women were faced with a dilemma of menacing proportions, either accept poverty, or achieve the right to work. Wives and daughters of these social groups began to knock at the doors of the universities, the art salons, the editorial houses, the offices, flooding to the professions that were open to them.
In the above writings, published inshe explicated the idea of sex with multiple partners, without any kind of possessiveness.
Relationships were really to be ephemeral, since it is unnatural for one man to be wedded to one woman in perpetuity. Multiple partners, the full play of natural sexual instinct among truly free and equal persons, was to be the revolutionary future for relations between the sexes.
As the state was to wither away once economic relations have become equalized and classes eliminated, so would the family and all kindred institutions which Kollontai considered authoritarian.
She drafted extremely liberal divorce laws in that eventually became part of the Leninist legacy, only to be repealed later in the early s Jones, Lenin himself was ambivalent on Kollontai and free love.
This glass-of-water-theory has made our young people quite mad. It has proven fatal to many young boys and girls. Its adherents maintain its is Marxist, but it is wholly un-Marxist.
In the early s, venereal diseases skyrocketed in Russia Jones, The revolution was waged by bohemian intellectuals who lived lives based on bohemian morals but who justified what they were doing by saying it was in the interests of workers and peasants Jones, Only the rich can afford the bohemian lifestyle of Kollontai, while the poor were left with broken marriages and orphaned children.
The upper class intellectuals and the poor workers did not live—or think—on the same plane. Jones argues what is missing from all feminist approaches to sexual revolution is that male instinct, unrestrained by moral custom, is often destructive to female interest.
If women can puruse their own sexual instinct and experimentation, so can men. But in the latter case, revolution means abandoned and broken women. Sexual revolution for men often leads to the well known situation of men viewing women only as sexual objects, to be used and thrown away once the novelty wears off.
She was herself conversant with the problem of free love, and its possible consequences for women. She remained optimistic, however, that the revolution will eliminate the opportunities of men to abuse their position relative to emancipated women. She had proposed that alimony as a system should be done away with, and a General Insurance Fund should be put in its place, controlled by the state, that would make the state, rather than former husbands, responsible for the maintenance of women without work, or who were raising children Farnsworth, She even went so far as to advocate a tax for this purpose, to be levied solely on men Farnsworth, It was her single mindedness that angered other Bolsheviks, male and female.
Both Lenin and Stalin commented on th social chaos such ideas engendered, even to the point of endangering the revolution itself into anarchist chaos. Hence, without intense attention to the woman question, women will be relegated to second class status even in a revolutionary society Kollontai, Social 3.
The party was convinced that her ideas had undermined social stability and were leading to the destruction of the revolutionary movement.Written in , Alexandra Kollontai's essay looks at the role of working class women in the history of Russian radicalism with particular focus on the revolution.
Featured The soul of man under socialism - Oscar Wilde. Kollontai’s mother, Alexandra Androvna Masalina-Mravinskaia, was a daughter of a Finnish peasant who made a fortune selling wood. Kollontai’s parent’s long and difficult struggle to be together would colour her views on relationships, sex and marriage.
Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontay Essay Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontay (–) was a major figure in the Russian Socialist movement from the late nineteenth century to .
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