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To what extent does Stalin achieve conformity amongst women
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| Words: 993 | Submitted: 20-May-2011
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DescriptionStalins attempt to achieve conformity against women in 1993
To what extent does Stalin achieve conformity amongst women in the period 1933 – 1938?
Under Stalin, many laws from the 1920’s that related to women’s emancipation were undone in favour of strengthening the family. Divorce and child support if unmarried, became more difficult to obtain, abortion was made illegal, and women lost rights in the family. In order to achieve ‘Socialism in One Country’ and his five year plans, Stalin relied largely on the conformity of women. His ideals featured women as producers as well as bearers of and carers for children. He prioritised the need for a growing supply of labour to fulfil the needs of industrialisation. To ensure this, policies were put in place to encourage women to have children thus a constant supply of labour, whilst at the same time Women were expected to work, be it in the industrial factories or on the collective farms.
When rapid industrialisation and the collectivisation of agriculture were declared a priority regime in Soviet Russia there was demand for mass labour. Initially the intended workforce would be made up of the peasantry and women. However the disasters of collectivisation (evidence) left women as the only significant force to push industrialisation forward. Between 1932 and 1937, 82% of all newly employed workers were women. There role in building Socialism was a large one hence the strain on women’s lives accelerated throughout the period with demands on women to participate in industrial labour as well as domestic ones.
Just how far did Stalin’s conformity reach?
Anna Akhmatova was a middle class woman who lived throughout the Soviet Union. Anna did not go out and work in industry nor on a collective farm, she only gave birth to one child, so how did Stalin’s ideal of conformity impact upon her life?
Anna, born in 1889, persistently wrote and published poems prior to, during and after the Stalinist era. Her passion lay in poems of intimacy and romance however Stalin’s demands that “all assist the programme of transformation” robbed Anna of her freedom to write as she wished forcing her to change her style of poetry. As part of what can be described as ‘The Stalinist Cultural Revolution’ all poets were conformed to promote National Leadership. If they did not comply they would be persecuted by the state in ways that Anna would, unfortunately, become very familiar with. The state feared the powers of the arts strengthening its desperation to gain conformity over the mechanical geniuses (word that state used to describe poets etc).
In 1921, Anna’s first husband, Nikolai Gumilev, was arrested by the Cheka (Petrograd secret police), jailed and shot without trial. He was the first major poet to be executed by the Bolsheviks, ...
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