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Revolution and Women's Rights

             Russia entered the 1900's in great political and economic turmoil. Revolution in Russia was inevitable. Questions such as: when would the revolution take place, what would be the result, who would be in power, and how would Russia continue after a revolution were all questions every citizen had on his or her mind. For one Russian citizen, Alexandra Kollontai, revolution was an answer, not an issue in question. She made her presence known among a group known as the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks supported efforts for revolutionary change, not small social reforms. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, were in favor of widespread childcare and women's rights. These two issues were the principal political aspirations of Alexandra Kollontai. She believed that a Bolshevik led revolution gave women an opportunity to develop rapid change. Kollontai believed the time had come for women to be treated equally to men. .
             The best way to derive the thoughts of Alexandra Kollontai is to read the novel which is the story of her life, The Autobiography of A Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman. The first section of the book is titled "The Aims and Worths in My Life". Here she first told us that to write an autobiography one must have accomplished a task worthy of being recognized. Her task was that of women's liberation in Russia. She grew as a very spoiled child in a well-off family, which gave her no freedom. Kollontai took a husband in her late teens due to social expectation. She soon found being a housewife and mother to be "cage life". Still at this very young age she saw many social injustices. During one instance, she saw a textile factory, in which women were working their fingers to the bone in an awful dirty environment. It was after seeing this factory that Kollontai knew she had to join the revolutionary movement. She left her housewife life, husband and son for the revolution. It was then that she decided her life was not to be guided by a man.

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