“Revolutionary Women: Gender Politics in 1917 Russia” Lecture

To celebrate International Women’s Day, March 8, I went to the lecture “Revolutionary Women: Gender Politics in 1917 Russia” by Dr. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild.

Similar to the Arabic Talent Show last semester, I attended this event because it focused on a culture outside of my usual area of interest. It also incorporated a competent I enjoy, like the talent show. As a Women’s and Gender Studies minor, I have an interest in feminist topics.

Dr. Ruthchild explained how women’s demonstrations helped trigger the Russian Revolution. Despite date discrepancies that result from the Russian use of a different calendar, these protests took place on International Women’s Day in 1917, making them a well-timed topic for the day’s lecture.

Dr. Ruthchild laid out the reasons these women were successful in their endeavors for change, connecting the reasons to their gender. For example, male soldiers who were sent to control and shut down the demonstrations would not fire into the female crowds. They saw men as a threat, but they could not bring themselves to harm their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters – people they were taught to protect. I liked this because it highlighted the particular strengths of women in these types of situations.

Events carried out by women, while important in the moment, are often overlooked by history. Because of this, I’m always glad to learn about them and develop a more true and complete picture of the world.

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