What niches and clusters did the Soviet Union offer to the “woman of the East”, how did she herself perceive this offer? What are the consequences of the gender experiment for the transformation of social relations? The Bolshevik government orientalized its republics, but one can also state the fact that enormous forces, resources, and funds were spent on progressive socialist projects for the emancipation of women.
However, we may long debate over the issue of how this social project was later applied
to service another Soviet project for «modernization», namely the industrialization of the USSR.
In this sense, Nagorno-Karabakh and everything that happened there is an amazing case. Along with the widespread promotion and professionalization of women (both in the city and in the countryside), political quotas were defined for women. Female labor on collective and state farms was paid equally with male labor on the basis of the fulfilled norm – “urakan-workday” ( urakan - dialect., or “ashkhor”, meaning workday as a unit of labor). This dramatically changed the status of women in the family, forming and fostering her identity as an economic agent. In the region, the theme of Soviet realities is topical also because the experience of state feminism and equal opportunities for the sexes had its long-term consequences, in particular, in the form of political quotas for women and, as a result, their empowerment.
In connection with a new look at the Soviet era, of particular value are the texts of the family history genre, namely, in the form of a in-depth stereoscopic biographical interview. The Soviet past is not a static history. The social ladder, mobility, and liberalization-emancipation carried a completely unprecedented dynamism (and dramatism), especially in the early, «experimental» period of the history of the USSR.
The doctrine of state feminism then developed its key ideologemes – the idea of a new woman, the collectivization of everyday life, the emancipation of Soviet women from all types of dependence, which ultimately meant the destruction of patriarchal femininity. In other words, the regimes of gender citizenship changed radically during this period.
Table of contents
Theories of Bolshevik Feminism: debates on political rights and representativeness of women in the Soviet Era 7
The Policy of Indigenousization: Orientalism - Socialism - Gender 9
The Soviet Woman of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKAO): Dynamics of Status Change 11
Soviet VS. “Rear Life” 18