August 16, 2017 by AK
This article is not as silly as it may sound. A few suggestions for better credibility: Don’t mix propaganda and anthropology. Forget The Female Body under Socialism and focus on the field studies. Take down that Soviet poster and the hammer and sickle.
Also, don’t claim the Bolsheviks gave Russian women suffrage: the term is meaningless without competitive elections, and it was the provisional government that let women vote – in the Constitutional Assembly elections in 1917. Thankfully, the NYT has fixed this error.
One more thing: don’t heap together societies as different as Bulgaria, East Germany and Russia. Ideally, focus on one country at a time. Bulgaria in particular is an example of a rural, archaic society transformed into an urban, industrial one under Communist rule after WWII. Naturally, the condition of women improved as they left the patriarchal countryside. As the song goes, I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (can’t get no worse). Urbanization means more independence and greater opportunities for women, even under Communism or totalitarian Islam.
Finally, the invisible elephant: housing conditions.