Traditional Image of Soviet Women


Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including women. In this poster from 1974, three women, with their hair covered with a traditional kerchief, are depicted alongside a clear slogan: "Soviet Women! Be the first in line for the national struggle to successfully fulfill the Five-Year Plan in four years!" Since the... Read More »

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Two Girls Carrying Children


One of the major obstacles to consistent attendance at the new elementary schools was the fact that children played an important role in the household economy. One such role was that of caregiver for younger children. In this picture, we see an image that was striking to many European and American observers in the 19th century: older daughters–perhaps no older than nine or ten themselves–with... Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Decision Justifying Gender-Based Age of Consent Laws


The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the American legal system, with the power to determine whether laws enacted by state and federal legislators comply with the American constitution. The following appeal was made, and accepted by the court, in the context of a broader campaign for formal legal equality between males and females, through the enactment of gender-neutral laws. In... Read More »

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Urban Dharma, Buddhism in America

Although many of the essays are intended to promote Buddhism and a Buddhist religious perspective, the site also includes English translations of important early South Asian documents.
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Watch Yourself or You'll be a Product for Sale


The women in this image appear to be tempted to a life of prostitution. The female figure in the left foreground gestures toward the door but remains modestly attired. Once inside, the women are there for the pleasure of men and wear revealing or little clothing. The contrast in this moralistic image also reveals how differently contemporaries could depict "real" women from allegorical ones.... Read More »

Izvestiia, “Old Way of Life,” March 8, 1930 thumbnail image

Women and Stalinism: Drawing, Old Way of Life


Articles and images published in Soviet newspapers on March 8, International Communist Woman’s Day, provide the most obvious examples of how women were used as symbols in a propaganda campaign. These texts and images were clearly intended to convey a certain message about the changing role of women in the Soviet system. In particular, March 8 publications celebrated the achievements of Soviet... Read More »

Women at the Cordeliers


Popular clubs in Paris, unlike electoral assemblies, were not limited to men, at least in the early months of the Republic. One of the most active and radical clubs composed entirely of women, the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, collaborated with the Cordeliers and Jacobins in petitioning for aggressive action by the government against what they called "enemies of the Republic,"... Read More »

Women at the Jacobins


An observer of Jacobin club meetings in 1791, in the passage below, describes somewhat disorderly debates, in which speakers are shouted down from the rostrum and women participate openly. This is indicative of what this author sees as the "ungovernable" situation in Paris.

Women's Petition to the National Assembly


This petition was addressed to the National Assembly sometime after the October 1789 march of women on Versailles. The authors were clearly well acquainted with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, as well as with the many prior publications about the historical accomplishments of celebrated women. They were also conversant with the concept of "genre" (gender), understood as... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Diary, Sei Shônagon 3


Sei Shônagon, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Teishi (or Sadako), left a journal of anecdotes, impressions, and commentary called The Pillowbook (covering the years 986-1000 CE) that has become a valuable source for the court society and cultural life of the Heian Period. For a Heian lady, service at court was the sphere for pursuing a career, the stage where she could develop and display her... Read More »