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The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia
 1138347752, 9781138347755

Table of contents :
Cover
Endorsement
Half Title
Series Information
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Illustrations
Contributors
Acknowledgements
Part I Conceptual Debates and Methodological Differences
Introduction: Conceptual Debates and Methodological Differences
The Development of the Field
1 Between Regional and Transnational Contexts
The Region: What’s in a Name?
The Nation: Diverse Approaches to Gender Analysis
Transnational and Global Frameworks
Conclusions
References
2 Fluidity or Clean Breaks?
The Critical Junctures: Transition vs. Transformation
Shaping Gender Identities and Dynamics: Actors and Processes
Interaction of Actors
Conclusions
References
3 Neoliberal Intervention: Analyzing the Drakulic– Funk–Ghodsee Debates: Analyzing the Drakulic– Funk–Ghodsee Debates
Feminist Disputes Between East and West: Drakulić– Funk in the 1990s
The Impact of Western Donors on Feminism: Funk–Ghodsee in the 2000s
Debating State Socialist Women’s Organizations: Funk–Ghodsee in the 2010s
(Not) Laughing in Communism and Postcommunism: Drakulic–Ghodsee and Others in the 2010s
Feminism in Times of Neoliberalism and Authoritarianism: CEE Authors Engage the Debate
Conclusions
References
Methodologies
4 Legacies of the Cold War and the Future of Gender in Feminist Histories of Socialism
What is a Cold War Narrative?
Gender Analysis Meets Cold War Narratives of Socialism
Beyond the Cold War Plots
The Trouble with Gender in Counter-narratives of Socialism
Conclusions
References
5 The Case and Comparative Methods
Tradeoffs in the Use of Case Studies and Other Comparative Methods
Varying Disciplinary Approaches to Case Studies and Comparative Method
Political Science Approaches to Women’s Organizing in Russia
Cultural Anthropology of Women’s Organizing and Lived Experiences of Gender in and Beyond Russia
Sociological Mixed Methods to Women’s Organization and Gender
Conclusions
References
6 Quantitative and Experimental Methods
Quantitative– Qualitative Debates in Gender and Politics Research
Quantitative Research, Intersectionality, and Multidimensionality
Research on Institutions and Institutional Change in CEE&E
Research on Genderspecific Public Opinion in CEE&E
Conclusions
References
Epistemologies
7 Postcoloniality in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia
After Socialist Internationalism: A New Postcolonial Optic
Multiple Centers and Peripheries
Decolonial Interventions
Conclusions
References
8 Post-Soviet Masculinities: Sex, Power, and the Vanishing Subject
Masculinity and Homoeroticism
Homosociality and Power
Masculinity and State Power: Who’s on Top?
Conclusions
References
Part II Feminist and Women’s Movements Cooperating and Colliding
Introduction: Feminist and Women’s Movements Cooperating and Colliding
Women’s Organizing Under Empires
9 Challenging Tradition and Crossing Borders: Women’s Activism and Literary Modernism in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
Women’s Philanthropic Organizations and Salons
The National Movements and Women’s Organizations
The Fight for Women’s Education
The Role of Women’s Professional Organizations
Women’s Alliances
Women Writers
Conclusions
References
10 The First All-Russian Women’s Congress: “The Women’s Parliament”
Revolution, Repression, and Resistance
Ladies, Laborers, and Professionals
Congress Sessions: Debating Feminist Theory and Practice
The Final Congress Resolutions: Advocating Within an Autocracy
The Short- and Long-term Impact of the Congress
Conclusions
References
Socialist (Feminist) Interpretations
11 the Russian Revolution and Women’s Liberation: Rethinking the Legacy of the Socialist Emancipation Project
Labor Feminism and the Russian Revolution
Soviet Socialism and the Woman Question
The Socialist Model and Its Discontents
References
Dissident Women and Feminisms
12 Czechoslovak Feminisms During the Interwar Period
Czech and Slovak Women’s Emancipation Efforts Prior to Independence
The First Republic
Conclusions
References
13 Women in Poland’s Solidarity
Women Within Male Political and Religious Narratives
The Development of a Gendered Perspective of Dissent
Religious/ Cultural Factors Influencing Gender Roles
Women’s Rights and Opposition to Socialism
Women Organize the Underground: Solidarity’s “Third Space”
A Gendered Elite
The Rise of Feminist and Nationalist Turns
The New Patriarchy
Conclusion
References
Postcommunist NGO Feminisms and Beyond
14 From Soviet Feminism to the European Union: Transnational Women’s Movements Between East and West
East– West Exchanges After 1945
From International to Local: Impact of International Networks on Local Gender Politics
Postsocialist Feminism, the European Union Accession, and the Turn to “Connective” Action
Conclusions
References
15 Transnational Feminism and Women’s NGOs: the Case of the Network of East– West Women
Structural Steps to Minimize Risks of US Feminist Domination
Neww as Transnational Feminist Donor Without Colonization
Neww Commitment to Intersectionality
How Not to be Donor Driven
Avoiding Complicity in Neoliberalism
NEWW’s Difficulties
Conclusions
References
16 Contentions of Funding Gender Equality in Central-Eastern Europe
Gender Equality and Women’s Organizing Under Late State Socialism
Frameworks for Funding: The Civil Society and Philanthrocapitalist Approaches
NGOization, Project Feminism, and Movement Building
Neoliberalism, Governance Feminism, and Movement Building
Austerity, Identity, and Intersectional Movement Building
Conclusion
References
17 Pussy Riot and Femen’s Global Trajectories in Law, Society, and Culture
Design and Strategies
Common Roots, Diverging Routes
From Postcommunist Post-Secularism to “Sextremism”
A Moving Vector with no Endpoint
Conclusions
References
Part III Constructions of Gender in Different Ideologies
Introduction: Constructions of Gender in Different Ideologies
Nationalism
18 Nationalism and Sexuality in Central-Eastern Europe
Strange but Magnetic Bedfellows: Prostitution and Nationalism
Eugenics and the Scientific Legitimization of Racialized Nationalism
Nationalism and Homosexuality
Sexuality and Nationalism Through the Lens of Antisemitism
Conclusions
References
19 Gender, Militarism, and the Modern Nation in Soviet and Russian Cultures
Intertwined National and Gender Identities
Hegemony and Challenge: Masculinity and the Military
The Great Patriotic War of the Fatherland
Late Soviet Responses to Military Masculinity
Conclusions
References
Fascism
20 Farright Expectations of Women in Central-Eastern Europe
Research on Women and Fascism in CEE After WWII
Gendered Analyses of Fascism in CEE After Communism
The Birth of Gendered Antimodernism in Central-Eastern Europe
Gender and Fascism During World War II in CEE
Conclusions
References
Socialisms and Communisms
21 Paradoxes of Gender in Soviet Communist Party Women’s Sections (the Zhenotdel), 1981-1930
Tensions from the Beginning
Organizational Struggles Force the Women’s Sections to Become More Compliant
Assessing the Work of the Women’s Sections
The Gender Politics of Backwardness
Conclusions
References
22 Women’s Education, Entry to Paid Work, and Forced Unveiling in Soviet Central Asia
Debates About the Soviet Emancipatory Project
Bolshevik Ideas on Women’s Education and Emancipation: the “Woman of the East”
Bolshevik Ideas on Work Among “Women of the East”
Soviet Ideology on the Transformation of Women’s Family and Private Life: The Case of hujum
Conclusions
References
23 “Gypsies”/ Roma and the Politics of Reproduction in Post-Stalinist Central-Eastern Europe
Pronatalism and Eugenic Thought in the First Half of the 20th Century
“New Eugenics” in Postworld War II Reproductive Politics
“Gypsies”/ Roma as Targets of Post-world War II “Racialist Thinking”
“Gypsies”/ Roma and Racialized Selective Pronatalism
Conclusions
References
24 Legalizing Queerness in Central-Eastern Europe
Discourses on Decriminalization
Ideological Continuities in the Conceptualization of Homosexualities
Ideological Approaches to Legislation in Post-Stalinist CEE
Postsocialist Decriminalization
Grassroots Mobilizations Under Different Ideologies
Movements and
Processes
Conclusions
References
Democracy
25 Gender and the Democratic Paradox in Latvia
Political Legacies of 20th-century Latvia
Women and Opposition: Building the Foundations of Democratic Development
Gender and Early Postcommunist “Normalization” in Latvia
Public Representation and Political Practices in a Gendered Democracy
Conclusions
References
26 Anti-Gender Mobilization and Right-Wing Populism
Origins and Core Claims of the Anti-Gender Discourse
Transnational Antigender Networks and Organizations
Antigender Campaigns in CEE
Anti-Genderism and Populism: Political Alliances and Discursive Patterns
Central-Eastern Europe: Is There a Difference?
Conclusions
References
Part IV Lived Experiences of Individuals in Different Regimes
Introduction: Lived Experiences of Individuals in Different Regimes
Empires and Monarchies
27 Late Imperial Russia and Its Gendered Order in the Countryside
Peasant Male Authority and Its Potential Enhancement by Way of the Stolypin Reforms
Improvements in Peasant Women’s Standard of Living
Sexual Norms, Violence Against Peasant Women, and Peasant Women’s Agency
Religious Devotion as Resistance
Conclusions
References
28 Gendered Moral Panics in the Late Habsburg Monarchy: Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, and Venereal Disease
Varying Prostitution Regulations Across Austria-Hungary
The Specter of Sex Trafficking
The Panic over Venereal Disease
The Afterlife of Regulation
Conclusions
Note
References
Independence
29 the Promise of Gender Equality in Interwar Central-Eastern Europe
Women in Politics in Interwar Central-Eastern Europe
The Meaning of Citizenship: Equality, Difference, Nation
The Appeal of the Nationalist Right
Conclusions
References
Nazism, Stalinism, and War
30 Sexuality in the Holocaust
Pleasure and Love
Sexual and Sexualized Violence
Sexual Barter
Men Selling Sex
Sexuality as a Tool of Othering
Samesex Desire in the Camps
Conclusions
References
31 Deportation and Gulag as Gendered Processes
Gendered Traumas and Gendered Processes of Deportation
The Dynamics of Survival: Hunger and Food
The Worst Experiences and the Ways of Coping with Them
The Small Zone and the Larger Zone
Women’s Stories and Political Transition from Communism to Democracy
Conclusions
References
Socialisms and Communisms
32 Yugoslav Gender Experiments and Soviet Influences
Charting Socialist Gender Policies
Postwar Legal Transformation
Broader Interventions and Resistance
Conclusions
References
33 Struggles to Reconcile Women’s Wage Labor and Kitchen Labor in the German Democratic Republic
Communist Approaches to Cooking
Women’s Work and Kitchen Labor in the GDR
Collective Meals and Female Emancipation
Remaking “Home Cooking” as a Communist Necessity
Conclusions
References
Part V the Ambiguous Postcommunist Transitions
Introduction: the Ambiguous Postcommunist Transitions
Democratic and Economic Changes
34 Gender and the Ambiguities of Economic Transition in Romania
The Gendered Dimensions of Privatization
Negotiating Precarity and Uncertainty
Sink, Swim, or Tread Water? Navigating Neoliberalism
Conclusions
References
35 Democratization, Authoritarianism, and Gender in Russia
Regime Type and Gender Equality
The Gender Regime in Russia
Conclusions
References
Europeanization
36 Europeanization and the Challenge of Gender Equality
EU Impact on Gender Equality Legislation: “hard Law” and “soft Law”
National Machineries for the Advancement of Gender Equality
The Agency of Women’s Movements
Conclusions
References
37 the Europeanization and Politicization of LGBT Rights in Serbia
Antidiscrimination Policies and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Serbia
Pride Parades as a Battlefield on Europe
Conclusions
References
Migrations
38 Russianspeaking LGBTQ Communities in the West
Negotiating Queerness in Post-Soviet Diasporas
Statesponsored Homophobia and LGBTQ Migration After 2013
Activism and Gender(ed) Matters in LGBTQ Migration and Asylum
Conclusions
References
39 Postsocialist Migration and Intimacy
Postsoviet Migrants, Gender, Intimacy
Intimate Practices: Labor, Sexuality, and Nurturing
Conclusions
References
Armed Conflict/Resolution
40 the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Development of Legal Frameworks on Violence ...
Women’s Presence in Developing International Justice
Violence Against Women in War: International Law and Feminist Critiques
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: Redefining Sexual Violence in Wartime and Changing Procedures
Rape, Genocide, Victimhood, and Nationalist Narratives
Limits of the Law
Conclusions
References
41 Gender, Conflict, and Social Change in Armenia and Azerbaijan
The Gendered Impact of Conflict and Transition
Women’s Activism Within and Across Borders
Male Dominance, Militarism, and Authoritarianism
Conclusions
Note
References
Part VI Postcommunist Policy Issues
Introduction: Postcommunist Policy Issues
Political Leadership
42 Women’s Representation in Politics
The Mixed Communist Legacy
The Gradual Increase in Women’s Descriptive Representation After 1990
The Growing Impact of Substantive Representation
Emerging Patterns of Representation at the EU Level
Conclusions
References
Gender-based Violence
43 Hybrid Regimes and Gender Violence Prevention Campaigns in Ukraine
Violence Against Women in Soviet Ukraine
European Integration and Comprehensive Gender Violence Policy
High-level Subversion Under Yanukovych and During the Hybrid War
Conclusions
References
44 Bride Kidnapping and Polygynous Marriages: Gendered Debates in Central Asia
The Social Value of Marriage in Central Asia
Bride Kidnapping and Polygyny in the Presoviet and Soviet Periods
Postsoviet Revivals
Debates About Polygyny
Debates About Bride Kidnapping
Conclusions
References
45 Trafficked Women and Men to and from Russia
Human Trafficking Policy in Postsoviet Russia
The Reality of Human Trafficking in Russia
International and Regional Comparisons
Conclusions
References
Reproductive Rights
46 Assisted Reproduction: Poland in a Comparative Perspective
Assisted Reproduction in Postcommunist Countries: Between Global Trends and Local Specificities
Opposition to Arts in Poland: the Synergy Between Nationalism and Neoliberalism
Conclusions
References
47 Abortion and Reproductive Health in Eurasia: Continuity and Change
Expanding Contraceptive Knowledge and Access
Uneven Reproductive Health Improvements
Rising Nationalism and Falling Birthrates
Fertility Patterns and Pathways of Control and Choice
Conclusions
References
Social Policy and Health
48 Single Mothers, Family Change, and Normalized Gender Crisis in Russia
A Stalled Gender Revolution in Family Life
Creating “Single Mothers” in the Postwar Soviet Period (1944–1967)
Single Motherhood in the Late Soviet Period (1968–1991)
Single Motherhood in Post-soviet Russia (1992–Present)
Conclusions
References
49 Social Welfare and Family Policies in Central-Eastern European Countries
Legacies of the Pre-world War II Period
State Socialism and the New Interpretation of Gender Roles: Pre-1956
Reinterpretation of Gender Roles After 1956
The Collapse of State Socialism, Transformation, and Comparative Studies of the Region
From Defamilialization to Degenderization
Gender, Right-Wing Populism, and Recent Welfare Policy Reforms
Conclusions
References
50 Women’s Representation in Sport
Physical Culture and Professional Sport Under Communism
The Privatization of Leisure Sport and the Marketization of Professional Sport in the Postcommunist Era
Women’s (un)recognition in Postcommunist Professional Sport
Conclusions
References
51 Gender, Sexuality, and Disability in Postsocialist Central-Eastern Europe
State Socialism and Its Legacy
Postsocialist Neoliberalization
Postsocialist Agencies
References
Index

Citation preview

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“The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia is an invaluable resource for understanding the sometimes-​heated debates which have animated global conversations about postsocialist, postcolonial, and post-​Cold War studies over the last three decades. Fábián, Johnson, and Lazda have expertly curated an excellent selection of interdisciplinary chapters from a wide variety of preeminent scholars whose work collectively challenges the epistemic hegemony of Western feminist perspectives. The essays included provide fascinating intersectional analyses of how gender interacts with race, class, ethnicity, nationalism, and other factors to organize polities, economies, and societies. This Handbook is a must read for all scholars and policy makers interested in gender issues in the region.” Kristen R. Ghodsee, Professor, Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania, USA

“This timely and thorough reference collection is an essential guide to gender studies scholarship on postcommunist Europe and Eurasia. The editors gathered the highest caliber experts in the field to explicate the debates on gender in this diverse region, and to examine key topics, from methodology, to ideology, to intriguing empirical research on women’s organizing, everyday life, and gender-related policy before, during and after communist party rule. This engaging and comprehensive volume will be indispensable for anyone undertaking research on gender in the region, whether a novice or an advanced scholar long steeped in the subject. Rather than applying an ‘add women and stir’ approach, the contributors examine the political, economic, social, cultural and legal systems that create and enforce gender norms, revealing the ineluctable centrality of gender to our understanding of politics.” Valerie Sperling, Professor of Political Science, Clark University, USA, and author of Sex, Politics and Putin

“What an extraordinary volume! At the time when the rights of women and the nonheteronormative people are under assault by the increasingly belligerent right-wing forces, a stellar cast of top researchers gives us a comprehensive overview of what needs to be known about gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Dozens of erudite chapters cover a lot of ground, ranging from useful reviews of theories, approaches and methods to illuminating historical studies and insightful dissections of cultural constructs and power constellations underpinning gender relations in these societies and elsewhere.” Jan Kubik, Professor, Department of Political Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA

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THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF GENDER IN CENTRAL-​EASTERN EUROPE AND EURASIA

This Handbook is the key reference for contemporary historical and political approaches to gender in Central-​ Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Leading scholars examine the region’s highly diverse politics, histories, cultures, ethnicities, and religions, and how these structures intersect with gender alongside class, sexuality, coloniality, and racism. Comprising 51 chapters, the Handbook is divided into six thematic parts: Part I Conceptual debates and methodological differences Part II Feminist and women’s movements cooperating and colliding Part III Constructions of gender in different ideologies Part IV Lived experiences of individuals in different regimes Part V The ambiguous postcommunist transitions Part VI Postcommunist policy issues With a focus on defining debates, the collection considers how the shared experiences, especially communism, affect political forces’ organization of gender through a broad variety of topics including feminisms, ideology, violence, independence, regime transition, and public policy. It is a foundational collection that will become invaluable to scholars and students across a range of disciplines including Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Central-​Eastern European and Eurasian Studies. Katalin Fábián is Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. She edited Globalization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe (2007) and served as the editor of the journal Canadian-​American Slavic Studies that focused on the changing international relations of Central and Eastern Europe. Her book Contemporary Women’s Movements in Hungary: Globalization, Democracy, and Gender Equality (2009) analyzes the political significance of women’s activism in Hungary. She contributed chapters to and edited Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces (2010). With Ioana Vlad, she edited Democratization through Social Activism: Gender and Environmental Issues in Post-​ Communist Societies (2015). With Elżbieta Korolczuk, she edited and wrote chapters that

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appeared in Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-​Eastern Europe and Russia (2017). Janet Elise Johnson is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Bronx, USA. Her books include The Gender of Informal Politics (2018), Gender Violence in Russia (2009), and Living Gender after Communism (with Jean C. Robinson, 2007). In the last few years, she has published articles in Slavic Review, Human Rights Review, Journal of Social Policy Studies, Politics & Gender, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Social Policy, and Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History as well as online in The New Yorker, The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, and The Boston Review. From 2008–​2019, she was one of the coordinators of the monthly workshop on Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe, at New York University. Mara Lazda is Associate Professor of History at Bronx Community College, City University of Brookyln, New York, USA. Her regional focus is on Latvia, with broader research interests on the intersections between gender, nationalism, and transnationalism in historical and contemporary contexts. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Baltic Studies, the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, and Nationalities Papers. She has served as the President of the Association of Baltic Studies (2014–​2016), a coordinator of the Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe workshop at New York University, and an editor for Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History.

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Routledge Handbooks of Gender and Sexuality

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Communication Edited by Marnel Niles Goins, Joan Faber McAlister and Bryant Keith Alexander The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia Edited by Katalin Fábián, Janet Elise Johnson, and Mara Lazda https://​www.routledge.com/​Routledge-​Handbooks-​of-​Gender-​and-​Sexuality/​ book-​series/​HGS

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THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF GENDER IN CENTRAL-​EASTERN EUROPE AND EURASIA

Edited by Katalin Fábián, Janet Elise Johnson, and Mara Lazda

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First published 2022 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2022 selection and editorial matter, Katalin Fábián, Janet Elise Johnson and Mara Lazda; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Katalin Fábián, Janet Elise Johnson and Mara Lazda to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-​in-​Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data Names: Fábián, Katalin, editor. | Johnson, Janet Elise, editor. | Lazda, Mara Irene, editor. Title: The Routledge handbook of gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia / edited by Katalin Fábián, Janet ELise Johnson and Mara Lazda. Description: 1 Edition. | New York : Routledge, 2021. | Series: Routledge international handbooks | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020056344 (print) | LCCN 2020056345 (ebook) | ISBN 9781138347755 (hardback) | ISBN 9781138347762 (ebook) | ISBN 9780429792304 (adobe pdf) | ISBN 9780429792298 (epub) | ISBN 9780429792281 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Gender identity–Europe, Eastern. | Gender identity–Europe, Central. | Gender identity–Eurasia. | Sex role–Europe, Eastern. | Sex role–Europe, Central. | Sex role–Eurasia. | Feminism–Europe, Eastern. | Feminism–Europe, Central. | Feminism–Eurasia. | Post-communism–Europe. | Post-communism–Eurasia. Classification: LCC HQ18.E852 R68 2021 (print) | LCC HQ18.E852 (ebook) | DDC 305.309437–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020056344 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020056345 ISBN: 978-​1-​138-​34775-​5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-​1-​032-​01601-​6 (pbk) ISBN: 978-​1-​138-​34776-​2 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Newgen Publishing UK

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CONTENTS

List of illustrations  List of contributors  Acknowledgements 

xvi xvii xxxii

PART I

Conceptual debates and methodological differences  Introduction  Janet Elise Johnson, Katalin Fábián, and Mara Lazda

1 3

The development of the field 

7

1 Between regional and transnational contexts  Maria Bucur

9

2 Fluidity or clean breaks?  Joanna Regulska and Zofia Włodarczyk

18

3 Neoliberal intervention: Analyzing the Drakulić–​Funk–​Ghodsee debates  Eva Maria Hinterhuber and Gesine Fuchs

28



39

Methodologies 

4 Legacies of the Cold War and the future of gender in feminist histories of socialism  Anna Krylova

ix

41

x

Contents

5 The case and comparative methods  Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

52

6 Quantitative and experimental methods  Olga A. Avdeyeva and Nellie Bohac

61



69

Epistemologies 

7 Postcoloniality in Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia  Tatsiana Shchurko and Jennifer Suchland

71

8 Post-​Soviet masculinities: Sex, power, and the vanishing subject  Eliot Borenstein

80

PART II

Feminist and women’s movements cooperating and colliding 



89

Introduction  Katalin Fábián, Mara Lazda, and Janet Elise Johnson

91

Women’s organizing under empires 

93

9 Challenging tradition and crossing borders: Women’s activism and literary modernism in the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy  Agatha Schwartz

95

10 The First All-​Russian Women’s Congress: “The Women’s Parliament”  Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild

103



113

Socialist (feminist) interpretations 

11 The Russian Revolution and women’s liberation: Rethinking the legacy of the socialist emancipation project  Elena Gapova

115



123

Dissident women and feminisms 

12 Czechoslovak feminisms during the interwar period  Iveta Jusová and Karla Huebner

125

13 Women in Poland’s Solidarity  Shana Penn

133

x

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Contents



Postcommunist NGO feminisms and beyond 

143

14 From Soviet feminism to the European Union: Transnational women’s movements between East and West  Magdalena Grabowska

145

15 Transnational feminism and women’s NGOs: The case of the Network of East–​West Women  Nanette Funk

154

16 Contentions of funding gender equality in Central-​Eastern Europe  163 Jill Irvine 17 Pussy Riot and FEMEN’s global trajectories in law, society, and culture  Jessica Zychowicz and Nataliya Tchermalykh PART III

Constructions of gender in different ideologies 



172

181

Introduction  Mara Lazda, Janet Elise Johnson, and Katalin Fábián

183

Nationalism 

185

18 Nationalism and sexuality in Central-​Eastern Europe  Anita Kurimay

187

19 Gender, militarism, and the modern nation in Soviet and Russian cultures  Karen Petrone

196



205

Fascism 

20 Far-​right expectations of women in Central-​Eastern Europe  Andrea Pető

207



217

Socialisms and communisms 

21 Paradoxes of gender in Soviet Communist Party women’s sections (the Zhenotdel), 1918–​1930  Elizabeth A. Wood

xi

219

xii

Contents

22 Women’s education, entry to paid work, and forced unveiling in Soviet Central Asia  Yulia Gradskova

227

23 “Gypsies”/​Roma and the politics of reproduction in post-​Stalinist Central-​Eastern Europe  Eszter Varsa

236

24 Legalizing queerness in Central-​Eastern Europe  Judit Takács

246



255

Democracy 

25 Gender and the democratic paradox in Latvia  Daina S. Eglitis, Marita Zitmane, and Laura Ardava-​Āboliņa

257

26 Anti-​gender mobilization and right-​wing populism  Agnieszka Graff

266

PART IV

Lived experiences of individuals in different regimes 

277

Introduction  Mara Lazda, Katalin Fábián, and Janet Elise Johnson

279

Empires and monarchies 

281



27 Late Imperial Russia and its gendered order in the countryside  Christine D. Worobec

283

28 Gendered moral panics in the late Habsburg Monarchy: Prostitution, sex trafficking, and venereal disease  Nancy M. Wingfield

292



301

Independence 

29 The promise of gender equality in interwar Central-​Eastern Europe 303 Melissa Feinberg

Nazism, Stalinism, and war 

311

30 Sexuality in the Holocaust  Anna Hájková

313

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Contents

31 Deportation and Gulag as gendered processes  Dovilė Budrytė

322



331

Socialisms and communisms 

32 Yugoslav gender experiments and Soviet influences  Ivan Simić 33 Struggles to reconcile women’s wage labor and kitchen labor in the German Democratic Republic  Alice Weinreb PART V

The ambiguous postcommunist transitions 



333

342

351

Introduction  Janet Elise Johnson, Mara Lazda, and Katalin Fábián

353

Democratic and economic changes 

355

34 Gender and the ambiguities of economic transition in Romania  Jill Massino

357

35 Democratization, authoritarianism, and gender in Russia  Andrea Chandler

366



377

Europeanization 

36 Europeanization and the challenge of gender equality  Andrea Spehar

379

37 The Europeanization and politicization of LGBT rights in Serbia  Koen Slootmaeckers

387



395

Migrations 

38 Russian-​speaking LGBTQ communities in the West  Alexandra Novitskaya

397

39 Postsocialist migration and intimacy  Alexia Bloch

406

xiii

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Contents



415

Armed conflict/​resolution 

40 The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the development of legal frameworks on violence against women in conflict  Belinda Cooper 41 Gender, conflict, and social change in Armenia and Azerbaijan  Sinéad Walsh PART VI

Postcommunist policy issues 



417 426

435

Introduction  Katalin Fábián, Janet Elise Johnson, and Mara Lazda

437

Political leadership 

439

42 Women’s representation in politics  Sharon Wolchik and Cristina Chiva

441



451

Gender-​based violence 

43 Hybrid regimes and gender violence prevention campaigns in Ukraine  Alexandra Hrycak

453

44 Bride kidnapping and polygynous marriages: Gendered debates in Central Asia  Cynthia Werner

462

45 Trafficked women and men to and from Russia  Lauren A. McCarthy

472



481

Reproductive rights 

46 Assisted reproduction: Poland in a comparative perspective  Elżbieta Korolczuk 47 Abortion and reproductive health in Eurasia: Continuity and change  Cynthia Buckley

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483

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Contents



503

Social policy and health 

48 Single mothers, family change, and normalized gender crisis in Russia  Jennifer Utrata

505

49 Social welfare and family policies in Central-​Eastern European countries  Dorota Szelewa

514

50 Women’s representation in sport  Honorata Jakubowska

523

51 Gender, sexuality, and disability in postsocialist Central-​Eastern Europe  Teodor Mladenov

531

Index 

540

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ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure 2.1 Actors, processes, and structures shaping gender identities and dynamics 

21

Tables 35.1 The gender regime (dependent variable)  35.2 Causal factors for explaining gender politics in the regime-​building process  42.1 Women’s descriptive representation in CEE Legislatures, 1990–​2020 

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CONTRIBUTORS

Laura Ardava-​Āboliņa is Assistant Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication Studies, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia. Her work examines the meaning and gender aspects of the Latvian National Awakening period (1986–​1991). She is an author of many academic publications in Latvia on different social memory issues and has extensive experience in the field of communication of science. She is also a co-​author of articles in Europe-​Asia Studies and collective monographs published by Oxford University Press and Palgrave Macmillan, including Women Presidents and Prime Ministers in Post-​Transition Democracies (Palgrave 2017). Olga A. Avdeyeva is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Director of the European Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, USA. Her area of expertise includes comparative analysis of women and politics, gender attitudes, and comparative institutionalization of gender equality policies, with a regional focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Her research has appeared in International Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Gender and Politics, Social Politics, Post-​Soviet Affairs, PS: Political Science and Politics, and The International Journal of Human Rights among other outlets. She is the author of Defending Women’s Rights in Europe: Gender Equality and EU Enlargement (SUNY University Press 2015). Currently, she explores the connections between gendered labor market structures and public attitudes toward female political leaders. Alexia Bloch is Professor of Anthropology and Head of Department at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her research interests span migration, gender and sexuality, socialist cultures and projects of modernity, and citizenship. She is the author of Red Ties and Residential Schools: Indigenous Siberians in a Post-​Soviet State (University of Pennsylvania Press 2003), Museum at the End of the World: Encounters in the Russian Far East (with Laurel Kendall, University of Pennsylvania Press 2004), and Sex, Love, and Migration: Postsocialism, Modernity, and Intimacy from Istanbul to the Arctic (Cornell University Press 2017). She has also published in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary venues, such as Cultural Anthropology, Ethnos, Global Networks, Identities, and Signs. Most recently her research focuses on conditions and experiences xvii

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of mobility and immobility among non-​citizens and their families in Russia, with an emphasis on how asylum seekers’ aspirations intersect with the ideals of Russian citizen activists. Nellie Bohac is currently working at the State of New Mexico, USA, in the Environment Department. She received her Masters degree in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago in the spring of 2018. Her areas of research focused on the use of quantitative methods in comparative politics, particularly in regards to the interaction between institutional factors and regime type. Eliot Borenstein is Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies and Senior Academic Convenor for the Global Network at New York University, New York, USA. He is the author of Men without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917–​1929 (winner of the 2001 AATSEEL book prize), Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture (winner of the 2008 AWSS book prize), Plots against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism (winner of the 2020 Wayne S. Vucinich book prize), and Pussy Riot: Speaking Punk to Power (2020). His current projects include the recently submitted Soviet-​Self-​Hatred: The Secret Identities of Postsocialism, Marvel Comics in the 1970s: The World Inside Your Head, and Meanwhile, in Russia…: Russian Internet Memes and Viral Video (under contract with Bloomsbury Press). After that, he will begin work on HBO’s The Leftovers: Mourning and Melancholy on Premium Cable and The Dispossessed: On the Post-​Soviet Uncanny. Cynthia Buckley is Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-​ Champaign, USA. A social demographer, she consults with UNAIDS, UNHCR, UNDP, Macro International, and other international agencies. Her work, funded by NIH, NSF, and OSFs, focuses on demographic change across Eurasia. The lead editor of Migration, Homeland and Belonging in Eurasia (Johns Hopkins Press 2008), she is the author of academic articles, policy briefs, and methodological assessment reports on sexual health, reproduction, and migration. Her current research focuses on a MINERVA funded investigation of state capacity challenges in the areas of healthcare (including COVID-​19), elections, and education in the multicultural countries of Estonia, Georgia, and Ukraine (with Ralph Clem and Erik Herron), and a manuscript project on population change and social stability in Central Asia. Maria Bucur is the John W. Hill Professor of East European History and Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. She is the author of Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania (University of Pittsburgh Press 2002), Heroes and Victims: Remembering War in Twentieth-​ Century Romania (Indiana University Press 2009), The Century of Women: How Women Have Changed the World since 1900 (Rowman & Littlefield 2018), Gendering Modernism: A Historical Reappraisal of the Canon (Bloomsbury Publishing 2019), and The Birth of Democratic Citizenship: Women in Modern Romania (with Mihaela Miroiu, Indiana University Press 2018), as well as several other co-​edited volumes. She has recently completed The Nation’s Gratitude: War and Citizenship in Romania after World War I (forthcoming Routledge). Dovilė Budrytė is Professor of Political Science and Chair of Faculty (Political Science) at Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia, USA. She was the recipient of research fellowships xviii

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at Europa University Viadrina (Germany) and Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. In 2018, 2019, and 2015 she was a visiting professor at Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University and Vilnius University in Lithuania. Her articles on women and historical trauma in Lithuania have appeared in The Journal of Baltic Studies and Gender and History. Her most recent book is Crisis and Change in Post-​Cold War Global Politics: Ukraine in a Comparative Perspective (co-​edited with Erica Resende and Didem Buhari-​Gulmez, Palgrave 2018). Her other publications include books and articles on minority rights and historical memory in Eastern Europe. She is President-​Elect of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic States. Andrea Chandler is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She is the author of three books: Institutions of Isolation: Border Controls in the Soviet Union and its Successor States, 1917–​1993 (McGill-​ Queen’s University Press 1998), Shocking Mother Russia: Democratization, Social Rights, and Pension Reform in Russia, 1990–​ 2001 (University of Toronto Press 2004), and Democracy, Gender and Social Policy in Russia: A Wayward Society (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). She has published a number of articles in peer-​reviewed journals, including Global Social Policy, Democratization, Nationalities Papers, and Politics and Gender. Cristina Chiva is Lecturer in EU Politics at the University of Salford, Manchester, UK. Her research focuses on women’s representation in Europe’s new democracies, on the impact of EU accession on gender equality in the postcommunist, and on gender and European integration. Her monograph, Gender, Institutions and Political Representation: Reproducing Male Dominance in Europe’s New Democracies (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) explores the causal mechanisms responsible for sustaining male dominance in politics in postcommunist Europe since 1990. Her most recent publication is “Overcoming male dominance? The representation of women in the European Parliament delegations of the post-​communist EU member states” in Gendering the European Parliament (edited by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustín, Rowman and Littlefield 2019). Belinda Cooper is Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Global Affairs Program and Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, New York, USA, where she teaches courses on international human rights law and women’s rights and has co-​taught a course on war crimes prosecutions that took NYU students to The Hague and former Yugoslavia. Her experience includes working with East German dissidents before the fall of communism, assisting the lawyers for a German Guantanamo detainee, organizing a project on memorialization of the past in Turkey, and co-​authoring reports on domestic violence in Tanzania, Armenia, and Uzbekistan. She edited the volume “War Crimes: The Legacy of Nuremberg” and has written for a wide variety of publications in English and German. She is also a translator of German-​language books and articles, including works on Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and international criminal law and transitional justice. She holds a law degree from Yale. Daina S. Eglitis is Associate Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is the author of the book Imagining the Nation: History, Modernity, and Revolution in Latvia (Penn State University Press 2002/​ 2004), as well as recent articles in East European Politics and Societies, Acta Sociologica, xix

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Nationalities Papers, Europe-​Asia Studies, and the Journal of Genocide Research. She is a two-​time Fulbright recipient and was a research fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. She has taught courses at the University of Latvia, the Latvian Academy of Culture, and Riga Stradins University. She is currently working on a manuscript about women’s experiences of World War II and the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. Katalin Fábián is Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. She edited Globalization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe (Elsevier 2007) and served as the editor of Canadian-​American Slavic Studies, which focused on the changing international relations of Central and Eastern Europe. Her book Contemporary Women’s Movements in Hungary: Globalization, Democracy, and Gender Equality (Johns Hopkins University Press 2009) analyzes the political significance of women’s activism in Hungary. She contributed chapters to and edited Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces (Indiana University Press 2010). With Ioana Vlad, she edited Democratization through Social Activism: Gender and Environmental Issues in Post-​Communist Societies (Tritonic Romania 2015). With Elżbieta Korolczuk, she edited and wrote chapters that appeared in Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-​Eastern Europe and Russia (Indiana University Press 2017). Melissa Feinberg is Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA. Her research interests include the history of gender and citizenship, political culture, feminism, and human rights. She is the author of Elusive Equality: Gender, Citizenship and the Limits of Democracy in Czechoslovakia, 1918–​1950 (University of Pittsburgh Press 2006) and Curtain of Lies: The Battle over Truth in Stalinist Eastern Europe (Oxford University Press 2017, winner of the 2017 George Blazyca prize). Her articles have appeared in a variety of venues, including the Journal of Women’s History, Contemporary European History, Aspasia, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-​Forschung, and East European Politics and Societies. Gesine Fuchs is a political scientist and Professor at the Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences—​School of Social Work in Switzerland. Her research focuses on law and society, welfare states, social movements, and gender equality policies. Her dissertation at the University of Hannover analyzed the development of the Polish women’s movement after 1989 (Die Zivilgesellschaft mitgestalten, Frankfurt/​New York 2003). She co-​edited with Eva Maria Hinterhuber two special issues on gender and Eastern Europe for Femina Politica, the German feminist journal of political science. Her project “Pay Equity by Law?” analyzed legal mobilization in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Poland. Her latest book Gleichstellungspolitik in der Schweiz (Leverkusen 2018) is an introduction to a contested field, namely Swiss gender equality policies. Nanette Funk is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, USA. She has written widely on gender issues in east, south, and central Europe, political philosophy, contemporary German political theory, Marxism and feminist political theory. She has written about Europe since 1970. She co-​edited Gender Politics and Postcommunism (Routledge 1993), one of the first volumes in English

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on gender and postsocialism, with writings mainly from women in east, south Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Her articles appeared in many journals and collections nationally and internationally, including Signs, European Journal of Women’s Studies, femina politica, and Hypatia. She founded and co-​directed the Gender and Transformation in Europe workshop at the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies from 1992–​2019. She was a founding member of the Network of East–​West Women (NEWW). She was active in debates about state socialist women’s organizations and those in the US. Elena Gapova is Professor of Sociology at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. She was the founder of the Centre for Gender Studies at European Humanities University in Minsk, Belarus. She writes extensively on gender, nation, class, and intellectuals in postsocialism. Her most recent book is The Classes of Nations: Feminist Critique of Nationbuilding (in Russian, NLO 2016). Magdalena Grabowska is Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. Her research interests include the history of women’s and emancipation movements in post-​state socialism, global and transnational feminisms, and feminist research on sexual violence and reproductive rights. She has published chapters on the history of women’s movements after 1945, and 1989 in Poland and transnationally, in collected volumes and academic journals including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Feminist Studies, Aspasia, and The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History. She is the author of the book (in Polish) Broken Genealogy. Social and Political Women’s Activity after 1945, and the Contemporary Polish Women’s Movement (Scholar Publishers 2018). Yulia Gradskova is Associate Professor in History, researcher at the Center for Baltic and East European Studies, and lecturer in Gender Studies, Södertörn University, Sweden. She is the author of The Women’s International Democratic Federation, the Global South and the Cold War: Defending the Rights of Women of the “Whole World”? (Routledge 2021), Soviet Politics of Emancipation of Ethnic Minority Women. Natsionalka (Springer 2018) and co-​editor of several books, including Gendering Postsocialism: Old Legacies and New Hierarchies (with I. Asztalos Morell, Routledge 2018), Gender Equality on a Grand Tour. Politics and Institutions: The Nordic Council, Sweden, Lithuania and Russia (with E. Blomberg, Y. Waldemarson and A. Zvinkliene, Brill 2017). Agnieszka Graff is Associate Professor at the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw, Poland. She has published articles on gender in Polish and US culture in collected volumes and academic journals including Public Culture, Feminist Studies, Signs, and East European Politics and Societies. She co-​edited the Spring 2019 theme issue of Signs, “Gender and the Rise of the Global Right.” A monograph on connections between the anti-​gender mobilization and right-​wing populism, co-​authored with Elżbieta Korolczuk, is forthcoming with Routledge. Her books in Polish include: Świat bez kobiet [World without Women] 2001, Rykoszetem [Stray Bullets: Gender, Sexuality and Nation] 2008, Magma [The Quagmire Effect] 2010, and Matka Feministka [Mother and Feminist] 2014. Anna Hájková is Associate Professor of Modern European Continental History at the University of Warwick, UK. She is the author of The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of

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Theresienstadt (Oxford University Press 2020) and editor of the special issue “Holocaust, Sexuality, Stigma” of German History. She has published extensively on prisoner society in the Holocaust, Jewish Councils, sexuality, and queer Holocaust history. Eva Maria Hinterhuber is Professor of Sociology with a focus on Gender Studies at Rhine-​Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kleve, Germany. Her fields of expertise are political sociology, civil society research, and peace and conflict studies, continuously from a gender perspective. Her dissertation at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) analyzed women’s civil society activism in the social sphere in Russia in the tension between securing survival and participation (Zwischen Überlebenssicherung und Partizipation, Baden-​Baden 2012). She co-​edited (with Gesine Fuchs) two special issues on gender and Eastern Europe for the German feminist journal of political science, Femina Politica. Her latest publications on gender and Eastern Europe deal with “Gender, Civil Society, and Non-​Democratic Regimes” (with Silke Schneider, 2018), historical women’s movements in Russia and the UK in comparison (with Jana Günther, 2017), and “New Gender-​Political Impulses from Eastern Europe: The Case of Pussy Riot” (with Gesine Fuchs, 2016). Alexandra Hrycak is Professor of Sociology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, USA. Her current research interests include transnational feminisms, online communities, and gender-​based violence. She has published articles and chapters examining cultural production in the American Journal of Sociology, Harvard Ukrainian Studies and in academic journals and edited collections. Her research investigating the effects of international aid projects on collective action capacity and self-​organization among women in Ukraine has appeared in East European Politics and Societies, Problems of Post-​Communism, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and edited collections. Karla Huebner is Associate Professor of Art History and Affiliate Faculty in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality program at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, USA. Her regional focus is on the Czech lands, with research areas including surrealism, Czech visual culture, and periodical studies. Her book Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic (University of Pittsburgh Press 2020) examines a founding Czech surrealist. She contributed chapters to Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe, edited by Iveta Jusova and Jiřina Šiklová (Indiana University Press 2016), Women in Magazines: Research, Representation, Production, and Consumption (Routledge 2016), The Flâneur Abroad: Historical and International Perspectives (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2014), and The New Woman International (University of Michigan Press 2011). She has also published articles in the Journal of Women’s History, Papers of Surrealism, and Aspasia. She has served on the board of Historians of German, Scandinavian, and Central European Art and is current president of the Czechoslovak Studies Association. Jill Irvine is President’s Associates Presidential Professor of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA. She is founding director of the Center for Social Justice, served as Director of Community Engagement and Vice Provost for Faculty in the Office of the Sr. Vice President and Provost and currently holds the position of Interim Senior Vice President and Provost. She is the author of The Croatian Question: Partisan Politics in the Formation of the Yugoslav Socialist State xxii

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(Westview Press 1995), co-​author of Natalija, Life in the Balkan Powderkeg (Central European University Press 2007), and co-​editor of State-​Society Relations in Yugoslavia 1945–​1992 (St. Martin’s Press 1997) and Gendered Mobilization: Intersectional Challenges in Social Movements in North America and Europe (Rowman & Littlefield 2018). Her work has appeared in journals such as Democratization, Politics & Gender, East European Politics, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Communist and Postcommunist Studies, East European Politics and Societies, and Contexts. Honorata Jakubowska is Professor at the Faculty of Sociology and a chair of the Department of Sociology of the Individual and Social Relations at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She is author of Skill Transmission, Sport and Tacit Knowledge: A Sociological Perspective (2017) and co-​author of Female Fans, Gender Relations and Football Fandom: Challenging the Brotherhood Culture (2020), both based on the research projects financed by the National Science Centre and two books in Polish. She has published numerous articles and chapters related to her main research interests: sociology of sport, gender studies, and sociology of the body. She was the coordinator of European Sociological Association Research Network “Society and Sports” and vice-​president of Polish Sociological Association Section “Sociology of Sport” (2017–​2019). Janet Elise Johnson is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, USA. Her books include The Gender of Informal Politics (Palgrave 2018), Gender Violence in Russia (Indiana University Press 2009), and Living Gender after Communism (with Jean C. Robinson, Indiana University Press 2007). In the last few years, she has published articles in Slavic Review, Human Rights Review, Journal of Social Policy Studies, Politics & Gender, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Social Policy, and Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History as well as online in The New Yorker, The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, and The Boston Review. From 2008–​2019, she was one of the coordinators of the monthly workshop on Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe, at New York University. Iveta Jusová is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe study-​abroad program. She is the author of The New Woman and the Empire (Ohio State University Press 2005) and the co-​editor (with Jiřina Šiklová) of Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe (Indiana University Press 2016, winner of the 2017 Heldt prize in AWSS). Her articles on 19th-​and 20th-​century Czech, British, and Dutch women writers, actresses and film directors (including Věra Chytilová) have appeared in various books and journals, such as Feminist Theory, Women’s Studies International Forum, Social Text, Studies in Eastern European Cinema, Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture and Media Studies, Theatre History Studies, Slavic and East European Journal, Divadelní revue, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. Most recently, she completed a digital oral history project, Paměti tří paneláků: život jedné komunity (Panel Story: The Life of a Community) with the renowned Czech photographer Jindřich Štreit. Elżbieta Korolczuk is Associate Professor in Sociology at Södertörn University in Stockholm and at American Studies Center, University of Warsaw, Poland. Her research xxiii

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Contributors

interests involve gender, reproduction, social movements, and civil society. She has published numerous articles and books including volumes on social movements and civil society in Central and Eastern Europe: Civil Society Revisited: Lessons from Poland (co-​edited with Kerstin Jacobsson, Berghahn Books 2017) and Rebellious Parents: Parental Movements in Central-​Eastern Europe and Russia (co-​edited with Katalin Fábián, Indiana University Press 2017). Recent publications include a monograph Matki i córki we współczesnej Polsce [Mothers and daughters in contemporary Poland] (Universitas 2019), an edited volume Bunt kobiet. Czarne Protesty i Strajki Kobiet [Women’s Rebellion. Black Protests and Women’s Strikes] (European Solidarity Centre 2019), and (Anti)gender Politics in the Populist Moment (with Agnieszka Graff, Routledge 2021). Anna Krylova is Associate Professor of Modern Russian History and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. She is the author of Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Cambridge University Press 2010), which was awarded the 2011 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association. Most recently, she has participated in an AHR Conversation “History after the End of History: Re-​conceptualizing the Twentieth Century,” American Historical Review, December 2016 and is the author of “Gender Binary and the Limits of Poststructuralist Method,” Gender and History, August 2016; “Bolshevik Feminism and Gender Agendas of Communism,” in World Revolution and Socialism in One Country (edited by Silvio Pons and Stephen Smith, Cambridge University Press 2017); and “Imagining Socialism in the Soviet Century,” Social History, August 2017. Anita Kurimay is Associate Professor of History at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, USA. Her main research interests include the history of sexuality, women’s and gender history, conservatism and the politics of the far right, the history of human rights, and the history of sport. Her book Queer Budapest, 1873–​1961 (Chicago University Press 2020) examines the history of Hungarian politics of non-​normative sexualities from the late 19th century to the present. She has published articles on Hungarian gay and lesbian history in Sexualities and Eastern European Politics and Societies. Mara Lazda is Associate Professor of History at Bronx Community College, City University of New York, Bronx, USA. Her regional focus is on Latvia, with broader research interests on the intersections between gender, nationalism, and transnationalism in historical and contemporary contexts. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Baltic Studies, The International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, and Nationalities Papers. She has served as the President of the Association of Baltic Studies (2014–​2016), a coordinator of the Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe workshop at New York University, and an editor for Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History. Jill Massino is Associate Professor of History at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA, where she teaches courses on modern European and comparative history. She has published numerous articles and books, including Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe, (co-​edited with Shana Penn, Palgrave 2009) and Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania (Berghahn Books 2019).

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Lauren A. McCarthy is Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science and Director of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. She is the author of Trafficking Justice: How Russian Police Use New Laws, from Crime to Courtroom (Cornell University Press 2015), which explores how Russian law enforcement agencies have implemented laws on human trafficking. She has also published articles in Europe-​Asia Studies, Journal of Human Trafficking, Anti-​Trafficking Review, Post-​Soviet Affairs, and Demokratizatsiya. Teodor Mladenov is Senior Lecturer at the School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. Previously, he was Marie Curie Individual Fellow at the European Network on Independent Living (2017–​2019), and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy Research, King’s College London (2013–​ 2016). He is author of Critical Theory and Disability: A Phenomenological Approach (Bloomsbury 2015), and Disability and Postsocialism (Routledge 2018). During 2000–​ 2009, he was actively involved in campaigning for disability rights in Bulgaria. Alexandra Novitskaya is a PhD candidate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University (SUNY), New York, USA. Her articles have been published in NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies and Russian Review. With Janet Elise Johnson, she co-​authored a chapter on gender in Russian politics in two editions of Putin’s Russia: Past Imperfect, Future Uncertain (Rowman & Littlefield 2015 and 2019). Her research interests are post-​Soviet sexuality, national identity, migration studies, and queer theory. Alexandra’s doctoral dissertation explores the experiences of post-​Soviet LGBTQ migrants in the United States. Since 2010, she has been translating films for the Side-​by-​Side LGBT International Film Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia). She is also a volunteer at several New York-​based organizations that support LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers. Shana Penn is a visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Jewish Studies, Berkeley, California, USA. She is the author of Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland (University of Michigan Press 2005), which received the AWSS Heldt Prize in 2005 and is published in Polish as Sekret Solidarnosc (2nd edition, W.A.B. Publishers 2014). With Jill Massino, she co-​edited Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe (Palgrave 2009). She serves on the Council of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and on the Advisory Committee of Notes From Poland. Andrea Pető is Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Vienna, Austria, and a Doctor of Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She was awarded the Officer’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary by the President of the Hungarian Republic in 2005, the Bolyai Prize by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2006, and All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values in 2018. She is Doctor Honoris Causa of Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. She is author of Political Justice in Budapest after WWII (with Ildikó Barna, CEU Press 2015) and co-​editor of Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories: Feminist Conversation on War, Genocide and Political Violence (with Ayşe Gül Altınay, Routledge 2016) and edited the volume on War in the Interdisciplinary Handbook: Gender series

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(Macmillan 2017). Her book on Women in the Arrow Cross Party came out in 2020 (Palgrave). Karen Petrone is Professor of History at the University of Kentucky and inaugural Director of the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences’s Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Her research focuses on 20th-​and 21st-​century cultural and gender history in Russia and the Soviet Union. She is the author of Life Has Become More Joyous, Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin (Indiana University Press 2000) and The Great War in Russian Memory (Indiana University Press 2011). She has also co-​edited a volume of essays in comparative gender history with Jie-​Hyun Lim, entitled Gender Politics in Mass Dictatorship: Global Perspectives (Palgrave 2011), and published an essay on gender and the memory of World War I in Gender and the Great War (edited by Grayzel and Proctor, Oxford University Press 2017). She is currently at work on a book tentatively entitled Reading War Memory in Putin’s Russia. Joanna Regulska is Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and Vice Provost and Dean, Global Affairs at the University of California, Davis, USA. She has published on decentralization, democracy, feminist grassroots mobilizations, and changing gender roles under conditions of regime transformations. She is the author and co-​ author of seven books, among them Between Mayor and Vicar: Women’s Role in Polish Local Government (1990–​2016) (with M. Grabowska and E. Rekosz-​Cebula, Warsaw, Poland 2018), Women and Gender in Postwar Europe: From Cold War to European Union (edited with B. Smith, Routledge 2012) and the author of over 100 articles and chapters. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the European Commission, the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and other funding agencies. She co-​established graduate degree programs in gender studies at the Central European University, Hungary and the Tbilisi State University, Georgia. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild is Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at The Union Institute and University, Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, a coordinator of the Center’s Gender, Socialism and Postsocialism Working Group, and a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. She is author of Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905–​1917 (Pittsburgh University Press 2010) as well as articles, reviews, and blogs about Russian and Soviet women’s activism. She is an editor of Aspasia and The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History. From 1981 to 2001 she was Professor of Graduate Studies, and from 1988 to 1994, Director of the Russian School at Norwich University. She is an Executive Producer of the documentary film Left on Pearl about the 1971 Boston International Women’s Day march and the creation of the Cambridge Women’s Center, actions in which she participated. Agatha Schwartz is Professor of German and World Literatures and Cultures at University of Ottawa, Canada. Her research areas are 19th-​to 21st-​century Central European literature and culture, women’s writing, and narratives of trauma. Her books include Shaking the Empire, Shaking Patriarchy: The Growth of a Feminist Consciousness Across

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the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy (with Helga Thorson, 2014), Gender and Modernity in Central Europe: The Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy and its Legacy (2010), Shifting Voices: Feminist Thought and Women’s Writing in Fin-​de-​Siècle Austria and Hungary (2008), and The Third Shore: East Central European Women’s Prose (with Luise von Flotow, 2006). Her articles have appeared in, among others, Aspasia, German Studies Review, Hungarian Cultural Studies, Slavonica, Seminar, Journal of Austrian Studies, National Identities, and, along with her book chapters, in Canada, the USA, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, the UK, Brazil, and China. Tatsiana Shchurko is a researcher and feminist activist from Belarus and a PhD candidate in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University, Ohio, USA. She has published numerous articles on Belarusian health politics, gender education, and children’s rights. She also analyzes Soviet colonial gender politics in Central Asia. Her dissertation analyzes histories of Black feminist internationalism in order to re-​evaluate their legacy and relevance for today. Her research interests include queer/​feminist art, transnational feminism, postcolonial and decolonial theories, critical race studies, socialist and postsocialist studies, and politics of solidarity. Ivan Simić is a cultural and gender historian at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He has published a book Soviet Influences on Postwar Yugoslav Gender Policies (Palgrave 2018), and numerous articles on Yugoslav gender history. He has been a recipient of many fellowships and grants. He is the principal investigator on a major project that examines communist gender policies toward Muslim minorities in Eastern Europe, leading a large international team. Prior to joining Charles University, he has held fellowships at Carleton University, Yale, and the University of Graz. He earned his PhD at University College London in the UK, as an SSEES Foundation and the FBB Trust scholar. Koen Slootmaeckers is a Senior Lecturer in international politics at City, University of London, UK. He is also the outgoing co-​chair of the Council of European Studies’ Gender and Sexuality Research Network. His broad research interests relate to the international politics of the Other, which he analyses from a gender and sexuality perspective. His work analyzes power relations within transnational politics and seeks to de-​construct core-​periphery hierarchies. He has extensively researched the EU accession process in Serbia and how this process affects LGBT politics and activism. Koen is the editor of the book EU Enlargement and Gay Politics: The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on Rights, Activism and Prejudice (with Heleen Touquet and Peter Vermeersch, Palgrave 2016), and the author of a forthcoming monograph Coming In: Sexuality Politics and EU Accession in Serbia (Manchester University Press). His work has also been published, among others, in Political Studies Review, Theory & Society, Social Politics, Europe–​Asia Studies, and East European Politics. Andrea Spehar is Associate Professor in Political Science and director of the Centre on Global Migration (CGM) at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interest is comparative public policy, particularly with regards to gender policy development in Central and Eastern Europe and immigrant integration policy in a European context. Her work has appeared in, among others, the Journal of European Public Policy,

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Comparative European Politics, Critical Social Policy, Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, Eastern European Politics & Societies, and the International Feminist Journal of Politics. Jennifer Suchland is Associate Professor at The Ohio State University, Ohio, USA. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, trained in political and feminist theory and area studies and jointly appointed in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In her first book, Economies of Violence: Transnational Feminism, Postsocialism, and the Politics of Sex Trafficking (Duke University Press 2015), she analyzed the re-​emergence of global anti-​trafficking discourse at the end of the Cold War. The book earned honorable mention for Best Book in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Women’s and Gender Studies. Currently she is an ACLS/​Mellon Scholars & Society fellow at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where she is collaborating on a project called Abolition Today. Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her research interests include Russian civic activism and legal mobilization in the areas of gender and human rights, in both domestic and transnational politics. Her book Courting Gender Justice: Russia, Turkey, and the European Court of Human Rights (with Valerie Sperling and Melike Sayoglu, Oxford University Press 2019) examines gender discrimination cases as well as LGBTQ+ discrimination cases from Russia and Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights. Her other books include Funding Civil Society: Foreign Assistance and NGO Development in Russia (Stanford University Press 2006), and Russian Civil Society: A Critical Assessment (co-​edited with Laura A. Henry and Alfred B. Evans, Jr., ME Sharpe 2005). Article publications appear in journals including International Organization, Global Environmental Politics, Communist and Post-​Communist Studies, Europe–​Asia Studies, Problems of Post-​ Communism, International Journal of Human Rights, and Human Rights Quarterly. Dorota Szelewa is Assistant Professor in Social Justice, University College Dublin, Ireland, and an Editor in Chief of the Journal of Family Studies. She completed academic programs at the Central European University in Budapest (Hungary), Warsaw University (Poland) and Dalarna University (Sweden) and received her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence. She worked at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and at Warsaw University (Institute of Social Policy). Szelewa has published articles in journals such as Social Politics, Journal of European Social Policy, Social and Legal Studies, or Social Policy & Administration. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and include the issues of gender and social policy transformation in postcommunist countries, reproductive rights, migration, social investment, theories of institutional evolution, social policy and religion, and the problems of Europeanization. Judit Takács is a Research Chair at the Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, and a Doctor of Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, leading research teams and conducting independent research on topics including the social history of homosexuality, genderphobia, and community engagement. She completed an MA in Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, holds a

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PhD in sociology (2002), and a Diploma Habilitationis (2011). Her recent publications include “Democracy deficit and homophobic divergence in 21st century Europe” (with I. Szalma, Gender, Place & Culture 2020) and “How involved are involved fathers in Hungary? Exploring caring masculinities in a post-​ socialist context” (Families, Relationships, and Societies 2019). Currently she is an Academy in Exile fellow at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (KWI), Essen, Germany. Nataliya Tchermalykh is a Social Anthropologist, working at the intersection of art and law. Born in Kyiv in 1984, she took an active part in the feminist movement in the region and was a founding member of Femynistychna Ofenzyva. Nataliya Tchermalykh holds a doctoral degree in anthropology and sociology from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland). She is a postdoctoral teaching and research fellow at the University of Geneva. Her research interests include the entanglements of civic and legal activism with artistic practices in the post-​Soviet region and globally. In 2015, she published Paysages Instables: Des Artistes Ukrainiens entre Révolution et Guerre [Shifting Landscapes: Ukrainian Artists between Revolution and War]. Jennifer Utrata is Professor of Sociology in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, USA. She is the author of the award-​winning monograph, Women Without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia (Cornell 2015). Her research interests focus on how economic and cultural transformations shape gender and intimate relationships in families. She has published on nonresident fathers and divorce, the effects of neoliberal capitalism on the self, intersections of gender and age, multiple femininities and men’s drinking, and the myriad ways in which unpaid care work shapes gender inequality globally. Her current research, supported by an ACLS Burkhardt Residential Fellowship in the Humanities, examines "intensive grandmothering,” intergenerational supports, and connections to the broader stalled gender revolution in the United States. Eszter Varsa is Romani Rose Fellow at the Research Centre on Antigypsyism at Heidelberg University’s Department of History, Germany. From 2014 to 2016, she was Marie Sklodowska-​Curie Intra-​European (IEF) Research Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg. She is an advisory board member of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories. She is the author of Protected Children, Regulated Mothers: Gender and the “Gypsy Question” in State Care in Postwar Hungary, 1949–​1956 (CEU Press 2021). Her articles have appeared in Nationalities Papers, East European Politics and Societies, Aspasia, and The History of the Family, where she recently co-​edited a special issue on reproductive politics and sex education in Cold War Europe. Her current project examines how efforts toward the eradication of diseases, the improvement of health, and hygienic conditions in the framework of eugenic state building in interwar Austria and Hungary were linked to the persecution of Roma. Sinéad Walsh teaches in the Sociology department at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Her research interests include gender, civil society, and conflict in the former Soviet Union, and she has published on women’s activism and peacebuilding in Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as dilemmas in feminist fieldwork. Her PhD was awarded by Trinity

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College Dublin in 2016. She is currently working on an ethnographic monograph based on fieldwork in the South Caucasus. Alice Weinreb is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, USA. Her book, Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth Century Germany, was awarded the 2017 Ernst Fraenkel Book Prize for Contemporary European History and the 2017 Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize. She has published articles on food, the body, and memory in East and West Germany in the Zeitschrift für Körpergeschichte, Central European History, and German Studies Review, and is currently working on a transnational history of Anorexia Nervosa and “disordered eating” in the late Cold War. Cynthia Werner is Professor of Anthropology and is currently serving as the Director of ADVANCE within the Office of the Dean of Faculties at Texas A&M University, Texas, USA. She is also the past-​President of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. Her research focuses on economic, environmental, and gender issues within the postsocialist states of Central Asia (especially Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and the Kyrgyz Republic). She has conducted research on rural survival strategies in a postsocialist context, gift exchange and bribery, international tourism development, bazaar trade, and bride abduction. She has authored and co-​authored articles about Central Asia that have appeared in Central Asian Survey, American Anthropologist, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, Europe-​Asia Studies, and Human Organization. Nancy M. Wingfield is a cultural and gender historian of Habsburg Central Europe. Her numerous publications include the award-​winning monograph, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria (Oxford University Press 2017). Zofia Włodarczyk is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology with designated emphasis in Human Rights at the University of California Davis, USA. Previously she received a Master’s degree in Sociology at the University of Warsaw. Her research interests include women’s rights, gender-​based violence, migration, and refugees. Zofia’s doctoral dissertation explores the experiences of women from the North Caucasus region fleeing domestic violence and political persecution. Sharon Wolchik is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington DC, USA where she teaches and does research on Central and East European politics. She is author of Women, State and Party in Eastern Europe (with Alfred G. Meyer, Duke University Press 1983), Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries (with Valerie Bunce, Cambridge University Press 2011), and Czechoslovakia in Transition: Politics, Economics, and Society (Pinter 1992) and editor of Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy (with Jane L. Curry, Rowman & Littlefield, 5th edition 2018), Women in Power in Post-​Communist Parliaments (with Marilyn Rueschemeyer; Indiana University Press 2009), and Women and Democracy: Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe (with Jane S. Jaquette, Johns Hopkins University Press 1998). Elizabeth A. Wood is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, where she also directs the

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Contributors

Russian Studies Program and the MIT-​Russia Program. Her books include The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (1997); Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia (2005); and Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine (co-​authored, 2016). She has also published a number of articles in Theory and Society, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Slavic Review, The Soviet & Post-​Soviet Review, Russian Review, and Gender and History. Christine D. Worobec is Distinguished Research Professor Emerita of History at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA. She has published widely on 19th-​century Russian and Ukrainian peasants, women and gender issues, and religious history. Her monographs, Peasant Russia: Family and Community in the Post-​Emancipation Period (Princeton University Press 1991) and Possessed: Women, Witches, and Demons in Imperial Russia (Northern Illinois University Press 2001), won the Heldt Prize. She co-​edited with Barbara Evans Clements and Barbara Alpern Engel, Russia’s Women: Accommodation, Resistance, Transformation (University of California Press 1991), with Mary Zirin, Irina Livezeanu, and June-​Pachuta Farris, Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 2 volumes (M.E. Sharpe 2007), and most recently with Valerie A. Kivelson, Witchcraft in Russia and Ukraine, 1000–​1900: A Sourcebook (Northern Illinois University Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press 2020). She has been President of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (1995–​1997). Marita Zitmane is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, where she teaches courses on gender and media, as well as advertising and consumer culture. She has been a Marie Curie Fellowship recipient. She is interested in gender representation in media and gender representation in advertising. Her work examines how the media has shaped the notion of gender roles in post-​Soviet society and how past notions of gender roles shape contemporary gender equality discourse. She is an author of several publications on gender representation in media, and has participated in international conferences on Gender and Women’s studies. She also serves as a gender equality expert. Jessica Zychowicz was a US Fulbright Scholar in 2017–​2018 to Kyiv-​Mohyla Academy. Her publications include her recent monograph Superfluous Women: Art, Feminism, and Revolution in Twenty-​First Century Ukraine (University of Toronto Press 2020). She is currently based at the University of Alberta in the Contemporary Ukraine Studies Program, Canada. She has also been a Fellow at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs 2015–​2016, a Visiting Scholar at Uppsala University’s Institute for Russian and East European Studies in Sweden, and has participated in talks and residencies at the University of St. Andrews in Edinburgh, NYU’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies and others. She earned her doctorate at the University of Michigan.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This is a book that is collaborative to its core. Most of the collaborators are named here as authors, and we are deeply grateful for their willingness to engage in multiple rounds of conversations, sometimes fraught, but always productive as we pushed each other to get clearer on this multidisciplinary study of gender in Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The discussions include multiple years of meetings and panels at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). We have learned so much from all of you, and we hope that when you read the book now in its whole, you see the intellectual arcs that we were aiming for when we asked you to revise or tweak the chapters yet one more time. We also want to recognize research assistants that we were so lucky to have. With the help of Lafayette College, Thalia Charles has steadfastly assisted us since the arrival of the first draft chapters and to the very end of submitting the volume. Karolina Mackiewicz from Brooklyn College, CUNY, also gave us many thoughtful comments and edits on the chapters, supported through the generosity of Janet’s colleague Anna Law, Herbert Kurz Chair of Constitutional Rights, and the Kurz Undergraduate Research Assistantship program. As we reached the final stages of revisions, Amber Hatcher, also from Brooklyn College, helped us read through the manuscript for clarity. We wish to thank Brooklyn College for Janet’s fellowship leave 2019–​2020 and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany, and the European Union for her FRIAS Senior Fellowship/​Marie Curie Fellowship. We thank the CUNY William P. Kelly Research Fellowship and Bronx Community College for Mara’s course releases in the fall of 2019 and fellowship leave in spring 2020. We are also grateful to New York University’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, for hosting the monthly workshop on Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe for a quarter of a century. It is through our participation in the workshop—​founded and coordinated by Nanette Funk and Sonia Jaffe Robbins and cultivated by Ann Snitow, all from the Network East–​West Women—​that we gained the confidence to claim the authority to intervene in this rich and evolving field.

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PART I

Conceptual debates and methodological differences

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INTRODUCTION Conceptual debates and methodological differences Janet Elise Johnson, Katalin Fábián, and Mara Lazda

The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia examines the contemporary historical and political approaches to gender in Central-​Eastern Europe and parts of Eurasia (CEE&E) from the 20th through the first two decades of the 21st century. With the collapse of communism starting in the late 1980s, the past three decades brought this large and previously relatively isolated region quickly into extensive contact with the rest of the world. The Handbook asks how political forces have organized gender before, during, and after communism and how individuals and women’s/​feminists groups respond. This collection is structured to present the developments in the study of women and gender in CEE&E through the defining debates, highlighting specificity but also the many inviting and challenging connections globally. Gender is always one of the main axes around which politics, economics, and societies are organized, but Communist Party regimes in CEE&E explicitly politicized gender by raising and ostensibly solving the “woman question.” As Soviet power collapsed, state-​ defined gender ideologies transformed, making it even more obvious that not only social norms and economic conditions construct gender, but that gender is a structure of power shaped by distinct historical contexts. As developed in the chapters that follow, we hold that gender represents systems of difference, privilege, and oppression that affect us all—​ women, men, and those who do not fit within these binary categories—​and is created, not primarily through individual acts of sexism but through political, economic, and social processes, lived and inscribed into laws, informal norms, and practices. The Handbook demonstrates how gender has become politicized and central to the various regimes over the last century and a half in CEE&E. From the late 1980s, the study of gender within CEE&E grew rapidly inside and outside the region. The analysis has mostly been of women’s positions and later gender, eventually embracing intersectionality—​the dynamic matrix through which various structures of power operate, not just separately but in combination with each other. Some scholars focusing on gender have taken up the lens of postcoloniality—​the examination of the racialized and ethnicized legacy of imperialism and colonialism including the Soviet project—​and the interrogation of the unmarked categories of masculinity as well as hetero-​and cis-​normativity. Prominent scholarly disagreements have manifested, most 3

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notably about western intervention, feminism, and the assessment of state socialist policies for promoting gender equality but also about the usefulness of traditional gender analytics. Driven by feminist commitments to integrating women’s stories, the Handbook’s chapters mostly rely on qualitative data, such as memoirs, oral history, archival research, ethnography, and interviews. Most of the chapters’ authors are trained as scholars of history, political science, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, or the study of the region, but there are also chapters from the perspectives of disability studies, social work, legal studies, peace studies, and public health. We did not overcome the legacy of scholarship’s focus on Russia or the tendency toward Cold War lenses, yet the inclusion of perspectives from across the region and alternative frameworks suggests paths to diversifying knowledge production. By focusing on countries that have a shared—​albeit, quite varied—​experience of communism in the 20th century, the Handbook makes an argument that this history continues to shape how gender is constructed. But, we argue that this communist history is neither the only shared experience, nor the only useful spatial or temporal framework for understanding the parameters of the region. When discussing pre-​World War I periods, the Handbook includes the lands of the Austro-​Hungarian, Ottoman, German, and Russian Empires as they exerted significant influence regarding gender arrangements on these territories and peoples. When discussing the communist period, the Handbook interprets the Eastern Bloc, meaning the territories under Soviet influence in Central-​ Eastern Europe as well as the entire Soviet Union, and periods when Yugoslavia, Albania, and Romania endorsed a form of communism while distancing themselves from the Soviet Union. After the early 1990s, major political shifts took place: some states divided, Germany reunited, some states entered into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. At the same time, the Handbook recognizes that postcolonial and intersectional perspectives especially complicate and challenge the idea that ideological and regime changes are critical junctures and raise questions as to whether a region as such exists. The COVID-​related crises of 2020, with their gendered and racialized impact, may further challenge our assertion. This first Part of the Handbook examines the development of the feminist study of CEE&E over time, including epistemological and methodological approaches and the most important continuing debates that inform and enrich the global intellectual engagement with gender in CEE&E. The second Part focuses on the emergence of women’s movements in their cooperation and collision with feminist movements and different regimes. The third Part analyzes how the dominant ideologies intended to organize gender relations, with the fourth Part deliberating how lived experiences conformed to—​ and challenged—​ such ideological visions. The fifth and six Parts are similarly paired in their dialogue with each other, with the fifth examining the ambiguity of the postcommunist transitions and the sixth focusing on gender-​specific policy debates, all the while considering the global, regional, state-​centric, and local dynamics. The study of gender in CEE&E is multidimensional, interdisciplinary, and relevant for professed and practiced ideology, policy, and everyday lives. It is transnational, intersectional, and reflexive, informed by intense debates and learning from the ongoing scholarly contentions. Over the last three decades, gender has become an integral, if derided, part of the study of CEE&E across the social sciences. This study is an important part of

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Debates and differences

the decentering of the West in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, especially with its nuanced and innovative theorizing on the intersections of class, ethnicity, and race outside of western frameworks. With the rise of anti-​gender movements and leaders since the global financial crisis and their opposition to democracy and gender equality, these kinds of approaches to interpreting the intersections between gender and politics are crucial to understanding and undermining these logics and moving toward gender justice.

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The development of the field

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1 BETWEEN REGIONAL AND TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXTS Maria Bucur

At its most expansive definition, Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E) contains both the world’s largest landmass and is home to over half a billion people. It is a space with a dizzying diversity of languages and other cultural attributes, and with a rich past in every aspect of human endeavor. Yet it has been the object of less interest in gender analysis than other parts of the world, especially the Americas and Western Europe. Scholars of CEE&E have framed answers to questions about how gender regimes are established and negotiated over time through specific spatial contexts: local, regional, national, transnational, or global. By gender regimes I mean the articulation of gender norms through state policies, as well as cultural institutions like religious denominations and kinship practices. Choices made to shift among them generate geographic hierarchies of meaning. When feminist activists and scholars frame the nation as the proper context for understanding gender regimes, they often render the local or transnational as secondary or even invisible for understanding gender norms. In other cases, explicit tension among spatial frameworks becomes productive for gender analysis. Local events become more meaningful when various layers of other spatially defined norms or processes are examined together: the national could be important for specific legislation, the transnational relevant for cultural networks, the local for cultural resignifications of gender policies. The intersection of various spatial contexts is particularly meaningful when gender analysis interrogates the relationship between intentional, institutionalized action, such as government policies about LGBTQ rights, and fluid discourses, like pride marches. This chapter points to the limits and productive possibilities of moving among geographic registers as strategies for understanding gender in CEE&E.

The region: What’s in a name? In the early 2000s, when I joined Francisca de Haan and Krassimira Daskalova to establish Aspasia, we had numerous discussions about the geographic reach and appropriate nomenclature. We ended up with “the International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History,” which is not an elegant or even

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precise definition of the journal’s geographic reach, since countries like Turkey and Russia lie not only in Europe. It was a compromise aimed to encourage wide participation from scholars of gender and women’s history, as well as wide interest among readers from this region. We were confident that gender norms in this area had more in common than near invisibility in the historiography. Premodern Empires (Ottoman, Russian, Habsburg) that controlled much of the region generated gender regimes for parts of CEE&E as these states grew or shrank in size. Sometimes these shifts meant that older gender policies and discourses would be replaced by new ones. But sometimes political changes on the surface left gender regimes established in previous Empires somewhat untouched. For instance, the Central European Habsburg Empire struggled to gain and maintain legitimacy over inheritance practices in Southeastern European places like Croatia and Bosnia (Krešić 2011). The two sub-​regions had localized practices connected to religious dogma and customary law that gave women different rights than men. In Bosnia, therefore, one can speak about Central Europe as relevant geography for understanding the intentions of the Vienna-​based Habsburg regime. Southeastern Europe is relevant for understanding the Islamic schools that afforded women specific avenues for claiming inheritance (Zečević 2007). But Central Europe does not describe a unitary set of expectations, values, or discourses about gender norms. Though the strongly Catholic Habsburg Empire dominated this region, it did not impose Catholic gender norms on non-​Catholic subjects. The result was the juxtaposition of different, even contradictory principles and policies about marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other elements of gender roles (see also Wingfield, Chapter 28 in this Handbook). Religious institutions and practices predominant in parts of CEE&E are important for understanding the development of gender regimes both before secularization in the 20th century and also since the end of the Cold War. Yet they do not amount to a solid geographical region with specific, unique attributes. Even on matters of heteronormativity, the perspective of various Christian churches on homosexuality differed significantly from that of Islamic schools of thought in the region. The Christian discourses and the specific punishments leveled against non-​heterosexual behavior were more disparaging and drastic than any form of heteronormative disciplining taking place in Islamic communities. Even Orthodox Christianity, largely circumscribed to CEE&E, is a religion with significant regional variance, often impacted by the religious institutions of the specific Empire that ruled over Orthodox populations. The history and impact of Orthodox Christianity in Russia, where some categories of women had more property rights, is very different from the history of Orthodox Christianity in Romania, for instance (Bucur 2018b; Marrese 2002). Eastern Europe has been used in gender analysis more frequently than Central or Southeastern Europe, as “Eastern” served to identify countries with a state socialist regime in Europe after World War II and it was used primarily outside of the region, initially by politicians and scholars operating through the polarizing framework of the Cold War (Wolchik and Meyer 1985). The Soviet Union and its satellite countries presented gender equality early on as a mark of the communist regimes’ democratic accomplishments and progressive foundations. The (in)famous 1959 Kitchen Debate between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev served as a staging ground for making opposing claims on behalf of women’s emancipation on the basis of technological advancements (Hamilton and Phillips 2014). A more self-​critical position on the part of North American Sovietologists developed within the feminist scholarship in the 1980s. Some perspectives were more sympathetic 10

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Regional and transnational contexts

to Marxist ideas about gender equality and to anti-​colonial perspectives on capitalism (Boxer 2007). The neat West/​East, capitalist/​communist binary became more complicated when feminist scholars and activists, such as Angela Davis (1981), began to introduce questions about racism in gender analysis. More recently, some scholars from former communist countries have assumed Eastern Europe as a self-​referential term to highlight both the communist legacies with regard to gender norms, as well as the power differentials between feminists and more generally women from this region in relation to the West (Kościańska and Owczarzak 2009). Communist policies regarding women’s rights have been a subject of debate especially after the end of the Cold War, when most of the scholarship on gender in this region began to flourish (de Haan 2016; Miroiu 2007). Many have tried to assess the extent to which legal changes led to actual forms of empowerment promised by communist regimes. While most feminist scholars today reject the depiction of state socialism as completely failing in its emancipatory promises, some consider women as the main agents of positive change or resistors to deleterious policies, with the state cast as repeatedly failing to incorporate gender considerations in crucial policies, such as wages and childcare (Bucur and Miroiu 2018; Harsch 2014). Others view the gender policies of these states as more intentionally and effectively aligned with women’s emancipation (Ghodsee 2018b). In the past decade, a greater level of differentiation has been evident in studies that compare European communist regimes. Though equal access to education, for instance, is still hailed as an important common feature, policies related to job placement and overall economic power turn out to be a function of specific gender policies of each regime, such as maternity leave, affordable childcare, and housing, rather than a common feature of all communist countries. Some of the greatest levels of variation seem to do with sexuality, from birth control to sexual identity and orientation (Lišková 2018; McLellan 2011). In those areas, the communism of Eastern Europe may turn out to be less important than other variables linked to longer-​term practices connected to other ideologies—​nationalism, feminism, and religion. Scholars are beginning to compare state socialist regimes in Europe to other Marxist regimes and movements around the world (Ghodsee 2018a; Varga-​Harris 2019). This trend has been described as transnational by some, global by others, or as a reassessment of the East–​West binary, which seeks to critique the hegemonic narrative of who won the Cold War. By examining linkages between individual communist regimes in Europe and the Global South, they resignify the impact of regimes with an explicit gender equality ideology on postcolonial countries. These studies invite us to consider East European communist regimes and especially women leaders as a global force for shaping gender-​ progressive movements and policies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, framing East European women’s organizations from the communist period as forces for progress in the postcolonial world has seen a backlash. For some scholars in CEE&E (Miroiu 2007), the claim that women’s organizations under communism were progressive, feminist, and empowered women reads like a bad joke, as these did not translate into progressive feminist activism after 1989. And for those who still want to celebrate the neoliberal victory of capitalism over communism, to claim women were emancipated by communism reads like a threat (see Hinterhuber and Fuchs, Chapter 3 in this Handbook). The European Union (EU) became a new framework for resignifying East–​West gendered divisions. The postcommunist members that joined the EU starting in 2004 had to prove they were on board with gender mainstreaming (Roth 2008). At that time, gender studies graduate programs were just starting in CEE&E. Thus, aligning all policies and 11

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structures of the government and public services to reflect EU standards about gender inclusiveness and justice became mostly an exercise in superficial training; rarely did it empower feminist scholars and activists to gain a more central foothold in policymaking. The results have been superficial, with no substantial investments in educating policymakers about existing problems and the value of gender mainstreaming. Many public servants have come to see this requirement as a western imposition, a reflection of East–​West power relations, or as a form of political correctness (Kováts and Põim 2015). Yet, gender mainstreaming was in fact homegrown in the region. CEE&E women activists began to think of themselves as part of this region in a meaningful way already after World War I. As these women started to travel and as international suffrage and socialist networks began to be better known in the postwar countries of this region, they also developed an interest in collaborating regionally. The Little Entente of Women became a network that operated through national chapters, but worked for the purpose of mutual interest and support (Daskalova 2008). Nationalists listened to socialists, religious conservatives offered words of praise for progressive feminists. The regional served as a site with an entangled history and common goals, such as providing equal benefits for all working women and men. Though policy was national, regional best practices became self-​assumed models. The Little Entente model of thinking regionally about gender regimes from the ground up has yet to resurface with vigor since 1989. There are few regional networks of women’s groups or even scholars working on gender analysis and few powerful exchanges of ideas and best practices. European and other international scholarly gatherings and publications that foster gender analysis have provided space for scholars from the postcommunist regimes as a platform for sharing and disseminating specific knowledge about related issues. Aspasia, for instance, has had a self-​conscious policy of encouraging the publication of research from CEE&E and dissemination of debates about gender history in the region. Until recent politics in Hungary required it to relocate its program to Vienna, the Central European University hosted conferences on gender studies, providing a welcoming environment for scholars from the region. The one broadly transnational network in the region is the Network of East-​West Women, but it also exists because of funding and support from the USA and has had uneven presence in CEE&E (see Funk, Chapter 15 in this Handbook). But a strong sense of regional solidarity among scholars of gender has yet to flourish. The one ostensibly more homegrown trans-​ regional effort to organize around questions about gender are the anti-​gender coalitions developing from Latvia to Croatia, and especially in Poland and Hungary (Graff, Chapter 26 in this Handbook; Kuhar and Paternotte 2017). But these organizations are also a product of substantial investments from outside the region. The rising World Congress for Families has organized six of its first 13 gatherings in CEE&E countries—​ the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Georgia, Hungary, and Moldova—​despite having been established in the USA and receiving funding from Christian fundamentalist organizations. It has found allies on the ground among governments (especially in Russia, Hungary, and Poland), as well as among the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. In short, gender is becoming a point of interest and fostering connections, it seems, more vigorously among opponents of gender mainstreaming, feminist politics, and LGBTQ rights, than among activists and scholars of gender studies. The most complicated aspect of rendering this region meaningful for gender analysis pertains to the oversized role of Russia and the Soviet Union. In its historic and 12

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contemporary embodiments, Russia has a dizzying array of communities with different gender discourses and practices. The impact of the Russian dominant political and cultural institutions (especially the Orthodox Church) has been represented alternately as imperial, liberating, predatory, progressive, authoritarian, and democratizing in relation to gender (Kupari and Vuola 2019). There is no neutral ground in this heavily politicized scholarly minefield on which any gender analysis has been able to grow. But the Soviet Union, as the first political regime in the world to adopt a radical program for women’s equality, is an essential case study for anyone who seeks to understand how well women’s emancipatory promises of Marxism worked in real life (Atwood 1990). With a communist regime in power for three generations, the Soviet Union had the longest opportunity to translate ideas about gender equality into action. In addition, the cultural diversity of communities who went through these radical transformations is another essential variable for gender scholars to tease out how such policies played out in places like Latvia and Uzbekistan, and to what extent they generated a common set of gender practices and discourses (Blomberg et al. 2017; Peshkova 2014). There is little agreement among scholars, either in Russia and in the USSR successor states or elsewhere, about the overall quality of this experience, because in fact the same policies had different results in different parts of the country due to pre-​existing cultural and political differences that translated into different gender norms in those locales (Ilic 2017). In addition, the experience of gender empowerment through Russian imperialism has left few possibilities for appreciative analyses of Soviet gender policies, especially after 1991. Anti-​communism remains a nearly hegemonic position in some post-​Soviet countries, such as Estonia. Gender policies have started to be articulated in increasingly polarized terms as either pro-​European or pro-​Eurasian. Estonia’s government rallied behind gender mainstreaming, a reflection of the country’s pro-​European position (van der Molen and Novikova 2005). Armenia’s policies went from prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender to legislating the elimination of the word “gender” from any government policy. This switch happened as Armenian leaders rejected overtures by the EU toward a closer relationship in exchange for membership in the Russian-​led Eurasian Union (Nikoghosyan 2016).

The nation: Diverse approaches to gender analysis Most of the focus of gender activism and scholarship in CEE&E has centered on the national, from policymaking to cultural developments. During the 19th century, feminist activities became enmeshed with ethno-​nationalism, sometimes enthusiastically and other times more reluctantly. In imperial spaces, the nation served as a site of resistance, where women’s gender roles could be mobilized, especially as mothers. Feminist activists from the educated upper classes embraced this maternalist perspective and even participated in racist biopolitics. The proliferation of nation states after 1918 provided the institutional framework for new gender policies, from civil codes to state education, and created the foundation for negotiating on behalf of women’s equal rights, such as suffrage and property. State socialist regimes adopted diverse perspectives on the importance of studying gender issues, with increasingly varied outcomes. In Poland, for instance, the Academy of Sciences had vigorous women’s social history projects, but no such accumulation of research and publications can be seen in the case of Romania. Variances among countries in the region continue to this day, often a function of the level of interest in gender mainstreaming in different areas of knowledge and 13

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policymaking. Initially, after 1989, clusters of gender studies researchers began to populate the social sciences and played an important role in policymaking. Nongovernmental organizations also participated in this process of enhancing the language and activities of gender mainstreaming. Yet a backlash has ensued especially since 2012. Even as the need continues to better understand the impact of gender norms on how state institutions, economic processes, and cultural tropes operate, growing ethno-​nationalism on the part of political parties and nongovernmental organizations is actively rejecting gender critiques as foreign (Kováts and Põim 2015). The national, however, remains a fruitful site for in-​depth empirical research, and gender analyses of CEE&E can benefit from their accumulation (see Sundstrom, Chapter 5 in this volume). We do not yet have sufficient empirical foundations for articulating innovative theoretical frameworks for comparative regional or transnational gender analyses in many subfields, especially for the study of sexuality. The difficult groundwork for constructing quantitative and qualitative archives that are deep and diverse enough in each country to enable generalizations and comparisons is still being done. What will hopefully take place in the next decade is both a diversification of themes, as well as a deepening of the analytical offers in rendering individual case studies relevant for broader transnational questions.

Transnational and global frameworks Transnational networks have connected activists and scholars of gender since the 19th century. With the founding of international suffrage and other women’s movements in the late 1800s, feminists, and women activists more generally, related their internal activities to women’s similar work in other parts of the world, such as Great Britain, the USA, Sweden, or Egypt. These links became more diverse in terms of class, ideological, and religious specificities. Interest in gender issues in a transnational context was further facilitated by the growth of international organizations after World War I, such as the League of Nations and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Women from CEE&E helped frame some of these discussions, such as the reports on female and child employment generated by the ILO. Institutional networks continued during the Cold War, to a great extent circumscribed by the priorities of the Soviet Union. Since 2000, scholars of gender in CEE&E have shown a growing interest in placing this region in wider transnational and even global frameworks. Some have recast Cold War narratives to privilege interactions among women’s networks in state socialist and postcolonial regimes (de Haan 2010). Others are uncovering women’s transnational networks further back, into the early 20th century, seeking to place activists in the region as active participants rather than recipients of external influence in suffrage movements, artistic developments, labor activism, consumption, and other major developments across the world (Bucur 2018a). Another approach has been to compare or relate case studies from CEE&E with other parts of the world (Johnson 2018). Some of these comparisons are meant to move beyond regional unity and inquire into other types of institutional and discursive frameworks that help illuminate specific gender dynamics. Studies focusing on gender norms and property rights in rural societies are one such example (Kingston-​ Mann 2018). Over the last two decades the global has become a more frequent framework for research in the social sciences and to some extent the humanities. The rapid globalization

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of certain processes, such as information sharing, economic production and services, prompted policymakers, activists, and scholars to ask new questions about gender power relations. The CEE&E region became involved in this process early on, especially after the end of the communist regime, when tight controls over foreign travel and access to information were eliminated. Many globalization processes cast women as victims of new forms of exploitation. Human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, is a problem in which CEE&E has been active both as a recipient and exporter. A growing demand around the globe for services such as childcare, domestic work, and nursing have also drawn women from this region into the global labor marketplace. Though always touted as opportunities, the wages, work conditions, and even personal safety of these individuals are under-​regulated and therefore prone to abuse by especially private employers. Some scholarship in the region has brought attention to the various negative effects of globalization on the economic power of women from CEE&E (Keough 2016). Globalization has brought with it, however, some forms of greater visibility and potential empowerment for individual women in the region. The ability to travel anywhere and gain access to resources previously unavailable has been a boon for the lucky few, like the Polish tech-​entrepreneur Marta Krupinskaia. But such spectacular success stories are not a mark of greater gender equality in CEE&E itself. The neoliberal order ushered in by the end of the Cold War provided new openings and opportunities, but did so by eliminating important considerations about structural gender inequalities. Most women have not had the opportunity to “lean in” as a means to climb the transnational corporate ladder. In fact, policies introduced recently in Poland and Hungary to encourage fertility by offering women financial rewards for giving birth and raising more children suggest that some current regimes in the region view women’s roles normatively as more closely related to reproductive anxieties than to opportunities for greater economic power. A promising development in rendering CEE&E analytically relevant for globalization is the intervention made by queer studies scholars from the region in relation to the theorization of queerness. In the past decade, scholars and activists focusing on locales other than the USA started to critique queer theory produced there as limited in being able to represent the specifics of non-​binary gender cultures in places like Africa. Anchored in anti-​colonial intellectual and political networks, these analyses have become more recently the object of criticism on the part of queer studies scholars in CEE&E (Kulpa and Mizieliñska 2011). For now, these articulations focus primarily on deconstructing existing analytical frameworks, insisting on the relevance of the local, such as the impact of the Orthodox Church on heteronormativity as the dominant discourse on sexuality. It remains to be seen how the local specifics will shape new articulations of queerness as a transnational phenomenon.

Conclusions The very diversity and complexity of the communities in CEE&E, inclusive of gender norms, is both daunting and also promising. To know how people in this region understand, appropriate, and challenge gender norms is necessary as a step toward better global understanding of gender injustices and solutions to them, as well as more broadly how political and economic processes function. To understand, for instance, how migration into and from the region is imbricated with local gender norms and practices, is to

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better appreciate the overall impact of these population movements for families, industries, and state policy in CEE&E. Without a gender analysis of these processes, severe shortcomings in understanding their nature and impact lead to inadequate policymaking and socioeconomic problems down the road. The most fruitful future directions in gender analysis are likely to be a combination of locally, nationally, regionally, transnationally, and globally framed research. The national remains essential as a site for understanding government policies and citizenship as gendered developments. Local specificities of gender roles and practices need to be brought into greater focus as a way to challenge overgeneralizations about national trends in gender regimes, especially with regard to important varieties of experiences and power relations based on ethnic differences, religious practice and institutions, urban and rural contexts, and many other localized specificities, such as environmental changes. How CEE&E can be regarded as an intelligible region into the future, in the face of many transnational processes and globalization, remains to be determined. A more explicit dialogue among different geographic frameworks is necessary, as is the willingness to acknowledge both the strengths and weaknesses in these separate approaches. In the process, what CEE&E comes to signify may shift dramatically or even become useless. Despite its inelegant name, for now this spatial nomenclature serves as a productive site for deepening our knowledge about gender.

References Atwood, Lynne. 1990. The New Soviet Man and Woman: Sex-​role Socialization in the USSR. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Blomberg, Eva, Yulia Gradskova, Ylva Waldemarson and Alina Zvinkliene, eds. 2017. Gender Equality on a Grand Tour. Politics and Institutions—​the Nordic Council, Sweden, Lithuania and Russia. Leiden: Brill. Boxer, Marylin. 2007. “‘Communist Feminism’ as Oxymoron? Reflections of a ‘Second-​Wave’ Feminist Historian of European Socialism and Feminism.” Aspasia 1: 241–​246. Bucur, Maria. 2018a. The Century of Women: How Women Have Changed the World since 1900. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield. –​–​–​–​. 2018b. “To Have and to Hold: Gender Regimes and Property Rights in the Romanian Principalities and Habsburg Empire, 1600–​1914.” European History Quarterly 48 (4): 601–​628. Bucur, Maria and Mihaela Miroiu. 2018. Birth of Democratic Citizenship: Women and Power in Modern Romania. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Daskalova, Krassimira. 2008. “Balkans.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie Smith, 185–​195. Oxford: Oxford University Press Davis, Angela Y. 1981. Women, Race and Class. New York: Random House. de Haan, Francisca. 2010. “Continuing Cold War Paradigms in Western Historiography of Transnational Women’s Organisations: The Case of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF).” Women’s History Review 19 (4): 547–​573. –​–​–​–​, ed. 2016. “Ten Years After: Communism and Feminism Revisited.” Aspasia 10: 106–​168. Ghodsee, Kristen. 2018a. Second World, Second Sex: Socialist Women’s Activism and Global Solidarity during the Cold War. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2018b. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence. New York: Hachette. Hamilton, Shane and Sarah T. Phillips, eds. 2014. The Kitchen Debate and Cold War Consumer Politics: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Bedford and St. Martin’s Press. Harsch, Donna. 2014. “Communism and Women.” In The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism, edited by Stephen A. Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ilic, Melanie, ed. 2017. The Palgrave Handbook of Women and Gender in Twentieth-​Century Russia and the Soviet Union. London: Palgrave.

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Regional and transnational contexts Johnson, Janet Elise. 2018. The Gender of Informal Politics: Russia, Iceland and Twenty-​First Century Male Dominance. London: Palgrave. Keough, Leyla. 2016. Worker-​Mothers on the Margins of Europe: Gender and Migration between Moldova and Istanbul. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Kingston-​Mann, Esther. 2018. Women, Land Rights and Rural Development: How Much Land Does a Woman Need? New York: Routledge. Kościańska, Agnieszka and Jill Owczarzak, eds. 2009. “The East Speaks Back: Gender and Sexuality in Postsocialist Europe. Special Issue.” Focaal 53. Kováts, Eszter and Maari Põim, eds. 2015. The Position and Role of Conservative and Far Right Parties in the Anti-​ Gender Mobilizations in Europe. Budapest: Foundation for European Progressive Studies. Krešić, Mirela. 2011. “Entitlement of Female Descendants to Property of Croatian Communal Household.” Journal of European History of Law 2 (2): 73–​85. Kuhar, Roman and David Paternotte, eds. 2017. Anti-​Gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Kulpa, R. and J. Mizieliñska, eds. 2011. De-​Centering Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspectives. London: Ashgate. Kupari, Helena, and Elina Vuola, eds. 2019. Gender and Orthodox Christianity. Dynamics of Tradition, Culture, and Lived Practice. New York: Routledge. Lišková, Kateřina. 2018. Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style: Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945–​1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Marrese, Michelle Lamarche. 2002. A Woman’s Kingdom: Noblewomen and the Control of Property in Russia, 1700–​1861. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. McLellan, Josie. 2011. Love in the Time of Communism: Intimacy and Sexuality in the GDR. New York: Cambridge University Press. Miroiu, Mihaela. 2007. “Communism Was a State Patriarchy, Not State Feminism.” Aspasia 1: 197–​201. Nikoghosyan, Anna. 2016. “In Armenia, Gender is Geopolitical.” Open Democracy. www. opendemocracy.net/​en/​odr/​in-​armenia-​gender-​is-​geopolitical/​. Peshkova, Svetlana. 2014. Women, Islam and Identity: Public Life in Private Spaces in Uzbekistan. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Roth, Silke, ed. 2008. Gender Politics in the Expanding European Union: Mobilization, Inclusion, Exclusion. New York: Berghahn. van der Molen, Irna and Irina Novikova. 2005. “Mainstreaming Gender in the EU-​Accession Process: The Case of the Baltic Republics.” Journal of European Social Policy 15 (2): 139–​156. Varga-​Harris, Christine. 2019. “Between National Tradition and Western Modernization: Soviet Woman and Representations of Socialist Gender Equality as a ‘Third Way’ for Developing Countries, 1956–​1964.” Slavic Review 78 (3): 1–​24. Wolchik, Sharon and Meyer, Alfred G., eds. 1985. Women, State, and Party in Eastern Europe. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Zečević, Selma. 2007. “Missing Husbands, Waiting Wives, Bosnian Muftis: Fatwa Texts and the Interpretation of Gendered Presences and Absences in Late Ottoman Bosnia.” In Women in the Ottoman Balkans: Gender, Culture and History, edited by Amila Buturović and İrvin Cemİl Schick, 335–​360. London: I.B. Tauris.

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2 FLUIDITY OR CLEAN BREAKS? Joanna Regulska and Zofia Włodarczyk

For centuries, Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E) has been besieged by revolutions, wars, regime and ideological changes, partitioning, and repeated boundary shifts that divided communities and created new states. Marginalized social groups across the region have strategized, fought, built coalitions, demonstrated, won elections, and repeatedly demanded that their gender, sexual, ethnic, or racial identities be recognized and their rights acknowledged, that they be treated as equal regardless of their identity markings. All of these developments have altered social and cultural as well as legal practices and have left their mark on the ways in which genders are defined and operationalized, but also threatened and attacked in the region. This chapter explores the trajectory of these changes, in order to show how formations of gender and practices of gender dynamics have evolved in CEE&E. In this discussion, we hold that gender is constructed in intermeshed, interspersed, intermingled, non-​ linear, and also non-​chronological processes. It is an outcome of the complex interactions between and across a wide range of actors, forces, processes, and structures and, as they interact with different identity markings, they shape gender dynamics in CEE&E.

The critical junctures: Transition vs. transformation Scholars have offered periodization as the main approach to tracing the complex histories of CEE&E, emphasizing critical junctures connected to communism and European Union (EU) integration (Kubik and Linch 2013; Millán 2016; Regulska and Smith 2012; Roth 2008). Although none explicitly write of clean breaks, there seems to be a common understanding that gender dynamics are shaped sequentially, with each stage characterized by different sets of gender-​related conditions, restrictions, triggers, and changes. Yet, these scholars simultaneously recognize fluidity and continuity of processes and practices across these periods. From the periodization approach, scholars see the 19th century as a time of more visible mobilization on behalf of equal rights for women as they were acknowledged in public spaces in CEE&E. Women held first congresses, organized around suffrage movements, and established various women-​ focused organizations (Fuszara 2005).

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Communism, in turn, has been perceived by many as a period of the suppression of feminist movements and a break in the pursuit of equality of women’s rights. Scholars have extensively discussed the abolition of nongovernmental organizations and the arbitrariness with which remaining organizations became controlled by the communist authorities (Funk 2014). This top-​down control did not, however, suppress women’s and feminist consciousness about their positionality within larger social, economic, cultural, and political structures (Grabowska 2017). The fall of communism was considered as both a new period of gender formations and a return to the interrupted pre-​war progress in the area of gender equality. Scholars have also debated whether the end of Communist Party regimes in CEE&E meant a dramatic shift or more of a gradual transformation in gender formations. Over the last decade, scholars began to lean toward the assessment that state-​socialist policies for women were more a part of a “gender-​equality continuum” rather than a break from it (de Haan 2016). Such change in the scholarship has in part been occasioned by the emerging understanding of the reality of neoliberal policies, and in part by new studies on the role of women’s organizations under communism, with their often clear agenda for the advancement of women’s equality, though not necessarily with an explicit commitment to feminism (Johnson and Robinson 2007). For many countries in the region, EU integration offered a liberal economy and new democratic practices that, while promoting new gender power relations, sensitivities, and opportunities, led to new marginalization and struggles (see Spehar, Chapter 36 in this Handbook). Although changes of such a scope are not new (e.g., the African or South-​East Asian decolonization movement, or Latin American struggles to overthrow authoritarian regimes), what makes these political changes in CEE&E different is their relatively peaceful character (with Romania and former Yugoslavia—​and later Georgia and Ukraine—​as important exceptions) as well as the simultaneous transformation of the region through its partial incorporation into the European Union. Despite the disruptions caused by geopolitical changes, the specific context of these transformations created conditions conducive to continuity and fluidity rather than to a clean break. When discussing recent political changes in CEE&E, scholars usually focus on 1989/​ 1991 because at that time transformation happened across multiple countries (except in Yugoslavia, where political and economic changes started to appear several decades earlier). Many assumed that the arrival of competitive elections, new freedoms, and economic liberalization would result in a new recognition of women and others as powerful agents of change, such that democracy would emerge as inclusive of all social groups and genders. What did happen is that some democratic practices germinated, through many pathways, and with mixed effects and impacts on the gender dynamics in the region. The political soil was diverse, notwithstanding the forced similarities of the communist policies of “women’s emancipation.” Different histories of the struggle for national independence and identities of being the colonizer (e.g., Poland in 16th century) and being colonized in the 20th century (as a part of the Soviet bloc) have all contributed to a widely uneven and differentiated democratization process and conceptualization of gender across CEE&E. This in turn not only further perpetuated the gendering process (emergence of clearer anti-​women and anti-​LGBT+ rhetoric), but also helped to establish gender definitions, agendas, struggles, and mobilizations in the region. The debate over whether 1989/​1991 was a clean break is also shaped by intersectional perspectives. Kulpa and Mizielińska (2011), while discussing non-​heterosexuality in the

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region, argue that from the western progressive perspective, the “end of communism” is placed as another episode in a sequence of events. From the perspective of the CEE&E region, changes were more abrupt and multidirectional. Thus, from a western interpretation, postcommunism can be seen as a “time of sequence,” but from CEE&E’s it is rather a “time of coincidence.” While never presenting a full clean break, the fluidity of discourses, practices, and systems has resulted in the creation of genders of different forms, meanings, and understandings. They have all been subject to different interpretations and practices, not only across the region, but also within each state. The post-​transformation CEE&E states’ repositioning to protect businesses and private property rather than collective rights, resulted in the states’ abandonment of those economically insecure (such as women, children, elderly, and the working class) or those not conforming to traditional views of individual identities. In spite of the promise of a better future, many of the new processes resulted in the suppression of rights for numerous individuals and social groups, in an increase of nationalistic, patriarchal, and paternalistic attitudes, discrimination, abuse and/​or the restriction of basic freedoms. These transformations reintroduced and perpetuated the ethnic, racial, and cultural desire for homogenization. The complexities of the processes involved have reinforced the sense of fluidity, of déjà vu of struggles and mobilizations, and of arguments made in the past. Thus, even as the context within which genders in CEE&E are being defined and redefined is changing, there is clearly an underlying continuity of processes, including those of struggle and mobilization.

Shaping gender identities and dynamics: Actors and processes To untangle these complex interactions and to develop a greater understanding of the ways in which different processes have shaped gender dynamics in CEE&E, we offer in Figure 2.1 a visual representation of actors (external circle), processes and structures (middle circle), and identity markings (inner circle) that interact with each other and thereby shape gender dynamics. These relationships are initiated by actors who, through diverse processes, mold structures that in turn influence and form gender identities and dynamics. Gender identities reflect individual experiences, and at the same time represent intersections of multiple identities such as race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, sexuality, and (dis)ability, among other markings. The presented representation by no means pretends to be encompassing; rather, it signals the dynamism and complexities of the processes involved, the range of actors, and most of all the unpredictability of the outcomes. Diverse actors in CEE&E have influenced gender dynamics (Regulska and Roseman 1998) often operating in intricate ways and at different scales (from neighborhood to transnational). In the last 30 to 40 years, the actors include, among others: the state, factions and political parties, progressive and regressive nongovernmental organizations, academic spaces such as women’s/​gender studies, businesses and oligarchs, mass and new social media, nuclear and extended family, religious institutions from Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity to Muslim and Jewish, the military, and various international institutions, such as the United Nations (UN), the EU, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Individuals themselves, with their unique identity markings and personal experiences, have engaged and interacted with these actors on an everyday basis. All of the actors have exercised influence and power in their conscious and unconscious 20

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Figure 2.1  Actors, processes, and structures shaping gender identities and dynamics

quest, across a variety of structures, to shape the processes through which genders are being constituted in different locations and under different social, political, economic, and cultural conditions. Over the years, the frameworks within which each actor and its groups operated and the actions that they took, have changed. This has in turn led to significant changes and evolutions in the ways in which institutions and structures, and therefore gender processes and relations between actors, have been formed. Looking at the role of the state and its institutions with varying and often conflicting agendas shows their far-​reaching impact, influencing gender constructions and relations at the international, national, regional, and local scales. Regardless of the frequently changing CEE&E state’s ideological stance, its units are embedded in every aspect of individuals’ lives. Communist states did advance women’s rights to work and to have custody of their children, while post-​EU accession states have eroded women’s access to work, resulting in unemployment and underemployment, even though such erosion varies across the region (de Haan 2016). The state also decides on lesbian, gay, bi-​sexual, 21

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transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBT+) people’s rights to enter into a civil union, get married, have children, or even express one’s identity in public (O’Dwyer 2017). The state plays an important role in regulating domestic violence (Fábián 2010) and continues to influence individuals’ decisions to have children, by providing different welfare state programs, regulating birth control and abortion access, or permitting adoption. In Romania, abortion was legalized in 1957 only to be severely restricted in 1967, and legalized again after the overthrow of the Ceaușescu regime in 1989. In Poland, the shift was the opposite, with postcommunist leaders quickly criminalizing most forms of abortion. This multidirectionality of change shows that generally recognized actors (such as a state) operate differently over time, place, and under different political regimes and result in different gender outcomes. Starting in the 1980s, before communism’s official collapse, different international institutions, foreign labor unions, and the international community became engaged in the region. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Council of Europe, foreign governments, foundations, or aid organizations began to play a more critical and visible role. Existing relationships with some international institutions were renegotiated and reinvigorated as states showed agency as a part of a collective process of transformation, for example, the UN and the engagement with the UN conventions (e.g., the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). At the same time, nongovernmental organizations also actively engaged as they structured new relationships with international nongovernmental organizations and international institutions (e.g., Amnesty International, the International Women’s Health Coalition, the International Planned Parenthood Federation). Some international organizations in the CEE&E region became more visible and accessible as post-​Soviet states were admitted as members (e.g., the Council of Europe) and yet another set of institutions emerged as key players in the region (e.g., the EU, NATO). Their impact on shaping gender dynamics varied; while the Council of Europe has been far more progressive on the gender agenda than the EU, it has not been able to exercise much power over its members to secure the reinforcement of its gender-​related standards. Communist Party promises of gender equality were more rhetoric than practice and this stand, albeit in a different way, continued after the transformation; domestic violence, patriarchal attitudes, discrimination were all there and did not go away. In the 1990s, gender equality was not a priority for political parties, and in the last decade, parties in power (in Poland, Hungary, Georgia, Slovenia, and Russia, among others), have outright rejected calls for response to domestic violence or to the lack of LGBT+ rights, because they saw these as threats to more traditional and established forms of gender ideology. Members and allies of these parties (often within established religious institutions) began to call for the protection or restoration of “traditional family values,” casting feminism and gender movements as having been enforced from outside (Kuhar and Paternotte 2018; Wierzcholska 2018; see Graff, Chapter 26 in this Handbook). Grassroots movements and women’s organizations have also undergone numerous multidirectional transformations over time, but they continue to fight for the rights of the underprivileged and marginalized. In the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century they grew strong, focusing on suffrage, helping the poor, children, and the sick, or fighting for women’s right to vote. During World War I and II, women carried the burden of organizing not only everyday survival but also social and political life. After the communist takeover, parts of citizen’s activism weakened, as it was limited to organizations approved by the Communist Party. That led to the above-​the-​ground activism that predominantly 22

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developed around everyday life issues (e.g., protests against raising prices of food in Poland during the 1970s) (Grabowska 2017) and underground oppositions that repeatedly confronted political regimes in power, such as the feminist or gay undergrounds (Fábián, Hrycak, and Johnson 2016). After the 1989/​91 transformations, feminist and gender movements re-​entered the public sphere, focusing on domestic violence, equal pay and workers’ rights, LGBT+ rights, women’s political participation, or increasing unemployment (Lukić, Regulska, and Zaviršek 2006). At the same time, by the 2000s, driven by changing dominant political ideologies and societal values, anti-​feminist, anti-​ gender equality, anti-​abortion as well as anti-​LGBT+ advocates became more visible and organized, and entered the public sphere in heretofore unseen strengths (Kováts and Põim 2015). Under communism, women’s/​gender studies as a field of scientific enquiry and university education was mostly invisible—​limited predominantly to individual research, publications, and isolated interventions—​but the discussions of women’s rights were nonetheless present across many disciplines. In the early 1990s, formal gender studies started to emerge across CEE&E (Aavik and Marling 2018; Nyklová 2018) and grew stronger in the early 2000s. This often began within the sphere of civil society and nongovernmental organizations, with the most exciting work taking place in the former Yugoslavia. Individual scholars and nongovernmental organizations eventually managed to establish only a few degree programs in women’s and gender studies in Hungary, Georgia, and Romania, with many more certificates and courses offered. By 2020, the conservative and patriarchal political climate resulted in cancelation and elimination of gender studies, when authorities in several states in CEE&E fomented a backlash (e.g., Hungary and Romania). Hungary even forced the exile of the Central European University to Vienna, Austria, among other factors, because of its gender studies program. The pressures to engage with gender discourses, debates, and practices also became visible in mainstream business, media, and popular culture. Those actors brought with them diverse ideologies and practices as well as strong and diverse financial pressures from sponsors, shareholders, and other constituencies. They thereby formed and influenced gender trends and gender dynamics across different social groups; in the process they often rejected feminism and feminist approaches as imported from the West. In other instances, they appropriated feminist tropes in the service of selling goods and services as empowering to women. The polarization of political and social environments paralleled the emergence of new conservative and liberal newspapers, TV programs, and social media platforms, which often ridiculed, undermined, and rejected feminist, women’s, or LGBT+ agendas. At the same time, some new magazines for girls and boys sought to promote gender equality from an early age, for example, Kosmos or Szajn in Poland or AnaLize and D.O.R. (Doar o Revista) in Romania, while others focused specifically on LGBT+ issues (Replika in Poland). In the CEE&E region, the family defined as a “nuclear” group, with a father as a primary breadwinner and a mother as a care provider, was introduced in the early 19th century based on the Napoleonic Code. During and after communism, what constitutes a family has changed: fertility rates decreased, the number of divorces has increased, new forms of cohabitation have emerged, and the number of children born within new, non-​ traditional unions has increased. Such changes have not, however, progressed steadily across the region or within all countries of CEE&E. The advancing diversification of families across the region makes it impossible to talk about one family model. While in the past, the heterosexual family was defined by legal or blood ties, this is not so clear in 23

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the case of non-​heterosexual unions. Not only did the form of the family start to vary, but also the understanding of who does and who does not hold the power, authority, or rights within such unions becomes increasingly diversified. In Europe, prior to the suffragist movement, it was the father who automatically gained custody rights in the case of a divorce (Htun and Weldon 2011). Nowadays, it is most commonly the mother, who is assigned the right (and obligation) to take care of children after a breakup. The LGBT+ community is still denied many basic rights related to starting a family. In many countries in CEE&E neither same-​sex marriages nor civil unions of same-​sex couples are allowed (e.g., Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine). The right of same-​sex couples to adoption remains rare in the region (Fábián and Korolczuk 2017). In many religions strong in the region, the belief of ascribing certain gender roles based on one’s biological sex, whereby sex and gender have been seen as synonymous, has been resurgent. Leaders from the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and Islam have commonly voiced conservative opinions on gender-​related issues, including women’s role in marriage, same-​ sex marriages, abortion, or contraception (Essed, Goldberg, and Kobayashi 2005). The political role that institutionalized religion plays in many CEE&E countries can be seen in the political engagement of religious leaders, teaching religion in public schools, and registering religious views by the state authorities (e.g., Lithuania, Romania, Estonia). In such models, church leaders interfere in the state’s decisions concerning access to legal abortion, sex education, or LGBT+ rights (Poland, Russia). Church and state remain more separate in some countries, with the Czech and Hungarian governments remaining the most secular (Stan and Turcescu 2011). This brief review of key actors in CEE&E shows how their existence sets the architecture within which gender identities and gender dynamics are shaped. It also points not only to their diversity, but also to the unlimited opportunities for interactions between them. The unpredictability of these interactions and behaviors assures the constant fluidity of concepts and practices of gender dynamics.

Interaction of actors Actors do not act in isolation; they are constantly engaged in interactions with one another across the CEE&E region. They create partnerships, coalitions, networks, associations, and alliances. They bond together to unleash collective power and resilience. At the same time, the unions may also be subjected to resistance, tension, even violence from other actors. Actors can contradict each other and sabotage each other’s efforts. Although some do show longevity in their agenda and connection, their coming together is often fluid and temporary, more focused on the alignment of goals or benefits of the moment than on long-​term strategic partnerships. The diversity and unpredictability of interaction patterns result in different forms, contents, and directions of outcomes when it comes to genders’ construction processes. For example, international institutions such as the UN and the Council of Europe have repeatedly condemned violence against women, calling for national legislation. But it is national legislatures that have to make laws, and states have the power to implement or enforce relevant anti-​violence legislation or introduce policies to mandate certain approaches aimed at addressing these oppressions and discriminatory practices (Regulska and Smith 2012). The willingness of individual ministries—​and regional and local governments—​in CEE&E to condemn and eradicate gender-​based violence has 24

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been extremely uneven. In some cases, state institutions, for a period of time, were open to providing funding and services, to cooperating with nongovernmental organizations and other non-​state actors, and to recognizing the diverse needs and identities of those in need; at other times all funding and services were withdrawn by state institutions, and nongovernmental organizations were tasked with filling the void. Still, monitoring and evaluation measures are a rarity in CEE&E. Ultimately, all these interactions, behaviors, approaches, and responses shape the context of how the question of gender-​based violence is addressed and what rights are guaranteed. Civil society can be strongly influenced by the state, as happened under communism or in contemporary authoritarian postcommunist states, where women’s organizations have been closed down, and activism was restricted to organizations approved by the ruling party. However, grassroots movements can also shape the state’s legislations in positive and negative ways. After the regime changes, women’s movements placed the topic of domestic violence on the political and public agenda, and promoted it as a policy issue. At the same time, however, grassroots homophobia has helped bolster resistance to gender mainstreaming on the part of states, for example, in public education. Moreover, civil society in the form of gender think tanks, advocacy groups, or resource centers did implement or replace the state’s actions by providing services and resources, and by mobilizing groups for political action. International institutions also significantly affect civic mobilizations insofar as they often provide financial support to financially strapped nongovernmental organizations. This financial dependence, it should be noted, makes groups vulnerable to being manipulated or influenced by donor agendas. Such a dependency was especially visible in CEE&E, in the early 2000s and that dependency led to a mismatch between the actions of international donors, grassroots organizations, and local women’s needs (Ghodsee 2004). Similarly, in the case of social media, in the era of #MeToo and women’s mass protests, but also of far-​right outspoken rhetoric, social media has played a crucial role as a mobilization platform that gives voice to representatives of civil society and individuals, who have not until now been heard.

Conclusions This chapter calls for recognizing the fluid and dynamic processes of gender formations in CEE&E, resulting from complex interactions among a multiplicity of actors and under ever-​changing conditions. We suggest that such a conceptualization of gender dynamics allows a more nuanced understanding of the processes and practices through which gender identities, relations, and power are produced in CEE&E. This fluidity approach, unlike one that emphasizes periodization and ruptures, opens up the possibility of an examination of the impact and role of fractures and fissures on gender formations; in doing so it, at the same time, rejects a view that focuses on an imagined singularity of the forces at play. It permits a microscopic scrutiny of actors’ behaviors, of their interactions, and of their responses to the ever-​changing internal and external conditions within which power dynamics exist. It thereby opens up the possibility for an inquiry into how both continuity and ruptures influence gender conception and gender practices, in different contexts, time, and place. The recognition of fluidity as the core focus implies that the fight for rights, for example, exists on a continuum, where the past informs the future; once-​won rights (e.g., abortion), can very easily be taken away when political power shifts and conditions change. Things that many of us take for granted (e.g., the existence of gender studies) can be easily lost. 25

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But while the successes and achievements of past generations might be fragile and temporary, their loss signifies not just a continued need for advocacy, but also a need for the recognition that the particularity of certain moments requires that future struggles and strategies look beyond what may seem their obvious framing. Here this inherent volatility and uncertainty may direct attention to processes that earlier remained unnoticed, opening doors to new potential forms of inquiry that would attempt to untangle the complexities of the relationships forming gender dynamics. The variability of outcomes in the ways in which gender dynamics are formed and function, draws our attention to the need for a continued interrogation of conditions under which questions are asked. The outcomes of those inquiries will not only lead activists, scholars, and organizations to effective strategies, but will also allow for theorizing of these conditions.

References Aavik, Kadri, and Raili Marling. 2018. “Gender Studies at the Time of Neo-​liberal Transformation in Estonian Academia.” In Gender Studies and the New Academic Governance. Global Challenges, Glocal Dynamics and Local Impacts, edited by Heike Kahlert, 41–​64. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. de Haan, Francisca. 2016. “Ten Years After: Communism and Feminism Revisited.” Aspasia 10 (1): 102–​168. Essed, Philomena, Davis Theo Goldberg, and Kobayashi Audrey, eds. 2005. A Companion to Gender Studies. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing. Fábián, Katalin, ed. 2010. Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. Fábián, Katalin, Alex Hrycak, and Janet Elise Johnson. 2016. “Women’s and Feminist Activism in Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.” In The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, edited by Nancy A. Naples, 1–​5. Chichester, West Sussex and Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell. Fábián, Katalin and Elżbieta Korolczuk, eds. 2017. Rebellious Parents: Parental Movements in Central-​Eastern Europe and Russia. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. Funk, Nanette. 2014. “A Very Tangled Knot: Official State Socialist Women’s Organizations, Women’s Agency and Feminism in Eastern European State Socialism.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 21 (4): 344–​360. Fuszara, Małgorzata. 2005. “Between Feminism and the Catholic Church: The Women’s Movement in Poland.” Czech Sociological Review 41 (6): 1057–​1075. Ghodsee, Kristen. 2004. “Feminism-​by-​Design: Emerging Capitalisms, Cultural Feminism, and Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations in Postsocialist Eastern Europe.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 29 (3): 728–​753. Grabowska, Magdalena. 2017. “Bits of Freedom: Demystifying Women’s Activism under State Socialism in Poland and Georgia.” Feminist Studies 43 (1): 141–​168. Htun, Mala and Laurel Weldon. 2011. “State Power, Religion, and Women’s Rights: A Comparative Analysis of Family Law.” Law & Social Inquiry 18 (1): 145–​165. Johnson, Janet Elise and Jean C. Robinson, eds. 2007. Living Gender after Communism. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. Kováts, Eszter and Maari Põim, eds. 2015. Gender as Symbolic Glue: The Position and Role of Conservative and Far Right Parties in the Anti-​ Gender Mobilizations in Europe. Brussels: Foundation for European Progressive Studies. Kubik, Jan and Amy Linch. 2013. Postcommunism From Within. Social Justice, Mobilization, and Hegemony. New York: NYU Press. Kuhar, Roman and David Paternotte, eds. 2018. Anti-​Gender Campaigns in Europe. Mobilizing Against Equality. London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield International. Kulpa, Robert and Joanna Mizielińska, eds. 2011. De-​Centring Western Sexualities. Central and Eastern European Perspectives. New York: Ashgate Publishing. Lukić, Jasmina, Joanna Regulska, and Darja Zaviršek. 2006. Women and Citizenship in Central and Eastern Europe. New York: Ashgate Publishing.

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Fluidity or clean breaks? Millán, Márgara. 2016. “The Traveling of ‘Gender’ and Its Accompanying Baggage: Thoughts on the Translation of Feminism(s), the Globalization of Discourses, and Representational Divides.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 23 (1): 6–​27. Nyklová, Blanka. 2018. “Gender Studies in the Czech Republic: Institutionalisation Meets Neo-​ liberalism Contingent on Geopolitics.” In Gender Studies and the New Academic Governance. Global Challenges, Glocal Dynamics and Local Impacts, edited by H. Kahlert. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. O’Dwyer, Conor. 2017. Coming Out of Communism. The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe. New York: NYU Press. Regulska, Joanna and Bonnie G. Smith, eds. 2012. Women and Gender in Postwar Europe: From Cold War to European Union. London and New York: Routledge. Regulska, Joanna and Mindy Jane Roseman, 1998. “What is Gender?” Transitions, January 15. www.tol.org/​client/​article/​4973-​what-​is-​gender.html?print. Roth, Silke, ed. 2008. Gender Politics in the Expanding European Union. Mobilization, Inclusion, Exclusion. New York: Berghahn Books. Stan, Lavina, and Turcescu, Lucian. 2011. Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe (Religion and Global Politics). New York: Oxford University Press. Wierzcholska, Agnieszka. 2018. “Gender in the Resurgent Polish Conservatism.” In New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe, edited by K. Bluhm and M. Varga. London and New York: Routledge.

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3 NEOLIBERAL INTERVENTION Analyzing the Drakulić–​Funk–​Ghodsee debates Eva Maria Hinterhuber and Gesine Fuchs

Over the last three decades, the major political and theoretical challenges for feminist scholarship in examining Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E) have been exemplified in the Drakulić–​Funk–​Ghodsee debates: These debates started in the early 1990s with a dispute between the Croatian journalist, novelist, and feminist Slavenka Drakulić (1993) and Nanette Funk (1993), a US-​based professor of philosophy and feminist, who were simultaneously in the process of jointly founding the Network East-​West Women (see Funk, Chapter 15 in this Handbook). At a time when eastern and western feminists had the historical chance to exchange their experiences gained under specific political, economic, and societal circumstances, the potential (in-​)compatibility of “Feminism East and West” (Funk 1993) took center stage in their exchange, covering the dual quality of feminism: analysis and activism. A decade later, the discussion focused on how to evaluate the feminist activism that had emerged in the region. US-​based Kristen Ghodsee (2004), ethnographer and professor of gender studies, branded the West-​induced “Feminism-​by-​Design” as a major enabler of the new neoliberal economic system, under whose dramatic follow-​up costs, vast parts of the population experienced severe suffering (Dale and Fabry 2018). Funk (2006) responded, questioning this characterization of women’s activism in the region and rejecting a generalizing “Imperialist Criticism.” Another 10 years later, the debate continued, now over the scope of action of state socialist women’s organizations and their successes (Funk 2014, 2015; Ghodsee 2012, 2015). This time, the debate broadened to the evaluation of gender relations under communism, bringing back in Drakulić (2015) as well as adding Belgrade-​based philosopher Adriana Zaharijević (Ghodsee and Zaharijević 2015) and Central European University historian Andrea Pető (2015). Ghodsee then elaborates her stance in The New York Times (2017) and in a book, Why Women Have Better Sex under Socialism (2018). United by their focus on feminism and their interest in exploring socialism, the three main contributors to this debate can be firmly placed on the left of the spectrum. Still, Ghodsee is clearly more sympathetic to state socialism than Drakulić and Funk. Their differing conclusions are partly connected to diverging biographical experiences—​ Drakulić having experienced life under socialism (thus also its authoritarian realities), and Funk and Ghodsee belonging to different generations of US-​American academics—​but 28

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partly also to their disciplinary backgrounds and methodological approaches. Drakulić writes from her perspective within literary and journalistic work; Funk, trained as a philosopher, bases her studies on secondary empirical research, covering a broad regional spectrum within CEE; and anthropologist Ghodsee develops theories on extrapolation from her empirical case studies. Although the Drakulić–​Funk–​Ghodsee debates are directed at Eastern Europe, they are predominantly led in English by US-​based scientists. Most of the texts are only marginally based on their own empirical research and rather theoretical by nature. Thus, the differences among the authors presumably are part of a broader dispute within the Left, namely, whether the class struggle or the culture war deserves priority. It is based on the postulate of a main contradiction—​the contrasts between classes—​and of side contradictions, including the “women’s question.” The assumption that the solution of the principal contradiction, that is, between the classes, would also overcome the side contradiction—​patriarchy—​has also been disputed among feminists for almost 150 years (Susemichel and Kastner 2018, 12). The Drakulić–​Funk–​Ghodsee debates fit into this context. In doing so, they anticipated current discussions (e.g., Arruzza et al. 2019) and preemptively responded to the triumph of a neoliberal lean in feminism à la Sheryl Sandberg. With the rise of right-​wing populist politicians (such as Trump, Bolsonaro, Orbán, Putin, and Erdoğan), this dispute within the Left has regained topicality. Behind this is the accusation that the emphasis on cultural differences (including that which is framed as cultural feminism) instead of class differences is driving the population into the arms of right-​wing parties (Susemichel and Kastner 2018, 12). In addition, the debates seem to be also part of a US debate on the welfare state (especially Ghodsee 2018), whereby, from our perspectives, with the aim of better social security for broad sections of the population, the differences between socialism and social democracy are lost from sight. However, a democracy with a pronounced welfare state such as Sweden, for example, should not be confused with Soviet-​style authoritarian state socialism: last but not least, the scope for action by civil society varies considerably among democratic and authoritarian political systems. The debates revolve around the following: (1) how to evaluate state socialist ideologies and lived experiences, especially concerning gender relations, a core controversy within the Left; (2) how to evaluate the role different feminist and women’s activisms have played in willingly or unwillingly spreading neoliberalism in the region; and (3) how feminism is challenged by both neoliberalism and the recent rise of authoritarianism in the region. In our view, these debates reflect pressing questions of the time and have inspired many other scholars and activists in the East and West (e.g., Kováts 2016). They go far beyond research into gender relations in communist and postsocialist Eastern Europe by questioning the hegemonic theory transfer from one region to another, by critically analyzing civil society’s contribution to the maintenance of the present economic system, and by examining the scope for action under different political systems. Furthermore, they inspire scientific theoretical considerations: the demands to contextualize research, to perceive and recognize differences, and to reflect one’s own positionality.

Feminist disputes between East and West: Drakulić–​Funk in the 1990s The controversy between Drakulić and Funk in the 1990s focuses on the evaluation of gender regimes under state socialist rule, in particular on gender politics as well as on 29

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the evaluation of gender political activism after 1989. When, after the Iron Curtain rose, eastern and western scholars and activists were able to engage in exchange in an unprecedented way, the dialogue proved difficult. Kulawik (2019) calls this a “velvet border,” a context of continued hierarchies and a “West-​centric skew” of feminist knowledge production. In her collection of essays, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, Drakulić (1993) describes the particular relationship between public and private under an omnipresent authoritarian state and illustrates the gender-​specific challenges of organizing everyday life under the conditions of permanent scarcity. One essay is a harsh reaction to “A Letter from the United States (…)” (Drakulić 1993, 123–​132), through which an unnamed author (Funk, as it was later revealed) had invited her to contribute to an anthology about women in Eastern Europe. In this public reply, Drakulić rejects any generalizations on the research subject in view of national differences among state socialist countries and criticizes a supposed arrogance of western scholars explaining the system from outside (Drakulić 1993, 125). She stresses differences between western and eastern (style) feminists, questions the knowledge of the researchers, and the quality and applicability of the questions posed by the American colleague. Finally, she refers to the difficulties faced by eastern women during transition, like concomitant rollbacks concerning reproductive rights or the rise of pornography. In the very anthology for which Drakulić was asked to contribute a chapter (and eventually did), Funk (1993, 319) replies, recognizing that their dispute is not restricted to individuals, but “symptomatic of the risks, tensions, and difficulties inherent in the discourse between Eastern and Western women.” Funk is aware of the real existing power imbalances between East and West, both structural and economic, and the fact that the East was being incorporated into the West rather than unifying. The gradient also includes the hegemony of western feminist discourse. She expresses understanding for tensions resulting from this complex situation, calling for a differentiated perspective (also on the situation of feminist women scholars in the West as representatives of a marginalized field of research) and for “a dialogue regarded as a joint enterprise directed toward understanding each other, rather than a battle to prove the other wrong” (1993, 321). She exemplifies this with an analysis of the different value ascribed to gainful employment by western and eastern women in the 1990s. Without negating economic, political, and cultural differences, Funk sees comparable challenges for women in the East and West: “The problems Eastern women confront in the conservative turn in some Eastern countries or the repressive nationalist threats in others, resonate with problems women face in the West” (1993, 328). Against this background, she expresses hope to gain helpful insights in an exchange from all sides. The dispute between the two authors reflects a global conversation within feminism at the time. One main point was whether western feminist concepts and theories were transferable to the conditions and experiences in Eastern Europe. In their evaluation of the controversy, authors such as Jalušić (1997) point out that the dispute was productive, as contents and forms of feminism were reflected and various strategies were debated. Taking into account the different experiences in East and West made it necessary to (re-​) consider the premises for scientific reasoning and provoked new approaches in political thinking. In contrast to the scientific mainstream in the 1990s, the feminism dispute—​and the debate between Drakulić and Funk as a crucial part of it—​reflected on the often uncritical transfer of theoretical approaches from West to East, both in terms of their analytical power and political effects (Jalušić 1998). 30

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The impact of western donors on feminism: Funk–​Ghodsee in the 2000s There was a similar scientific gain in the next discursive event, the Funk–​ Ghodsee debate on how to assess the feminist activism emerging in the region after the transition. The debate took place when neoliberalism gained a foothold in the region, with feminist scholars arguing that the consequences of economic restructuring were being borne disproportionately by women—​be it in terms of unemployment, pay gaps, labor market segregation, or a disproportionate effect of the collapse of social security systems on women both as the majority of service recipients and state employees. The anxious question was whether feminist civil society organizations were contributing to this development rather than alleviating it. In particular, the developing landscape of civil societies and social movements in CEE&E sparked academic debates about the character, motives, and outcomes of donor support (Wedel 1998). Ghodsee (2004) issued a harsh critique of western donor feminism—​calling it “feminism by design” for its promotion of neoliberal visions of society and displacement of issues of interest to local activists. She criticizes western feminists and organizations for “jumping on the aid bandwagon” and for supporting mostly issues of “cultural feminism,” thereby privileging gender as the most important difference category. In her reading, developments in women’s organized activism are primarily donor-​driven, transplanting institutional forms and principles from the West like women’s advocacy groups, gender think tanks or women’s shelters. According to Ghodsee, the problem with this “gender first” framework is that some activities result in women’s victimization and that “women’s NGOs in Eastern Europe do, in some ways, directly undermine the possibility of a united proletariat by narrowly focusing on projects for women and discursively constructing women as somehow less suited to capitalism” (Ghodsee 2004, 742). In the case of Bulgaria, Ghodsee concludes—​in line with Fraser’s (2013) thesis of feminism as the handmaiden of neoliberalism—​that women’s NGOs might actually weaken grassroots opposition to neoliberalism. Analyses that privilege gender over class, she infers, are based on a “hegemonic, Western, cultural-​feminist conception of gender as an essentialist category of difference” (Ghodsee 2004, 748) and fail to explain the complexity of the postsocialist context. Ghodsee’s conclusion is extremely critical: The feminism-​by-​design model masks important class distinctions, and NGOs do more to assist western capitalist expansion in the region than improve women’s lives (Ghodsee 2004, 749). We suggest that Ghodsee’s critique refers especially to theoretical considerations in US liberal feminism that differ greatly from the more Marxist and structuralist approaches in (western) European feminism (see Kulawik 2019, 21–​23). Partially in response to Ghodsee (2004), Funk (2006) systematically reviews the “imperialist criticism” of western donor policies for women’s organizations in the region. Funk claims to be cautionary but not over-​generalizing: NGOs are indeed vulnerable to imperialism, neocolonialism, and feminist imperialism ... I also accept the assumption that neoliberalism is neither in the interest of women nor the region … All that follows is a need for caution, a case-​by-​case analysis, and awareness of limitations to NGO effectiveness and possible problems. (Funk 2006, 70) She detects old Left assumptions: the blaming of women’s NGOs for a gender focus instead of a class-​centered one would perpetuate the old Left failure to recognize gender 31

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and race injustice “as equally fundamental forms of injustice, which intersect with class, but cannot be reduced to it.” Most women would have had enough of class struggle talk after 1989 (Funk 2006, 72). She argues that donors do not wholly determine the nature of funded activities; this would make local organizations passive victims without their own agendas. Furthermore, not all western donors had a neoliberal agenda, and many donors were dependent on western feminist organizations for contacts. Empirically, Funk (2006) argues, the grim picture by Ghodsee and others does not hold true. A broad variety of women’s NGOs emerged in the region, including Yugoslav organizations that became major peace activists during the 1990s war as well as non-​ western funded NGOs and strong native, feminist-​identified NGOs that were already active under state socialism or right thereafter (2006, 73f.). Funk extolls many benefits of donors and women’s NGOs, ranging from the introduction of new frames and concepts into public discourse to resistance to neoliberalism, support for women’s political participation, ethnic justice, and peace. Among the positive influences of western feminisms would be, for example, democratic inner-​organizational decision-​making or shared leadership. She concludes that “women in NGOs in the region have to assess what funding to accept, which western NGOs to work with, and whether likely accomplishments are worth the concessions. It is better to leave that decision to those active in NGOs” (Funk 2006, 81). Funk here seems to respond to her initial exchange with Drakulić. Here again, we can see the relevance of the debate in a broader context. As the consequences of the neoliberal economic system became apparent in the mid-1990s, the debate drew attention to gender-​specific aspects—​and to the tension between emancipatory aspirations on the one hand and the possibility of being co-​opted by, and contributing to, the maintenance of the present economic system on the other. This is not specific to women’s organizations as it affects other activists such as those involved in ecological activism. The topics discussed in the debate are still relevant today; they not only concern Eastern Europe but, accelerated by the cessation of the competition between political and economic systems, also exhibit patterns increasingly similar to Western Europe and North America.

Debating state socialist women’s organizations: Funk–​Ghodsee in the 2010s Several years later, a closely associated discussion between Funk and Ghodsee grew around the re-​evaluation of socialist women’s organizations and their political impact and influence under state socialism. In the new millennium, gender scholars returned to the socialist period, for example, on state socialist emancipation policies or on gender in oppositional movements (see Brier 2017 for an introduction). Ghodsee (2012) turned her focus to official state socialist organizations, especially the activities of the Bulgarian state socialist women’s organizations. Funk (2014, 2015) challenged the premises of Ghodsee’s (2015) research on this topic (such as her notion of women’s agency). In her article, Ghodsee (2012) claims that members and officials of the women’s organizations were indeed agents with policy successes for gender equality, and not a mere transmission belt organization (cf. Lenin 1965), bringing party policies to women. Funk (2014) contends that assumptions about women’s agency in state socialist regimes are misleading and fail to recognize that state socialist regimes were not open to free agency—​ after all, all non-​ communist organizations had been dismantled and independent legal organizing was not possible. The desire behind some research “to show

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women as ‘active’, not ‘passive’, simply following Communist Party orders” (Funk 2014, 345) would lead to a simplistic view of the historical realities. Funk argues that organized women’s activism independent of the ruling party occurred either before 1955 in a yet unconsolidated system or in times of political crises like the Prague Spring 1968 or the Solidarity movement in Poland. In reaction to Ghodsee’s (2014) critique of the vague notion of “agency,” Funk (2015) proposes a more developed conceptualization of the term, differentiating between proactive “episodic, programmatic, and structural agency” (Funk 2015, 353). Viewed from the outside, Ghodsee (2012) strives to investigate possible progressive and pro-​women issues in state socialist regimes, whereas in Funk’s (2015) view, the material outcomes of state socialist women’s policies are inextricably ambivalent toward women, and sometimes even negative.

(Not) laughing in communism and postcommunism: Drakulić–​Ghodsee and others in the 2010s In her 2015 article, “How [women] survived post-​ communism (and didn’t laugh),” Drakulić responded to her previous essay. Building on the premise that Eastern European women suffered more from the hardships of transition than men (Drakulić 2015, 2), she argues that shared experiences of life under communism still unite Eastern European women. A main characteristic in this regard is the Soviet-​style “emancipation from above,” a legal framework that guaranteed women “all the basic rights—​from voting to property ownership, from education to divorce, from equal pay for equal work to the right to control their bodies” (Drakulić 2015, 3–​4). Concurrently, patriarchal structures remained in force also under state socialism, especially in the private sphere where women continued to do most of the care work (Fuchs and Hinterhuber forthcoming). Drakulić explains the lack of strong protest against this state socialist version of patriarchy with the widespread expectation that the authorities will take care of the problems stemming from the gendered division of labor. The few who overtly committed themselves to feminism were accused of importing a “bourgeois” ideology from the West (Drakulić 2015, 4). Encounters between eastern and western feminists in the 1970s and 1980s were characterized by a collision between the socialist “experience of emancipation from above” and the “grassroots fight” on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Drakulić (2015, 7) sees a sustained bad reputation of feminism and an “authoritarian mentality” as the main reasons why the severe backlash against communist gender-​ political achievements after 1989 did not meet strong resistance. This argument refers to the concept of paternalist state socialism, advanced by Verdery (1994) or Dölling (1991): That the ambiguous legacy of authoritarian-​paternalist granting of social rights paradoxically had emancipatory outcomes for women, but prevailing traditions of collective and not individual rights as well as missing memories of pre-​socialist women’s organizing in state-​socialism impeded the articulation and representation of women’s interests after transition. Drakulić emphasizes that undermining women’s rights is endemic and not restricted to postsocialism. But the author raises the question, “[w]‌hat if values have changed so much that women increasingly see their subordinate position as normal?” (Drakulić 2015, 10). Against this alarming backdrop, she accentuates the inextricable link between women’s participation and democracy and calls for “an emancipation after emancipation” (Drakulić 2015, 10–​11).

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In their response, Ghodsee and Zaharijević (2015) oppose the juxtaposition of western women’s liberation through grassroots activism and Eastern European women’s liberation through communism. They reject the explanation that the legacy of “emancipation from above” explains the missing resistance. The authors point out that gender equality achievements in the West were often due to top-​down interventions rather than grassroots activism, particularly because of the “system competition” between East and West. Ghodsee and Zaharijević again stress women’s fight for equality in state socialism and its official women’s organizations. While both sides agree on the absence of a broad women’s movement in contemporary Eastern Europe, Ghodsee and Zaharijević are convinced that “the biggest barrier to active mass social movements derives not from a Communist past but from a neoliberal present” (Ghodsee and Zaharijević 2015, 4), where solidarity has become a foreign word. In the same issue of Eurozine as this text, Pető (2015) pushes the discussion into another direction. She endorses that “[v]‌ery few would disagree that being (and living) as a woman in central Europe is no laughing matter.” Still, the triumphant anti-​genderism and the emergence of right-​wing populism is, according to Pető, a new phenomenon, where negatively referring to gender works as “symbolic glue,” sticking together otherwise diverse actors. This new occurrence calls also for new, independent (counter-​)strategies: Pető (2015) sees the necessity of “re-​thinking the neoliberal emancipation model” and trying to “re-​enchant the doing of the feminist politics in order to reach out to a wider public.” The debate about the evaluation of women’s organizations in the state-​socialist past is thus reminiscent of the consideration of the effects of (authoritarian) political systems on the scope of women’s political actors. Here, too, a look into the past can sharpen the tools for analyzing the present, in which democratization processes come to a standstill or are even reversed.

Feminism in times of neoliberalism and authoritarianism: CEE authors engage the debate Scholars from the region have implicitly and explicitly referred to the debate and initiated empirical research. Korolczuk’s (2016) study in the anthology “Solidarity in struggle: Feminist perspectives on neoliberalism in East-​Central Europe” may serve as an example. According to her study, women’s and gender activists, and thus practice, seem to be partly ahead of the scholarly debate. Contemporary women’s activism—​not only in Poland—​shows new forms of resistance against the hardships of neoliberalism. The largest Polish women’s initiative, Congress of Women (Kongres Kobiet), cannot not be reduced to its initial focus on a “symbolic recognition of women’s achievements” (Korolczuk 2016, 35) for which it was accused of being “neoliberalized” in the 1990s, mirroring the assessment suggested by Ghodsee (2012). This, according to Korolczuk, would ignore the heterogeneity of opinions in the Congress and wider Polish feminist movement (2016, 36), where anti-​neoliberal arguments concerning redistribution and social rights took center stage by the mid-​2000s. New coalitions and mass demonstrations with groups affected by the increasing economic precariousness (not necessarily feminist), organized by the Women’s 8th of March Alliance, a Warsaw-​based grassroots initiative with no external funding or institutional support, are a promising attempt “to implement intersectionality as a social movement strategy” (2016, 38). The biggest hurdle

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in pursuing this strategy is a right-​wing populism strong enough to effect an “illiberal turn” in the Polish state that now no longer embodies “the values which lay at the core of liberal democracy such as equality, tolerance, individual and minority rights” (2016, 39), resulting in attempts to re-​traditionalize gender relations. If Pető is right that the merger between neoliberalism and authoritarianism, symbolically glued together with a shared anti-​genderism, calls for new feminist approaches, then indeed broad emancipatory movements seem to be the most promising as long as they choose comprehensive, intersectional, and solidarity-​based approaches. Thus, the necessity of challenging economic inequality is acknowledged, as well as the fact that feminist claims for equal opportunities and participation are equally important requests. This reality calls for a multilayered approach. Any dichotomization and oversimplification would not only conceal the fact that women’s activism in the region is still underexplored, contributing “to unconsciously reproduce and legitimate the picture of the ‘potent west’ and ‘passive rest of the world’ ” (Ostertágová 2016, 65). It also bears the risk of adding a voice to the chorus of right-​wing populism and authoritarianism disavowing feminism as a whole, not only undermining gender equality in the region, but also contributing to the growing backlash throughout Europe (Ostertágová 2016, 67). In this sense, dividing feminist activism along the lines of class and gender might, on the contrary, rather play into the hands of the rising authoritarianism in the region.

Conclusions Analogous to what Jalušić (1997) pointed out regarding the feminist disputes between East and West in the 1990s, debates like the Drakulić–​Funk–​Ghodsee controversy have great potential. They remind us to carry out analyses of women’s movements with the necessary attention to the multilayered and intersectional dynamics of gender, taking into account different historical, political, and social contexts as well as reflecting on our own positionality as researchers (see Harders 1999, 181 on principles of feminist research methodology). Research should be firmly grounded in political and/​or social theory and simultaneously generate more empirical, hypothesis-​driven knowledge that avoids (paternalist) generalizations. The debate also illuminates how distinctive feminist and gender theories and approaches have different strengths as well as specific blind spots. Certain theoretical strands—​like feminist democratic theory and intersectional analysis—​should be given greater consideration. We believe that the debate here points to the necessity of referring to theories about non-​democratic regimes in order to systematically clarify individual and collective possibilities for action; from the beginning, the debate shows also parallels to feminist postcolonial criticism (explicitly transferred to the region, e.g., by Kulawik 2019; see also Shchurko and Suchland, Chapter 7 in this Handbook). Differentiated analyses can open up new fields of research and advance scientific knowledge and, last but not least, help to overcome “velvet borders.” Altogether, such debates can open up new fields of research and questions and advance science and research as a whole. In line with the dual quality of feminism—​analysis and activism—​differentiated analyses can be a powerful tool against neoliberal and right-​wing authoritarian currents. At best, they help alternatives to emerge that are beyond the glorification of the (state-​socialist) past or the celebration of the current political conditions, where economic hardships under

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neoliberalism resulted in discrediting democracy in the eyes of big parts of the population (cf. Arruzza et al. 2019; Kováts 2016).

References Arruzza, Cinzia, Thiti Bhattacharya, and Nancy Fraser. 2019. Feminism of the 99%. New York: Verso. Brier, Robert. 2017. “Gendering Dissent: Human Rights, Gender History and the Road to 1989.” L‘Homme—​Europäische Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft 28 (1): 15–​32. Dale, Gareth, and Adam Fabry. 2018. “Neoliberalism in Eastern Europe in the Former Soviet Union.” In The Sage Handbook of Neoliberalism, edited by Damien Cahill, Melinda Cooper, Martijn Konings, and David Primrose, 234–​247. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Dölling, Irene. 1991. “Über den Patriarchalismus staatssozialistischer Gesellschaften und die Geschlechterfrage im gesellschaftlichen Umbruch.” [“On the Patriarchalism of State-​Socialist Societies and the Gender Question in Social Transition.”] UTOPIE kreativ 7: 25–​32. Drakulić, Slavenka. 1993. How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed. New York: HarperPerennial. –​–​–​–​. 2015. “How Women Survived Post-​communism (and Didn’t Laugh).” Eurozine, February 15. www.eurozine.com/​how-​women-​survived-​post-​communism-​and-​didnt-​laugh/​. Fraser, Nancy. 2013. Fortunes of Feminism: From State-​managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis and Beyond. London and New York: Verso. Fuchs, Gesine and Eva M. Hinterhuber. Forthcoming. “Öffentlich und privat in Osteuropa.” [“Public and Private in Eastern Europe.”] In Privat/​öffentlich: Gesellschaftstheoretische Relevanz einer feministischen Debatte [Private /​Public: Social-​Theoretical Relevance of a Feminist Debate], edited by Heike Kahlert, Diana Cichecki, Nina Degele, and Günter Burkart. Wiesbaden: Springer. Funk, Nanette. 1993. “Feminism East and West.” In Gender Politics and Post-​Communism: Reflections from Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, edited by Nanette Funk and Magda Mueller, 318–​330. New York: Routledge. –​–​–​–​. 2006. “Women’s NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: The Imperialist Criticism.” femina politica 1: 68–​83. –​–​–​–​. 2014. “A Very Tangled Knot: Official State Socialist Women’s Organizations, Women’s Agency and Feminism in Eastern European State Socialism.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 21 (4): 344–​360. –​–​–​–​. 2015. “(K)Not So: A Response to Kristen Ghodsee.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (3): 350–​355. Ghodsee, Kristen. 2004. “Feminism-​by-​Design: Emerging Capitalisms, Cultural Feminism, and Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations in Postsocialist Eastern Europe.” Signs 29 (3): 727–​753. –​–​–​–​. 2012. “Rethinking State Socialist Mass Women’s Organizations: The Committee of the Bulgarian Women’s Movement and the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975–​ 1985.” Journal of Women’s History 24 (4): 49–​73. –​–​–​–​. 2015. “Untangling the Knot: A Response to Nanette Funk.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (2): 248–​252. –​–​–​–​. 2017. “Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism.” The New York Times, August 12. www.nytimes.com/​2017/​08/​12/​opinion/​why-​women-​had-​better-​sex-​under-​socialism.html. –​–​–​–​. 2018. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence. New York: Bodley Head. Ghodsee, Kristen, and Adriana Zaharijević. 2015. “Fantasies of Feminist History in Eastern Europe: A Response to Slavenka Drakulić.” Eurozine, March 1. www.eurozine.com/​fantasies-​ of-​feminist-​history-​in-​eastern-​europe/​. Harders, Cilja. 1999. “Das Ende der Strukturkategorie Geschlecht?” [“The End of the Structural Category Gender?”] In Gender and Politics, edited by Angelika von Wahl, 171–​ 197. Opladen: Leske + Budrich. Jalušić, Vlasta. 1997. “Die Geschlechterfrage und die Transformation in Ostmitteleuropa: Kann das Geschlechterparadigma zur ‘Transformation des Politischen’ beitragen?” [“The Gender

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The Drakulić–Funk–Ghodsee debates Question and Transformation in East Central Europe: Can the Gender Paradigm Contribute to the ‘Transformation of the Political’?”] PVS-​Sonderheft: 450–​474. Korolczuk, Elżbieta. 2016. “Neoliberalism and Feminist Organizing: From ‘NGO-​ ization of Resistance’ to Resistance against Neoliberalism.” In Solidarity in Struggle: Feminist Perspectives on Neoliberalism in East-​Central Europe, edited by Eszter Kováts, 32–​41. Budapest: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Kováts, Eszter, ed. 2016. Solidarity in Struggle: Feminist Perspectives on Neoliberalism in East-​ Central Europe. Budapest: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Kulawik, Teresa. 2019. “Introduction: European Borderlands and Topographies of Transnational Feminism.” In Borderlands in European Gender Studies: Beyond the East–​West Frontier, edited by Teresa Kulawik and Zhanna Kravchenko 1–​39. New York: Routledge. Lenin, Vladimir. 1965. “The Trade Unions, the Present Situation and Trotsky’s Mistakes.” In Lenin’s Collected Works. www.marxists.org/​archive/​lenin/​works/​1920/​dec/​30.htm. Ostertágová, Alexandra. 2016. “Challenging the Narrative of Feminism as a Facilitator of Neoliberalism in the Context of Slovakia.” In Solidarity in Struggle: Feminist Perspectives on Neoliberalism in East-​Central Europe, edited by Eszter Kováts, 60–​69. Budapest: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Pető, Andrea, 2015. “After ‘Emancipation after Emancipation’: On Europe’s anti-​gender movements.” Eurozine, March 1. www.eurozine.com/​after-​emancipation-​after-​emancipation/​?pdf. Susemichel, Lea, and Jens Kastner. 2018. Identitätspolitiken (Identity Politics). Münster: Unrast. Verdery, Katherine. 1994. “From Parent-​ State to Family Patriarchs: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Eastern Europe.” EEPS 9 (2): 225–​255. Wedel, Janine R. 1998. Collision and Collusion. The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europa 1989–​1998. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

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4 LEGACIES OF THE COLD WAR AND THE FUTURE OF GENDER IN FEMINIST HISTORIES OF SOCIALISM Anna Krylova

At the turn of the century, feminist scholars committed to bringing gender analytics into historiographies of modern Russia and Central-​Eastern Europe saw their mission as decidedly field-​ transforming, even revolutionary. The plan, writes feminist historian Maria Bucur (2008, 1383), was to “enact a major shift in the historiography,” by making gender an “integral component” of historians’ inquiry. The gender analytics in question was, and still is, one of the most utilized and most criticized in the discipline of history and beyond. Thirty years ago, it pointed to the massive historical record of persistent inequality between the sexes and offered a powerful tool of analysis—​the gender category—​which entrenchment in poststructuralist modes of critique has since proven to be both a strength and a weakness. For example, the category has served feminist scholars well, critiquing a particular form of heterosexual subjectivity, the one structured like a binary, hierarchical system. It has empowered historians to pursue and deconstruct the binary organization of heterosexual—​woman/​man—​identities as well as power relations and discursive formations that produce them. At the same time, the gender category itself has ended up carrying a rich repertoire of binary, heteronormative connotations—​those of radical distinction, opposition, hierarchy, and oppression. As a result, this founding category of gender history offers little help to historians whose research agendas encompass either non-heterosexual gender systems or alternative heterosexual regimes of difference and power relations that exist outside the binary-bound, heteronormative paradigm (see Boydston 2008; Krylova 2016; Najmabadi 2006). This chapter explores strengths and weaknesses of gender analytics in histories of socialist modernities. Today, the mission of bringing gender into the Central-​Eastern European and Eurasian (CEE&E) studies has been accomplished. It is impossible to imagine these historiographies without research projects utilizing gender theory and methodology and exposing binary organization of subjectivities, relations, or policies either in its traditional or modern incarnations. Having proliferated since the 1990s, gender-​ informed scholarship has profoundly changed research agendas and the understanding of historical practice. 41

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Yet, the trajectories that gender analytics has charted out through these historiographical traditions tell a story that is bigger than an account of the initially difficult but ultimately successful struggle for its implementation. Such an account stumbles when we turn our attention to the gender-​informed scholarship devoted to the problem of socialist modernities and their record of women’s emancipation (Bonfiglioli 2016; Chatterjee 1999; de Haan 2010; Krylova 2004). What one finds is the disconcerting presence of Cold War habits of thought—​these 50-​year-​plus analytical constructs—​that apparently have survived the gender shake-​up of the past decades. Today all too familiar, Cold War plots continue to empower gender scholars to charge socialist modernities with familiar flaws: “failed” or “incomplete” gender revolutions; socialist states’ inadequate or missing breakup with traditional gender norms; and communist feminists’ and their organizations’ failure to put women’s interests ahead of state-​, party-​, class-​identified agendas and, as a result, their ultimate reduction to being just an instrument in male-​identified projects. As such, they offer a classic example of the moralizing “storytelling,” now empowered by gender analysis, that pre-​judges socialism’s emancipatory promise and prohibits the history of socialism from taking place outside its plot lines (White 1987, 2). The history of gender analytics, however, does not stop here. It has seen a new chapter in pioneering research on socialist modernities that decisively ventures beyond Cold War plots. Its history in this case is epitomized by a thought-​provoking absence: the hesitance on the part of scholars who work against Cold War paradigms to use the gender category when they interrogate novel forms of heterosexual organization of family, work, self, etc. that surpass binary, heteronormative imperatives, either in their traditional or contemporary forms. Here, I engage the peculiar behaviors of the gender category in scholarship on socialist modernities by considering the following questions: First, how do we explain the ease with which Cold War plots and characters have made themselves at home in gender-​ informed scholarship on socialism? Second, what is the future of gender analytics in recent histories of socialism that are parting ways with Cold War habits of interpretation? In particular, what is the future of the gender category in the emergent scholarship that explores alternative heterosexual relations, identities, familial, and intimate arrangements—​that is, heterosexual gender systems—​that did not fit the binary matrix of the borrowed gender category? My query has a twofold structure. What is at stake, on the one hand, is, an explication of the symbiotic relationship between the 50-​year-​plus story about socialism’s fundamental failure to serve the cause of women’s liberation and gender history’s propensity to agree with the general outline of this account. On the other, it is the poverty of gender as a binary device to help feminist scholars analyze alternative heterosexual systems of differentiation and power under socialism. The trouble with the gender category examined here, in other words, is different from the one that propelled founding critiques of lesbian and gay studies and queer theory and continues to inform conversations in transgender and third gender studies. The deficiency of gender as a binary device does not stop with non-​heterosexual relations but also directly pertains to heterosexual relations that do not fit the binary matrix. One of my key arguments is that scholars who explore novel forms of heterosexual organization of family, work, self, etc. under socialism tend to sidestep the gender category in order to clear their research of the category’s mainstream binary connotations.

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The history of gender in histories of socialism contains an eventful plot examined below: from being welcomed as a field-​transforming category in the 1990s to being recently sidestepped by scholars launching post-​Cold War research agendas. I propose to turn the recent scholarship that ventures beyond Cold War plots into a productive site for the continuous development of gender theory and methodology. This way, the intersecting fields of Russian and CEE history cease playing the role of recipients and deployers of theory not of their making and become leading players in its development in the 21st century.

What is a Cold War narrative? Cold War accounts of socialism’s failure to emancipate women have long enabled scholars to approach the subject matter with varying degrees of maximalism. One such narrative, for example, pertains to the history of the Soviet Union and tells the story of de-​radicalization of the Bolshevik and, later, Soviet commitment to women’s emancipation. Another predominant account tends to frame histories of CEE experiences by foregrounding a fundamental conflict between agendas of feminism and state socialism. Both tend to share several signature interpretive moves, including an insistence on the socialist state’s instrumental use of women and the perseverance of traditional gender norms despite economic and social changes introduced into women’s and men’s lives by socialist governments. In the 1970s, the theses about the instrumental value of women and the perseverance of traditional gender norms in the Soviet Union was used to argue against, what Elizabeth Wood (1997) called, the “emancipatory” story found in Soviet as well as western scholarship of the period. Richard Stites’ (1978) The Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia, for example, argued that Bolshevism was one of the three defining women’s movements of modern Russia and, as such, formed a permanent feature of Soviet 20th century. Gail Lapidus’s (1978) Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development, and Social Change, offered a counter-​argument that is of direct relevance here. A political scientist drawing on methodologies of social history, Lapidus situated her analysis within Soviet industrialization and the social restructuring it caused. She argued that Soviet women’s lives, legal status, social roles, and educational and economic opportunities did indeed change. Yet, whatever new happened in the lives of Soviet women, Lapidus (1978, 96–​97) offered one of the most succinct and tenacious formulations of socialism’s fundamental failures to liberate women: it was “assimilated into older values and patterns of behavior.” Being useful to the state as it struggled to industrialize and modernize did not mean to be liberated by the state. The message of the emergent moralizing story cannot be fully grasped outside of the Cold War ideological struggles of the second half of the 20th century. At its most basic, it warns women against counting on a socialist state for their true liberation. Over the next two decades, this story of women’s liberation in Soviet Russia acquired complicating contextual detail. But the emergent, richly researched narrative tended, nevertheless, to culminate in the demise of the Bolshevik feminist tradition, on the one hand, and the triumph of traditional expectations of women and men, on the other. In Barbara Evans Clements’ (1992, 1997) field-​shaping work, the Soviet story began with unequivocal radicalism of Bolshevik feminism and its institutional incarnation in the Women’s Section of the Communist Party (Zhenotdel). After the October Revolution and

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in the early 1920s, Clements (1992, 488–​489) wrote, the section’s commitment to women’s emancipation, understood as women’s “independence and activism” was “so integral that it almost became the means to all other useful social change, as well as the standard by which to measure the achievements of the revolution.” By the early 1930s, the Bolshevik feminist agenda and its party and local institutions were no longer there. In Clements’ reading, the demise of Bolshevik feminists was not an inevitable result of irreconcilable conflict between feminism and the socialist state. Rather, she situated the history of Bolshevik feminism inside Russia’s predicament of economic and cultural backwardness. The socialist state’s poverty and struggle to survive made gender compromises paramount while it was only the ultimate but not inevitable triumph of the Stalinist style of governance and industrialization that closed the Bolshevik feminist chapter of women’s liberation in Russia (see also Engel 2004). Wendy Z. Goldman’s (1993) Women, the State, and Revolution furthered the understanding of the challenges of pursuing a radical feminist agenda in an economically and culturally disadvantaged country by zeroing in on many collisions between the Marxist-​feminist legal theory and life. The overarching story told in this and other scholarship tended to end in the middle of the Stalinist industrialization, with the 1936 Soviet Family Code and Anti-​Abortion Law used to epitomize the return of traditional gender ideals (Hoffmann 2000). As such, it seemed to supply scholars with evidence to conclude that, first, it was possible for a society to undergo a radical remaking of its economic and social relations and, in the end, recycle its traditional gender expectations. Second, the history of Bolshevik feminism can be adequately accounted for via a narrative of continuous compromise and ultimate demise in the name of state and national agendas.

Gender analysis meets Cold War narratives of socialism From the 1970s and 1980s, the field of Soviet women’s history did not have a monopoly on narratives of failed socialist attempts to liberate women. Such narratives proved particularly useful in emerging, feminist scholarship on CEE encounters with socialism (e.g., Jancar 1978; Scott 1976; Wolchik and Meyer 1985). Here, the story about how, under socialism, women’s and men’s societal and familial roles got “modified in form, not in essence” (Massino 2010, 34–​35) was specified with two inflexible qualifications, missing from the Soviet historiography: first, that socialist and feminist agendas in 20th-​century Eastern Europe were invariably incompatible and that “communist women” had little choice but to become pawns of party-​and state agendas. Such a variation on the Cold War moralizing narrative proposed the categorical counterposition between women’s interests and state and national agendas that continues to inform the recent debates in the field (see Hinterhuber and Fuchs, Chapter 3 in this Handbook). The mid-​1990s saw new developments in the scholarship on socialist modernities. It was scholars working on CEE&E who, in the 1990s, led the way in the gender revolution and introduced the category into the study of socialism, the endeavors that, I argue, ended up combining gender analytics with available interpretations of women’s compromised and incomplete emancipation. A “benchmark for historians and other scholars of gender under socialism” (Bucur 2008, 1382) was Katherine Verdery’s (1996) “From Parent State to Family Patriarchs: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Eastern Europe.” The proposed gender framework pointed to “in-​built [societal] inequalities” and hierarchies that “favor the occupants of masculine gender roles.” It also offered critical

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interpretive tools of unearthing and deconstructing the way those “in-​built inequalities” were organized and institutionalized as natural male/​female, that is, heteronormative, differences in an infinite array of political, social, institutional, and discursive activities (Verdery 1996, 61). Verdery narrated how CEE socialist regimes opened new positions to women in production, education, science, and arts only to advance their own agendas—​to meet the needs of capital-​poor, industrializing societies. Gender analytics seemed to prove exceptionally effective in detailing Verdery’s story. The “substantial reorganization of gender roles” in socialist societies, Verdery elaborated, took place within the confines of creatively repurposed traditional “gender regimes” and gender logics that continued to restrict women’s access to male-​identified jobs and assigned less social power and prestige to positions made available to women. In Verdery’s gendered account of socialism, there seemed to be no room for feminism. Unlike Soviet scholars who narrated by measuring degrees of Bolshevik feminism’s de-​radicalization at the hands of the Soviet state, Verdery’s account suggested that socialist and feminist agendas in 20th-​century Eastern Europe were incompatible. The full potential of bringing gender analytics into critical accounts of “manipulative party-​states,” attempting to “maneuver women” into the workforce, came into fruition over the next decades. Donna Harsch’s (2007) study of the East German state and ordinary women-​citizens demonstrated what invaluable insight gender analysis could offer a scholar who investigated how socialist regimes and socialist societies impacted each other. Harsch contested one lingering totalitarian thesis that presented socialist societies as atomized, repressed, and oppressed. She showed how ordinary German women countered the Socialist Unity Party’s (SED) disinterest in their “lived experience[s]‌” at home, on the job, in stores; turned their domestic concerns into policy issues; and ended up impacting both the state’s priorities and their own lives (Harsch 2007, 4, 8, 12–​13). Having uncovered dynamic interactions between social and economic development, on the one hand, and gender relations, on the other, Harsch argued that the state’s resultant attention to women’s domestic needs only reinforced traditional organization of family labor and reinforced conventional gender roles in East German society. In later work, Harsch took a broader, transnational view on the problem of women, feminism, and communism. She argued that when it came to socialist regimes’ own initiatives on behalf of women—​be they carried out by communist women or their state-​ socialist women’s organizations in China, Eastern Europe, or Cuba—​those initiatives tended to degenerate toward what Harsch described as “cheerleading for the party line” and “convincing housewives to join the workforce” (Harsch 2014, 492). In this analysis, Harsch, too, suggested that socialist and feminist agendas were problematic, if not entirely incompatible, companions. In the field of modern Russia, a master narrative about socialism’s discordancy with feminism and failure to liberate women acquired its gendered version by the early and mid-​2000s (Clements, Friedman, and Healey 2002; Goldman 2002; Petrone 2000; Wood 1997; see also Lakhtikova, Brintlinger, and Glushchenko 2019). In fact, a graduate student such as myself entering the field at the turn of the century would already take this moralizing narrative for a constitutive element of gender history. The gender category proved to be a powerful tool in substantiating the story about the de-​radicalization of the Soviet Union’s commitment to women’s liberation. With its help, scholars now undertook deconstructive gender-​informed readings of socialism’s latent patriarchal/​binary

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predispositions at the deepest levels of socialist ideologies, social policies, and popular culture in the interwar period. As scholars argued, both Bolshevik revolutionary rhetoric and practice of gender equality got displaced, decentered, or marginalized, de facto made historically irrelevant, by male-​identified accounts of the Revolution and the Civil War, by masculinist representations of socialist heroes of the Stalinist epoch, and ultimately by the revival of essentialist gender visions of womanhood and manhood, motherhood and fatherhood. Once again, it became possible to argue that the new and, one might add, unprecedented educational, work, and career opportunities that became available to Soviet women in the first half of the 20th century did not discard traditional gender regimes. Rather, traditional gender norms got creatively revised and reinscribed onto the new socioeconomic situation. Thanks to this resourceful and easily modifiable plot, one could at once acknowledge the apparent, profound changes in Soviet women’s lives and interpret them in light of concomitant conservative reversals and shifts in official ideology, culture, and popular understanding of gender norms.

Beyond the Cold War plots Over the past two decades, the continuous presence of Cold War plots and Cold War habits of thought in histories of 20th-​century socialism have come under close scrutiny. The impetus to challenge what Francisca de Haan (2010) has called “continuing Cold War paradigms” of western historiography came from innovative archival and ethnographic research projects, which findings scholars have proven unable to fit into available narratives about instrumental uses of women and de-​radicalization of socialist feminism ideologies. In their work on the Soviet Union, Choi Chatterjee (1999), Rebecca Balmas Nearly (1999), Elena Shulman (2012), and, most recently, Daria Dyakonova (2021) have uncovered different institutional, cultural, and transnational lives of Bolshevik feminism and its uneven, contradictory and, still, transformative impact on Soviet society and its generations throughout the interwar period (see also Krylova 2010). As a result of this collective effort, the Cold War narrative of demise has been challenged by a narrative of uneven transformation and radical variation of gender policies and popular understandings of normative gender differences. One paradox that has been central to this project of non-​linear history is the fact that the construction of state socialism in its 1930s Stalinist-​totalitarian variety relied on varied and blatantly contradictory ways of viewing and instituting gender norms, including both binary and non-​binary regimes of imagining and enacting socialist ideals of womanhood and manhood (Krylova 2017). Over the past decade, feminist scholars of CEE have also turned the long history of the “Cold War” in historiographies of socialism into a cardinal problem of historical analysis. Here, deep ideological roots of Cold War paradigms have been examined and, as a result, today we can talk about connections between academic habits of thought and Cold War politics in rather concrete terms (de Haan 2010). Scholars have also argued against instrumental readings of women’s experience under socialism, as well as unconditional counterpositions between women’s political agency and the socialist state, which have been imposed on CEE women’s and gender histories (Artwinska and Mrozik 2020; Bonfiglioli 2016; de Haan 2010; Dyakonova and Taber 2021; Ghodsee 2015; Massino 2010). Productive sites of critical debate about Cold War legacies in the historiographies of socialist modernities, the Russian and CEE&E fields contain, however, an intriguing 46

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silence. What has been left unattended is the apparent ease with which, over the past 30 years, gender analytics has not only made itself at home in Cold War plots but has also given them a second life. Moreover, the problem with the gender category’s limiting analytical capabilities has recently become even more acute because of the ongoing research that keeps uncovering non-​binary and, yet, heterosexual relations under socialism but lacks theoretical and analytical tools to engage them. It is the gender category itself, both its possibilities and limitations in research on socialist modernity, that I propose to put under scrutiny.

The trouble with gender in counter-​narratives of socialism To gain insight into the peculiar behavior of the gender category in the scholarship on heterosexual lives under socialist modernities—​its propensity to empower Cold War accounts, on the one hand, and to fall short in research on alternative heterosexual female–​male relations, on the other—​let us reexamine the category’s well-​established analytical strengths and weaknesses. One of the oldest charges of this foundational category was, and still is, its entanglement in binary connotations of feminine and masculine differences and, consequently, in heteronormative relations of subordination. For example, the problem of pervasive heteronormativity—​that is, the reproduction of binary, female/​male, qualities, roles, identities in the very act of their deconstruction in gender history—​formed a founding critique of lesbian and gay studies of the 1990s and continues to inform conversations in transgender and third gender studies. In these fields, the critique of pervasive heteronormativity has been also accompanied by continuous efforts to build alternative theoretical and analytical frameworks to work outside the binary parameters of mainstream gender analytics (Butler 2004; Valentine 2007). In gender history, the critique of the gender category’s binary predispositions followed a different path. Here, the language of the critical interrogation of gender has been that of reification. Especially over the past two decades, scholars have noted the odd effect of gender analysis (across national, temporal, or thematic divides) to empower its users to launch a penetrating critique of the deceptive fixity of binary systems and, at once, to reify what they strive to undermine. A problem not uncommon in historical scholarship informed by poststructuralist theory, launching an ever-​deepening deconstruction of the binary work of gender was not, it turned out, tantamount to stepping outside it. Having detected the problem early on, Joan Scott (2008), a field-​forming voice of gender history in the 1980s, for example, attempted to fight gender’s unintended outcomes by drawing on insights of poststructuralist psychoanalysis only to wonder, by the late 2000s, whether the gender category had exhausted its analytical currency. In stark contrast with the fields of lesbian and gay studies, as well as transgender and third gender studies, in gender history the critical insight into the trouble with gender has not been accompanied by a purposeful effort to develop the category’s theoretical and analytical frameworks to provide scholars with means to study the heterosexual phenomena outside the binary parameters. Elsewhere, I argued that the working category at our disposal today in gender history falls short not only of non-​heterosexual cultures of difference—​the problem that has been at the heart of queer and third gender theory—​but also of heterosexual regimes of imaging and enacting womanhood and manhood that do not warrant binary, that is, oppositional and hierarchal connotations of difference (Boydston 2008; Krylova 2016; Najmabadi 2006). 47

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The behavior of the gender category in the scholarship on heterosexual lives under socialism should no longer surprise us. Gender scholars of socialist modernities have indeed found it to be exceedingly easier to trace the presence of traditional, that is, binary gender norms in socialist societies and, thus, to substantiate Cold War plots than to study the emergence of new, non-​binary regimes of imaging and enacting difference as pertaining to heterosexual womanhood and manhood. In fact, we can see these strengths and weaknesses of the gender category play out particularly forcefully in the cutting-​edge counter-​narratives of socialist modernities, which agendas do not stop with accounts of persevering traditional gender identities, but extend into what authors refer to as “alternative,” “less traditional,” “new,” “empowering,” or “emancipating” changes in women’s and men’s lives under socialism. The interpretive language of “alternative,” “less traditional,” “new,” etc. in these pioneering studies on novel conceptions and practices of heterosexual womanhood and manhood is of paramount significance. It signals the apparent scholarly hesitation to invoke the available gender analytics when one turns one’s analysis to what was new or different about socialist conceptions and practices of heterosexual womanhood and manhood. It also underlines the interpretive limits of the gender category at our disposal when it pertains to those “alternative” heterosexual conceptions of difference. We engage the descriptive language of “alternative,” “less traditional,” “new,” I contend, in order not to confuse our readers. We want and need to distinguish between the much criticized “gendered”—​that is, the oppositional and the hierarchical—​connotations of difference and subordination and the ones that transgress those norms and point toward beyond-​ binary conceptions and practices of heterosexual womanhood and manhood. For example, in her innovative research on socialist Romania, Jill Massino (2010) introduces the reader to a wide range of working, familial, and marital roles and relations that Romanian women and men enacted in their everyday lives, ranging from traditionally gendered to, what the scholar calls, “new” and “transgressing.” Massino’s mastery with the gender category comes into the foreground when she analyzes traditional, even if changing and adopting, dimensions of women’s and men’s lives. She discontinues the use of gender analytics when she turns to what she calls “new ways of thinking about marriage and [one’s] roles within it” in socialist policies, layers of mainstream culture, and, as importantly, familial and marital relations “on the ground,” the ways that ventured beyond traditional oppositions between masculinity and femininity in relation to work inside and outside home (Massino 2010, 35–​36). The difficulty that Massino’s works capture can be found in much of recent scholarship that critically interrogates Cold War plots (see Bucur 2018; Chatterjee 2002; Ghodsee 2018; Hofman 2010). Scholars know too well that the working gender analytics offer little assistance in the study of alternative heterosexual relations. Rather, they tend to hide the novel and the alternative from scholars. In my research on interwar and wartime Soviet society, I vividly remember the sense of loss of fundamental historical material when initially I tried to narrate Soviet young women’s en masse volunteering for World War II combat in 1941 by drawing on conventional gender analysis, and presented “women’s entrance” into combat units as women’s intrusion onto the “male territory” (Krylova 2010, 2017). The problem with this much-​used interpretive trope was that the traditional view of the citizen-​soldier “masculine” calling did not constitute an a priori assumption either in Soviet official ideology, or mainstream culture, educational, paramilitary, and military institutions, or individual self-​perceptions of Soviet women and men. I wondered as to how one was to call those emergent heterosexual identities and practices of war and 48

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peace that redefined and extended the very notions of feminine and masculine, motherly and fatherly, daughter-​like and son-​like predisposition and entitlements in interwar and wartime Soviet society beyond binary oppositions. In the first decades of the 21st century one thing has become unambiguously clear: gender-​informed Cold War stories about traditional gender norms’ adaptation and perseverance under socialism fell short of capturing a different story: one about tangible and, necessarily, uneven transformations of traditional ideals and practices pertaining to heterosexual womanhood and manhood in Soviet and Eastern European state-​socialist societies. What has also been thrown into sharp relief is the poverty of the working analytics of gender history, honed to interrogate the binary organization of female and male difference, to address, analytically as well as theoretically, the emerged problem of non-​binary and, yet, heterosexual conceptions and practices of womanhood and manhood under socialism.

Conclusions Today, feminist scholars of socialist modernities grapple not only with Cold War legacies but also with the limitations of the gender category characteristic of the field of gender history as a whole. If available gender analytics stand in the way of capturing what was new about socialist women’s and men’s roles and relations, what is the future of the gender category in feminist histories of socialism? In this regard, the rejection of gender analytics in the study of state-​socialism by socialist-​feminist scholars in China and Hong Kong captures the severity of the problem that we face (Spakowski 2018). However, I do not think that we need to reject gender as a category of analysis in our research on 20th-​century socialism. On the contrary, I propose we do what scholars in the fields of lesbian and gay studies, queer theory, transgender, and third gender studies have been doing, that is, to turn our analytical difficulties into opportunities. The proposed agenda entails turning histories of socialist modernities with their alternative heterosexual systems of difference and power relations into a new site—​a theoretical resource—​for the development of gender theory and methodology. The gender category itself needs to undergo a radical expansion and re-​theorization to become a category that encompasses non-​binary modes of thinking about woman-​and man-​identities even in heterosexual gender systems (Krylova 2016). The challenge of the feminist historian would be not to impose a binary reading onto any invocation of heterosexual female/​ male distinction in a socialist or any other historical setting but to keep in mind that not all female/​male, heterosexual distinctions must be necessarily binary. This way, the historical site of heterosexual subject formation itself would become a site of contestation of both binary gender ideologies and binary analytics. And, gender historians will be able to start new conversations with scholars in gay and lesbian, transgender, and third gender studies.

References Artwinska, Anna and Agnieszka Mrozik, eds. 2020. Gender, Generations, and Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond. New York: Routledge. Bonfiglioli, Chiara. 2016. “On Vida Tomsic, Marxist Feminism, and Agency.” Aspasia 10, no. 1, 145–​151. Boydston, Jeanne. 2008. “Gender as a Question of Historical Analysis.” Gender & History 20 (3): 558–​583.

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Anna Krylova Bucur, Maria. 2008. “An Archipelago of Stories: Gender History in Eastern Europe.” American Historical Review 113 (5, December): 1375–​1389. –​–​–​–​. 2018. The Century of Women: How Women Have Transformed the World since 1900. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Butler, Judith. 2004. “The Question of Social Transformation.” In Undoing Gender, 204–​231. New York: Routledge. Chatterjee, Choi. 1999. “Ideology, Gender, and Propaganda in the Soviet Union: A Historical Survey.” Left History 6 (2): 11–​28. –​–​–​–​. 2002. Celebrating Women. Gender, Festival Culture and Bolshevik Ideology, 1910–​ 1939. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Clements, Barbara Evans. 1992. “The Utopianism of the Zhenotdel.” Slavic Review 51 (3, Autumn): 485–​496. –​–​–​–​. 1997. Bolshevik Women. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Clements, Barbara Evans, Rebecca Friedman, Dan Healey, eds. 2002. Russian Masculinities in History and Culture. New York: Palgrave. de Haan, Francisca. 2010. “Continuing Cold War Paradigms in Western Historiography of Transnational Women’s Organizations: The Case of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF).” Women’s History Review 19 (4): 556–​557. Dyakonova, Daria. 2021. “Introduction.” In The Communist Women’s Movement, 1920–​1922, edited by Daria Dyakonova and Mike Taber. Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill. Dyakonova, Daria, and Mike Taber, eds. 2021. The Communist Women’s Movement, 1920–​1922. Proceedings, Resolutions, and Reports. Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill. Engel, Barbara Alpern. 2004. Women in Russia, 1700–​2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ghodsee, Kristen. 2015. “Untangling the Knot: A Response to Nanette Funk.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (2): 248–​252. –​–​–​–​. 2018. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence. New York: Random House. Goldman, Wendy Z. 1993. Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917–​1936. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2002. Women at the Gates: Gender and Industry in Stalin’s Russia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harsch, Donna. 2007. Revenge of the Domestic: Women, the Family, and Communism in the German Democratic Republic. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2014. “Communism and Women.” In The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism, edited by S. A. Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hoffmann, David L. 2000. “Mothers in the Motherland: Stalinist Pronatalism in its Pan-​European Context.” Journal of Social History 34 (1, Fall): 35–​54. Hofman, Ana. 2010. Staging Socialist Femininity: Gender Politics and Folklore Performance in Serbia. Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill. Jancar, Barbara Wolfe. 1978. Women under Communism. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University. Krylova, Anna. 2004. “Stalinist Identity from the Viewpoint of Gender.” Gender and History 16 (3, November): 626–​653. –​–​–​–​. 2010. Soviet Women in Combat. A History of Violence on the Eastern Front. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2016. “Gender Binary and the Limits of Poststructuralist Method.” Gender & History 28 (2): 307–​323. –​–​–​–​. 2017. “Bolshevik Feminism and Gender Agendas of Communism.” In The Cambridge History of Communism, Vol. 1, edited by Silvio Pons and Stephen A. Smith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lakhtikova, Anastasia, Angela Brintlinger, and Irina Glushchenko, eds. 2019. Seasoned Socialism: Gender and Food in Late Soviet Everyday Life. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Lapidus, Gail. 1978. Women in Soviet Society. Equality, Development, and Social Change. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Massino, Jill. 2010. “Something Old, Something New: Marital Roles and Relations in State Socialist Romania.” Journal of Women’s History 22 (1): 34–​60. Najmabadi, Afsaneh. 2006. “Are Gender and Sexuality Useful Categories of Analysis?” Journal of Women’s History 18 (1): 11–​21.

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Legacies of the Cold War Nearly, Rebecca Balmas. 1999. “Mothering Socialist Society: The Wife-​Activists’ Movement and the Soviet Culture of Daily Life, 1934–​41.” The Russian Review 58 (3): 396–​412. Petrone, Karen. 2000. Life has Become More Joyous, Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Scott, Hilda. 1976. Women and Socialism: Experiences from Eastern Europe. London: Allison and Busby. Scott, Joan W. 2008. “Unanswered Questions.” American Historical Review 113 (5, December): 1422–​1430. Shulman, Elena. 2012. Stalinism on the Frontier of Empire: Women and State Formation in the Soviet Far East. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Spakowski, Nicola. 2018. “Socialist Feminism in Postsocialist China.” Positions: Asia Critique 26 (4, November): 561–​592. Stites, Richard. 1978. The Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Valentine, David. 2007. Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Verdery, Katherine. 1996. “From Parent-​ State to Family Patriarchs: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Eastern Europe.” In What was Socialism and What Comes Next? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. White, Hayden. 1987. “The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality.” In The Content of the Form: Narrative, Discourse and Historical Representation. Edited by Hayden White. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Wolchik, Sharon L. and Alfred G. Meyer, eds. 1985. Women, State, and Party in Eastern Europe. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Wood, Elizabeth A. 1997. The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

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5 THE CASE AND COMPARATIVE METHODS Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

There are distinct tradeoffs associated with scholars’ choices of how to approach case studies, and comparison in social science research generally, which certainly play out in studies of gender in the region of Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E). The disciplines of political science, sociology, and anthropology each value a different point in the balance of these tradeoffs. These are not ironclad disciplinary rules, but tendencies that inform about the values and strengths of different disciplinary worlds as they grapple with understanding and explaining gendered aspects of politics and social relationships in the region. People in the CEE&E region are united in some ways by their personal historical encounters with decades of communist rule, and the approaches to gender embraced by communist parties in the region. Beyond that, so many other factors (e.g., religion, ethnicity, past empires, and current political ideologies) distinguish people and places from one another in cross-​cutting ways that require us to consider unique conditions of each person or place, but also provide fruitful opportunities for analytical leverage over the influence of different factors. As such, there are some benefits to be gained from comparing across multiple countries in the region, or systematically comparing gender politics in countries of our region with countries outside the region. However, there are remarkably few examples of CEE&E gender studies scholars conducting these multi-​ country comparisons; the main examples are edited volumes with chapters by different authors focused on particular countries of the CEE&E region, rather than sustained comparisons cross-​nationally (e.g., Attwood, Schimpfössl, and Yusupova 2018; Avdeyeva 2015; De Soto and Dudwick 2000; Gal and Kligman 2000; Johnson and Robinson 2006). The diversity of languages and histories across the region presents high barriers to multi-​country comparisons for solitary researchers. The multidisciplinarity of the field of gender studies in CEE&E, representing different approaches to case studies, further complicates comparative work. At the same time, the enormous size of Russia in the region, both in geography and population as well as its geopolitical prominence, contributes to a preponderance of case studies on Russian gender issues. This, in turn, may have led scholars of the region to be influenced by the Russian case’s particularities in terms of, for example, how communist

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regimes shaped gender relations (when the policies and social practices of gender under socialism and communism varied across the region), and/​or the roles of western donor organizations in promoting gender equality and feminist organizing (which was very prominent in Russia, and perhaps less so in some other cases). Given the diversity but recognizing these limitations and biases, this chapter’s analysis hews closely to my sphere of expertise, which includes gender politics (especially the activities of feminist activists) in contemporary Russia. Gender studies in this context includes examining the political and social dynamics that people face in organizing on the basis of their gender identities, and how people’s lived experience of gender influences their engagement in civic and political life. As such, the examples chosen in this chapter include scholars’ studies of contemporary postcommunist gender issues rather than of earlier periods in history; those who study Russia primarily; and those that are concerned in some way with the politics of gender rather than purely social or cultural patterns. The disciplines that most often employ case study and comparative approaches to contemporary topics in gender studies are the social science disciplines of political science, sociology, and anthropology. The chapter focuses on the English-​language publications of authors, even though several mentioned are native Russian speakers. I have selected a number of examples of gender studies scholars who are trained in these disciplines, to illustrate how methodological approaches to case studies and comparison vary, but also overlap. As such, the chapter could be said to constitute a “comparison of comparative methods” across disciplines, using them to reflect upon larger questions about the advantages, disadvantages, and implications of such methodological approaches to studying gender.

Tradeoffs in the use of case studies and other comparative methods The gender-​blind methodological literature suggests costs of, and benefits in, examining a large number of comparative cases in one study that prove even more problematic for feminist research. Multi-​case comparative methods—​in which two or more cases are systematically compared for their similarities and differences in order to suggest causality—​ are used most often in political science, where students are exhorted to maximize their ability to draw generalizations. Political science methods and some forms of sociological analysis carry the advantage of attempting to generate findings that are likely to extend to a whole range of particular locations and circumstances. These scholars emphasize consciously chosen variations across explanatory factors and qualities of the people and organizations they are observing, in order to be alerted to how patterns and relationships might change in relation to changes in hypothesized explanatory variables. Yet there are costs to examining large numbers of cases. The conclusions can be superficial, since multiplying the cases means that the researcher must sacrifice depth of understanding in any single case. When we apply this approach to studying gendered social or political questions, it is difficult to capture a depth of subjectivity of the people “studied”—​a subjective stance that feminist methodologies typically demand. For feminist theorists, an issue of key importance in research design and analysis is to allow the voices of research participants themselves to be showcased in research publications and often to give participants a role in determining the research questions and goals as projects evolve (Naples 2003; Smith 1987).

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In contrast, anthropologically leaning social scientists are less likely to emphasize maximizing variation and generalizability in favor of understanding a particular place or group of people more deeply. Scholars who employ methods of extended participant observation and participatory action research (PAR) to explore a single case can improve the accuracy and nuance of analysis. These approaches also carry important advantages for improving the ethical standards of field research. PAR methods demand that scholars interrogate and try to reduce the power inequality between the researcher and the people who are “subjects” of research, and can be more satisfying for the research participants if they feel that real-​world, constructive outcomes are a product of the research. However, there are disadvantages to this approach as well. For example, researchers incur some risk of becoming too sympathetic to the research participants and being hesitant to examine their behavior critically. While all field research carries an element of unpredictability, PAR methods, with their relinquishment of control over the project, heighten the degree of unpredictability of results. In addition, claims of generalizable findings are weaker than with a structured multi-​case comparison, since one cannot conclude confidently that the patterns observed reflect wider patterns in the society. On the other hand, many gender scholars would argue that generalizability should not be the goal of feminist research, since gender identities are wildly diverse and intersectional, and the ways in which societies shape and react to them are ultimately unique to specific contexts—​at the levels of countries and political systems, religious and ethnic groups, socioeconomic classes, industries, professions, and so on, finally to the level of individual circumstances (Naples 2003, 183).

Varying disciplinary approaches to case studies and comparative method A case study is typically considered to be a study of a single country, a community, an event, or some other unit of analysis (George and Bennett 2004; Seawright and Gerring 2011). However, the situation becomes complicated when we speak about multiple dimensions of a case. Sometimes in a single research publication, one speaks simultaneously of the case of Russia relative to other country contexts, in addition to the case of one city or village relative to another, and the case of one organization or individual person. In short, the case can often change depending on the dimension of comparison the researcher has in mind at a certain juncture in their analysis. Case-​based and comparative methods are usually associated with qualitative data and methods, as opposed to statistical quantitative methods—​although comparative methods can also be quantitative in nature. If the researcher is studying a single case of one community or organization, they will often combine more formal interviews with members of that group, with ongoing participant-​observation activity in the group or PAR in some cases. If they are studying many cases comparatively, the emphasis is usually on large numbers of standardized or semi-​structured interviews, in some instances supplemented by even larger-​scale surveys in those communities that can be compared across communities. Social science disciplines vary considerably in their tendencies to rely on these different modes of research.

Political science approaches to women’s organizing in Russia Political scientists are typically concerned with the wider generalizability of their research findings—​although usually with particular scope conditions attached to their findings. 54

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We tend to pay considerable attention to ensuring that we conduct several case studies, selected explicitly to either hold certain factors constant, or vary them in ways that are helpful for gaining analytical leverage to test working hypotheses (George and Bennett 2004; Mill 1884, Book III, c­ hapter 8). As a result of this concern with generalizability and comparing across numerous cases, our approach often involves less sustained observation of any individual case. Our methods usually include large numbers of interviews with relevant participants to understand various aspects of gendered politics. From a feminist methodological standpoint, these formalized and larger-​N comparative research designs have the disadvantage of making it very difficult to follow the recommended approach of spending sufficient time with any one research participant to ensure that their unique perspectives and voices are featured in the analysis (Rivkin-​Fish 2005, 18). For example, my book Funding Civil Society (Sundstrom 2006) utilized a political science approach to draw comparisons across the civil society environments and NGO communities in seven Russian cities, as well as across sectors (women’s organizations and soldiers’ rights organizations) and across individual organizations themselves. The project involved over 120 interviews in the seven cities; and because of the geographic expanse and numbers of organizations involved, very little sustained participant observation was involved in examining any one particular organization. While I did attend various workshops, conferences, press conferences, and roundtables of feminist and soldiers’ rights organizations, and for some organizations conducted multiple interviews with multiple activists over time, I did not embed myself in any group for an extended period of time and maintained some analytical distance from most of the people I interviewed. The large number of interviews and locations lent themselves to finding patterns and exposing a wide variety of modes of funding for women’s groups, the impacts of the different local political contexts they faced, and the ways in which women’s groups navigated their relationships among western donor preferences, local concerns, and their own views of their goals in organizing on the basis of gender. The research design facilitated the development of a typology of how funding donors and local political environments interacted to influence women’s organizing and their ability to frame issues through a gender lens for different audiences. Sperling (1999), in one of the first monograph-​length English-​language analyses of Russian women’s organizing in the early post-​Soviet era (see also Kay 2000; Racioppi and See 1997), embraced a combination of participant observation of events such as conferences, workshops, and street demonstrations, with a large number of detailed, semi-​structured interviews with 63 activists from 50 different women’s groups with diverse aims and perspectives (Sperling 1999, 10). Sperling’s later book, Sex, Politics, and Putin (2015), used a similar methodology, although on a smaller scale, focusing more closely on interviewing young feminist and antifeminist activists to examine the political gender ideology of Putin’s Russia (2015, 311–​313). A third example of a political scientist’s approach to gender studies is Johnson’s (2009) Gender Violence in Russia, which examines the question of the conditions under which global feminist interventions to try to “help” Russian feminist gender violence activists can be successful in creating more effective local mobilization. Johnson calls her study a single case study of Russia. As an example of how the definition of a case can shift throughout a book, Johnson later refers to the “case” as different types of interventions into different types of gender violence within that larger case (2009, 15). Like Sperling and Sundstrom, and typical of political scientists conducting field-​based case studies, her major modes of data gathering were interviews with feminist activists and foreign donors, 55

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as well as observation of events such as training seminars and conferences, and media content analysis to trace policy and public opinion impacts. There is a sense in which all three of these examples are typical of scholars trained as political scientists who study gender issues in Russia (e.g., Eichler 2011; Henderson 2003; Suchland 2015), and likely typical of political scientists who study gender in other specific regions or countries (who are often called “area studies” scholars as well as gender studies scholars). Unlike many political scientists today who focus on large-​N statistical analysis or formal modeling, and similar to most anthropologists, political scientists who study gender in the region tend to conduct in-​depth field research that is empirically rich in its analysis. In doing so, all of these cited examples are also careful to quote the voices of the women who participate in their research, in their own words, as feminist research methods would encourage. Yet gender studies scholars who are political scientists still tend to design and conduct field research in an intentionally systematic way, with preliminary hypotheses in mind, which is aimed at producing some broader generalizations than most anthropologists would venture.

Cultural anthropology of women’s organizing and lived experiences of gender in and beyond Russia Cultural anthropologists tend to approach case studies much more narrowly and deeply. They also engage typically in significant self-​reflection in their research: on their position as a researcher and the kinds of biases and privilege they bring to the research, which could potentially influence the people they are studying or the conclusions they draw from the research (De Soto and Dudwick 2000). Cultural anthropologists are expected to spend a great deal of time immersed in participant observation through direct field research into their cases (Bernard and Gravlee 2014, 2), certainly much longer in a particular case than political scientists typically do, and often longer than sociologists. The paradigmatic research design of an anthropological study is ethnographic, classically involving going to one small town or village, and living there for a year or more, engaging in constant observation of as many events and situations as possible (Clifford and Marcus 1986; Marcus 1995). Contemporary anthropological research also frequently includes PAR methods, in which the researcher herself becomes involved in participating in the very activities she is studying (McIntyre 2007). These methods align more easily than traditional political science methods with feminist gender studies principles of including research participants’ voices and agency in the research process and written works that result. A good illustration of an anthropological approach to gender studies is Hemment’s (2007) Empowering Women in Russia. Hemment examines the interactions between western organizations’ efforts to support Russian women’s organizing, and the activists locally on the ground who were experiencing these “gendered interventions” (2007, 2). Using ethnographic field research methods and PAR, Hemment immersed herself in the lives of feminist activists in one organization in the provincial central Russian city of Tver’. Illustrating the anthropologist’s typical commitment to long-​term immersion in a particular case study, Hemment spent 19 months in Tver, living in the town and working closely with one women’s group, including undertaking a collaborative research project with group members. Hemment increasingly saw this PAR approach as necessary to democratize the research encounter between foreign intellectual researcher and community group members (2007, 14). 56

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Similarly, Rivkin-​ Fish (2005) was embedded in an organization in Russia as a participant-​observer in order to conduct the ethnographic study for her book, Women’s Health in Post-​Soviet Russia. For Rivkin-​Fish, though, the organization in which she was a participant was an international organization—​the World Health Organization—​ for whom she was a research consultant in Russia on reproductive health practices and policies, interacting with Russian health provider institutions. Rivkin-​Fish refers to her cases as consisting of instances of reproductive healthcare interventions in Russia, both as “projects” of organizations and as everyday “practices” of Russians negotiating the maternity healthcare system (Rivkin-​Fish 2005, 4). Rivkin-​Fish’s participant-​observation methods of her ethnographic study extended beyond her interactions within her WTO work and formal interviews, to her everyday conversations with Russians, including the families she lived with, beyond the walls of healthcare institutions. A somewhat different approach, using “multi-​sited” ethnographic methods (Marcus 1995), is that of Bloch’s (2017) Sex, Love, and Migration. Bloch works across multiple sites of ethnography, even crossing numerous countries (Turkey, Russia, and Moldova) to understand the lives of post-​Soviet migrant women working in the informal arenas of sex work, domestic labor, and the garment trade. In doing so, she treats individual people as cases. Her cases are not a particular place, but people who come from a particular place—​the former Soviet Union; this illustrates that the definition of case studies of a region or gender dynamics related to it are not necessarily isolated within the physical borders of the countries considered to constitute that region. She focuses in detail on the cases of five key women and their families (Bloch 2017). Because her subjects were often unpredictably mobile women, she conducted a significant amount of her repeated research conversations with them remotely by phone, Skype, or Whatsapp. The research spanned over a decade of time, necessarily due to the geographic expanse involved, and thus was not conducted as a traditional deep ethnography in a defined time period.

Sociological mixed methods to women’s organization and gender Like political scientists, sociologists of gender often use large numbers of interviews as an approach to field research to constitute their case comparisons. A frequent method that sociologists employ to analyze their interview data is discourse analysis, in which they examine interview statements or texts to identify themes that emerge, relating to larger social dynamics and relationships (Fairclough 2013, 3; Salmenniemi 2008, 13). Like anthropologists, and in keeping with feminist research methodology, some sociologists engage in self-​reflection in their case studies regarding how their intervention as a researcher affects their research participants, and the power dynamics between themselves and their participants. It is worth noting that gender studies researchers trained in Russia are more frequently sociologists than anthropologists or political scientists, largely because sociology has a long-​standing history as a discipline in Russia/​the Soviet Union, while anthropology and especially political science are less established disciplines (Temkina and Zdravomyslova 2003, 52). By contrast, western gender studies scholars tend more frequently to be trained as political scientists than in these other two disciplines. Salmenniemi’s (2008) Democratization and Gender in Contemporary Russia used a combination of methods, both large-​N survey and detailed qualitative case studies. Like anthropologist Hemment, she chose to focus her study in the provincial city of Tver’. But while Hemment engaged in PAR within one organization, Salmenniemi focused on detailed comparisons of women’s involvement in civic activity in two different 57

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nongovernmental organizations (2008, 21). In addition, to obtain a more general sense of how her observations of these two organizations compared to the larger regional sector, Salmenniemi used the conventional sociological method of a large-​N survey, conducted by a team of researchers using a structured questionnaire during personal interviews with leaders of 105 civic organizations in Tver’ (2008, 23–​24, ­chapter 2). In doing so, she struck a balance between the pros and cons of sustained focus on a small number of cases to acquire a deeper understanding of their unique qualities, and large-​N comparisons to strengthen generalizable conclusions. Temkina and Zdravomyslova’s (2018) book chapter reports the results of an interview study of pregnant women’s maternity care choices in private medical institutions in St. Petersburg. These Russian sociologists conducted a total of 25 interviews with pregnant women and 12 interviews with medical practitioners. They then analyzed interview transcripts to identify several themes that emerged in the interviews relating to major social dynamics, and to select notable quotes that illustrate these themes, rather than drawing strict comparisons to indicate where there may have been divergence or departure from these themes in responses within the sample of women. As such, they aimed more to find systematic patterns in large themes of gendered parenting roles than to develop deep relationships with any of their respondents. Another sociologist of Russian gender issues, Utrata (2015, 11–​14), focused her field research in a single provincial city in Russia, spending a total of one year in Kaluga to facilitate not only conducting over 150 interviews with women about her research topic (single motherhood in Russia), but also immersing herself in observing the lives of a smaller number of these women and their relationships with other people who are with them on a regular basis. Utrata employed a “grounded theory” approach that is highly inductive and open-​ended in nature, letting her field interviews and observations, and importantly the women she was meeting, guide what the most important analytical themes of the project were. She spent longer amounts of time with approximately a dozen single mothers of varying socioeconomic status, joining them frequently for visits in their homes or on social outings in other locations during the entirety of her time in the field. In doing so over an extended period, she was able to acquire the trust of her participants and discuss many painful subjects, such as reasons for their marital breakdown, material hardship, or intimate partner violence. Like Salmenniemi, by combining a large number of interviews among an intentionally diverse set of participants with in-​depth case studies of a smaller number of women, Utrata was able to make some claims of generalizable findings about single women’s lives in Russia while simultaneously collecting very individualized, granular observations from her subset of in-​depth relationships to reflect upon in her analysis. She found throughout that single motherhood is considered normal throughout Russian society and not at all stigmatized, and argued that perhaps this has led to a “normalized gender crisis” that suppresses women’s demands for more support from the state and Russian men (Utrata 2015, 17–​18). Still, the practical need with this research design to focus only on one provincial city supplemented by a small number of interviews in Moscow led to a corresponding disadvantage, that she could not claim to have witnessed how single motherhood varies across the country at large.

Conclusions These varying allegiances to generalizable comparisons and depth of detail in gender studies of CEE&E have largely reinforced the disciplinary boundaries that hinder 58

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scholars in our interdisciplinary field of gender studies from collaborating with one another in ways that could build our capacity to draw comparisons across different CEE&E locales on the common questions that motivate us. Moreover, as Bucur (Chapter 1 in this Handbook) points out, the depth of empirical knowledge we possess today on many gender studies questions in the CEE&E region remains insufficient to draw serious cross-​national comparisons, and single-​country, single-​case studies are still needed as a foundation for future comparative collaborations. There is no perfect answer to the selection of an empirical method for studying gender issues in any context. While every person’s experience of gender in the world is unique and intersectional in nature, there are also patterns that can be discerned through careful comparisons across cases of whatever gender question a scholar is asking, and feminist theory has long been built upon understanding these systematic patterns. Scholars in our highly interdisciplinary field of gender studies in CEE&E have benefited collectively from employing a multifaceted set of approaches to case studies and comparative methods. We could benefit even further in the future by working in a two-​pronged fashion, both continuing to carry out sole-​authored studies that deepen our empirical knowledge of specific circumstances in individual cases, and embarking on wider collaborations among scholars with diverse disciplinary and country expertise that broaden our ability to compare gender patterns across the region. More globally, feminist theory’s understanding of patriarchy as a pervasive institutional structure can benefit from seeing the particularities of CEE&E, with its shared history of communist rule intersecting with variations in other respects including religion, ethno-​linguistic diversity, imperial rule, and conflict.

References Attwood, Lynne, Elisabeth Schimpfössl, and Marina Yusupova, eds. 2018. Gender and Choice after Socialism. Gewerbestrasse: Springer International Publishing. Avdeyeva, Olga A. 2015. Defending Women’s Rights in Europe: Gender Equality and EU Enlargement. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Bernard, H. Russel, and Clarence Gravlee, eds. 2014. Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Bloch, Alexia. 2017. Sex, Love, and Migration: Postsocialism, Modernity, and Intimacy from Istanbul to the Arctic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Clifford, James, George E. Marcus, et al., eds. 1986. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. De Soto, Hermaine G., and Nora Dudwick, eds. 2000. Fieldwork Dilemmas: Anthropologists in Postsocialist States. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. Eichler, Maya. 2011. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-​Soviet Russia. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. Fairclough, Norman. 2013. Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge. Gal, Susan, and Gail Kligman. 2000. Reproducing Gender: Politics, Publics, and Everyday Life After Socialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Paperbacks, Princeton University Press. George, Alexander L., and Andrew Bennett, eds. 2004. “Case Studies and Theory Development.” In Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences, 3–​36. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Hemment, Julie. 2007. Empowering Women in Russia: Activism, Aid, and NGOs. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Henderson, Sarah L. 2003. Building Democracy in Contemporary Russia: Western Support for Grassroots Organizations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Johnson, Janet Elise. 2009. Gender Violence in Russia: The Politics of Feminist Intervention. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Johnson, Janet Elise, and Jean C Robinson. 2006. Living Gender after Communism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

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Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom Kay, Rebecca. 2000. Russian Women and Their Organizations: Gender, Discrimination and Grassroots Women’s Organizations, 1991–​96. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. Marcus, George E. 1995. “Ethnography in/​of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-​Sited Ethnography.” Annual Review of Anthropology 24 (1): 95–​117. McIntyre, Alice. 2007. Participatory Action Research. (Qualitative Research Methods Series). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications. Mill, John Stuart. 1884. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. London: Longmans, Green, and Company. Naples, Nancy N. 2003. Feminism and Method. New York: Routledge. Racioppi, Linda, and Katherine O’Sullivan See. 1997. Women’s Activism in Contemporary Russia. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Rivkin-​Fish, Michele R. 2005. Women’s Health in Post-​Soviet Russia: The Politics of Intervention. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Salmenniemi, Suvi. 2008. Democratization and Gender in Contemporary Russia. London: Routledge. Seawright, Jason, and John Gerring. 2011. “Case Selection Techniques Case Study Research Options.” Political Research Quarterly 61 (2): 294–​308. Smith, Dorothy E. 1987. The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology. (Northeastern Series in Feminist Theory). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Sperling, Valerie. 1999. Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia: Engendering Transition. New York: Cambridge University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2015. Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia. (Oxford Studies in Culture and Politics Series). New York: Oxford University Press. Suchland, Jennifer. 2015. Economies of Violence: Transnational Feminism, Postsocialism, and the Politics of Sex Trafficking. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Sundstrom, Lisa McIntosh. 2006. Funding Civil Society: Foreign Assistance And NGO Development in Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Temkina, Anna, and Elena Zdravomyslova. 2003. “Gender Studies in Post-​Soviet Society: Western Frames and Cultural Differences.” Studies in East European Thought 55 (1): 51–​61. –​–​–​–​. 2018. “Responsible Motherhood, Practices of Reproductive Choice and Class Construction in Contemporary Russia.” In Gender and Choice after Socialism, edited by Lynne Attwood, Elisabeth Schimpfössl, and Marina Yusupova, 161–​ 186. Cham: Springer International Publishing. Utrata, Jennifer. 2015. Women Without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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6 QUANTITATIVE AND EXPERIMENTAL METHODS Olga A. Avdeyeva and Nellie Bohac

Quantitative research is a developing area in scholarship on gender and politics in Central-​ Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E). While recognizing that there are important concerns about such approaches, we argue that feminist scholars of the region could benefit from adopting the rich methodological toolkit offered by quantitative methodology. Quantitative methods are used to study complex phenomena: they can help organize multidimensional data to enable the research on diversity, change, and persistence, something that is much needed in this ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse region with a history of frequent institutional changes, even if it is often assumed to be one coherent whole. Quantitative approaches can help improve conceptualization, enrich a comprehension of meaning, measurement, and data collection, while making data analysis more sophisticated. Quantitative research on CEE&E has been constrained by the limited amount of high-​ quality gender-​specific data needed to study the profound changes in the region over the last 40 years. The destruction of previous institutions and the struggles to rebuild new ones—​from educational to governing institutions—​has produced few financial and technical resources to collect such data on gender. Moreover, conducting gendered quantitative analysis is not in the countries’ tradition: while communist regimes collected a lot of different statistics, the analysis was not designed to capture built-​in structural and institutional gender inequalities. We highlight several new efforts that allow scholars of CEE&E to study women’s organizing (Hughes et al. 2017), international development assistance to promote gender equality (Tierney et al. 2011), and the broader use of the new gender empowerment indices that includes multiple dimensions of women’s political, economic, and social status and spans across multiple states in time (Sundström et al. 2017).

Quantitative–​qualitative debates in gender and politics research As there has been little debate within the field of gender and politics in CEE&E about the usefulness of quantitative methods, this chapter summarizes the methodological debates in the broader field of gender and politics and considers some ways of reconciling the two research traditions.

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The subfield of gender and politics within political science has experienced a transformation in the last several decades, developing into a vigorous research area that includes diverse methodological traditions and employs a wide array of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-​methods designs (Tripp and Hughes 2018). Ackerly and True (2013, 135) argue that “there are no distinct feminist methodologies or methods for studying gender and politics, but feminist methodological reflection is central to the development of the field of gender and politics.” Feminist scholars adopt and adapt conventional social science methods to reveal concealed power dynamics and different forms of social, political, and economic marginalization, and analyze complex sources and structures of oppression and inequality. This turn to methodological pluralism reflects the acceptance of positivist research within feminist social science (Tripp and Hughes 2018). Many early feminist critiques of social science methodologies challenged the positivist epistemology for its preoccupation with objectivity, standardization of data, replicability, causality, and the withdrawal of the researcher from the subject matter and data collection (Bryman 1984). Positivism is grounded in the idea that the researcher can study objective reality with a preconceived hypothesis, which can be operationalized and tested as empirical evidence collected in a systematic and standardized way. Some feminist scholars challenged these positivist assumptions and questioned the existence of objective reality. They see surveys, experiments, and statistics as tools of “objectivation of research subjects” that limit “our understanding of the social construction of meaning and experience” (Naples with Clark 1995, 160). They claim that knowledge itself is partial, relational, and reflective of unequal power relations, and thus, reality can be uncovered only through in-​depth face-​to-​face interviews, participant observation, and other data collection methods that emphasize the researcher’s reflexivity and immersion in the context of the study and the importance of subjects’ individual experiences, views, and identities (Ritter and Mellow 2000), methods that have predominated in the study of CEE&E. In response, feminist positivists argue that it was possible to do quantitative research that could be attentive to feminist goals, reflect on power inequalities, and uncover critical sources and structures of oppression (Tripp and Hughes 2018). The quantitative and qualitative methodological traditions constitute two “alternative cultures” with their own set of norms, values, and beliefs, but they both produce valid descriptive and causal inferences (Mahoney and Goertz 2006). They pride themselves on pursuing different goals: exploring a particular phenomenon in depth to reveal the unique experiences and facts for qualitative inquiry and finding generalizable causal relationships for quantitative studies. The two traditions vary in the scope of their theoretical application: in a qualitative case study, the scope of theory is narrowly defined, whereas in quantitative studies the scope of theory is broadly defined, emphasizing the generalizability of findings to a large set of different cases (e.g., global studies) or the whole population (e.g., studies of public opinion). Finally, they differ in how they treat the data: in quantitative analysis, no piece of evidence has a different weight, each piece of evidence is just a data point in a dataset; whereas in qualitative analysis the researcher emphasizes the unique cases, experiences, and observations in the process of exploration (Mahoney and Goertz 2006). Given these differences, feminist quantitative research has much to offer the field of gender and politics in CEE&E to enhance our understanding of unequal power dynamics, reveal the complexity of inequality and the sources of inequality, and, finally, uncover its scope.

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Recent methodological advances provided several responses to reconciling the two traditions suggesting their compatibility. McCall’s classification of feminist research articulated the types and epistemological positions of feminist approaches and analyzed their contributions to research on diversity (2005). She demonstrated the compatibility of the feminist empiricist approach and intercategorical analysis of diversity with quantitative methodology. Spierings took McCall’s classification further to demonstrate how quantitative methods could be applied in the intracategorical analysis of standpoint feminism (Spierings 2012). He proposed to conceptualize diversity as a multilevel continuum that can account for numerous categories of diversity at different levels (e.g., sex, gender, sexuality, education, employment status, locality, region, gender equality policies, gendered labor market structure, etc.) to reflect fine differences in positions of multiple distinguishable groups, describe these groups, and draw inferences for these groups using basic quantitative techniques (Spierings 2012). Spierings’ articulation of diversity through relative positions of groups brought quantitative techniques closer to relativist analysis of standpoint feminism. The application of quantitative methods to postmodernist feminist research, however, remains difficult. Quantitative methods offer several important benefits to gender studies. They serve as effective tools at summarizing and systematizing large quantities of information (Weldon 2014). Cross-​national and cross-​temporal systematic data enables the researcher to reveal trends and patterns in persistence and change of a studied phenomenon and uncover the relationship between this phenomenon and other factors. Moreover, statistical techniques can provide an assessment of correlational and causal relationship (there a relationship between A and B?), estimate the size of the effect (how strong is the association between A and B?), and demonstrate the type of the relationship (is this relationship linear, non-​ linear, curvilinear, or interactive?) (Weldon 2014). Quantitative research includes observational studies with data received from systematic observation of reality, as well as experimental and quasi-​experimental research. Scholars of politics and gender have started to employ experiments to study some aspects of gendered relations and behaviors. For instance, experiments can be a useful tool for studying attitudes toward socially sensitive characteristics of individuals (such as sex, ethnicity, and sexual orientation) that a regular survey might not expose because respondents may feel uncomfortable revealing their true attitudes. Experimental research disguises these sensitive characteristics in vignettes, randomly assigning different characteristics to hypothetical individuals for different respondents to assess. The difference in the respondents’ assessments of these varied vignettes allows for detecting the degree of group bias. Policy experimentation is another fruitful technique for determining the impact of certain policy characteristics on the policy outcome. For instance, in a hypothetical study of information on reproductive rights and the rates of abortion, the researchers randomly assign the mailing (or not mailing) of information materials on the availability of contraceptives to people’s homes across different counties. At the end of the experiment, they collect and compare data on abortion rates across counties that received such correspondence and those that did not receive it, as well as compare the data for previous rates of abortion (pre-​treatment) to post-​treatment rates of abortion. Such lab-​in-​the-​field experimental studies provide a unique opportunity for scholars to study policy-​related issues and could be of particular interest to policy practitioners and social movement activists. Policy experiments, however, rely on careful planning and cooperation between

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state institutions and nongovernmental organizations, and are, thus, limited to those areas where such ties between state and non-​state actors already exist.

Quantitative research, intersectionality, and multidimensionality Much of the pioneering interdisciplinary gender scholarship today—​ including on CEE&E—​ focuses on the study of the multidimensionality of gender, gender politics, gendered divisions of labor, and gendered power and institutions, theorizing and exploring the nature and relationship between distinct dimensions of what constitutes complex social identities, institutions, laws, policies, and practices. Challenged by black feminists, gender and politics scholars included race, class, sexuality, disability, and other dimensions of social identity in the analysis of political intersectionality (Crenshaw 1991). Research on intersectionality became one of the most important transformative developments in the field of gender and politics (Tripp and Hughes 2018). It brought essential changes to the conceptual, methodological, and normative paradigm of gender and politics scholarship. Research on intersectionality calls for sophisticated research designs and methods able to deal with high complexity. Whether quantitative methods can contribute to research on intersectionality has become another debate within the study of gender and politics. Multiple studies have discussed the complexity of intersectionality from the methodological perspective and highlighted the importance of quantitative work in enhancing the quality and scope of intersectional analysis (McCall 2005; Spierings 2012; Weldon 2006). Advanced quantitative work demonstrates how sophisticated statistical analysis utilizing high-​quality data can contribute to our understanding of complex multidimensional processes and phenomena. An important example of sophisticated quantitative research is Htun and Weldon’s (2018) cross-​national analysis of state policies on women’s rights around the world, including the CEE&E region. Recognizing the multidimensionality of gender politics, Htun and Weldon disaggregate policies by type, such as policies combating violence against women, policies concerning women’s legal status at work, family law, family leave and childcare policies, and reproductive rights and run the separate analysis for each of these policy categories. They find that for different types of gender politics, different actors and conditions matter. For instance, they find that the communist experience enabled the CEE&E states to develop progressive family laws and generous leave policies relative to other states. The communist suppression of autonomous movements, however, prevented the development of policies combating violence against women, and these states are still lagging in providing protection and safety to women facing violence.

Research on institutions and institutional change in CEE&E There are two quantitative subfields in the study of gender in CEE&E that are emerging: (1) institutions and institutional change, and (2) public opinion, with the latter including some experimental research. In the former, most research focuses on explaining the number of women in legislatures, and more recently, executive positions (Millard 2004; Moser 2003; Saxonberg 2000). Most commonly, these studies investigate if electoral rules impact the electability of female candidates (Brzinski 2003; Golosov 2001; Gwiazda 2015; Millard 2014; Moser 2003). In contrast to the consensus that proportional representation systems make women more electable in western democracies, Moser (2003) finds that, in Russia, more women were elected in single-​member districts. Golosov 64

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(2001), investigating the pathways of women to regional legislatures in Russia, finds little evidence that the type of electoral system matters for women’s representation. Instead, he suggests that party development is the key to increasing the proportion of women in the legislative office. Dubrow (2006) demonstrates that regional economic development in Romania strongly correlates with the chances of female candidates being elected to the national parliament, with most female candidates winning seats in economically advanced districts. As with global comparative quantitative research on gender and politics, this research is limited to a narrow niche of questions that can be studied using the data compiled by states or by large research agencies, such as the Inter-​Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the International IDEA. That is why studies investigating the number of women in legislatures, in executive office roles, and in judiciary positions, as well as research on legislative and party quotas, constitute the largest portion of quantitative work in politics and gender (Tripp and Hughes 2018). In the study of CEE&E, this research is often not theoretically innovative as most studies test hypotheses developed in the West in a new context. A small set of studies investigates policy and institutional development in the CEE&E region using quantitative methods. This is particularly important in those postcommunist states that became members of the European Union (EU) and had to conform to EU legal standards on gender equality in the workplace. Avdeyeva (2015) explores government compliance with EU requirements to align national policies and practices in the area of gender equality in the workplace, measured as policy adoption and institutional reform (1995–​2010). The findings reveal that government compliance depends on the configuration of political actors mobilized in support of reform. Legislative reform is facilitated by a strong women’s movement and mobilized female parliamentarians. Institutional reform depends on the strength of the women’s movement and its ability to form coalitions with political actors within government elites, most importantly governing parties. Finally, the effect of women’s movements’ actors on institutional reform is moderated by the ideology of political parties in power. Similarly, Sedelmeier (2009) analyzes workplace gender-​ related policies and national equality institutions in several Central European states and finds no significant difference in compliance in pre-​and post-​accession into the EU. Overall, institutional and policy research in CEE&E is narrow in scope and covers a limited number of questions because researchers must rely on data compiled by states and other governing institutions, such as the EU. Critical areas in politics and gender research, such as the analysis of intersectionality in the CEE&E region, remain unexamined from the quantitative perspective. While qualitative research has already engaged in the intersectional analysis of gender inequalities in the region (Krizsan, Skjeie, and Squires 2012), quantitative scholars have just begun to utilize statistical methods to study intersectionality, and thus, there is room to grow (Dubrow 2008; Hughes and Dubrow 2018).

Research on gender-​specific public opinion in CEE&E Research on public opinion in the region exploded since the collapse of communism when CEE&E states were included in global and regional surveys of public attitudes, such as the World Values Survey (WVS), the Eurobarometer, and the South East European Social Survey Project (SEESSP). The main gender-​related research centers on attitudes toward gender roles and women’s political leadership. Researchers have studied 65

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how factors such as ideology, socioeconomic status, and attitudes toward gendered social and political roles of women, impact women’s representation in Eastern Europe. Brajdić-​ Vuković, Birkelund, and Štulhofer’s (2007) study attitudes toward gender roles in Croatia using the SEESSP survey. They find that socioeconomic factors such as unemployment and low socioeconomic status are negatively correlated with gender progressive norms. Fodor and Balogh (2010) use survey data from another data set on social inequality, the EUREQUAL 2007, for 13 postcommunist CEE states, finding that demographic characteristics, such as being female, being young, and being educated are associated with liberal gender role views. Much of the research on public opinion on gendered attitudes and gender roles employs the WVS data. This global survey allows for assessing the position of CEE&E public responses to questions on gender equality support compared to other regions in the world (Inglehart and Norris 2003). Inglehart and Norris (2003) apply the modernization theory to demonstrate that public attitudes toward gender equality in CEE&E fall in the group of industrial states, scoring higher than the agrarian states, but lower than the post-​industrial states. However, the expansive range in attitudes between the CEE&E states demonstrates that it is not a homogenous region, suggesting that modernization theory alone does not help explain the diversity in attitudes across the CEE&E states. Understanding this diversity requires going beyond the GDP per capita measure of economic development to include such aspects as gendered labor market structure, gendered career opportunities, gendered labor policies and regulations, the number of women in local and regional politics, party politics, and the political regime. Several studies exploited the partition of Germany after World War II as a natural experiment to study the effects of political and economic regimes on gender roles attitudes. Campa and Serafinelli (2019) find that women raised in East Germany, especially from those areas with higher rates of female labor force participation, are more likely to place importance on career success than women from West Germany. Respondents from East Germany, regardless of gender, also are more likely to hold less traditional gender role attitudes than respondents from West Germany. Alesina and Fuchs-​Schundeln (2007) analyze preferences for redistribution across East and West Germany, finding that men from East Germany are much more in favor of state redistribution and provision of social services than men from West Germany. There are very few experimental studies conducted in CEE&E, which mostly deal with attitudes toward female political leaders. In a study conducted in Kazakhstan, a predominantly agrarian economy with a mostly Muslim population, the researchers asked participants to listen to a speech given by a prominent politician (female or male) and evaluate this politician and her/​his competencies in different policy areas (Herrick and Sapieva 1997). The findings reveal the female politician was perceived as less competent than a male politician in all policy areas, including economic, foreign, and social policies. Since the study participants were college students, we can expect that the degree of bias in the general population may be higher. Avdeyeva and Matland (2020) conduct experimental studies on gender bias in four regions of Russia by giving subjects vignettes about a local political leader, in which the gender and ethnicity were varied. They find that in regions with a diverse economy and a gender-​mixed labor market, the public is supportive of female political leaders; in a region dominated by the resource extraction industry, they find systematic bias against female political leaders. The findings support the oil curse theory for low female emancipation in states dominated by resource extraction industries because women are marginalized in 66

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the labor market and politics (Ross 2008). These results demonstrate the importance of the socioeconomic context and the structure of the local labor market to explain public attitudes toward women in leadership positions.

Conclusions While quantitative research is well equipped to uncover gendered aspects of existing policies and practices and reveal how inequalities are produced and reproduced, the use of quantitative methods in research on gender and politics in CEE&E has been scarce. We argue that quantitative methodologies can offer scholars of gender and politics, social movement activists, and policymakers in CEE&E a toolkit for data collection, data organization, and data analysis. These tools can be used to produce innovative research, or they can be used poorly when researchers fail to effectively collect data, refine study variables, and develop analytical techniques that suit the goals of the research questions. These failures occur not because of the methods, but because of their inadequate use. The benefits of quantitative research should not be disregarded by scholars and policy practitioners today, particularly at a time of concerted conservative pushback against feminist positions across CEE&E. It is critical to put a diverse toolkit of methods to the service of studying the history of the region as well as, more recently, the outcomes of the conservative assault for different groups of people and revealing these data to the CEE&E publics and others.

References Ackerly, Brooke and Jacqui True. 2013. “Methods and Methodologies.” In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, edited by Georgina Waylen, Karen Celis, Johanna Kantola, and S. Laurel Weldon, 135–​161. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Alesina, Alberto, and Nicola Fuchs-​Schundeln. 2007. “Good-​Bye, Lenin (Or Not?): The Effects of Communism on People’s Preferences.” American Economic Review 97 (4): 469–​530. Avdeyeva, Olga A. 2015. Defending Women’s Rights in Europe: Gender Equality and EU Enlargement. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Avdeyeva, Olga A. and Richard E. Matland. 2020. “Ethnic and Gender-​Trait Biases in Russian Regions: Ethnic Integration, Regional Economy, and Women in Local Politics.” Politics and Gender. Forthcoming. Brajdić-​Vuković, Marija, Birkelund, Gunn Elizabeth, and Aleksandar Štulhofer. 2007. “Between Tradition and Modernization: Attitudes toward Women’s Employment and Gender Roles in Croatia.” International Journal of Sociology 37 (3): 32–​53. Bryman, Alan. 1984. “The Debate about Quantitative and Qualitative Research: A Question of Method or Epistemology?” The British Journal of Sociology 35 (1): 75–​92. Brzinski, Joanne Bay. 2003. “Women’s Representation in Germany: A Comparison of East and West” In Women’s Access to Political Power in Post-​Communist Europe, edited by Richard E. Matland, 63–​80. New York: Oxford University Press. Campa, Pamela, and Michel Serafinelli. 2019. “Politico-​Economic Regimes and Attitudes: Female Workers under State Socialism.” The Review of Economic and Statistics 101 (2): 233–​248. Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1991. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43 (6): 1241–​1299. Dubrow, Joshua K. 2006. “Women’s Representation in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, 1992-​ 2005: The Effect of District Economic Development.” International Journal of Sociology 36 (1): 93–​109. –​–​–​–. 2008. “How Can We Account for Intersectionality in Quantitative Analysis of Survey Data? Empirical Illustration for Central and Eastern Europe.” ASK. Research and Methods, 17: 85–​100.

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7 POSTCOLONIALITY IN CENTRAL-​E ASTERN EUROPE AND EURASIA Tatsiana Shchurko and Jennifer Suchland

The question of postcoloniality in the context of Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E) has fundamentally shifted since the dissolution of state socialism. There had been a long and active alliance between the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc with anti-​ imperialist movements in the so-​called third world. These alliances were a matter of state socialist policy and generated numerous affinities between the second world and the colonized world, including with the cause of racial justice in the United States. The region’s relationship to critiques of colonialism and imperialism radically changed when the demise of state socialism brought an end to the gravitational force of socialist internationalism. In the absence of that force, varied new scholarly and political relations to imperialism, colonialism, and postcolonialism emerged. While some scholars are unreflective of, or resistant to, anti-​imperial frameworks as they remain bound to Eurocentric epistemologies, others have taken the question of postcoloniality as an opportunity for internal reckoning and re-​evaluation. Notably, in the first decade of postsocialism there was a re-​evaluation of Soviet modernity as an imperial formation and not just an alternative to capitalist/​western modernity. With that re-​evaluation came a new identification with being postcolonial, which was most relevant in the contexts of the former Eastern Bloc, the western borderlands of the USSR, Central Asia, and with subaltern groups within the Russian state. Casting Soviet Russia as an imperial state formation also generated resentment and resistance, resulting in recuperative projects that tended to overemphasize Russia’s secondary position vis-​à-​vis the West. In their attachment to seeing Russia through an East/​West logic of power, feminist scholars and activists can perpetuate Eurocentrism and avoid interrogating how postsocialist positionalities are embedded in global racial and imperial logics. The focus of this entry will be on postsocialist postcolonial interventions regarding social difference and power. This focus necessarily involves grappling with gender and sexuality as tools of coloniality and raises questions about Eurocentrism. A postcolonial approach has altered understandings of power in the region including the state socialist projects of equality and friendship—​two ideas fundamental to how states related to and 71

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constructed sexual, racial, and ethnic differences. Scholars also are interrogating current state projects that use gender, sexuality, and race/​ethnicity to engineer the nation. As such, discourses of social difference (and its control) illuminate the lingering effects of colonial relations. The centrality of racial and ethnic differences is paramount to a postcolonial lens, though it is not always centered in gender studies. This absence remains a negligence, if not also an opportunity to take-​up the legacies of the socialist international struggle against capitalist imperialism and the promise of decolonization pursued by third world women and women of color. This chapter attends to how gender and sexuality are structured in colonial relations in the following contexts: Soviet/​Russian relations to ethnicized and racialized women; the tensions between Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Eurasia and the West apparent in contemporary campaigns for social justice; and in power relations within the CEE&E region.

After socialist internationalism: A new postcolonial optic For many in the region, the answer to the question “Are we postcolonial” is obviously “Yes.” While certainly not a unified experience, scholars forcefully argue a postcolonial critique is relevant for the former Eastern bloc, western Soviet borderlands, Central Asia and colonized groups within the Russian state (Annus 2016; Korek 2007; Tlostanova 2010). That turn to a postcolonial critique has provided a reorientation from previously standard approaches informed by the Cold War and Sovietology. An important implication of this work is to see Soviet modernity as part of, rather than separate from, western modernity. Building on Buck-​Morss’s (2000) writing about the twin nature of Soviet and western modernity, Annus (2016) challenges depictions of Soviet power that categorize it as distinct from European imperial formations. Thus, despite its overt anti-​imperialist position and support for decolonization, the myriad experiences and practices of the Soviet empire should also be understood as colonial in nature. The turn to analyze Soviet-​dictated state socialism as an imperial formation in its own right is an important corrective. It has the potential to expose oppressive power relations once subsumed under terminology that did not have the same connotation as colonialism, terms such as “occupation” or “satellite states.” Furthermore, a postcolonial approach is used to critically evaluate how Soviet modernity (as with western modernity) had a dark side. This has brought a re-​evaluation of state socialist approaches to inequality and oppression. For example, a postcolonial approach illuminates how women’s rights policies were tools of domination in which ethnic, religious, and culturally “backward others” were subjected to the civilizing mission of the Russian/​Soviet state. In the context of Soviet empire building, gender policy served as a tool to expand power, including across Eurasia. For instance, the Soviet campaigns of forced mass unveiling, beginning in the second half of the 1920s, pushed women in Central Asia to remove their traditional face and head coverings called paranja and chachvan (Northrop 2004). The Soviet state believed that veiling was oppressing Central Asian women and portrayed them as agentless victims of cultural practices (Tlostanova 2010). The unveiling campaigns served to “modernize” the region by bringing Central Asian women into the Soviet public sphere. Likewise, the Soviet “friendship of peoples” discourse recognized national/​ethnic difference but it also created an ethnic (and racialized) hierarchy with Slavic peoples at the top (Sahadeo 2007; Sarkisova 2017). 72

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Nevertheless, much scholarship focused on women and Soviet gender policy has not engaged the complex interplay of ethnicity, racialization, class, and gender in empire building. For example, Tlostanova (2010) notes that post-​Soviet gender studies often affirm Eurocentric frameworks that contribute to the disregard of colonized, racialized, and gendered experiences. As Tlostanova highlights, post-​Soviet gender discourses reproduce “a progressivist model of development” that overlooks understandings of sex and gender in colonial spaces by reproducing “a simple juxtaposition of archaic gender discourses (here conceptualized as Muslim ones) and modernized western patterns of women’s liberation from the patriarchal system” (Tlostanova 2010, 188). Correspondingly, a postcolonial (or anti-​colonial) approach challenges the assumption that women, as a social category, share the same oppression or that women’s rights policies serve all women the same. In fact, women’s rights policies were useful to Soviet expansion and produced differentiated models of Soviet womanhood. Shulman’s (2008) study of Soviet-​ era migrations to the Far East illustrates how gender is deployed by imperial projects and thus how gender and other forms of difference are entangled rather than separate. In the 1930s, the Khetagurovite campaign (named after the communist activist Valentina Khetagurova) was used to settle the Far East by creating incentives for communist women from central Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus to relocate there. The emancipated (Slavic) women who migrated to the Far East replaced the Soviet Koreans and Chinese migrant laborers who were cruelly deported (Shulman 2008, 49). The racialized suspicion toward Soviet Koreans and Chinese as well as the disregard for indigenous peoples of the Far East were intertwined with the promotion of female migration and women’s emancipation through labor. As a result, official Soviet policy produced at least two models of womanhood that dominated cultural representations: one referred to oppressed non-​ Slavic women who needed enlightenment and another referred to women like Valentina Khetagurova, who were educated, mobile, and working outside the domestic sphere (Shulman 2008, 87). Shulman’s research illustrates how the Soviet project for women’s emancipation intersected with the violent removal of ethnic and national groups. Importantly, while illuminating the urgency to examine the Soviet state’s racist, Eurocentric, and patriarchal dimensions, Tlostanova (2010) also focuses on the question of women’s agency under the conditions of these constraints. Specifically, she emphasizes that women were not simply passive victims and “created various ways out of the imposed binarity and conscious paths of flexible (re)construction of their identities in different social contexts” (Tlostanova 2010, 193). Similarly, Moldosheva (2016) analyzes Soviet gender policy for what it opened up and hindered for Central Asian women. In looking at the comradely correspondence (tovarishcheskaia perepiska) of the local and regional Communist Party women’s departments in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Moldosheva reveals how Central Asian women challenged ineffective policies even as their voices where circumscribed by how non-​Slavic women were imagined in the Soviet Union. Women’s correspondence also reflected the tension between Slavic/​European and Central Asian women-​activists and the difficulties Central Asian women faced when racial/​ethnic power hierarchies were not addressed.

Multiple centers and peripheries In addition to a Russian/​Soviet imperial center, there are other power centers exerting authority across the region that a critique of colonialism can illuminate. For example, 73

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Bakić-​Hayden (1995) extends Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism to diagnose the “nesting orientalisms” that mark regions within CEE&E as metaphorically east and south. Bakić-​Hayden argues that the Balkans serve as the othered geography within CEE and that this is nested within the western imagination of the region. There have always been racialized meanings associated with marking these nested otherings. However, with the demise of Soviet multiculturalism and the divestment from socialist internationalism, there has been an intensification of claims to a white-​identified ethnic identity across the region (Baker 2018a; Böröcz and Sarkar 2017; Zakharov 2015). For example, the so-​called “return to Europe” that metaphorically described the accession of some former Eastern bloc countries into the EU reasserted racialized hierarchies. The process of accession reinforced the centrality of Eurocentrism and produced asymmetrical positionalities between new and old Europe. These asymmetrical positionalities often played out over the terrain of borders. Who could travel and why and which borders were open are questions relevant to understanding the multiple peripheries at work in the region. The answer to such questions is also produced through social difference. For example, Yugoslav-​born artist Tanja Ostojić documented the sexualized dimensions of the internal peripheries of Europe. Ostojić dramatized the closures and access points for post-​Yugoslav women who found themselves outside of fortress Europe in her performance piece “Looking for a Husband with EU-​Passport” (Gržinić, Eisenstein, and Ostojić 2009). She created the online figure called “[email protected]” to solicit marriage inquiries from men within the EU and, in so doing, made explicit the gendered and sexual dimensions of mobility and women’s labor (see also Parvulescu 2014). Ostojić’s project also provided a counter-​discourse to the dominant image of women’s bodies as victims of human trafficking. The placid and alarming image of Hottanja presents women as agents of their own empowerment even if constrained by the sexualization of their bodies. Ostojić’s project implicitly made clear what the discourse of human trafficking often obscured—​that state policies, including visa regimes and the divestment in social programs, were culpable for much of the violence produced by economic transition. At the same time, the marketability of the ubiquitous postcommunist woman (named Tanya or Natasha) across Europe and the globe was tied to her readability as white. The visibility of some gendered violence, like sex trafficking, then also obscured the violence that ethnicized migrants experienced. Nesting orientalisms play out in political claims used to define and defend national prerogatives regarding gender and sexuality as well as the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers. The embracing of conservative values across the region, including the restriction of women’s rights, the normalization of political homophobia, and the rejection of multiculturalism, requires that scholars (and social activists) grapple with gender and sexual rights within the racialized meanings and operations of the nation (Suchland 2018). For example, Rexhepi (2016) analyzes the colonial logic behind EU-​sponsored discourses for queer rights in Kosovo. He argues that the political recognition of queer rights in Kosovo also can erase racial/​ethnic difference. Within the constraints of mainstream LGBQ rights, sexual identity is linked to the dominant ethnic-​national category of the citizen. As a result, the cause for recognizing queer rights in Kosovo can erase queer Muslims. Likewise, Pagulich (2019) explores the link between liberal gay rights discourses and the production of narratives of progress in Ukraine. Focusing on the limits of liberal discourses that reinforce a single-​issue politics, Pagulich illuminates how

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claims to Europeanness alongside practices of recognition and visibility for LGBTQ people can occlude racialized non-​normative subjects. Rexhepi and Pagulich remind us that long-​standing (nested) “others” within CEE&E remain and that their positions are further complicated by new political formations. This is also the case regarding Roma communities who routinely encounter hostility, violence, and displacement across Europe. Yet, the experiences of Roma peoples often are overlooked by postcolonial gender scholars because categories of social difference like gender and sexuality are not thought of as entangled with ethnicity and racialized national categories. Oprea (2012, 18) summarizes this tendency, arguing that, “Feminist and antiracist politics in Europe are still by and large two separate struggles, and Romani feminists wind up in a separate, isolated sphere fighting on their own. Instead of a holistic incorporation of anti-​racist politics into feminist politics and vice versa, what we often see are token inclusions or outright exclusions.” In turn, Hasḍeu (2016) appeals to a postcolonial perspective to articulate a feminist anti-​racist positionality based on her research experience in Roma communities. Hasḍeu (2016, 85), a non-​Roma feminist, offers a “personal epistemological manifesto” that states one “cannot be feminist without being anti-​racist.” Hașdeu also problematizes the common skepticism specifically among anthropologists that prevents defining the oppression of Roma women as a racial issue. She emphasizes that postcolonial and subaltern studies, as well as intersectional, Black, and women of color feminism, provide tools to criticize “the mainstream history made by colonizers, the hegemonic epistemologies creating categories, definitions and knowledge paths” in order to “produce alternative stories and understandings, to reread collective memories, cultures and representations” (Hașdeu 2016, 84). Hașdeu points to the nested colonial relations that inform gender and racial politics in CEE for Roma communities and cautions against the tendency in some feminist approaches to reify Roma communities as a homogenous group and/​or the “nature” of gender oppression as universal regardless of questions of race and class. Related to nesting orientalisms is Imre’s (2014) concept of internalized imperialism. This idea refers to the tendency in CEE&E to not question claims to “Europeanness” as a troubled claim to past and present forms of (neo-​)colonialism. Indeed, such claims are deeply racialized and do not critically reflect internal forms of othering that remain a negligence in scholarly and national discourses. However, there are growing critical voices that push the limits of postcolonial theory for the former second world (Baker 2018a; Dzenovska 2013; Gržinić and Tatlić 2014; Koobak and Marling 2014; Marciniak 2009). That limit is very much about challenging the persistence of Eurocentrism and acknowledging the possible self-​victimization at the heart of the resentment of the West. It also includes seeing a connection between internal and hidden Eurocentrism and the political projects of right-​wing racism, xenophobia, anti-​migrant vitriol, and “anti-​gender” policy that are present across the former state socialist region. Internalized imperialism is on display when categories such as gender and sexuality circulate with implicit ethnic/​racial normativity. For example, Kurmanov (2018), a trans activist from Kyrgyzstan, warns about the colonial and ethnocentric politics within trans activism in the former Soviet region. Specifically, he problematizes the hegemonic position of activists from Russia and their ignorance toward the practices that silence the perspectives of non-​white non-​European non-​Slavic people from different parts of the former Soviet region. Kurmanov highlights the ongoing legacies of imperial and colonial formations manifested in ethnocentric and Eurocentric knowledge production and

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political action. The resistance to see the negligences produced by internal imperialisms is closely tied to the rejection of seeing race as relevant to the region. Baker (2018b) notes that postcolonial scholarship on the region rarely incorporates race as a global formation that originates from Europe’s rationalization of colonialism and enslavement. When the racial dimensions of colonialism are not taken up, scholarly engagements with postcoloniality can unwittingly be complicit with white supremacy, racism, and colonialism (Gržinić 2014; Kancler 2017; Navickaitė 2014; Tlostanova 2015). Baker reminds us that scholarship on colonialism cannot be detached from racial logics.

Decolonial interventions Scholars who adopt a decolonial framework engage coloniality as a racial epistemology and distinguish themselves from postcolonial models. Gržinić (2019) states that a decolonial perspective centers race and racialization as an organizing principle of the global neoliberal system. A decolonial framework focuses on the entanglements between colonialism, coloniality, capital, racism, and heteropatriarchy that produce mechanisms of exploitation, extraction, and dispossession. Gržinić (2019) emphasizes that a decolonial perspective complicates feminist conceptualizations by interlinking racialization, the colonial matrix of power, and heteropatriarchy, a sociopolitical system that privileges cisgender and heterosexual subjects. The field of decolonial studies has diverse perspectives and myriad understandings of coloniality, including settler colonialism. However, they share the common idea that the colonization of the Americas, the trans-​Atlantic slave trade, and European Enlightenment shaped the current global world order or what is called “global coloniality” (Quijano and Wallerstein 1992). Global coloniality produces and facilitates hierarchical classifications of populations, sustains the hegemony of heteropatriarchy, and perpetuates capitalist accumulation and liberal humanism. In relation to Central-​ Eastern Europe and Eurasia, scholars engage with decoloniality in order to situate the region in global coloniality rather than apply postcolonial analogies. Scholars explore how different imperial formations, such as the Ottoman, Chinese, Persian, Russian, and Soviet, produced alternative modernities while also operating in relation to and within global coloniality. For example, Tlostanova (2017) demarcates a strong connection between two modernities—​the western liberal capitalist and state socialist. Tlostanova notes that since socialist modernity originated in the West, it shared familiar features of western modernity such as progressivism, orientalism, racism, and heteropatriarchy (Tlostanova 2017, 6–​7). Drawing on the experience of the Americas, Lugones (2007) introduced the term “coloniality of gender” to describe the heteronormative foundation of global coloniality predicated on Eurocentrism, capitalist exploitation, colonialism, and racism. Decolonial scholars attempt to locate and/​or preserve ways of being and doing outside of that epistemology (Lugones 2007; Simpson 2017; Tlostanova 2018). Thus, a decolonial approach aims to “unthink” Eurocentrism which is different from a postcolonial approach that can reassert the colonial logics of liberal humanism. Coloniality of gender and racialization are fully at work in CEE&E. For example, the relation of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union with global coloniality is reflected not only in the physical colonization of Siberia, the Far East and North, the Caucasus, and Central Asia but also in the epistemic colonization of these territories by Eurocentric discourses of modernization and gendered regimes of ethnic and racial difference (Bonnett 2002; Kandiyoti 2007; Sahni 1997). 76

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The coloniality of gender can also be understood as a lens into how gender and sexuality operate as racialized categories. This is relevant for postsocialist gender studies as the field can perpetuate ethnocentrism and the neglect of non-​European gendered subjects. For example, Gržinić (2014) writes that Eurocentric feminist approaches to the former Yugoslavia obfuscate race and facilitate the white normativity of the category gender. In response to this Eurocentrism, Gržinić focuses on “dissident feminisms” that “disrupt the monolithic history of a feminism that is heterosexual and white and based on a defined feminist subject that is supposedly a woman as a predefined biological reality” (Gržinić 2014, 1). Similarly, trans feminist scholars and activists focus on how queer feminist reflections can become complicit with hegemonic racist formations and neoliberal technologies. Kancler (2017) notes that the institutionalization of trans issues coincided with the rise and expansion of neoliberalism on a global scale after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Kancler emphasizes that this coincidence produced “transgender” as a new commodity that supports “the political economy of knowledge production that frame[s]‌ Euro-​America as the centre of discourse about gender and sexual diversity, while capitalizing on racial and cultural difference” (Kancler 2017, 3). Kancler offers decolonial transfeminist politics that challenges the subject of feminist struggle, questions biological and ontological difference, and acknowledges “the fact that our common basis of oppression remains capitalism, coloniality and heteropatriarchy” (Kancler 2017, 17).

Conclusions Although postcolonial and decolonial perspectives have created new avenues for critical reflection, there are still contradictions connected with the use of these frameworks in CEE&E. One contradiction is that the politics of knowledge production have not radically changed. The most prominent perspectives remain those who can access dominant languages and who are in close proximity to western knowledge production. Another contradiction is that, while many gender studies scholars acknowledge imperial formations in the region, there is much less engagement with how race is central to imperial projects and thus also to gender studies. For some, the turn to postcoloniality feeds a self-​othering and resentment toward the West/​Europe that affirms rather than critiques Eurocentrism. In this regard, there are missed opportunities to connect CEE&E to contemporary global coloniality and create feminist solidarities based on accountability. Speaking to this, Todorova (2018) proposes that, “Developing successful transnational feminist collaborations, collectives, and political alliances between postsocialist women in central and southeastern Europe and Black women and other women of color in the Global North and South will require critical conversations about how race and racial globality have constituted socialist and postsocialist women and subjects” (Todorova 2018, 136). Todorova asks postsocialist women and feminists, socialized and racialized as white and European, to interrogate how they are embedded in these formations. Perhaps one way to take-​up Todorova’s call is to develop anti-​colonial and decolonial approaches to postsocialism. Scholars are beginning, for example, to broaden the political imaginary of what postsocialism implies beyond a condition of after-​state socialism to a category of relationality and multiplicity that is radically open to the promises (and potential) of decolonization (Atanasoski and Vora 2018; Shih 2012). For example, Popa (2018) elaborates a queer postsocialist temporality that imagines alliance between trans/​ queer politics that aim to disrupt racial capitalism. Popa explores the relation between 77

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Black trans politics in the US and the legacies of anti-​communist Cold War politics with labor politics and postsocialist migrant bodies. Similarly, rethinking postsocialism and postcoloniality also demands that gender and queer feminist scholars of CEE&E (re) engage socialist internationalism, including the many relations with women of color from the global north and south (Ghodsee 2018). It is thus important to interpret and engage their legacies and even the contemporary possibilities of those former alliances imagined anew.

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Postcoloniality in CEE&E Lugones, María. 2007. “Heterosexualism and the Colonial /​Modern Gender System.” Hypatia 22 (1): 186–​209. Marciniak, Katarzyna. 2009. “Postsocialist Hybrids.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 12 (2): 173–​190. Moldosheva, Anara. 2016. “‘Naberites’ Khrabrosti i Prochtite Vsë!’ Perepiska Rabotnit͡ s Zhenotdelov Kyrgyzstana 1920-​kh Godov.” Poni͡ atii͡ a o Sovetskom v T͡ sentral’noĭ Azii: Al’manakh Shtaba № 2, pod redakt͡sieĭ Georgii͡a Mamedova i Oksany Shatalovoĭ, 210–​269. Bishkek: SHTAB Press. Navickaitė, Rasa. 2014. “Postcolonial Queer Critique in Post-​communist Europe: Stuck in the Western Progress Narrative?” Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies 17 (2): 167–​185. Northrop, Douglas. 2004. Veiled Empire. Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press. Oprea, Alexandra. 2012. “Romani Feminism in Reactionary Times.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38 (1): 11–​21. Pagulich, Lesia. 2019. “New Lovers…? As Patriots and Citizens: Thinking beyond Homonationalism and Promises of Freedom (the Ukrainian case).” In Queering Paradigms VIII: Queer-​Feminist Solidarity and the East/​West Divide, edited By Katharina Wiedlack, Saltanat Shoshanova, and Masha Godovananya, 125–​151. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang UK. Parvulescu, Anca. 2014. The Traffic in Women’s Work: East European Migration and the Making of Europe. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Popa, Bogdan. 2018. “Trans* and Legacies of Socialism: Reading Queer Postsocialism in Tangerine.” The Undecidable Unconscious: A Journal of Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis 5: 27–​53. Quijano, Aníbal, and Immanuel Wallerstein. 1992. “Americanity as a Concept or the Americas in the Modern-​World System.” Institute for Scientific Information 44 (134): 549–​558. Rexhepi, Piro. 2016. “From Orientalism to Homonationalism: Queer Politics, Islamophobia and Europeanization in Kosovo.” Southeastern Europe 40 (1): 32–​53. Sahadeo, Jeff. 2007. “Druzhba Narodov or Second-​class Citizenship? Soviet Asian Migrants in a Post-​colonial World.” Central Asian Survey 26 (4): 559–​579. Sahni, Kalpana. 1997. Crucifying the Orient: Russian Orientalism and the Colonization of Caucasus and Central Asia. Oslo: White Orchid Press. Sarkisova, Oksana. 2017. Screening Soviet Nationalities: Kulturfilms from the Far North to Central Asia. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. Shih, Shu-​mei. 2012. “Is the Post-​in Postsocialism the Post-​in Posthumanism?” Social Text 30 (1): 27–​50. Shulman, Elena. 2008. Stalinism on the Frontier of Empire. Women and State Formation in the Soviet Far East. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. 2017. As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Suchland, Jennifer. 2018. “The LGBT Specter in Russia: Refusing Queerness, Claiming ‘Whiteness.’” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (7): 1073–​1088. Tlostanova, Madina. 2010. Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. –​–​–​–​. 2015. “Can the Post-​Soviet Think? On Coloniality of Knowledge, External Imperial and Double Colonial Difference.” Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics 1 (2): 38–​58. –​–​–​–​. 2017. Postcolonialism and Postsocialism in Fiction and Art: Resistance and Re-​Existence. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. –​–​–​–​. 2018. What Does It Mean to be Post-​Soviet? Decolonial Art from the Ruins of the Soviet Empire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Todorova, Miglena S. 2018. “Race and Women of Color in Socialist/​Postsocialist Transnational Feminisms in Central and Southeastern Europe.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 16 (1): 114–​141. Zakharov, Nikolay. 2015. Race and Racism in Russia: Mapping Global Racisms. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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8 POST-​S OVIET MASCULINITIES Sex, power, and the vanishing subject Eliot Borenstein

As both an object of study and an element of everyday life, masculinity in post-​Soviet Russia is simultaneously ubiquitous and all but absent. Masculine primacy and an essentialist notion of the masculine have been dominant features of Russian life, particularly since the Soviet collapse framed the new capitalist economy as a man’s world. In the absence of a public language for treating masculinity as a category subject to positive change, as something that can evolve, masculinity only becomes visible and legible when the media present it as in some way deficient or aberrant. The solution rarely calls for rethinking masculine virtues or redefining masculinity according to a new gender paradigm. For Russian media, scholarship, and mainstream culture, the question is framed in terms of deficiency, while for western scholars it is a matter of excess. Russian masculinity has a great deal in common with the masculinity studied in the West (particularly its reliance on the structures of patriarchy) and its hegemony, but also key differences. The phenomenon of homosociality—​the social and affective structures among men (Sedgwick 1985)—​has received relatively little attention, while its manifestations in Russian culture are marked by a higher acceptance of emotional display, a strong emphasis on the value of male friendship, and a hostility toward homosexuality accompanied by different standards of what constitutes the homoerotic. Treatment of Russian masculinity by progressive scholars in Russia and the West—​with few exceptions, such as the recent sociological work by Marina Yusupova (2018)—​tends to focus on discrete phenomena, such as the cult of masculinity in politics (Sperling 2014), the continued militarization of Russian culture (Eichler 2011), and the state’s role in encouraging violent homophobia (Kondakov 2017). There is as yet no full-​fledged theory of Russian masculinity, and, given the increasing hostility toward gender studies under Putin, little space in Russian academia to develop it. Masculinity began to emerge as an occasional, if incomplete, topic of discussion and scholarship with the Russian Revolution of 1917. Though the Bolsheviks who established the new regime were, in theory, committed to women’s equality, the virtues and priorities of the New World to be built by communists was marked by traditionally masculine virtues: production rather than reproduction, the public sphere over the private sphere, and heavy industry over agriculture (Borenstein 2000). Doubling down on masculine values did not, however, mean that early Soviet masculinity was unproblematic. In the 80

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1920s, venereological journals and sexual education pamphlets portrayed young Soviet men as anxiety-​ridden neurotics, whose manhood was under severe stress (Bernstein 2007). All such discussions vanished with the rise of Joseph Stalin; propaganda in the 1930s emphasized the manly industrial worker, while the struggle against fascism during World War II was quite predictably accompanied by an ethos of masculine heroism. By the 1970s, concerns about masculinity resurfaced in a debate about “infantilized” men that began in the Soviet central newspapers (Zdravomyslova and Temkina 2012). In 2018, the challenge resurfaced in the responses to a popular video of scantily clad aviation cadets performing a parody of a well-​known music clip. Western and western-​oriented scholars use an idiom of gender that has been poorly assimilated by the Russian language and Russian media. This is not just a matter of gender theory; it is also a question of how gender is seen and lived. Western scholars of male homosexuality in Russia, such as Healey (2001, 2017) and Baer (2009), by necessity deal with masculinity, but primarily in service to their discussions of LGBT issues. In a book whose focus is broader than homosexuality, Sperling (2014) examines the masculinization of political power in 21st-​century Russia, though this, too, falls short of a more general theory of Russian masculinity. Sperling’s work fits within the rich vein of western scholarship on masculinity and authoritarianism, going back to Theweleit (1987) on the fratriarchal precursors to Nazism in interwar Germany and Mosse (1985) on the violent homoeroticism and misogyny of fascism. These earlier studies are understandably concerned with the authoritarian cult of the (male) leader, but their legacy may encourage an undue emphasis on the person and power of President Vladimir Putin.

Masculinity and homoeroticism There can be no doubt that a major component of what journalist Anna Artunyan (2014) calls the “Putin Mystique” is his masculinity. From the contrast between the fit, restrained Putin and his flabby, drunken, and erratic predecessor Boris Yeltsin to the toughness of the former’s language (“rubbing out terrorists in the outhouses”), Putin’s political appeal is a function of the strength he conveys at all times. In 2004, a girl band sang his praises by detailing exactly how the singer’s boyfriend fails to measure up to the Russian president (“I want someone like Putin/​Someone like Putin, whose full of strength/​Someone like Putin, who doesn’t drink”). A decade later, Putin seemed more actively invested in maintaining this image: flying with cranes, diving for lost treasure, and, most famously, appearing shirtless on horseback (now a meme that shows no sign of fading). The “shirtless Putin” meme is something of a Rorschach test for gender and sexuality. In the West, it is fodder for jokes based on the image’s homoeroticism, but that is not the case in Russia. Westerners can see homoeroticism because male homosexuality has been rendered thinkable. Nearly all male self-​display is perceived as homoerotic, while in Russia the presumed admirer for a shirtless Putin is either a woman (who could find him attractive) or a straight man (who can be favorably impressed that Putin is a real man). Each attitude rests on blindness to desire on the part of half the potential viewers of the image. Decades of feminist-​inflected western criticism (starting with Berger 1972 and Mulvey 1975) have highlighted the notion of the “male gaze,” a perspective that objectifies the person it desires; in this approach, the very subject position of the desiring viewer is posited as masculine, while the object, whatever its biological sex, is framed within a feminine position. In the West, the naked male body is assumed to be desired by men, not women, and in Russia, desire for men by men has to work extra hard to be visible. 81

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We see this in a video campaign in 2018 that emerged in response to a clip of freshmen cadets at an aviation academy in Ulyanovsk (a provincial town bearing Lenin’s original last name), inspired both by Benny Benassi’s 2002 “Satisfaction” and a 2013 all-​male British army parody (“Neuemnye” 2018). In various states of undress, the young men dance suggestively while brandishing tools of all sorts, an all-​male erotic spectacle that fueled outrage on the part of conservatives, though not for being homoerotic: “It’s a tragedy,” declared famous aviator Magomed Tolboev. “It’s a mockery. I would even compare it with Pussy Riot, when they made a mockery of the cathedral. And this is a cathedral of science.” The Rector of the Ulyanovsk Aviation Institute, Sergei Krasnov, agreed. “This is a great insult to the Ulyanovsk region, and to veterans” (Davydov 2018). Disagreeing with this reading of sacrilege, people throughout the Russian Federation began posting their own “Satisfaction” clips, made by construction students, agricultural students, emergency workers, stable jocks, a theater troupe, nurses, and, most delightfully, two headscarved and housedress-​bedecked babushki in a St. Petersburg communal apartment (“Russian Babushkas” 2018). The defense of the “Satisfaction” video was not waged on gendered grounds. Few bothered to respond to attacks on the boys’ masculinity, and virtually no one was arguing that the video was, indeed, homoerotic. According to the logic of the pro-​“Satisfaction” camp, the problem with the naysayers is not homophobia; the problem is that they are the enemies of fun. Indeed, the very title of the clip (“Satisfaction”) would seem to reveal just what it is that its critics oppose: pleasure. What, the defenders ask, is wrong with playful, erotic dancing? It turns out that the boys’ supporters are not enacting a virtual Stonewall uprising; rather, they are unwittingly reenacting the plot of Footloose (a film and Broadway musical in which the forces of fun triumph over a puritanical ban on dancing). The pro-​“Satisfaction” camp is implicitly motivated by two key features: heterosexual privilege and the persistence of gay invisibility. What most Russian commentators and netizens saw was something quite different: a bunch of boys who, by definition, are assumed to be straight. Gay men are so demonized in current Russian mass culture that they simply cannot be the boys next door. No matter how homoerotic their dancing, the boys’ defenders generally allow no room to doubt their heterosexuality. Seen as a dance performed by straight men, the “Satisfaction” video is immediately assimilated to the tradition of cross-​dressing and gender-​bending as comedy. Contrast this to the Russian social media scandal of the bearded Austrian cross-​ dresser Conchita Wurst’s victory in the 2014 Eurovision contest, shortly after the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and the Russian annexation of Crimea, and not long after Russia’s adoption of the gay propaganda law. Conchita, who presents as a bearded man in women’s dresses, came to represent everything that men must not be. On Russian social media, Conchita’s victory became a slap in the face not just of traditional masculinity, but of Russia. The resulting 2014 campaign on Russian social networks aimed at getting men to shave off beards was minor compared to the “Satisfaction” campaign, at least in part because the pro-​masculinity, anti-​beard message was rather muddled. Critics of Conchita assumed she was gay as a matter of course, putting her in a completely different category from the Ulyanovsk boys. The Ulyanovsk boys, however, are consistently read as straight. Or, more accurately, they are not read at all. By virtue of their identity as a group, they could do anything short of actually having sex with each other on tape, and their sexual orientation would remain unquestioned. The group aspect is critical: if any one of those boys had performed a 82

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solo video to the song, adopting a gay aesthetic could have opened them up to suspicion, since any group could have “one bad apple.” But all of them? This may be the greatest irony of the performers’ presumptive orientation: what is it that shields a near-​naked, fetish-​garbed dancing boy from suspicions of homosexuality? The presence of so many near-​naked, fetish-​garbed dancing boys all around them. An isolated boy could reveal a solitary sin, but homosociality renders gayness all but unthinkable. The boys may be dancing next to each other and even touching, but the space between them shouts out a confident “no homo.” The Ulyanovsk videos, in uniting such a broad spectrum of the Russian Internet, remind us that the unassailability of heteronormative masculinity in contemporary Russia is virtually immune to politics. As Sperling (2014) shows, masculinity is treasured by Putinists and anti-​Putinists alike, aided by the virtual absence of a coherent discourse of (non-​biological) gender. The case of Pussy Riot, an anonymous collective of female feminist activists whose scandalous performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012 led to the arrest and trial of three of its members, would presumably only be about masculinity to the extent that the group was vocally and consistently feminist. But the media framing of the group told a different story: again and again, Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of one of the defendants, was portrayed as the group’s mastermind. It was simply unthinkable that a “bunch of girls” could have done something without a man to direct them. Thus, even Pussy Riot gets assimilated into the narrative of masculine supremacy. This does not mean that there is no anxiety about masculinity, but that this anxiety expresses itself obliquely. The 2013 law banning so-​called gay propaganda around minors and increasing demonization of (and violence against) the LGBT community is an expression for two primary preoccupations: Russian demographics and the maintenance of heterosexual masculinity. The demographic argument, though irredeemably flawed (there is no realistic model in which Russia’s declining birthrate can be ascribed to same-​sex activity), is understandable, since heterosexual intercourse is still the most reliable and cost-​effective way to produce offspring. The failure of the Ulyanovsk videos to produce homophobic backlash also points to the continued hegemonic power of military service and military institutions in the construction of masculinity in the mass media and popular culture (see Petrone, Chapter 19 in this Handbook). One year of military service (and, before 2007, two years) remains compulsory for all male citizens of the Russian Federation, a law that is complicated by the numerous mechanisms for legally avoiding the draft. Attendance at a college or university with a Reserve Officer Training Program (voennaya kafedra) exempts its participants from the otherwise mandatory draft. Naturally, there are medical exemptions, which lead to a number of loopholes, such that family connections and bribes continue to allow more privileged young men to avoid the military. As a result, military service functions symbolically as the foundation of universal adult masculinity, while at the same time functioning as a marker of what we can call, for simplicity’s sake, social class.

Homosociality and power The prominence of the military reinforces one of the primary features of contemporary Russian masculinity: the horizontal ties among the all-​male group. Russia has a strong mythology of both male friendship (that is, the close connection between two men based on affinity) and male comradeship (the fratriarchal male group bond) (Borenstein 2000; 83

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Friedman 2005). Such ties are held up as an exclusively masculine prerogative (supported by the casual assumption that women are incapable of real friendship or solidarity, and are ready to turn on each other at the drop of a hat). At the same time, military male group dynamics also reinforce the “rightness” of hierarchical subordination to a leader. The influence of military masculinity (Eichler 2011) is readily apparent in popular entertainment. The Soviet Union provided few avenues for creating stories of adventure. Where the United States churned out endless variations on superhero vigilantes and lone-​wolf avengers (variations on the cowboy myth), Soviet adventure was largely confined to war stories (particularly about World War II). When the publishing market exploded after the Soviet collapse (and, several years later, when the film and television industries began to rebuild themselves after the loss of state subsidies and the influx of foreign competition), more individualist protagonists began to appear in an action story (boevik) genre, though even here, these men were usually either part of, or recently discharged from, a military, police, or security organization. The paradigmatic example is Alexei Barabanov’s 1997 film Brother, along with its sequel, Brother 2 (2000), in which a recently discharged, taciturn soldier turns into an avenging hitman (usually, but not always, protecting the weak from those who prey on them). By the Putin era, however, such lone wolf stories began to be once again supplanted by tales of adventurous male groups (“The Brigade” miniseries of 2002, war films and miniseries such as The Ninth Company (2005) and The Penal Battalion (2004)). Stories of Russian war heroes naturally encouraged patriotism, but critics saw the renewed reverence for the military and state security as signs that Putin’s regime was exploiting familiar tropes for his own purposes. The popular, yet controversial, avant-​garde novelist Vladimir Sorokin provides the cleverest response to the masculinization of state power, in his 2006 novel Day of the Opichnik. In a walled-​off, near-​future Russia modeled on a revival of the harsh tradition of Ivan the Terrible, the state security forces are once again the most respected and feared part of a now neo-​feudal society. The characters’ actions and attitudes are marked by a stunning casualness when it comes to extreme violence (the ringtone on the narrator’s phone is the screams of a prisoner being tortured). At the end of the novel, the secret servicemen join their leader (whom they call “Batya,” or father) for a celebration in the banya. The Russian bath house, long a site of communal relaxation, had, by the 1990s, become an essential trope in the lore about the new Russian gangster/​businessmen, who would inevitably meet for excessively ornate celebrations in the banya as part of a homosocial tradition (often facilitated by sharing prostitutes). In Sorokin’s novel, the men all take a pill that seems to be a cross between a hallucinogen and Viagra. They all develop massive erections, start kissing each other, and then form what they call the caterpillar (an all-​male acrobatic gang bang that is a cross between anal sex and a conga line). In Sorokin’s novel, this homosexual orgy is the apotheosis of the male bonding on which this quasi-​fascist, quasi-​feudal state is built, one of the most widely read critiques of the masculinist structures of Putin’s regime.

Masculinity and state power: Who’s on top? Sorokin’s novel also literalizes one of the primary sexual metaphors of masculinity and state power. In Soviet times, there was a joke about General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev commissioning a bust of himself from a Soviet sculptor. Weeks go by, and when the bust is unveiled, Brezhnev expresses hesitant approval, but wonders why he is portrayed with 84

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large, female breasts. The sculptor replies that it is an allegory about the leader’s relationship to the Soviet people: with the left breast, he nurses the working class. With the right, the peasantry. Brezhnev asks, “But what about the intelligentsia?” To which the sculptor replies: “For that I would have needed to sculpt your torso.” This joke operates through the sculptural equivalent of verbal ellipsis: what’s left out is entirely overdetermined, in terms of both sex and power. One of Russia’s most pervasive cultural myths about power and violence is encoded in a phrase that consists entirely of subject and object: “Kto kogo?” which is inadequately translated into English as “Who whom?” The person who is said to have originally posed this question is Vladimir Lenin in 1921, referring to the competition between communism and capitalism (“Who will overtake whom?”). Stalin much more explicitly framed the question in terms of violence (“will we knock them, the capitalists, flat … or will they knock us flat?” “Kto kogo?” and its missing verb leave us with clearly defined subjects and direct object, but the object is part of a predicate that is only implied. The missing verb has to be active and transitive, and while it is theoretically conceivable that, in the right context, the verb could be neutral (Who sees whom) or even positive (Who kisses whom), let’s not kid ourselves. At its most basic, the relationship between subject and object here is all about violence, whether literal (b’et) (beats) or figurative and (ebet) (fucks). The sexual figuration in this last example is crucial: the relationship here is profoundly intimate. The heteronormative paradigm conjures up different implications when the subject and object are both male. Here the only acceptable set of verbs that could connote intimacy are verbs of violence. Certainly, North Americans are familiar with the heterosexual male tendency to express “brotherly” affection through downplayed, ritualized violence (the punch in the arm or the slap on the back, for example). As sociologists have argued for decades, the male bond is cemented through such seemingly aggressive rituals. Punching means never having to say “no homo.” Indeed, “no homo” may well be an oblique (that is, queer) answer to “Kto kogo?” If we go back to this Russian question, we have a formulation that, appropriately enough, lets us have it both ways: it’s sex and it’s violence, or it’s sex disguised as violence, or violence disguised as sex. As an exercise in dominance between men, it can either feminize the victim, or, just as likely, bind victim and perpetrator together in a bond whose framework escapes the bounds of heteronormativity: perhaps the best rendering of “Kto kogo?” in this case is “Who’s the top, and who’s the bottom?” The language of masculine sexualized violence appropriated so frequently by Sorokin also gets coopted by progressive artists in opposition to the regime. The radical Actionist art movement Voina (War), before it was eclipsed by its offshoot, the feminist Pussy Riot collective, used a particularly phallic aesthetic in its artistic critique of power. Actionism, a movement that began in Vienna in the mid-​20th century, involves deliberately transgressive public performance designed to shock viewers out of complacency; in Russia, Voina was among its most famous practitioners. In May 2009, Voina occupied the Tagansky courtroom in Moscow, claiming to be a punk group called “A Cock Up the Asshole;” a few of the men performed a song called “Remember, All Cops are Bastards,” while the rest of the group danced wildly. All three of the future Pussy Riot defendants took part in the dancing, little knowing that they would eventually headline a much more famous punk act of their own. But despite the presence of women, the whole event was structured around not just male sexuality, but male sexual violence. Thanks to the magic of Russian grammar, it is clear in the original that the group’s name is about the act of 85

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inserting the aforementioned cock, rather than its simple location. The name is as much a threat as it is a description. In 2010, the Petersburg wing of Voina painted an enormous phallus on a drawbridge opposite FSB headquarters, in an event called “Cock Captured by the FSB.” As the bridge went up, so, too, did the phallus. But Voina’s most notorious sexual performance took place in February 2008, the day before the presidential election (in which Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s victory and the continuation of Putin’s power behind the scenes was a foregone conclusion). An obvious reference to the future president’s last name (“Medved” in Russian means “bear”), “Fuck for the Puppy Bear Heir” consisted of five heterosexual couples having sex in Moscow’s Biological Museum. “Puppy Bear Heir” was a study in patriarchal power dynamics; it seemed not to have occurred to anyone involved that there could be a sex act that did not involve either penetration or fellatio. There may have been a practical reason, given that anyone viewing the video is treated to the spectacle of the men grimly trying to get into (and maintain) the proper frame of mind—​the men’s steely determination was less like the demeanor of the stars of PornHub and more reminiscent of the British Prime Minister in the notorious first episode of the dystopian Black Mirror. Clearly, they needed all the help they could get. But Voina was also exploiting a clear patriarchal metaphor of power (who gets fucked by whom). If the biological museum event can safely be called pornographic, it is not as a value judgment, but as a performance that followed the most important imperative of filmed heterosexual porn—​all power to the penis. Indeed, power is precisely the point. The use of the word fuck as an insult or even a political criticism implicitly assumes that the object of the verb is not just grammatically, but invisibly passive, with penetration as a metaphor for triumph. This fits with what Sperling (2014) calls the rhetoric of “topping,” shared by the regime and opposition alike). Perhaps inadvertently, the Petersburg wing of Voina’s drawbridge stunt makes this fact even clearer: tracing a giant penis on public property is a classic “fuck you” gesture, but it is also one that fits comfortably with a traditional gendered hierarchy. Only in the wake of Pussy Riot has masculine Actionist art in Russia begun to fight a masculinist state while rejecting aggressive masculinity. The performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky made a name for himself primarily through self-​harm and self-​mutilation rather than “topping”: first by sewing his lips shut in protest of the Pussy Riot trial, then by surrounding his vulnerable, naked body with barbed wire, and, most memorably, by nailing his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square. Like the activists of the FEMEN group, who exposed their breasts as part of their political protest, Pavlensky turns his (male) body from subject to object, simultaneously appealing to more traditionally female traditions of self-​punishment and the practices of some Gulag dissidents (who nailed their scrotums to planks of wood). The subsequent rape accusations against Pavlensky and his (female) partner have undermined his credibility, but the actions that first brought Pavlensky wide attention nonetheless played an important role in the development of performative protest during Putin’s third term.

Conclusions By leveraging the attention that their outrageous texts and performances inevitably attract, Actionists such as Voina and Pavlensky, along with avant-​garde writers such as Sorokin, manage to render masculinity visible as an object of critique, albeit second-​order critique: deconstructing masculinity serves as a prerequisite for the deconstruction of 86

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power. Pussy Riot, with its explicit feminist agenda, does not subordinate gender critique to the analysis of power, treating the two as inextricably linked. For the most part, however, concern about masculinity is largely instrumental, less of a challenge to the reigning paradigms of gender than a useful chink in the armor of the men who hold power. By the same token, masculinity remains a second-​order question in most scholarship on Russian gender; it is subordinate either to questions of power or to the plight of the LGBT community. Scholars of gender studies could find much in the Russian discourse of masculinity that could inform their understanding of masculinity in general; Russian homosociality, for example, should remind us that relationships and interactions among men are about more than homoeroticism (repressed or otherwise). Russia, along with much of the former Soviet bloc, also resists an understanding of modern gender relations that assumes an inevitable “arc of progress”: what happens when a country that, in addition to paying lip service to equality, successfully brought women into the workforce, collectively retreats from the gains we might associate with feminism, in order to extol the virtues of patriarchy? Future scholars are in an enviable position: a great deal of important work involving Russian masculinity has been published in the last two decades, but the field is still wide open to further definition. At this point, Russian masculinity can be studied as much indirectly as directly, by inference in the absence of serious societal attention or reliable data. In a social and cultural environment that is increasingly hostile to the very concept of gender, conceptions of “manliness” tend to be tautological: men are manly because that is what men are, and that is what men must be. Studying masculinity through its representation (across the whole spectrum of cultural production) and its discursive construction (the rhetorical formulations and the manner in which notions of masculinity are deployed) can create the framework for understanding how masculinity functions in post-​Soviet Russia.

References Artunyan, Anna. 2014. The Putin Mystique. New York: Olive Branch Press. Baer, Brian. 2009. Other Russias: Homosexuality and the Crisis of Post-​ Soviet Identity. London: Palgrave. Berger, John. 1972. Ways of Seeing. New York: Penguin. Bernstein, Frances Lee. 2007. The Dictatorship of Sex: Lifestyle Advice for the Soviet Masses. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. Borenstein, Eliot. 2000. Men Without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917–​ 1929. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Davydov, Ivan. 2018. “Tantsui, poka molodoi, mal’chik.” Republic, January 18. https://​republic. ru/​posts/​89001. Eichler, Maya. 2011. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription and War in Post-​Soviet Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Friedman, Rebecca. 2005. Masculinity, Autocracy and the Russian University, 1804–​1863. London: Palgrave. Healey, Dan. 2001. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. –​–​–​–​. 2017. Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi. London: Bloomsbury. Kondakov, Alexander. 2017. “Putting Russia’s Homophobic Violence on the Map.” Open Democracy, May 17. www.opendemocracy.net/​od-​russia/​alexander-​kondakov/​ putting-​russia-​s-​homophobic-​violence-​on-​map. Mosse, George. 1985. Nationalism and Sexuality. New York: Howard Fertig. Mulvey, Laura. 1975. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Screen 26 (3, Autumn): 6–​18. “Neuemnye kursanty Ul’ianovskogo letnogo uchilishcha (UI GA).” January 16. www.youtube. com/​watch?time_​continue=5&v=lw0Ls2aiTVg&feature=emb_​title.

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Eliot Borenstein “Russian babushkas embrace the ‘Satisfaction Challenge.’” 2018. Russia Beyond the Headlines, January 22. www.rbth.com/​lifestyle/​327337-​russian-​babushkas-​satisfaction-​challenge. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 1985. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press. Sperling, Valerie. 2014. Sex, Politics, and Putin. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Theweleit, Klaus. 1987. Male Fantasies. Volumes 1 and 2. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Yusupova, Marina. 2018. “Between Militarism and Anti-​Militarism: ‘Masculine’ Choice’ in Post-​ Soviet Russia.” In Gender and Choice after Socialism, edited by Lynne Attwood, Elisabeth Schimpfoessl, and Marina Yusupova, 187–​215. New York: Palgrave. Zdravomyslova, Elena and Anna Temkina. 2012. “The Crisis of Masculinity in Late Soviet Discourse.” Russian Studies in History 51 (2): 13–​34.

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PART II

Feminist and women’s movements cooperating and colliding

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INTRODUCTION Feminist and women’s movements cooperating and colliding Katalin Fábián, Mara Lazda, and Janet Elise Johnson

The chapters in Part II invite us to reexamine what feminism means in the different historical and political contexts of Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E). The types of regimes—​monarchies changing to socialism and postcommunism—​have affected how women’s and feminist movements vary in form from organized to informal, and how collaborative or divided they act across political ideology, class, nationality/​ethnicity, religion, disability, and sexual orientation/​identity. Since the emergence of feminism and related activism in the region, its meaning and main agenda items have adapted to local and global conditions, while its central tenet of fighting for women’s equality has remained the same. Recognizing the similarities in their agendas, the chapters in this Part identify significant differences between women’s movements and feminist activism, with the women’s movement more likely to strive for equality between the sexes, and feminism focusing on difference, aiming to eliminate arrangements of domination based on gender. While some men choose to support women’s movements, quite a few women do not identify with them and instead focus on class, ethnic, religious, or national interest. Women’s and feminist movements in CEE&E have long engaged in promoting their visions of social change, often against powerful political and economic counter-​currents and despite various cultural obstacles. Social movements are especially challenging to observe and analyze when under repressive regimes, which have characterized CEE&E for much of the region’s recent past and for some, its present. Accounting for women’s and feminist movements tends to be further marginalized because they rarely appear as mass demonstrations or organize in large numbers in a formal, institutional manner except in cases of explicit political crisis. It was the emergence of the Soviet Union in 1917 and the regional expansion of the Stalinist influence that most affected—​both pro and contra—​women’s organizing. The officially sanctioned women’s councils promoted the ideal of emancipation while the regime’s practices suffocated challenges to traditional sexual norms within the home and personal relations, at the same time drastically limiting access to fertility control, and did little in practice to address gendered interpersonal violence. In communist regimes, 91

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women’s informally organized challenge to political and social control became increasingly evident to authorities from the 1970s, leading to activists’ expulsions from their universities, workplaces, and home countries. However, it was the authorities themselves that activist women were able to dislodge in Poland after their successful, if clandestine, takeover of Solidarity while their husbands were in prison. With every regime offering ideological and material resources or constraints, the chapters show the changing and different dimensions of success. The scholarship debates the degree of success based on complex measures such as women’s agency, or indicators such as the right to vote, education, employment, and representation. Organizations’ and movements’ autonomy emerges as a central contention over the socialist period. The revisionist camp argues that socialist women’s organizations had feminist goals and outcomes in the region and beyond. The competing mainstream claims split into various groups, from those who completely reject the marriage of feminism with socialism, to those who accept some socialist emancipation as achievements while pointing out how they served ideological interests and personal whims. With the political, economic, and cultural openings to the West after 1990, a new phase of activism and understanding of womanhood, femininity, equal or different rights among the sexes, and feminism began. Women’s political activism has focused broadly on welfare (such as employment, retirement, childcare, maternity allowance, and gendered violence) but the newly established nongovernmental organizations needed the funding coming from the West, and consequently became at least partially dependent on such financial support and ideological/​policy agendas. In the 2010s, the increasingly authoritarian leaderships in many previously democratizing countries made political capital out of targeting feminisms, boxing them into global protest art as FEMEN and Pussy Riot. The CEE&E cases of women’s and feminist activism broadly substantiate that even just a few women acting together can have very high resonance and long-​term effect, expanding the narrow confines of formal politics. This observation applies to the sustained efforts of suffragists and activists in raising awareness regarding domestic violence in the last 30 years, women and their predecessors in the 19th century who fought for female access to education and employment and wrote literature in their own native languages, breaking gender barriers and evoking the ire of empires and governments. Whether aligning with whom they perceived as supportive governments, or used by what they saw as reprehensible and oppressive governments, their contributions are crucial, and often global.

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9 CHALLENGING TRADITION AND CROSSING BORDERS Women’s activism and literary modernism in the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy Agatha Schwartz

Despite the fact that women from across the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy were very much part of, and in many instances key players in, the numerous social and cultural innovations that characterize this period, until a few decades ago, their contributions had been marginalized or left out of the discussions altogether. Yet women were not only actively involved in cultural and artistic production and major debates of the time but they also took on leading roles in redefining gender roles and social and cultural norms (Schwartz 2008). We witness women’s increased presence in the public sphere, both in urban centers (i.e., Vienna, Budapest, and Prague) and on the so-​called “peripheries.” The Empire’s geographic and cultural diversity was reflected in the many facets of women’s activism. Women of all backgrounds across the Empire were founding their organizations to promote first and foremost their access to education and new professions and, later, demanded political rights. During its relatively short existence (1867–​1918), the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy offered a rich mosaic of cultural and linguistic variety, which is very much reflected in women’s activism as well. In this last phase of the Habsburg Empire, this vast territory (that further increased following the annexation of Bosnia-​Herzegovina in 1908) stretched over large parts of Central and Eastern Europe and into the Balkans. With a population of over 50 million, it was the second-​largest state in Europe at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. With two official languages (German and Hungarian) and two administrative centers (Vienna and Budapest), it was home to well over a dozen ethnic and linguistic groups as well as five major religious groups. While much of the focus when researching the culture of the Monarchy has been on Vienna—​which, as we are reminded by Steven Beller, has been considered by many “the birthplace of the modern world” (Beller 2001, 5)—​according to Moritz Csáky, studying the cultures of Central Europe (and, by extension the legacies of the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy) is of particular importance in our times. Csáky considers this region, due to its ethnic and cultural diversity, as a “ ‘laboratory’ in which processes have taken place that in the age 95

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of globalization and building of cultural networks have gained universal, i.e., worldwide relevance” (Csáky 2001, 47, translation A.S.). The same statement could be applied regarding women’s activism and creative output across the Monarchy. Although we can distinguish between different strands of proto-​feminist thought at the time, and various types of women’s organizing, labels that researchers have retrospectively placed on early women’s movements, be it regarding class, political orientation, or ideology, do not necessarily contribute to a better understanding of the complexities of these movements. Marilyn J. Boxer considers terms such as “proletarian” and “bourgeois” feminism “reductionist constructions” that emerged at the end of the 19th century and do not reflect the multifaceted realities of women’ lives at the time (Boxer 2007, 154). This is particularly apparent in the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy where class issues took on a different picture in urban centers than in the countryside. Similarly, the distinction between “western” and “non-​western” feminism when talking about this state and its women’s movements makes little sense as its borders encompassed regions that transgress the later political division lines imposed by the Cold War.

Women’s philanthropic organizations and salons The very first women’s associations were of a philanthropic nature, going back to the early 19th century. For a long time, these organizations carried the stigma of non-​relevance from the point of view of the history of the women’s movement. Recently this biased image has been rectified by Austrian feminist scholars (Hauch 1992; Vittorelli 2007). Since women’s philanthropic organizations, much like women’s salons which had been in existence even longer, challenged women’s socially promoted attachment to the domestic sphere, they can be considered early sites of feminist efforts (Malleier 2006). These organizations also played an important role in the various national movements within the Habsburg Empire. They offered middle-​class and upper-​class women an opportunity to develop their fundraising and organizational skills outside the private sphere. Not only did they help the socially marginalized (i.e., orphans), they also often promoted girls’ education and helped open girls’ schools in their national languages. One example of this is the Romanian women’s organizations in Transylvania. The oldest association of Transylvanian Romanian women was founded in 1850 in Brașov/​Brassó. Its name speaks to its philanthropic character: Romanian Women’s Association for the Support of Poor Orphaned Romanian Girls (Reuniunea Femelior Române). The membership fees were spent toward the funding of Romanian girls’ schools. Other women’s associations soon followed, modeled after the one in Brașov. Their activities were mostly philanthropic and educational but also cultural (founding libraries and promoting publishing in Romanian along with organizing conferences) and commercial (developing home industries and thus preserving the Romanian cultural heritage; Glodariu 1983). The Romanian women’s association in Sibiu/​Nagyszeben/​Hermannstadt, founded in 1881, went one step further by setting another goal, namely, to train female elementary school teachers. These women’s associations were all actively involved in organizing various gatherings of Romanians. Jewish women often organized along faith-​based philanthropic associations. However, many of them were also important players in the large national women’s associations in both parts of the Monarchy. Jewish women also made significant cultural contributions as writers and through their salons. Jewish salonières of Vienna and Budapest actively contributed to the cultural and political modernization of their country as key cultural 96

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and political discussions took place in the salons. In the words of Alison Rose, “each salonière used her platform to advocate for further change, political rights, and/​or cultural innovation” (Rose 2010, 119). Thus, both the salons and philanthropic organizations challenged and redefined the “public-​private dichotomy” (Rose 2010, 120).

The national movements and women’s organizations This link between the national movement and women’s organizations in the Austro-​ Hungarian Monarchy was important for many ethnicities. One example is the Slovak women’s organization Živena, established in 1869 in what was then Upper Hungary (today’s Slovakia). The organization recognized the importance of women’s participation in the national movement. Its most prominent leader was Elena Maróthy-​Šoltésová who became the association’s vice-​president in 1883 and after 1894, its president. Maróthy-​ Šoltésová was a passionate spokesperson for the use of the Slovak language and she emphasized girls’ right to be schooled in their mother tongue. She continued to fight for the opening of a Slovak girls’ school, which only materialized with the end of the Austro-​ Hungarian Monarchy and the subsequent establishment of independent Czechoslovakia. However, some scholars have criticized a narrow focus on a single national movement when speaking of multi-​ethnic regions of the Empire. Thus Gabriela Dudeková pointed out the existence of various non-​Slovak women’s organizations in Upper Hungary, for example, a branch of the Budapest-​based Feminist Association (Feministák Egyesülete). Moreover, according to Dudeková, in towns many women’s groups were organized not along ethnic but confessional lines (Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant) while some were multi-​confessional in profile (Dudeková 2009, 334). Dudeková recognizes that a more differentiated picture of the women’s movement in the Habsburg Empire from a multicultural perspective is necessary. In addition, she is critical of the fact that women’s emancipation was instrumentalized by various political interests, such as the fight for national independence in the 19th and early 20th centuries and after 1918, “the political regimes of the nation-​state” (Dudeková 2012, 148). A good example for this tension between women’s interethnic collaboration and national interest is the first Novi Sad/​Újvidék/​Neusatz Women’s Association established in 1867 in what was Southern Hungary at the time and what became Vojvodina as part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) after World War I. Like many other contemporary associations, it had a philanthropic profile. It was a remarkable phenomenon as its founding members came from different religious as well as ethnic backgrounds, such as Serbian Savka Subotić, German Maria Tomeković (née Fradl) or its later president Fáni Fülesy, an ethnic Hungarian. It was thus a rare example of an early women’s association in the Monarchy, which came into being in the probably most multi-​ethnic region, trying to unite women of various backgrounds around a common goal. Unfortunately, after about three decades of existence, the association succumbed to the nationalist political winds of the time, which led to the erosion of its multi-​ethnic and multi-​confessional character (Schwartz and Thorson 2014).

The fight for women’s education One central argument that seems to run across all strands of women’s activism in the Monarchy, regardless of national, linguistic or regional differences, was the demand and necessity to improve women’s education, a demand that can be traced back to the 97

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beginnings of European feminist thinking in the 18th century. While initially these arguments were based on the Enlightenment principle of universal human rights, the 19th century saw the addition of the necessity for women’s education, for reasons of national rebirth given women’s importance in raising the nation’s children. Unlike in the centralized nations of Europe, like England and France, the fight for women’s rights followed a different path in the complex multi-​ethnic Habsburg Empire. The desire and fight for national independence among many national groups increasingly emphasized the necessity to improve the level of women’s education as mothers of the nation. The latter part of the 19th century thus saw a substantial improvement in women’s educational opportunities and the opening of secondary schools for women across the Empire. The very first grammar school for girls opened in Prague in 1890 following the tireless efforts of Czech writer and activist Eliška Krásnohorská, who founded Minerva, an association for women’s higher education. Minerva opened the very first girls’ grammar school in the entire Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy (according to James C. Albisetti [1994], in the whole of Central and Western Europe). The universities opened their doors to women at around the same time as well. In Budapest, a ministerial decree was issued in December 1895 whereby the universities (the faculties of humanities and medicine, which included pharmacy) were opened to women in the Hungarian part of the Monarchy (so-​ called Transleithania) in the fall of 1896 (Szapor 2004), a year earlier than in Cisleithania, the Vienna-​administered part. In Cisleithania, women gained access to the faculties of philosophy (humanities) in 1897 and in 1990, to medicine. The faculties of law and engineering remained closed to women until after World War I.

The role of women’s professional organizations Women’s professional organizations were of particular importance for the evolving women’s movement. In some regions of the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy where there were no women’s organizations with an explicitly political agenda we still find examples of professional organizations that became the site from which women formulated various political demands. One such example was the Female Teachers’ Association of the Kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia, established in 1905 (Udruga učiteljica kraljevina Hrvatske i Slavonije) whose journal Domaće ognjište sometimes brought forth well-​ camouflaged feminist demands in reports on the progress and achievements of the women’s movement worldwide, even venturing as far as to write about female suffrage (Schwartz and Thorson 2014). While in Budapest girls’ schools and teachers’ colleges began to produce young women who became employed in white-​collar occupations that were previously unavailable to women, such as post office workers, typists, and elementary school teachers (Szapor 2004), in Vienna, the 1866 foundation of the Viennese Women’s Employment Association (Wiener Frauen-​Erwerbsverein) marks the beginning of the “era of the organized woman” in Austria (Anderson 1992, 25). The association offered courses in sewing, drawing, sales, and other female occupations. Marianne Hainisch, one of its members and later founder of the League of Austrian Women’s Associations (Bund Österreichischer Frauenvereine), stated that this was “the first non-​philanthropic and non-​confessional women’s association in Austria” (Malleier 2006, 363). These were the very first steps for middle-​class women to become financially independent. However, women were often underpaid and subject to discrimination.

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These associations are considered the forerunners of women’s political organizations and of the organized women’s movement. For example, Jewish-​Hungarian Rózsa (Rosika) Schwimmer (Bédy-​Schwimmer), a leading member of the fin-​de-​siècle Hungarian women’s movement, started her feminist career as a member of the Hungarian Association of Women Office Workers (Magyar Nőtisztviselők Egyesülete); she became its president between 1900 and 1908 (Zimmermann 1999, 197). Women’s professional associations led to the establishment of organizations that fought for women’s rights more broadly, such as the General Austrian Women’s Association in 1893 (Allgemeiner Österreichischer Frauenverein), which started off as a moderate organization to evolve into one with radical goals following the lines of the international women’s movement, that is, fighting for women’s education, women’s political and legal rights, and against the sexual and moral double standard. Distinguished feminist, writer, and artist Rosa Mayreder was one of its founding members. In Budapest, in 1904 the Feminist Association (Feministák Egyesülete) came into being, with Rózsa Schwimmer as one of its founding members. The Feminist Association was the only women’s organization in the Empire to refer to itself as feminist (Szapor 2004). Its members came from a variety of social and class backgrounds: religious and atheist, Social-​Democrats, nationalists, middle-​class, and working-​class women. They fought for women’s legal rights and suffrage, among other issues, and also became openly pacifist throughout World War I.

Women’s alliances Despite national division lines in the women’s movement in parts of the Monarchy with sizable ethnic groups fighting for their rights, individual women and groups across the Monarchy were connected both within its borders and beyond (Zimmermann 2006). Often their magazines would report about the activities of other national groups within the Empire itself and abroad. Many feminists formed transnational alliances so that we can speak of an organized women’s movement in most of Europe, North America, and worldwide (Rupp 1997, 16–​18). While many individual activists and organizations were connected to the nascent international women’s movement in different ways (i.e., the Budapest-​ based Feminist Association joined the International Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1906), numerous contacts existed within the Monarchy on a trans-​regional and trans-​ linguistic level between individual activists, organizations, and writers. For example, Ukrainian writer and activist Natalia (or Nataliya) Kobrynska from Galicia (Transleithania), considered the founder of the Ukrainian women’s movement (Bohachevsky-​Chomiak 1982), was connected to Ukrainian feminists in the Bukovina (Cisleithania) while also supporting the activities of Czech feminists. Polish feminist Paulina Kuczalska-​Reinschmitt (Krzywiec 2006; Stegmann 2006) was active both in Galicia and in the part of Poland that belonged to the Russian Empire while also being connected to the international women’s movement. Croatian writer and activist Jagoda Truhelka (Schwartz and Thorson 2014; Vittorelli 2007) published both in Croatia and in Bosnia-​Herzegovina. Several writers and feminists also worked across linguistic borders. Slovenian writer and activist Zofka Kveder wrote in Slovenian, Croatian, and German while Rózsa Schwimmer published in Hungarian and German. Some organizations became members of the Vienna-​based League of Austrian Women’s Associations while others (i.e., Czech and Hungarian feminists) did not join. They looked more to Germany and other western countries than to Vienna. For a long time, the dominant discourse in

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scholarship when presenting women’s activism in the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy has tended to embrace a national, sometimes nationalist perspective, thus erasing these very important trans-​ethnic contacts and realities. This can be partly explained with post-​ World War I developments and the creation of many new nation states whose territories had formerly been part of the Monarchy. Recently this image has begun to shift with new publications (Carlier 2009; Schwartz and Thorson 2014; Tutavac and Korotin 2016) that show women’s rich trans-​regional networking across this vast Empire and beyond, which challenged national division lines.

Women writers Parallel to the women’s movement, we witness women’s hitherto unprecedented presence on the publishing scene. The end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries saw a flourishing of women’s writing in newspapers, magazines, and books. Women’s writing reflects very much the concerns women expressed in their fight for their rights and beyond. Women writers addressed issues that were on the agenda of the women’s movement, such as new educational and career opportunities and the challenges they brought with them; questioning patriarchal sexual standards and the established norms of masculinity and femininity; and the legal discrimination women faced. Some prominent writers who wrote on these and related topics both in their essays and fiction include Rosa Mayreder (Austrian), Margit Kaffka (Hungarian), Olha Kobylianska (Ukrainian), Zofka Kveder (Slovenian), Hana Gregorová (Slovak), Jagoda Truhelka (Croatian), Nafija Sarajlić (Muslim writer from Bosnia), and Isidora Sekulić (Serbian), to name but a few. In women’s fiction, we also encounter themes that were rarely, if at all, discussed by the women’s movement, such as violence, including rape, misogyny, and incest, but also lesbian love as seen for instance in the works of Grete Meisel-​Hess (Jewish-​Austrian), Anna Szederkényi (Hungarian) or Růžena Jesenská (Czech). The often repeated bias in male-​ centered literary criticism, that women’s writing from this period lacks formal innovation and therefore does not fall within the confines of literary modernism, has been challenged by Schwartz and Thorson (2017) who argue that not only did women writers across the Monarchy experiment with literary form in ways different from male writers but that women writers in addition deconstructed norms and challenged traditions according to their own concerns. Women’s literary works are an important element when mapping women’s lives and concerns during this period of major cultural, social, and political upheavals. Women’s fiction further deconstructs a nationalist interpretation of their emancipatory efforts as having served first and foremost their national group rather than offering a criticism of the reality of women’s lives and the many shades of their oppression in the still very patriarchal societies across the Monarchy.

Conclusions The dramatic changes in women’s realities during the politically agitated times of the last decades of the Habsburg Empire along with the multiple facets of their organizing and creative output carry a long legacy. Reading women’s political and fictional writings from this time can help us better understand post-​World War I, interwar (Sharp and Stibbe 2017), and even post-​World War II as well as contemporary developments in the regions of the former Empire. They are a treasure trove of a rich array of reflections 100

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that—​unfortunately—​have not lost their relevance since, in matters of social constructions of gender, the multiple mechanisms of women’s oppression and marginalization, misogyny, or the use and abuse of women for the sake of nation-​building projects. These texts also carry an incredible potential to invite reflection on ways to transgress borders that were, and continue to be, all too narrowly defined. Exploring Austro-​Hungarian women’s transnational networks, intersectional identities, and trans-​regional contacts has been a focus in recent scholarship such as the volumes edited by Vesela Tutavac and Ilse Korotin (2016) and Ramona Mihăilă (2016), respectively. While both offer new insights into the complexities of women’s networking across cultural and linguistic borders of the Monarchy, Mihăilă’s volume has a section dedicated to women’s travel narratives. This is a still understudied genre when it comes to this region and merits further research as it can yield new insights into women’s border crossings. A recent project at the University of Vienna had the focus on migrating women writers within the Empire who chose German as their literary language. By applying the concept of trans-​difference, Alexandra Millner and Katalin Teller (2016) explore how these multicultural writers negotiated intersectional binaries, and whether and how they challenged cultural stereotypes. This is another example of an interesting possible direction for further research.

References Albisetti, James C. 1994. “Mädchenerziehung im deutschsprachigen Österreich, im Deutschen Reich und in der Schweiz, 1866–​1914.” In Frauen in Österreich: Beiträge zu ihrer Situation im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, edited by David F. Good et al., 15–​31. Vienna: Böhlau. Anderson, Harriet. 1992. Utopian Feminism: Women’s Movements in Fin-​de-​ Siècle Vienna. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Beller, Steven, ed. 2001. Rethinking Vienna 1900. New York and Oxford: Berghahn. Bohachevsky-​Chomiak, Martha. 1982. “Natalia Kobrynska: A Formulator of Feminism.” In Nationbuilding and the Politics of Nationalism: Essays on Austrian Galicia, edited by Andrei S. Markovits and Frank E. Sysyn, 196–​219. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Boxer, Marilyn J. 2007. “Rethinking the Socialist Construction and International Career of the Concept ‘Bourgeois Feminism.’” American Historical Review 112 (1): 131–​158. Carlier, Julie. 2009. “Crossing Borders: How the Women’s Movement Can (or Should) Be Written from a Transnational Perspective.” In Wie Frauenbewegung geschrieben wird: Historiographie, Dokumentation, Stellungnahmen, Bibliographien, edited by Johanna Gehmacher and Natascha Vittorelli, 233–​237. Vienna: Löcker. Csáky, Moritz. 2001. “Was man Nation und Rasse heißt, sind Ergebnisse und keine Ursachen: Zur Konstruktion kollektiver Identitäten in Zentraleuropa.” In Kakanien revisited: Das Eigene und das Fremde (in) der österreichisch-​ungarischen Monarchie, edited by Wolfgang Müller-​Funk, Peter Plener, and Clemens Ruthner, 33–​49. Basel: Francke. Dudeková, Gabriela. 2009. “Frauenbewegung in der Slowakei bis 1918: Bibliographie und Kommentar.” In Wie Frauenbewegung geschrieben wird: Historiographie, Dokumentation, Stellungnahmen, Bibliographien, edited by Johanna Gehmacher and Natascha Vittorelli, 329–​ 349. Vienna: Erhard Löcker. –​ –​ –​ –. 2012. “Gender History in Slovakia: Still a Challenge.” Aspasia 6 (1): 142–​156. Glodariu, Eugenia. 1983. “Unele consideratii privind mişcarea feministă din Transilvani (a doua jumătate a sec. al XIX-​lea—​inceputul sec. al XX-​lea).” Acta Musei Napocensis 20: 231–​240. Hauch, Gabriella. 1992. “Politische Wohltätigkeit—​wohltätige Politik. Frauenvereine in der Habsburger Monarchie bis 1866.” Zeitgeschichte, 200–​214. Krzywiec, Grzegorz. 2006. “Kuczalska-​Reinschmit (Reinschmidt), Paulina Jadwiga (1859–​1921).” In A Biographical Dictionary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms. Central, Eastern, and South

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Agatha Schwartz Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries, edited by Francisca de Haan, Krassimira Daskalova, and Anna Loutfi, 274–​277. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press. Malleier, Elisabeth. 2006. “Vergessene Differenzen: Jüdische Frauen in der Habsburgermonarchie.” In Zions Töchter: Jüdische Frauen in Literatur, Kunst und Politik, edited by Andrea M. Lauritsch, 355–​369. Vienna: Lit Verlag. Mihăilă, Ramona, ed. 2016. Transnational Identities of Women Writers in the Austro-​Hungarian Empire. New York: Addleton Academic Publishers. Millner, Alexandra and Katalin Teller. 2016. Transdifferenz in der Literatur deutschsprachiger Migrantinnen in Österreich-​Ungarn. www.univie.ac.at/​transdifferenz/​. Rose, Alison. 2010. “The Jewish Salons of Vienna.” In Gender and Modernity in Central Europe: The Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy and its Legacy, edited by Agatha Schwartz, 119–​132. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. Rupp, Leila. J. 1997. Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Schwartz, Agatha. 2008. Shifting Voices: Feminist Thought and Women’s Writing in Fin-​de-​Siècle Austria and Hungary. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-​Queen’s University Press. Schwartz, Agatha and Helga Thorson. 2014. Shaking the Empire, Shaking Patriarchy: The Growth of a Feminist Consciousness Across the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy. Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press. –​–​–​–. 2017. “The Aesthetics of Change: Women Writers of the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy.” In Crossing Central Europe: Continuities and Transformations, 1900 and 2000, edited by Carrie Smith-​Prei and Helga Mitterbauer, 27–​49. Toronto: Toronto University Press. Sharp, Ingrid and Matthew Stibbe. 2017. Women Activists Between War and Peace: Europe 1918–​ 1923. London: Bloomsbury. Stegmann, Natali. 2006. “Der Platz polnischer Feministinnen im galizischen Machtgefüge der 1890er Jahre bis 1914.” In Frauenbilder, feministische Praxis und nationales Bewussstein in Österreich-​Ungarn 1867–​1918, edited by Waltraud Heindl, Edit Király, and Alexandra Millner, 241–​255. Tübingen and Basel: Francke. Szapor, Judith. 2004. “Sisters or Foes: The Shifting Front Lines of the Hungarian Women’s Movements, 1896–​1918.” In Women’s Emancipation Movements in the 19th Century: A European Perspective, edited by Sylvia Paletschek and Bianka Pietrow-​ Ennker, 189–​ 205. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Tutavac, Vesela and Ilse Korotin. 2016. “Wir wollen der Gerechtigkeit und Menschenliebe dienen...” Frauenbildung und Emanzipation in der Habsburgermonarchie. Der südslawische Raum und seine Wechselwirkung mit Wien, Prag und Budapest. Vienna: Praesens Verlag. Vittorelli, Natascha. 2007. Frauenbewegung um 1900: Über Triest nach Zagreb. Vienna: Erhard Löcker. Zimmermann, Susan. 1999. Die bessere Hälfte: Frauenbewegungen und Frauenbestrebungen im Ungarn der Habsburgermonarchie1848 bis 1918. Wien-​Budapest: Promedia-​Napvilág. –​ –​ –​ –. 2006. “Reich, Nation und Internationalismus: Kooperationen und Konflikte der Frauenbewegungen der Habsburger Monarchie im Spannungsfeld internationaler Organisation und Politik.” In Frauenbilder, feministische Praxis und nationales Bewussstein in Österreich-​ Ungarn 1867–​1918, edited by Waltraud Heindl, Edit Király, and Alexandra Millner, 119–​167. Tübingen: Francke.

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10 THE FIRST ALL-​RUSSIAN WOMEN’S CONGRESS “The Women’s Parliament” Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild

Public conferences of professionals and activists, known at the time as congresses, came to Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the tsarist regime liberalized public gatherings for the first time. Within a context in which free expression was heavily regulated by the state, congresses provided a relatively open venue for public discussion of contested policy issues (Bradley 2002). Part of this phenomenon and often ignored or minimized in the histories of the period, the 1908 congress contributed to the general development of civil society before the 1917 Revolutions, and in particular to the harnessing of women’s political activism (Edmondson 1984, 102–​104; Stites 1978, 215–​220). In this chapter I argue that despite the many obstacles put in their path by the authorities, the organizers succeeded in creating the first mass legal women’s meeting in pre-​ revolutionary Russian history. The women’s meeting can be considered as an example of such a challenge and of what Foucault called “subversive heterotopias,” spaces carved out of the larger environment that serve as centers of resistance, of envisioning an alternative to the existing socio-​political norms and power relations (Ely 2016, 23–​28). Within the limits of a resurgent autocracy, congress participants succeeded in presenting a comprehensive record of the overall status of women in the tsarist empire, debated different visions of feminism, spurred pro women’s rights sentiment in society, and even caught Nicholas II’s attention. Outside the Empire, especially in Western Europe, home to many exiles who would shape Russian and world history for the rest of the 20th century, the congress sparked changes in socialist organizing strategies, and influenced the creation two years later of International Women’s Day, the only socialist women’s holiday, with women’s suffrage as its chief demand.

Revolution, repression, and resistance At the time that the congress convened, Russia was in the midst of a severe government backlash against those who spearheaded the 1905 Revolution. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Peter Stolypin, tsarist police and military fanned out across the vast 103

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Empire and meted out punishment. So many lost their lives that the ropes used to hang them were called “Stolypin neckties” (Ruthchild 2010, 92). Gender power relations in Russia had shifted in 1905. Until that year, women and men were equal in their lack of political rights. The Tsar’s October Manifesto in response to the 1905 Revolution granted men political rights. Women and men were no longer equally disfranchised; this change in status spurred the emergence of a feminist movement in the Empire. The relatively liberal First and Second Dumas (1906–​1907) featured passionate debates about women’s rights; it was one of the most discussed issues in both parliamentary sessions. The subsequent Third and Fourth Dumas (1907–​1917) were less favorable to feminists after the government changed the electoral law to privilege wealthier, more conservative voters. Mass women’s rights groups emerged in 1905; most had dissolved or been repressed by 1908. Still, feminist activists pressed on, seeking to influence public opinion within the narrow parameters of the possible. The 1908 Women’s Congress was an important part of this strategy. The congress was the product of years of lobbying and negotiations, especially by Anna Filosofova (1837–​1912) and Anna Shabanova (1848–​1932), well-​connected leaders of the Russian Women’s Mutual Philanthropic Society. Both women, of gentry background, had strong ties to the first and most conservative of modern international women’s organizations. In Russia, members of the gentry next below the nobility in terms of status and birth, along with Jews, formed the great majority of the small educated class, from which came most feminist activists. Beginning in 1899, Filosofova served as Honorary Vice President of the International Council of Women (ICW). In the same year, Shabanova, one of several Russian female physicians to hold leadership positions in feminist organizations, was elected chair of the ICW International Standing Committee on Peace and International Arbitration (Rupp 1997, 19). The congress talks offer a comprehensive snapshot, from a largely progressive perspective, of Russian Empire women in the early years of the 20th century. From the start, speakers pushed against authoritarian restrictions to set an oppositional tone. The 71-​year-​old Filosofova, in her inaugural address, claimed feminism as the heir to the movement to abolish serfdom. In her youth she had “the joy of witnessing the liberation of the serfs and … in the evening of my life I am witness to the liberation of women” (Trudy 1909, 1). To further the female cause, she sought both to unite women of the Empire and connect them with their sisters internationally, thus transcending national boundaries. Filosofova implored the congress delegates to create a national council of women, which would enable Russia to become an official member of the ICW (Trudy 1909, 836). Congress delegates shared space with representatives of the state. The police were highly visible at all the congress venues, not only at the City Hall, but also at museums and women’s organization spaces in the capital. At the more populous joint sessions, those entering the meeting halls passed by a long line of police (Mirovich 1909, 412–​ 413). In the regular meetings, as many as three policemen monitored all speakers and stopped those who had gone beyond permissible time or content limits. Nevertheless, perhaps because the police were not used to monitoring such a women’s gathering, most participants had a fairly wide leeway. Of the speakers listed on the program, only the socialist feminist Alexandra Kollontai (1872–​1952) was endangered by her presence at the congress. Warned of her impending arrest after the police spotted her at the congress, she fled the country on December 15. She did not return until March 18, 1917, after the

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February Revolution. The workers group she had organized was thus leaderless at the end of the congress. A number of speakers tested the limits of acceptable discourse. An example was the discussion of agrarian policy, a key element of Stolypin’s attempts to reform the autocracy. The most serious interruption of the congress came when non-​party socialist Ekaterina Kuskova (1869–​1958) read a resolution critical of Stolypin’s policy of encouraging the breakup of peasant self-​government in communes. One of the police monitors charged Kuskova with advocating a “radical solution of the agrarian question.” The women in the session persisted in reading the resolution, at which point the official ended the session. Despite the widely varying political positions of the women at the session, the police action unified the group (Trudy 1909, 390).

Ladies, laborers, and professionals Who came to the congress? Was this a “ladies congress” as Kollontai, herself of Cossack-​ Finnish gentry background, claimed? (Kollontai 1909, 3) Baronesses and princesses did attend, but so did the Socialist Revolutionaries Maria Spiridonova (1884–​1941) and Olga Vol’kenshtein (1871–​1942) and the Bolshevik (the radical, Lenin-​led wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party-​ RSDLP) Anna Gurevich (1878–​ 1942) (Trudy 1909, 907–​920). The Menshevik (the moderate wing of the RSDLP) journalist Osip Ermanskii (1867–​1941) noted three identifiable groups at the opening session. On the stage, behind a long table, “sat the members of the organizing committee, typical Petersburg lady-​ patronesses.” On the other side of the hall, sharply contrasting with the women on the dais, were a small group of women workers. Young, dressed simply, unused to such a gathering, they talked shyly among themselves and to their intelligentsia sympathizers. But by far the majority, filling the hall and overflowing into the corridor, were distinct from both the ladies and the workers. Many belonged to the progressive intelligentsia; badges identifying participants as physicians were common. Most were affluent enough to afford the five-​ruble registration fee, but hardly wealthy (Ermanskii 1909, 103). Although the Empire was multi-​ ethnic, the overwhelming number of delegates were Russian Christians, with some Jews, but few representatives of other nationalities and religions. In an empire with a peasant majority, the congress was overwhelmingly urban, as most delegates came from St Petersburg and Moscow. Urban spaces, with their concentrations of the educated and workers in a rapidly industrializing economy, provided fertile ground for the emergence of oppositional movements. Despite the lack of diverse national and rural representation, the congress, as a gathering of women challenging traditional roles, occupying public space and seeking political rights, was an island of subversion within the autocratic Empire. But those on the island had differing agendas. The Kadet women who dominated the organizing committee sought to control the direction of the congress and its final resolutions. Non-​ party progressive feminists emphasized the importance of liberal and left parties acknowledging and prioritizing women’s issues. Party-​affiliated socialists underlined the primacy of class issues. The growing number of female industrial workers were heavily recruited by all sides. Congress organizers sent notices to trade unions and working-​women’s groups, and waived registration fees (M.B. 1909, 16–​17). Social Democrats noted the appeal of feminist ideas to the female proletariat (Chlen 1909, 2). Although news of recruiting meetings

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spread mostly by word of mouth, the newspaper Golos sotsial-​demokrata (Voice of Social Democracy) claimed that only the issue of sick benefits for workers had aroused so much interest. Older, married workers responded especially enthusiastically, referring to women’s meetings from 1906 that “left especially fond memories” (“Khronika” 1908, 26). With little support from her male comrades, Kollontai countered feminist recruiting efforts, bringing a whirlwind of activity to the preparations for the congress (Clements 1979; Farnsworth 1980). She wrote a detailed critique of the feminists, set up fundraising lectures, organized groups to attend feminist meetings, and attended all the recruiting meetings, while successfully eluding capture by the police. Kollontai and the women workers’ groups together selected about 45 delegates (Ruthchild 2010, 109–​112).

Congress sessions: Debating feminist theory and practice The congress was divided into four sections: Education and Enlightenment, Economics and Ethics, Politics, and Education (Trudy 1909, X–​XVIII). It is impossible to cover the eclectic range of talks and topics discussed. Altogether there were 148 presentations, of which 26 were by men. Speakers advocated equal opportunity for women in fields either restricted or closed to them, such as agronomy, law, the Russian Orthodox priesthood, and sailing. Topics included Esperanto, co-​education, alcoholism, women’s culture, women workers, prostitution, motherhood, free love, feminism in other countries, women’s consciousness, and the political structure (Trudy 1909, 921–​927). Congress delegates showed a remarkable degree of unity about specific economic and educational issues, reflecting progressive democratic views similar to the programs of the Left and liberal parties. Resolutions articulated alternatives to the autocratic status quo. For example, delegates supported the eight-​hour workday, child labor laws, protective legislation for pregnant women and mothers, equal access to higher education and the professions, pre-​school and universal free education for all children, the abolition of religious and national quotas, the ending of legalized prostitution, and equality in marriage, divorce, and inheritance (Trudy 1909, 820–​828). Some of the most passionate debates among advocates for the cause of women came in the political section, where speakers articulated their different visions of the “woman question.” Kollontai, in her written remarks, portrayed feminists as economically clueless. She accused feminists of privileging equal rights and ignoring class issues: “The woman question—​say the feminists—​is a question of rights and justice. The woman question—​answer the woman workers—​is a question of a crust of bread” (Trudy 1909, 767–​769). But her formulation was disputed from a radical feminist perspective. Anna Kal’manovich (d. 1921) objected strenuously to Kollontai’s emphasis on the class basis of women’s oppression, arguing that female oppression could be traced at least as far back as Biblical times. This spurred the Kadet Ariadna Tyrkova (1869–​1962) to accuse Kal’manovich of “man-​hating.” The speaker rebuffed this charge by citing her status as a wife and mother of sons. Underlining her belief in the primacy of female oppression, she proclaimed: “There are patriots for the fatherland. I am a patriot for women” (Trudy 1909, 767–​769). Suffrage proved the source of particular disagreement. The workers group and progressives in general supported universal, direct, equal, and secret suffrage, without regard to sex, nationality, and religion, the standard Liberation movement formula adopted by the Women’s Equal Rights Union, the first mass Russian feminist political organization, in 1905. Kadet women defended the politics of the possible, arguing that 106

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times had changed. Women’s suffrage with income limitations, equal to that of Russian men, was a more realistic demand and one that had a chance to pass in the more conservative Third Duma.

The final congress resolutions: Advocating within an autocracy On December 16, the last day of the congress, the Editorial Bureau presented the final resolutions for ratification. The general political resolutions had included a call for equal, direct and secret universal suffrage. But at the last-​minute Editorial Bureau Chair Olga Shapir (1850–​1916), claimed that time constraints prohibited debate on the slate of resolutions: “there is nothing new in them … A discussion would only return us to the old vicious circle of principled disagreements” (Trudy 1909, 818–​819). In fact, Kadet members of the Editorial Bureau, claiming that they feared police reaction, argued for the removal of the equal, direct, and secret stipulations, and presented the weakened version as the final suffrage resolution. Anna Miliukova (1861–​1935) tried to excuse the change by claiming that “by simple forgetfulness,” the chair of the political section had failed to forward the more inclusive suffrage resolution, approved by the political section attendees, to the Bureau (Trudy 1909, 819). This did not mollify the delegates. Kuskova objected strenuously that it was against the congress rules to propose a resolution not introduced in the sections. To resolve the situation, workers group spokeswoman Maria Sabinina proposed that the congress adopt the workers group resolution advocating full universal suffrage, since it had been greeted with applause when proposed in the political section. When this proposal failed to pass, Sabinina and most of the workers group walked out. But some stayed, still seeking a path to consensus. When Tyrkova, presiding over the meeting, ruled against blocking the vote, the remaining members of the workers group left. “A Kadet cavalry charge,” observed Ermanskii, spearheaded passage of the watered-​down suffrage resolution. In the end, it was the Kadets controlling the Editorial Bureau who abandoned the goal of unity in favor of maintaining control over the congress’s message on suffrage. Although the workers group was small, they exercised a large influence on the congress agenda, and except for the suffrage resolution, won acceptance of many of their economic demands. Their exit was slow, but the symbolism of their protest became an important weapon for socialists portraying feminists as indifferent to class concerns (Trudy 1909, 819–​820). Overall, the final resolutions represented positions largely in accord with a progressive agenda, except for the retreat on suffrage. The other main general political resolution adopted called for the creation of an All-​Russian Women’s Council, although the government blocked actual fulfillment of Filosofova’s goal. The First Section resolutions reiterated the importance of equal rights in all spheres of public life, and for raising the living standards of peasant women through greater access to education, changing laws on inheritance, and access to land. The Second Section resolutions advocated limiting factory and other work to women 18 years and older, an eight-​hour day, banning night and underground work, protective legislation for pregnant women and mothers, child labor laws, training female factory inspectors, a unified government system of workers insurance, an end to the sexual double standard, the abolition of legalized prostitution and the closing of houses of prostitution, combating alcoholism by improving living standards and widespread anti-​ alcohol campaigns, and raising the general cultural level of the masses with the full participation of women. The Third Section resolutions included the aforementioned resolution on equal suffrage, a complete revision of the law code on 107

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the basis of equality and justice without regard to nationality, the abolition of all discriminatory laws against Jews, equal access to education, the removal of regulations barring women from practicing all kinds of law, equal access to medical education and medical practice, equality in marriage, divorce, and inheritance, and expanding inheritance and other rights of children born out of wedlock. The Fourth Section resolutions included early education for all Russian children, teaching elementary schools in children’s native languages, universal free education for all school-​age children, schools for adult women workers, higher schools to train workers to be village teachers, equal access for women to all higher education, and co-​education on all levels with no religious or national restrictions (Trudy 1909, 811–​828). The congress demands, while more specifically focused on women, were similar to those in the programs of Russia’s main left and liberal parties. Continuing to push boundaries, the gathering concluded with a powerful and defiant statement. Daily executions were part of the government’s repressive policies, and their use had escalated since the 1905 Revolution. Abolition of capital punishment was a key opposition demand. Asking to speak, Sofia Dekhtereva (1862–​1939) called on wives and mothers to lead the charge against the plague of government executions. Applause greeted Dekhtereva’s remarks. The police censor ordered her away from the podium and Shabanova ended the meeting. But the crowd ignored police orders to empty the hall, instead congratulating Dekhtereva before slowly dispersing (Edmondson 1984, 101–​102). Thus, the congress, which began with an impassioned speech linking serf liberation to women’s liberation, ended with a call to women to lead the opposition to Tsarist repression.

The short-​and long-​term impact of the congress The congress showed how, in the depths of repression, resistance, in this case through a weeklong transformation of municipal space, could gain a foothold. Socialists acknowledged the appeal of women’s rights to female workers, and liberal politicians united in support of women’s suffrage. The congress caught the attention of women’s rights opponents, who had mostly ignored feminist activism until then. Duma deputy Vladimir Purishkevich, organizer of the nationalist and anti-​ Semitic Union of the Russian People, equated the assembly to a gathering of whores. Filosofova took him to court. Three hundred people crowded the courtroom; one woman challenged the deputy to a duel. Purishkevich was sentenced to a month in jail. In sentencing him, the judge noted the growing support for women’s rights: “public opinion on women has changed.” Purishkevich never served his sentence. In the only indication that he paid any attention to the congress at all, the Tsar intervened with an imperial pardon (Tyrkova 1915, 437–​438). Although Nicholas II had approved the 1906 agreement leading to women’s suffrage in Finland (then part of the Russian Empire), his government stood against women’s rights in the rest of the Empire. The regime’s Minister of Justice Ivan Shcheglovitov (1861–​1918), later connected to the 1913 Mendel Beilis Jewish ‘blood libel’ trial, argued that: “One of the chief tasks of the twentieth century … consists of keeping women in the sphere most suited to them—​the family and the home” (Ruthchild 2010, 146). Attacks from the Right only served to invigorate Russian feminists. The Women’s Equal Rights Union, never legally approved, no longer existed, but the congress highlighted the need for a legal organization to continue to advance feminist goals after the meeting. The League for Women’s Equal Rights had won legal status earlier in March 1907 with its goals “The attainment by all women of political and civil rights identical with the 108

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rights of Russian male citizens” (Ruthchild 2010, 153–​154). By early 1909, leadership was in the hands of veterans of the Women’s Equal Rights Union. These were intelligentsia women, members of the group most drawn to feminist activism, such as the educator Maria Chekhova (1866–​1937), the writer and publisher Liubov Gurevich (1866–​1940), the writer-​translator Zinaida Mirovich (1865–​1913), the historian Ekaterina Shchepkina (1854–​1938), and the physician Poliksena Shishkina-​Iavein (1875–​1947) (Ruthchild 2010, 154). The last remnant of the Equal Rights Union, the journal Soiuz zhenshchin (Union of Women), published throughout 1909, carried news of League activities. The main feminist organization throughout 1917, the League pursued lobbying and keeping the issue of women’s rights in the public eye, with little interference from the government. Among its other activities, the League organized two more congresses. Building on the success of the 1908 congress, the League joined with a coalition of philanthropic and other women’s groups for the First All-​Russian Congress against the Trade in Women, from April 21 to 25, 1910 in St. Petersburg. The gathering was smaller, a few hundred participants. The largest of the congresses, the First All-​Russian Congress on Women’s Education, attracted 1115 delegates. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the first women’s higher education courses, the congress was held from December 26, 1912 to January 4, 1913. Seeking greater control over the outcome, organizers of the education congress banned participation by a workers group. Nevertheless the congress included a talk by the Bolshevik Praskov’ia Kudelli (1859–​1944) and continued the oppositional tone of the 1908 congress (Ruthchild 2010, 172–​180). The feminists were successful in raising the visibility of women’s rights as part of the liberal-​left’s vision of democracy and the modern state, a contrast to Tsarist autocracy. Paul Miliukov, at the 1908 congress, had “apologized for underestimating the problem of equal political rights for women” (Trudy 1909, 22; Yukina 1998, 3–​4). In the Fourth Duma sessions of March 8 and 13, 1913, Miliukov, declaiming “Gentlemen, it is our turn, it is Russia’s turn,” became the spokesman for the last women’s suffrage proposal submitted to the Empire’s parliament. Continuing the tradition among many Russian activists of looking to the West for democratic examples, Miliukov pointed to the Scandinavian nations as women’s rights models. Placing Russia “also in the ranks of these northern countries,” Miliukov cited Finland, Norway, and Denmark for having legalized women’s suffrage. Based on the standard seven-​point formula (universal, direct, equal, and secret without regard to nationality, religion, and sex), but maintaining the categories of active and passive voting, the proposal was defeated (Gosudarstvennaia Duma 1906–​1917 [1913, v. 1, 2176–​2222]). This was the last attempt to win women’s suffrage in the Duma before the end of the autocracy in 1917. Notably, Miliukov used Scandinavia as his example. The Anglophile Kadet leader’s pro-​suffrage stance contrasted with his British and US contemporaries. Herbert Asquith, British Prime Minister from 1908 to December 1916 staunchly opposed votes for women. US President Woodrow Wilson declared in favor of the suffrage amendment to the Constitution only in January 1918, having ordered suffrage protesters imprisoned in 1917. Once converted, Miliukov envisioned equal rights as one of the hallmarks of a modern state. In contrast to the liberals, Russian socialists had long supported women’s equality in principle, but many considered women workers backward and their issues secondary to the struggle against capitalism and autocracy. The 1908 congress demonstrated the appeal of equal rights to women workers. Kollontai’s first post-​congress article was surprisingly positive about the meeting. Writing under the pseudonym “Mikhailova,” 109

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from her German exile, she cited the socialist feminist leader Clara Zetkin’s report in the German socialist women’s journal Die Gleichheit (Equality), claiming that the Russian congress “had important significance for the entire international socialist movement.” To Kollontai, the congress was equally significant for Russia as it linked to the revolutionary spirit of a few years earlier: “Against a background of triumphant reaction … the oppositional mood of the congress, the brave speeches, the ‘left’ resolutions, all this vividly recalled the familiar ‘fighting causes’ of 1905–​1906” (Mikhailova 1909, 6). Kollontai’s The Social Foundations of the Woman Question, originally scheduled for publication before the Women’s Congress, appeared early in 1909. It was the most significant work on women and socialism since Auguste Bebel’s 1879 Woman and Socialism. The book was full of Kollontai’s polemics against the feminists, but for a while after the congress Kollontai softened her criticism, as she and other socialist women leaders crafted their own brand of feminism (Kollontai 1909). The congress influenced the growing international socialist movement, especially in the creation of the first socialist women’s holiday. The usual history of the creation of International Women’s Day emphasizes its US roots, ignoring its Russian connections. In this regard, the recruiting of the workers group, and its activity during the 1908 congress, are particularly important. Kollontai fled Russia initially for Germany. Less than two years after she witnessed and no doubt conveyed to Clara Zetkin the appeal of equal rights to the women workers of St. Petersburg, Kollontai represented the Russian textile workers union when the Second Socialist Women’s Congress proclaimed International Women’s Day. On August 26, 1910, Zetkin proposed that the socialist women’s holiday be created around the slogan of “universal suffrage,” as “the vote for women will unite our strength in the struggle for socialism” (Ruthchild 2010, 185). The holiday proved very popular; its celebrations quickly spread across the globe (Offen 2000, 210–​211). The most significant commemoration came just nine years later, when Russian women demonstrating on International Women’s Day sparked the February Revolution toppling the Tsar. Soon after, on March 19, 1917, a mass feminist demonstration won a pledge of support for women’s suffrage from leaders of the rival governing bodies, the Provisional Government and the Soviets. On July 20, the Electoral Law formalized this pledge. With the law, Russia became the first major power to extend voting rights to all women (Ruthchild 2010).

Conclusions Both in Russia and internationally, the 1908 congress, featuring articulate women speaking on a wide range of subjects, aided in the portrayal of women as ready to be politically active on an equal basis with men. As feminist physician Maria Pokrovskaia (1852–​1922) observed ironically: “ ‘Just think!’ the sceptics were heard to declare, ‘women have organized everything and are running the whole congress themselves. Astonishing!’ ” (Edmondson 1984, 104) For a week, in the heart of the capital of the tsarist empire, the congress succeeded in creating a subversive women’s heterotopia.

References Bradley, Joseph. 2002. “Subjects into Citizens: Societies, Civil Society, and Autocracy in Tsarist Russia.” American Historical Review 107 (4): 1094–​1123.

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The First All-Russian Women’s Congress Chlen, P. K. 1909. “Rabochaia gruppa na zhenskom s”ezde (Pis’mo iz Peterburga).” [“The Workers’ Group at the Women’s Congress. Letter from Petersburg.”] Sotsial-​demokrat: 2–​5. Clements, Barbara Evans. 1979. Bolshevik Feminist: The Life of Aleksandra Kollontai. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Edmondson, Linda. 1984. Feminism in Russia, 1900–​1917. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Ely, Christopher D. 2016. Underground Petersburg: Radical Populism, Urban Space and the Tactics of Subversion in Reform-​Era Russia. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. Ermanskii, A. 1909. “Vserossiiskii zhenskii s”ezd.” [“All-​Russian Women’s Congress.”] Sovremennyi mir (January): 103–​112. Farnsworth, Beatrice Brodsky. 1980. Aleksandra Kollontai: Socialism, Feminism and the Bolshevik Revolution. Stanford: CA: Stanford University Press. Glinskii, Boris B. 1909. “Pervyi zhenskii vserossiiskii s”ezd.” [“The First All-​Russian Women’s Congress.”] Istoricheskii vestnik: 384–​407. Gosudarstvennaia Duma. 1906–​1917. Stenograficheskie Otchety. St. Petersburg: Gosudarstvennaia tipografiia. “Khronika.” 1908. Golos sotsial-​demokrata [Voice of the Social Democrat]. (November–​ December): 25–​26. Kollontai, Alexandra. 1909. Sotsial’nie osnovy zhenskogo voprosa [The Social Foundations of the Woman Question]. St. Petersburg: Znanie, 1909. M.B. 1909. “Vserossiiskii zhenskii s”ezd i rabochaia gruppa.” [The All-​Russian Women’s Congress and the Workers’ Group], Professional’nyi vestnik: 16–​19. Mikhailova, A. (Kollontai). 1909. “Zhenshchina-​rabotnitsa na pervom feministkom kongresse v Rossii.” [“The Woman Worker at the First Feminist Congress in Russia.”] Golossotsial-​ demokrata (12): 6–​7. Mirovich, N. (Zinaida). 1909. “Pervyi vserossiiskii zhenskii s”ezd.” [“First All-​Russian Women’s Congress.”]. Vestnik Evropy: 411–​415. Offen, Karen. 2000. European Feminisms. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Rupp, Leila. 1997. Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Ruthchild, Rochelle Goldberg. 2010. Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire. 1905–​1917. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Stites, Richard. 1978, 1991. The Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism, and Bolshevism, 1860–​1930. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Trudy pervogo vserossiiskogo zhenskogo s”ezda pri Russkom zhenskom obshchestve v Sankt-​ Peterburge 10–​16 Dekabriia 1908. [Proceedings of the First All-​Russian Women’s Congress under the auspices of the Russian Women’s Society in St. Petersburg December 10–​16, 1908]. 1909. St. Petersburg: Tip. I.N. Kushnerova. Tyrkova, Ariadna. 1915. Anna Pavlovna Filosofova i eia vremia. [Anna Pavlovna Filosofova and her time] Vol. 1, 2 vols. Sbornik pamiati Anny Pavlovny Filosofovoi. [Collected Memories of Anna Pavlovna Filosofova]. Petrograd: Izd. R. Golike i A. Vil’borg. Yukina, Irina. 1998. “The First Russian National Women’s Congress.” We/​Myi 6: 3–​4.

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11 THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION AND WOMEN’S LIBERATION Rethinking the legacy of the socialist emancipation project Elena Gapova

The Russian Revolution “reshaped global time and space” (Nathans 2017, 18), although in contentious ways. A source of social experimentation that opened all fields of life for innovative action, it was the first political project to put gender equality on its program. That had a complex impact on the understanding of “the woman question,” on concrete state policies, and on the women’s activist agenda in the region and more globally throughout the “short 20th century.” With inspiration in Marxist theorizing and labor/​ working-​class feminism, socialist emancipation entailed eradication of economic and gender inequality through state-​driven redistribution of resources. That intersectional model received its due of skepticism from feminist critics (Hartmann 1979) who sought other concepts to theorize the woman condition, but still retains its conceptual importance. This chapter reflects on the complex socialist legacy while addressing three aspects: the vision of gender equality that emerged out of revolutionary labor feminist imagination; the way socialist emancipation sought to redefine women’s agency; and its general significance for feminists seeking to meet the challenges of the post-​industrial era. To challenge the tradition of placing Russia at the center of these kinds of discussions, this chapter adds examples from Belarus, an ethnic-​based territory in the north-​west of the Russian Empire that became a Soviet Republic several years after the Revolution.

Labor feminism and the Russian Revolution The 1917 Russian Revolution was envisioned by radical intelligentsia as a proletarian-​ class project; however, gender was intertwined into it from the very beginning. In fact, the Revolution took off from women’s bread riots in the capital city of St. Petersburg, where female textile workers, exhausted by food shortages, took to the streets on the date (March 8 on the reformed calendar) proposed by socialist theorist and feminist Clara Zetkin as International Women’s Day. While it is debatable whether overworked female workers were led by leftist agitators or had revolutionary consciousness of their own (Ruthchild 2017; see also Chapter 10 in this Handbook), the case illustrates contentions 115

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around the “woman question.” Popular histories of feminism in the West tend to present the first wave as focused on women’s political rights, whereas socialist proponents of gender equality, who relied on Marxist theorizing of the woman condition to uncover a link between capitalism and patriarchy as two mutually reinforcing systems of inequality, saw the suffragist agenda as too narrow. According to the Marxist perspective, first invoked in Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto and developed later in Engels’ (1884) The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State and in the writings of European socialists, gender oppression is a by-​product of class inequality. Women, who are engaged in capitalist production and the reproduction of life at the same time, toil for both men and capitalism. Thus, their liberation would require integrating them into paid labor for economic independence and putting an end to class inequality, which oppressed both women and men. Embracing this perspective, political theorists such as Rosa Luxemburg (Germany), Alexandra Kollontai (Russia), and Emma Goldman (USA), viewed the right to vote as a token issue pursued by liberal middle-​class women and insisted on a broader critique of the bourgeois order. Luxemburg (1914) believed that “women’s disenfranchisement was only a link in the chain reaction that fetters the life of the people” and viewed middle-​class suffragists as the handmaids of the bourgeoisie who would betray proletarian women as soon as their goals have been achieved. That was the origin of contemporary debates about redistribution vs. recognition (see Fraser 2013). This debate builds around two different perspectives on gender equality. One, called labor feminist and arising out of the view that gender oppression is based on the objective historical relations of property, seeks to resolve inequality through redistributive justice. The other builds on the recognition of cultural difference and identity politics. The two are interconnected, as one’s rights and economic situation are not sealed from each other: this may explain why the pursuit of recognition is more readily embraced by intellectual and economic elites for whom “rights” stand as a signifier of their dignity and citizenship status. Eventually, labor/​working-​class feminism became foundational for the socialist emancipatory project. According to this perspective, equality with men makes little sense in the context of poverty and class inequality, and this view is shared today by intersectional feminists who consider that gender intertwines with class and race. African American critical theorist bell hooks expressed this view by asking, in her book, to which men, that is, men of what class and race, women are expected to be equal (hooks 1984).

Soviet socialism and the woman question Historians who consider the Russian Revolution a pivotal moment of contesting possibilities, recognize that some ideas it sought to implement were utopian or premature for a mostly agrarian country whose economy had been ravaged by war (Clements 1992). The envisioned transformation was truly radical, as it concerned, besides overtly political matters, social relations that derive from the organization of sexuality and reproduction. In practice, decrees that abolished estate differences and instituted political equality between men and women were followed by the Family Code (1918), which secularized marriage, legitimized divorce, and eliminated distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate children. In 1920, the government legalized abortion, under pressure by feminist-​ oriented female members of the Bolshevik Party, who argued that while capitalist and gender oppression was not eliminated, motherhood could make women vulnerable. Next, homosexuality was decriminalized, with somewhat different attitudes toward male and 116

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female same-​sex relations remaining: while male homosexuals were quietly tolerated, if a person was a productive member of society and contributed to the revolutionary cause, “masculine traits” in women were often regarded in a positive light as a sign of active agency (Healey 2001). Labor feminists who were dreaming of the revolutionary remaking of the world, debated the future “proletarian family,” and Kollontai, who would become the first female to serve on the Soviet government, wrote extensively not only about the economic aspects of the proletarian woman question, but also about working-​class morality, love, and motherhood and argued that proletarian eroticism could not be confined to the traditional family, that is, an oppressive patriarchal institution (Kollontai 1923). Sexual liberalization and recognition of diverse identities was a feature of post-​ revolutionary “anomie,” that is, social upheaval accompanied by the breakdown of traditional regulations, the search for new moral norms, and experimentation with intimacy and relationships. However, it had been prepared by discussions of anti-​bourgeois libertarian sexuality in European workers’ parties still prior to World War I, while public interest in psychoanalysis in the 1920s contributed to the rise of Freudo-​Marxism that sought to channel sexual energy of the proletariat to the socialist cause. Communists, who had no historical precedent for fashioning their gender policy, viewed socialism as the ultimate precondition for resolving the woman question and to mobilize diverse women’s masses for the socialist cause and their own liberation, instituted, in 1919, Women’s Section (Zhenotdel) within the structure of the Communist Party. Zhenotdel was conceived, ideally, by female party members as the “deliberate, painstaking effort of hundreds of already ‘released’ women injecting their beliefs and programs and their self-​ confidence into the bloodstream of rural and proletarian Russia” (Stites 1986, 172; see also both Ruthchild, Chapter 10, and Wood, Chapter 21 in this Handbook). An example from Belarus is useful here. In 1921, the western part of Belarusian ethnic lands was ceded to Poland in accordance with the Treaty of Riga. Throughout the interwar period, the discourse of the “divided Belarusian nation” prevailed there, as leftist activists in the “bourgeois” Western Belarus cited gender and welfare policies and support for schools and culture in the Soviet part as reasons in favor of national reunification within Soviet borders (Gapova 2004). Zhenotdel functionaries in those borderland territories that were ravaged by seven years of fighting and had four official languages (Russian, Belarusian, Polish, and Yiddish) were expected to be able to reach out to ethnically diverse populations. Sometimes against the resistance of their male comrades, they worked on behalf of the poor, especially peasants, women’s welfare, and socialist organizing and propaganda, which they considered tightly related, as they believed in wider party and national goals that their work served. One of the primary concerns was the liquidation of illiteracy, which had special urgency in the Belarusian countryside where in the 1920s only 7 percent of peasant women could read. Belarusian Zhenotdel also sought to bring women into local/​regional government, militia, and the public sphere; to eliminate poverty-​related prostitution; provide employment, housing, and childcare for single mothers; deliver social services and provide access to healthcare and medical abortion; oust discrimination of female workers; ensure child support and “milk kitchens”; satirize domestic violence; and involve women in the study of Marxist ideology and educate them against popular religiosity and superstition. In 1924, the first mass women’s magazine in the Belarusian language Belarusian woman-​worker and peasant (Belaruskaya rabotnitsa i syalyanka) was launched. Framing women’s emancipation around labor participation, it was a vehicle for promoting the socialist agenda, but also an outlet for agency, which encouraged women to contribute 117

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to the media in the capacity of “worker/​peasant correspondents” and write on issues in their communities. Many women, however, would send poems and essays. A recently published anthology of Belarusian women’s poetry of the interwar period is largely based on material retrieved from newspapers in Soviet Belarus; in its western part, where some women could not afford education (Danilchyk and Zhybul 2017, 12), their creativity was not equally encouraged. Socialism is, by definition, a state project, and after Zhenotdel, which had been fully dependent on government funding, was shut down in 1930, women’s emancipation continued with industrialization and forced collectivization in the countryside. Substantial resources were invested in women’s education, professional development, communal childcare facilities, maternity clinics, consultation offices, feeding stations, nurseries, and mother and infant homes for women workers. All-​ Soviet campaigns encouraged polytechnic and vocational education programs for girls and aimed to bring younger women into new ‘technological’ professions by demonstrating, through media and cinema, prominent women as role models. Those policies obviously undermined patriarchal order, but with housework remaining largely unsocialized, the private sphere and family roles were rather traditional. Socialist ideology glorified the subordination of women’s personal interests to those of the nation and celebrated their contribution to the collectivist cause, and Attwood (1999, 28) argues that the demands that western governments have habitually placed on women when their countries are at war, when women have to take over “men’s jobs,” and when service to the state is prioritized above personal considerations, were imposed on Soviet women throughout the Stalin era. This point echoes ongoing discussions regarding women’s agency under socialist hegemony best expressed by Engel’s assertion (2006, 475) that socialist emancipation both empowered and constrained socialist women. A related point is that while the interests of women and Bolsheviks might have overlapped, socialist gender policy was driven by the goal of making women useful for socialism, rather than “creating free subjects” Yukina (2007, 443). This reasoning, however, seems to overlook the dialectic relationship between women’s emancipation and the necessity for their economic independence, which became legitimized and naturalized under socialism, as women’s life trajectories and structures of opportunities were newly crafted. The case of Vera Kharuzhaya, a Belarusian activist who responded to the socialist ideals and joined the party at age 18, illustrates this claim. Kharuzhaya spent much of the interwar period in the ceded Western Belarus, sent there by the party on a mission of national and socialist organizing; she was arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison, but later exchanged for Poles captured by Soviets. When in 1941 the war began, Kharuzhaya, who was pregnant with her second child, joined a Soviet partisan brigade, but the commander arranged for her to be sent outside of the war zone (which she resisted). A year later, she sent a letter to a functionary in charge of partisan resistance in occupied Belarusian territories which read: “…in these terrible times, when fascists tread on and slaughter my Belarus, I, who have given twenty years of my life to struggle for the happiness of my people, stay in the rear and live a peaceful life. I can’t do this anymore. I have to go back. I can be of use. I have great work experience. I can speak Belarusian, Polish, Yiddish, German. I am ready to do any work, at the front or in the German rear. I am not scared of anything…” (Seledievskaya 1975). Permission was granted and Kharuzhaya, having left the baby with her sister (her husband, a partisan, was killed in a battle), crossed the front line in order to join partisans

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and in several days was captured and, after torture, executed by fascists. Awarded, posthumously, in 1960, the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest military recognition, she was glorified as a model of living one’s life for the socialist motherland. During World War II, 800,000 Soviet women, the biggest number ever, joined the military. They served their country as nurses and cooks, but also as doctors (40 percent of physicians at the front were female), pilots of night bombers, tank drivers, snipers, partisan fighters, radio operators, and interpreters. The generation of (mostly young) Soviet women built unconventional, though still binary, gender identities that allowed them to merge the woman and the soldier (or almost any other occupation) into a non-​ contradictory social identity (Krylova 2011, 13). These new individualities were the most persuasive subject-​effect of the era.

The socialist model and its discontents In the wake of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, the socialist emancipatory project that redefined gender relations and reorganized society came to be seen as a template for development, and the woman question moved into international politics. During the Cold War, which was largely a contest over deeply gendered values and ways of life, superpower rivalries paid significant attention to the status of women, as it stood for a way of life and principles of social organization (Peri 2018). The Committee of Soviet Women (founded in 1941 as the Antifascist Committee of Soviet Women), which was headed by the first female astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, showcased socialist emancipation internationally. Similar leagues were established in other countries of Eastern Europe now socialist and under Soviet hegemony; together, these organizations made a strong presence in international and United Nations arenas articulating peace, disarmament, and humanistic concerns from the socialist perspective (Ghodsee 2018). The committee published in several languages, including non-​western ones, the magazine Soviet Woman (Sovetskaia zhenshchina), “an artifact of both wartime internationalism and Cold War competition” (Peri 2018, 622). Its materials often targeted female audiences in decolonized and non-​aligned nations striving to eradicate economic and social backwardness, cultivating the idea that socialism was a model for progress and women’s liberation. Reaching out to “the global South,” the magazine declared, on behalf of Soviet women, support for their struggle and national cultures and invoked the motif of “global sisterhood” (Varga-​Harris 2019, 761). However, western critics argue that socialist women’s committees were docile vehicles for promoting the party line and their members, paid for their work, were not autonomous subjects and feminist agents (Funk 2014). Ghodsee, who suggests an opposite view, insists that the concept of “autonomy” is applicable only within particular historical circumstances and praises socialist women’s work on gender issues at home and internationally as an effort to unite people across the political, ideological, cultural, economic, and even technological divide (Ghodsee 2018, 47). She argues that the contribution of socialist women to humanitarian issues and social and political transformation remains contested and even unrecognized and rejected as a way to write off socialist organizations from the history of feminism (Ghodsee 2018). Contentions over socialist women’s agency in the period of “developed socialism,” as it was called, echo a controversy that surfaced during the Russian Revolution, between labor and liberal trends in feminism. The founding tenets of socialist emancipation were

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the protection of women within “the contract of the working mother” (Rotkirch and Temkina 1997): it was a standard by which gender equality was to be measured. Socialist governments proudly expanded paid parental leaves to several years and strengthened legislation on shorter work hours for mothers, paid vacations, not working nights, and avoiding heavy lifting and even prohibited some occupations considered dangerous for women; the implementation of these benefits requires a socialist system of resource distribution. In the 1960s, when Soviet women’s integration in professions was the highest in the world, with 75 percent of them working outside the home, the US government sponsored several studies to examine Soviet gender policy, but efforts to introduce state-​ sponsored benefits for women were later rejected as “communist” and unacceptable for the American way of life (Briggs 2017, 24). With time, though, the socialist emancipatory paradigm, which drew from intellectual traditions on the Left to focus on redistributive justice on behalf of working women, began to lose against the conceptual framework of recognition that resulted from new feminist theorizing of the woman condition. It never conceptualized masculine patriarchal domination in all social domains from sexuality to language, and that was problematic for the rising urban educated women’s “class.” Women’s “discontent” with the discrepancy between the promise of emancipation and their own experience that was emerging on the socialist block, initially oscillated between demands for more protection, on the one hand, and the pursuit of autonomy and recognition, on the other (see Posadskaya 1992). For example, dissident feminists in Soviet Russia, who in 1979 published independent women’s magazine Maria to criticize inadequate social services, in one article condemned the Soviet system for taking away “manly functions” from men. At the same time, in Yugoslavia, female academics took a critical stance over “the unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism” in their own system (Lorand 2018). Protectionism created public patriarchy, when women were dependent on the state, rather than on individual men (Aivazova 1998), and with the disintegration of state monopoly on defining gender issues, women began to claim a recognition of their autonomy and full humanity. In the 1990s, criticism of socialist emancipation became almost an industry: whether socialism forcefully emancipated women too much (as conservatives would claim), or not enough, the critique served both liberal and nationalist causes against “communist ideology.” With liberalization and political changes in the region, gender “multiplied” (Johnson and Robinson 2007, 2–​5) and diverse forms of sexuality, intimate partnerships, and roles became socially acceptable. However, the dismantling of protections under the free market produced new forms of gender intimidation and oppression. Neoliberalism emphasizes one’s autonomy and responsibility for one’s own well-​being, and women began to experience contradiction between their productive and reproductive “obligations.” With austerity, flexible labor markets, and precarious employment, as workers have to efficiently market themselves and be available at any moment, “reproductive labor has become simultaneously more important … and harder to find time and space to do” (Briggs 2017, 6), while public support for it is reduced and families stay abandoned to their own devices. These days, some women in the postsocialist region, as well as in the West, choose staying child-​free as the preference strategy to level their chances, while others hire poor or immigrant women to do subsistence work. Women who often become dependents as family caretakers are more likely to stay in unhealthy relationships: this is one reason for the perceivable rise in domestic abuse, while global media “sell” female sexualization and objectification.

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This history of the postsocialist “experiment” and its effect on gender relations helps explain political theorist Fraser’s (2013) claim that, under certain circumstances, feminism may become the handmaiden of neoliberalism. With the arrival of the neoliberal market and dismantling of protections in the former social region, the feminist activist agenda, framed by (western) donors’ priorities, was turning to culture and identity politics. Many of us greeted the opportunity to voice issues that had been muted in socialism and to join hands with “global” feminist activism. However, there was one problem that—​unexpectedly—​has to do with class inequality and the deconstruction of women’s social rights. The 1970s, when a new feminist agenda was emerging in the West, was the period that Hobsbawm (1996) called “the golden age”: for a variety of reasons, class/​economic inequality was decreasing at the time. Rising against the backdrop of shrinking economic divisions, second wave feminism and other New Social Movements expanded democratization and empowerment of marginalized groups by broadening both the number of people who were introduced to equality and the scope of content to be included into recognition. Postsocialist feminism emerged in very different circumstances: alongside the rise of economic inequality and critical restrictions on access to equal opportunities and even livelihood for millions of people. By turning to the matters of recognition, it was ambivalent as regards the issues of class and redistribution. Historically, labor feminists did not see equality in the workplace and protectionism as contradictory (Briggs 2017, 24), and leftists argue that its dismantling (e.g., lifting bans on hazardous labor for women or dismantling maternal benefits) is a neoliberal instrument against all workers. Working-​class women welcome protection, of which they are the main recipients and beneficiaries (Phillips 2012), while middle-​ class professionals, operating within the global quest for efficiency, fear that protection would be detrimental to women’s competitiveness. Sometimes they tend to view working-​class women who are eager to rely on benefits as needy, politically backward, and insensitive to the feminist cause. However, the legacy of the socialist emancipation project launched by the Revolution more than a century ago may help in finding ways to resolve these contradictions and see that “unregulated capitalism is bad for women, and if we adopt some ideas from socialism, women will have better lives” (Ghodsee 2019, 1).

References Aivazova, Svetlana. 1998. Russkie zhenshchiny v labirinte ravnopravia. Moscow: Rusanova. Attwood, Lynn. 1999. Creating the New Soviet Woman. London: Macmillan Press. Briggs, Laura. 2017. How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics. From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Clements, Barbara. 1992. “The Utopianism of the Zhenotdel.” Slavic Review 51 (3): 485–​496. Danilchyk, Aksana, and Victor Zhybul, eds. 2017. Antalohia Belarudskai zhanochai paezii mizhvaennaha chasu. Minsk: Knihazbor. Engel, Barbara. 2006. “Women and the State.” In Cambridge History of Russia, Vol. II, edited by R. Suny, 468–​494. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fraser, Nancy. 2013. Fortunes of Feminism. London: Verso. Funk, Nanette. 2014. “A Very Tangled Knot: Official State Socialist Women’s Organizations, Women’s Agency and Feminism in Eastern European State Socialism.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 21 (4): 344–​360. Gapova, Elena. 2004. “Women’s Question and National Projects in Soviet Byelorussia and Western Belarus, 1921–​1939.” In Zwischen Kriegen. Nationen, Nationalismen und Geschlechterverhältnisse

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Elena Gapova in Mittel-​und Osteuropa, 1918–​1939, edited by J. Gehmacher, E. Harvey, and S. Kemlein, 105–​ 128. Osnabrück: fibre-​Verlag. Ghodsee, Kristen. 2018. Second World, Second Sex: Socialist Women’s Activism and Global Solidarity During the Cold War. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2019. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence. New York: Nation Books. Hartmann, Heidi. 1979. “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Towards a More Progressive Union.” Capital and Class 3 (2). Healey, Dan. 2001. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. Hobsbawm, Eric. 1996. The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914–​1991. New York: Random House. hooks, bell. 1984. Feminist Theory from Margin to Center. Boston, MA: South End Press. Johnson, Janet and J. Robinson eds. 2007. Living Gender after Communism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Kollontai, Alexandra. 1923. “Make Way for Winged Eros: A Letter to Working Youth.” First published in Molodoya Gvardiya (Young Guard) Magazine (#3). www.marxists.org/​archive/​ kollonta/​1923/​winged-​eros.htm. Krylova, Anna. 2011. Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lorand, Zsófia. 2018. The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. Luxemburg, Rosa. 1914. “Women’s Suffrage and Class Struggle.” Marxist Internet Archive. www. marxists.org/​archive/​draper/​1976/​women/​4-​luxemburg.html. Nathans, Benjamin. 2017. “Bolshevism’s New Believers.” New York Review of Books, November 23. Peri, Alexis. 2018. “The Soviet Woman: The Post-​World War II Feminine Ideal at Home and Abroad.” The Russian Review 77 (4): 621–​644. Phillips, Sarah. 2012. “Gender and Social Worth in Post-​Soviet Ukrainian Civil Society.” In Gender, Politics, and Society in Ukraine, edited by Olena Hankivskiy and A. Salnykova, 180–​203. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Posadskaya, Anastasia. 1992. “Self-​Portrait of a Russian Feminist.” New Left Review 195 (11). Rotkirch, Anna and Anna Temkina. 1997 “Soviet Gender Contracts and Their Shifts in Contemporary Russia.” Idantutkimus (4). Ruthchild, Rochelle. 2017. “Women and Gender in 1917.” Slavic Review 76 (3): 694–​702. Seledievskaya, Natalia, ed. 1975. Zhizn’, otdannaya bor’be. Sbornik vospominanii o Vere Khoruzhey [Life Dedicated to Struggle. Memoirs on Vera Kharuzhaya]. Minsk: Belarus. Stites, Richard. 1986. The Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism, and Bolshevism, 1860–​1930. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Varga-​Harris, Christine. 2019. “Between National Tradition and Western Modernization: Soviet Woman and Representations of Socialist Gender Equality as a “Third Way” for Developing Countries, 1956–​1964.” Slavic Review 78 (3): 758–​781. Yukina, Irina. 2007. Russkii feminism kak vyzov sovremennosti [Russian Feminism as Modern Challenge]. St. Petersburg: Aleteia.

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12 CZECHOSLOVAK FEMINISMS DURING THE INTERWAR PERIOD Iveta Jusová and Karla Huebner

Czechoslovakia’s First Republic (1918–​1938), a parliamentary democracy, is remarkable for its respect for civil liberties and women’s rights. While the interwar period in the region was turbulent and marked by unrest and economic depression, Czechoslovakia exemplified successful democracy. Its relatively stable political climate and strong economic situation (especially throughout the 1920s) was favorable for feminism, and Czechoslovak feminists achieved a wider array of rights than women in many other European countries of the period. At least two different streams emerged within Czechoslovak activism around women’s issues during this time. One stream, represented by Františka Plamínková’s Women’s National Council (Ženská národní rada), was more aligned with the political goals of the middle classes and with political liberalism; the other stream was aligned with the plight of the working classes and a fledgling socialist ideology. Their success was precipitated by 19th-​century women’s prominent role in the Czech and Slovak national revival movements, as well as the early 20th-​century feminists’ strategy of presenting women’s equality as integral to democracy (Feinberg 2006, 24).

Czech and Slovak women’s emancipation efforts prior to independence The Czech lands (Bohemia and Moravia) and Slovakia were separate territories under the Austro-​Hungarian Empire until 1918, when the two nations joined together to form a single republic. Under the Austro-​Hungarian Empire, women had few rights and little opportunity for formal education or for well-​paid work outside the home. The 19th century, however, witnessed the beginnings of emancipation movements among women across the Empire. The Czech women’s movement specifically, while it commenced later than feminism in England and France, became the vanguard of women’s emancipation within the Empire. Slovakia also saw fledgling efforts toward women’s emancipation, but advances there were more limited. Czech and Slovak women’s emancipatory efforts first emerged as part of local national revival movements and quickly found backing on the part of prominent figures in the Czech and Slovak national leaderships. Patriotic 19th-​century Czech and 125

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Slovak men assigned much importance to achieving validation through the support of “their” women, and they encouraged women to be culturally productive—​as long as this productivity supported the national revival. Such activism by women, in fact, existed even as early as the revolutionary days of 1848–​1849, when students from a girls’ school helped build barricades (Pech 1969, 149). “Women’s emancipation” in this context meant women’s freedom to use in public the Czech and Slovak languages rather than German or Hungarian, support patriotic activities, and be sufficiently educated to be able to cultivate patriotic sensibilities in their children. While some women were satisfied with these goals, others found the traditional sex roles suffocating and worked to legitimize women’s desires for self-​realization outside the home (Jusová 2005, 76). They asserted that their male compatriots should sympathize with their cause because both men and women were oppressed as things stood. However, the Czech situation proved more conducive to feminism than the situation in Slovakia, where the conservative Hungarian state bureaucracy, bolstered by a more prominent Catholic church, was particularly inflexible. Leading Slovak feminists tended to avoid criticism of the Church and of marriage (Hollý 2010, 78), which limited the otherwise strong cooperation between Czech and Slovak feminists (2010, 64). Malečková (2016, 48) has argued that the strong public support for women’s emancipation in situations like the 19th-​century Czech (and, to lesser extent, Slovak) national revival can be ascribed to the national leadership’s need to enlist as large a basis of support as possible in a relatively small national community. Indeed, late 19th-​century Czech and Slovak women were particularly successful in advocating for women’s rights when they articulated their agenda in terms of the good of the whole nation. In 1890, Eliška Krásnohorská established the Empire’s first university-​preparation school for women. By the early 20th century, Czech feminists published seven periodicals, and in Slovakia, women’s periodicals Dennica and Živena were also being established. Czech feminist literature was thriving as well, responding to new cosmopolitan trends and discussing such topics as the double sexual standard, women’s education, and suffrage. In 1905, still in the context of the struggle for national self-​determination, the charismatic Plamínková and other Czech feminists established the Committee for Women’s Voting Rights, whose objective was to convince the public that women’s suffrage would benefit the nation’s cause. They argued that women would bring new, previously overlooked concerns into politics, as well as contribute specific female experiences and “feminine traits” (Gelnarová 2014, 60). In 1912, with overwhelming support from Czech male politicians, the committee even succeeded in getting a woman candidate elected to the Bohemian diet, although she was ultimately prevented from taking up her seat. Czech and Slovak feminisms’ connections with nationalism, which continued well into the 20th century, encouraged cooperation with feminists from other Slavic nations, although this also discouraged cooperation with local German feminists (Bahenská, Heczková, and Musilová 2010, 17).

The First Republic Defeated in World War I, the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy was divided by the Allied victors into several independent states. In 1918, independent Czechoslovakia was established as a democratic republic, uniting the Czech Lands and Slovakia. Aligned with the Czechs through strong cultural ties and mutually comprehensible languages, Slovaks,

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however, soon grew to resent the Prague government’s reneging on its promise to grant Slovakia autonomy, and relations deteriorated, ending in 1939 with a split brokered by Nazi Germany. But the 1920s were heady days full of optimism for the new Czechoslovak Republic. While elsewhere in the region the aftermath of World War I was characterized by economic devastation, territorial disputes, political radicalization, and a slide toward fascism, Czechoslovakia was an exception; interwar Czechoslovakia was the only successful liberal democracy in what would later be called Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The republic was also economically advanced, as the Czech lands included two-​ thirds of the Austro-​Hungarian Empire’s industrial base (Heitlinger 1979, 3). Buttressed by strong industry and led by a widely popular pro-​democratic president, the new republic (especially Bohemia and Moravia) fared well when compared to the surrounding states, although it was not spared by the Great Depression. In comparison, in 1919 Poland emerged from over a century of partition, overwhelmingly poor and agrarian, with its government unstable and gradually shifting toward authoritarianism. Another neighbor, Hungary, previously an autonomous kingdom in the Monarchy, emerged from the Great War defeated, war-​torn, and facing a loss of territories and resources to the new countries of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Romania (Walters 1988, 185–​188). Such conditions of uncertainty were less than favorable to struggles for either women’s rights or the rights of national and ethnic minorities. In contrast, the post-​World War I Czechoslovak generation was full of enthusiasm and enjoying prosperity. Nor did they fear for the survival of national culture, as had their 19th-​century predecessors. This was a climate conducive to the further advancement of women’s rights, and Czechoslovak feminists took advantage of these auspicious conditions. Women’s rights in matters of the public sphere expanded significantly, particularly between 1918 and 1930. This earned Czechoslovakia a reputation as a beacon of women’s advancement and progressive values. With Plamínková becoming a prominent figure in such organizations as the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and the International Council of Women, Czechoslovak feminism gained further international visibility and prominence. In 1918, as part of the establishment of the new state, new political rights were granted to Czechoslovak women. The Washington Declaration, the founding document of the Czechoslovak Republic, asserted: “Women will enjoy the same political, social, and cultural rights as men.” This was subsequently written into Article 106 of the new Constitution of 1920: “Privileges of race, sex, and profession are not recognized.” Indeed, with the foundation of the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Czechoslovak feminist movement briskly achieved many of its goals. Women not only obtained the vote and constitutional promises of legal equality, with the National Assembly assigning seats to them, but divorce also became much easier to obtain, women gained access to many middle-​class professions previously reserved for men, and the so-​called celibacy law pertaining to women teachers was overturned. These rapid initial gains for Czechoslovak women, and especially their broad public support, were striking in their day. By 1920, when Czechoslovak women legally won the vote, women had been enfranchised in other European countries, including Germany, Austria, and Poland. Yet Britain had seen a bitter half-​century struggle for women’s suffrage, and the limited suffrage granted there in 1918 was not made equal until 1928. The Czechoslovak public also closely followed developments in France and was familiar with the extended battle for women’s suffrage there (French women won the vote in 1945).

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Compared to the protracted and virulent public opposition to women’s suffrage in these two established democracies, the enthusiastic support of the Czechoslovak public for women’s political rights appeared remarkable (Feinberg 2006, 32). What explains the enthusiasm on the part of the Czechoslovak public for enshrining women’s political rights in the first Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920? To some extent, that support was an outgrowth of the earlier feminists’ success at convincing prominent Czech public figures that backing “their women’s” rights was part of the overall struggle against the Habsburgs. Essential for the Czech women’s suffrage movement’s success to gain public approval was the backing of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, a university philosopher and prominent public figure, who would become Czechoslovakia’s first president in 1918. One of the most outspoken proponents of democratic principles in the region, Masaryk was married to American feminist Charlotte Garrigue and was a fervent advocate of women’s rights as well as the rights of ethnic and national minorities. His journal Our Era (Naše doba) carried a monthly column on women’s issues, and his slogan, “Let woman be placed on an equal level with man culturally, legally, and politically,” was part of the Czech Progressive Party’s 1906 platform (David 1991, 30–​31). In his writing and public speeches, which carried much weight among the public, Masaryk translated the ideas of earlier Czech national revivalists to the 20th-​century language of liberal democracy and also liberal feminism. He represented the Czech (later Czechoslovak) nation as “historically conditioned for democracy” and simultaneously defined the equality of all individuals, including women, as the key principle of democracy (Feinberg 2006, 24). Masaryk made sure to commit the new republic to democracy, the rights of national minorities, as well as women’s rights. In his vision, the destiny of the Czech nation, democracy, and gender equality became indelibly linked (Feinberg 2006, 13). The interwar Czechoslovak feminist movement gained a major boost from this rhetoric and adopted it with enthusiasm. The most prominent Czechoslovak feminist organization, the Women’s National Council, WNC (Ženská národní rada), founded by Plamínková in 1923, argued that “those who did not support women’s rights were in fact betraying their national democratic heritage” (Feinberg 2006, 24). Some feminist historians have scrutinized the WNC for uncritically adopting Masaryk’s philosophy as a foundation for their own ideology (Bahenská, Heczková, and Musilová 2010, 21). But on certain key issues, especially concerning gender equality in the arena of politics, presenting women’s rights as a litmus test of the nation’s democracy served feminists very well. The WNC became the main center for Czechoslovak women’s political action throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and it was mostly due to their lobbying that Czechoslovak women in the interwar period gained further access to secondary schools and universities (Garver 1985, 70–​71). The WNC’s other gains included abolition of the requirement that female civil servants be unmarried, and recognition of their right to the same salary as men. The next gain, in 1926, was a granting of a three-​month maternity leave to women teachers. In 1929, feminists also succeeded in their demand to reform the civil code to end differentiation between legitimate and “illegitimate” (out-​of-​wedlock) births (Burešová 2001, 45). While linking women’s rights to the “good of the whole” proved a winning strategy when it came to advancing women’s rights in the public sphere, it reached its limits when it came to efforts to change gender relations in the domestic sphere. The WNC’s struggle to update the outdated family law, where changes would affect individual Czechoslovaks’ everyday lives more universally than would changes in the sphere of public rights, remained unsuccessful due to the magnitude of the task and differing views about specific

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aspects of this area of law. Yet although family law was not successfully updated during the First Republic, nonetheless, in the general post-​World War I European context, characterized by efforts to restore order by retaining the traditional family, the WNC’s efforts to bring gender equality to family law remain noteworthy. The First Republic’s family law, inherited from the Austrian civil code from 1811, distinguished between husbands as breadwinners and heads of households, and wives as mothers and caregivers, legally responsible for carrying out domestic chores and following their husbands’ decisions. This meant, among other things, that married Czechoslovak women, similar to women elsewhere in Europe, needed their husbands’ permission to work outside the home (Burešová 2001, 33). Feminist lobbyists threw their energies into a struggle to modernize the family law, viewing it as necessary to bring principles of gender equality into the private sphere. Their strategy was to argue that the family law was incongruous with Article 106 (women’s equality) of the new Czechoslovak constitution. However, their opponents cited §126 of the same constitution, which placed marriage, motherhood, and the family under the protection of the state. Reflective of a lack of consensus on the part of the 1920 constitution drafters on matters of gender equality, the contrary pulls of §106 and §126 significantly hampered the progress of interwar Czechoslovak feminist struggle to bring the legal principles of gender equality into the private sphere of marriage and the family (Feinberg 2006, 35, 96). The Czechoslovak public itself was divided on this topic. The cosmopolitan-​leaning urban youth tended to be open to new ideas, and they took women’s work outside the home for granted (many women joined the labor force for the first time during World War I). They were interested in physical fitness, sexual pleasure, birth control, and the rights of sexual minorities (Huebner 2010, 25; Huebner 2011, 234, 241–​244). Yet, the majority of the Czechoslovak public was much more cautious. While they applauded gender equality in the political arena, treating men and women as equals within the family was a different matter altogether. In the 1930s, when the economic depression began to make itself felt, even in Czechoslovakia, the growing sense of uncertainty further decreased public tolerance for women’s equality. Some of the earlier Czechoslovak feminist gains in the economic sphere were reversed in the 1930s when, during the Depression, attacks on double-​earner families grew. In 1938, under the pretense of protecting (what they deemed as legitimate, husband-​headed) families from want, restrictions were placed on married women’s ability to retain civil service jobs (Feinberg 2006, 101, 109–​128, 166). The eagerness for experimentation with new sexual and gender relations on the part of some thus remained mitigated by dominant anxieties about the possible consequences of such experimentation for the family and the national community. The ideal of the traditional family, albeit in a somewhat modernized form, persisted (Huebner 2010, 29). The modernization of the family law proved impossible within the interwar cultural political context and would only come to be addressed after 1949, when it was updated by the communist regime. Ironically, the family law implemented by the new communist regime drew heavily on the interwar drafts proposed by WNC lawyer Milada Horáková, who in 1950 was sentenced to death and executed by that same regime during the Stalinist show trials. In spite of their efforts to modernize the position of women in the family, the WNC feminists remained conservative on matters of sexuality and, as a group, promoted monogamy. Masaryk’s stance on matters of sexuality was also far from progressive; he promoted abstinence until marriage, was opposed to abortion and emphasized the importance of monogamy and sexual “purity” for both men and women (Feinberg 2006, 155;

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Huebner 2010, 31). In the 1920s, the WNC’s emphasis on “purity” became one aspect of a generational divide between themselves and the younger, usually less explicitly feminist, generation who came of age during and after World War I (Huebner 2010, 30). On this topic, socialist and communist organizations and leftist press were more progressive, and communist periodicals frequently advertised new titles concerning sexuality, pregnancy, birth control, and venereal disease. Mainstream periodicals did not shun topics of sexuality either (Huebner 2010, 33). As in other countries in the region (Boxer and Quataert 1978, 6), activism around women’s issues in interwar Czechoslovakia thus splintered along generational and ideological axes. The liberal feminist movement led by the WNC focused on suffrage, the civil code, and matters affecting professional working women, but during the same time, the Czechoslovak Communist Party (CCP) was increasing its efforts to organize women workers and address issues of working-​class women from within a Marxist framework. The interwar period was not one of political consensus and became increasingly marked by competing political visions concerning the desired political path forward. Communism and socialism were ascendant in the post-​World War I situation, and the liberal republican establishment was increasingly challenged, and worried, by a loss of popular position to socialists who urged the working classes to reject the elite leadership. Like other leftist political parties, the CCP enjoyed strong support among women, and the issues they foregrounded included poverty, unemployment, persecution of strikers, high food prices, and low wages. Socialist and communist women activists were also vocal and active concerning abortion reform, in contrast to the WNC liberal feminists whose membership remained divided on the topic. At the time of Czechoslovakia’s founding, under §144 of the Habsburg-​era criminal code, abortion was a crime punishable by up to five years of hard labor. Socialist and communist women activists saw abortion as an important issue significantly affecting proletarian women, who made up the largest percentage of those prosecuted for abortion. Several revisions of the abortion law were submitted throughout the 1920s. Despite public support, none of these bills passed, however, mostly due to the organized opposition from the Catholic-​sponsored People’s Party (Feinberg 2006, 153). Abortion law reform would not be addressed until after World War II (legalized in 1956), but birth control became more socially acceptable during the interwar period, albeit perhaps more due to the work of sex reformists than feminists (Huebner 2010, 36). Similarly, homosexuality—​or what was labeled “sexual inversion” at the time—​was not a topic that interwar Czechoslovak feminists engaged. This was not unusual as women’s rights and the rights of sexual minorities were not typically viewed as intertwined at the time. It was mostly through the efforts of the homophile movement and sex reformists that public acceptance of sexual minorities in interwar Czechoslovakia increased. Several gay and lesbian clubs existed in Prague and gay magazines Hlas [Voice] and later Nový hlas [New Voice] were published throughout the 1930s. The gender-​ambiguous artist Toyen (Marie Čermínová) was a fully accepted member of the Prague art group Devětsil and later a founding member of the prominent Prague surrealist group, which is further suggestive of the range of possibilities open to unconventional Czechoslovak women of this generation (Huebner 2016, 75). Throughout the interwar period, there were also efforts, led by the homophile movement and sexologists, to decriminalize homosexuality. Same-​sex relations became decriminalized in 1962 under state socialism, mostly thanks to the work of progressive sexologists (Lišková 2016, 54).

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Conclusions Interwar Czechoslovakia had one of the best women’s rights records in Europe and the period was a time of intense feminist activity in the state. Czechoslovak liberal feminists made great strides, especially during the 1920s, in the domain of women’s political rights, but their efforts were successful only as long as they could convince the increasingly cautious public that the rights they were calling for would be “good for the whole.” Encountering major opposition in their lobbying efforts in the area of the family law, the political progress of Czechoslovak liberal feminism, like feminisms elsewhere in Europe, slowed significantly in the 1930s. Beyond liberal feminists, socialist and communist women activists in Czechoslovakia were vocal on issues affecting the day-​to-​day lives of working-​class women, including access to abortion. But like liberal feminists, leftist women activists did not succeed in their efforts to liberalize the abortion law. The public’s insurmountable resistance to the progress of women’s rights into the private sphere suggests that the progressiveness of interwar Czechoslovak society on women’s issues had its limits (as it did elsewhere in the world). Traditional gender roles remained embedded in broader Czech society and entrenched in the family law, even though parts of cosmopolitan Czechoslovak youth were experimenting with unconventional sexual relations and the situation of sexual minorities was also improving. Yet, even if not completely successful during the interwar period with its challenges (especially in the 1930s) of economic crisis and encroaching war, many of the efforts of Czechoslovak feminists and leftist women’s rights’ activists (including family law revision, liberalization of abortion, married women’s citizenship law reform) were brought to some degree of fruition after World War II, albeit in a quite different sociopolitical context.

References Bahenská, Marie, Libuše Heczková, and Dana Musilová, eds. 2010. Ženy na stráž. České feministické myšlení 19. a 20. století. Prague: Masarykův ústav a AVČR. Boxer, Marilyn and Jean H. Quataert. 1978. Socialist Women: European Socialist Feminism in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. New York: Elsevier. Burešová, Jana. 2001. Proměny společenského postavení českých žen v první polovině 20. století. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého. David, Katherine. 1991. “Czech Feminists and Nationalism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy: ‘The First in Austria.’” Journal of Women’s History 3 (2): 26–​45. Feinberg, Melissa. 2006. Elusive Equality: Gender, Citizenship, and the Limits of Democracy in Czechoslovakia, 1918–​1950. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Garver, Bruce M. 1985. “Women in the First Czechoslovak Republic.” In Women, State and Party in Eastern Europe, edited by Sharon L. Wolchik and Alfred G. Meyer, 64–​81. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Gelnarová, Jitka. 2014. “Koncept volebního práva v diskurzu českých středostavovských sufražistek.” In Ženy a politika (1890–​1938), edited by Marie Bahenská and Jana Malínská, 49–​62. Prague: Masarykův ústav a Archív AVČR. Heitlinger, Alena. 1979. Women and State Socialism: Sex Inequality in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Montreal: McGill-​Queen’s University Press. Hollý, Karol. 2010. “Limity spolupráce medzi slovenským a českým ženským hnutím na prelomu 19. a 20. storočia.” In Ženy na stráž! České feministické myšlení 19. a 20. století, edited by Marie Bahenská, Libuše Heczková and Dana Musilová, 63–​82. Prague: Masarykův ústav a AVČR. Huebner, Karla. 2010. “The Whole World Revolves Around It: Sex Education and Sex Reform in First Republic Czech Print Media.” Aspasia 4 (Spring): 25–​48.

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Iveta Jusová and Karla Huebner –​–​–​–​. 2011. “Girl, Trampka, or Žába? The Czechoslovak New Woman.” In The New Woman International, edited by Elizabeth Otto and Vanessa Rocco, 231–​251. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. –​–​–​–​. 2016. “The Czech 1930s through Toyen.” In Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe, edited by Iveta Jusová and Jiřina Šiklová, 60–​76. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Jusová, Iveta. 2005. “Gabriela Preissová’s Women-​Centered Texts: Subverting the Myth of the Homogeneous Nation.” Slavic and East European Journal 49 (1): 63–​78. Lišková, Kateřina. 2016. “’Now You See Them, Now You Don’t’. Sexual Deviants and Sexological Expertise in Communist Czechoslovakia.” History of the Human Sciences 29 (1): 49–​74. Malečková, Jitka. 2016. “The Importance of Being Nationalist.” In Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe, edited by Iveta Jusová and Jiřina Šiklová, 46–​59. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Pech, Stanley Z. 1969. The Czech Revolution of 1848. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Walters, Garrison. 1988. The Other Europe: Eastern Europe to 1945. New York: Dorset.

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13 WOMEN IN POLAND’S SOLIDARITY Shana Penn

Drawing from scholarship of Poland’s opposition movement Solidarity over the last four decades, this chapter analyzes the gendered construction of dissent. It examines the motivations and the means that informed women’s diverse and pivotal anti-​communist activism within Solidarity’s male-​centric dramas. This includes women’s involvement in the founding and operation of Solidarity; their critical agency during the martial law era; and feminist awakening in reaction to the patriarchal nature of both communism and Solidarity. Though the standard narrative portrays women as acting in support roles to their male counterparts, at critical moments key women activists undertook leadership of their own choosing, most notably after martial law threatened Solidarity’s survival. From 1982 to 1989, women mobilized multitudes of fellow citizens, guided by their moral and political affinity for Solidarity’s vision of nonviolent revolution. Women’s steadfast commitment to, and realization of, an evolutionary social transformation ensured Solidarity’s endurance in the 1980s leading up to its 1989 victory over communism. The chapter highlights how a “third space” developed between public and private realms, where some female activists were able to establish their own agency and pursue political goals while willingly maintaining patriarchal values (Penn 2005). They did not theorize their space through a feminist perspective but remained situated in traditional views of male dominance in public life and over women. Their third space could therefore exist and be understood only in the context of the cultural and religious norms that shaped Solidarity. Polish feminism, as it emerged in the last years of the communist regime, evolved separately, disillusioned with Solidarity’s gender discrimination and stimulated through exposure to western feminism. The separate lines of origin help explain why many Solidarity women rarely embraced feminism. Not to be deterred, Polish feminists carved a respected public space for gender discourse and activism by the opening of the 21st century.

Women within male political and religious narratives Kenney (1999, 399–​425) argues that in Poland’s postwar society, which lost its multi-​ ethnic character to WWII’s death toll and postwar border changes, the most striking

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social difference pertained to gender. The opposition’s main dramas played out in male-​ dominated locales—​in factories, shipyards, and at the negotiating table—​where activists and authorities shared a common “culture of masculinity and political logic” (1999, 408). Accordingly, gender scholarship, before and into the early 1990s, usually focuses on women’s activism within the male-​dominated arena of workers’ strikes. Solidarity was formed from nationwide shipyard, factory, and transportation strikes in summer 1980, the largest strike in world history. Forged by a unique coalition of workers, Catholic clergy, and intellectuals, the nonviolent movement was politically inspiring and gender-​conservative. It generated a standard narrative in which decisive acts grew out of confrontations between government and opposition rivals, who expressed similar masculine values and language about power, politics, and the right to claim the working-​class hero and the workers’ state as their own symbols and domain. Although women made up approximately half of Solidarity’s membership of 10 million, which was proportional to their paid labor force participation, they were scarcely represented in Solidarity’s leadership structures, figuring only 8 percent (Jancar 1985, 169). Reporting from Poland in the early 1980s, Weschler (1990, 253) compared Solidarity’s leaders to the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, disregarding even the women who were his sources. Timothy Garton Ash (1983, 285) discerned a dual role for Solidarity as an independent trade union and a telerevolution, able to spread reliable news and information across the nation. However, he overlooked the women media strategists who engineered the telerevolution during martial law. Jancar characterized women’s activism as having been spontaneous, symbolic, and/​or unstructured (1985, ­chapter 10). Symbolic activism is exemplified in the legendary origin of the historic shipyard strike in Solidarity’s birthplace, Gdańsk. There, authorities fired a charismatic free-​trade unionist and crane operator, Anna Walentynowicz, instantly sparking the nationwide strikes that catapulted Solidarity into existence. A member of the Interfactory Strike Committee (MKS), Walentynowicz co-​signed the Gdańsk Accords, Solidarity’s founding mission statement. Once Solidarity became a legal entity, however, she was excluded from its male-​dominated local, regional, and national boards. As a middle-​aged, uneducated widow often acting individually, Walentynowicz lacked male endorsement and could be more easily marginalized than women, such as Alina Pieńkowska, who were supported by a spouse or partner. Women’s spontaneous activism saved the Gdańsk strike from a premature end. On day three, after the government offered a pay raise and strike leaders agreed to stop protesting and cede their demand for free trade unions, four women independently of one another barricaded the shipyard gates, imploring workers to remain for a solidarity strike with ongoing actions elsewhere. The workers complied. Without the appeals of the four women—​Walentynowicz, Pieńkowska, Henryka Krzywonos, and Ewa Ossowska—​ Solidarity might not have been established that summer. The 1971 Łódź textile strike exemplifies unstructured activism. Workers, predominantly women, spontaneously mobilized a major strike on the heels of workers’ protests and violence in northern Poland. The Łódź strike won the immediate demand to eliminate food price increases, succeeding where recent strikes had failed. Jancar and Kenney (1999) regard the Łódź strike as a distinctively female formula for dissent: women rallied outside masculine expectations of struggle and negotiation, demanding living wages and food, not freedom nor trade unions. As managers of their household budgets, feeding their families was the non-​negotiable demand. Whereas male-​led strikes often ended in compromise, the Łódź authorities conceded to the women’s demands. The 134

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unruliness of the female demonstrations, notes Kenney, intimidated them (1999, 410–​ 411). “Disorganization may have its own rewards,” suggests Jancar (1985, 176). These workers did not organize to protect their interests beyond their strike. Absent a critique of the inherent weaknesses in unstructured activism, the stereotype of women as being fundamentally apolitical, unable to uphold long-​term strategy and organizational discipline, persists.

The development of a gendered perspective of dissent Jancar and Kenney focus on women workers during a period spanning the 1970s and 1980s, when class overshadowed gender in both scholarship and activism, when the opposition was mainly regarded as a working-​class phenomenon. As gender scholarship develops in the 1990s, oral histories of Solidarity women become a notable primary source, although Kenney criticizes what he calls an “also there” portrayal of women workers that documents their presence but not their agency (1999, 400). Elżbieta Klimek-​ Domaniuk takes issue with Kenney for seeming “to disregard the hybrid, multivocal, inclusive [mix of] extensive oral interviews with many eye-​witness participants and … cultural analysis of Polish gender mythology in the history of Polish freedom-​fighting” (2016, 118). In the early 1990s—​a time of flux in discourse and organization in both Polish society and Solidarity scholarship—​gender research, including my own, gives voice to women from diverse backgrounds through recorded testimonies and documentation that became accessible as people shared personal files and established archives. Subsequent interdisciplinary scholarship melds oral history with cultural anthropology, qualitative sociology, and history, and contributes to new understandings of gender dynamics in Solidarity. Personal recollections become more imperative to record as time passes and activists age (Kondratowicz 2001). Key personalities in the time of Solidarity pen memoirs or become biographical subjects (Klimek-​Domaniuk 2016), including Danuta Wałęsa, former First Lady and wife of the Solidarity leader (2011), and Henryka Krzywonos, a transportation workers’ organizer (2010). In the second decade of the 21st century, studies diversify into multimedia examinations such as Marta Dzido’s documentary film, Solidarność według Kobiet (2014) and artworks by Croatian feminist Sanja Ivecović (2009) that challenge women’s invisible role in Solidarity. A gendered perspective illuminates what Long calls Solidarity’s transformative liminal space (Long 1996, 37). During Solidarity’s 16 months of legal existence, activists began organizing previously prohibited elements of civil society such as an independent press, autonomous trade unions, political clubs, and adult education classes. Testimonies that I recorded in the early 1990s indicate that, by 1980, some women had already begun to institutionalize their distinctly female methods of operation at locations outside the realm of workers’ strikes—​notably, in the opposition media (Penn 2005). My research extends Long’s image of a transformative liminal space into a “third space” that developed between public and private realms during martial law, when the suppression of public life drove Solidarity into the home. In this third space, neither quite private nor public, women oversaw a national operation, which defied traditional gender roles within the confines of a patriarchal authoritarian system. Here, women exercised power within the opposition, even though they lacked feminist consciousness and were reluctant to compete directly with men or assume public positions in the struggle. The seemingly paradoxical situation of these women raises a fundamental question: Was this third space sui generis, or can it be placed within a context that reflects 135

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later discussions about women and gender in Poland? Barbara Einhorn’s dictum that “women’s status in society is not static: it is both influenced by and has an effect upon the process of social transformation itself ” (Einhorn 1993, 3) encourages analysis of why and how some women in Solidarity chose to exercise an exceptional degree of personal agency, and if and how their efforts experimented with alternative gender constructions.

Religious/​cultural factors influencing gender roles Solidarity drew its iconography from Catholic religious imagery. Its activists painted graffiti that depicted the Virgin Mary making the “V for victory” sign or holding a baby Jesus on her lap waving his fist (Grudzińska-​Gross 1985). In other depictions Pope John Paul II, “the Polish Pope,” elected to the papacy in 1978 and a beacon of hope for the opposition, made similar gestures. Catholicism, which had long been a prime social and cultural force in Poland, grew in influence during the 19th century, after a series of wars saw the Kingdom of Poland divided among three empires—​Russian, Austro-​Hungarian, and Prussian. Poland ceased to exist as a single unified political entity and would not regain its national independence until the end of World War I. Absent statehood, notes Geneviève Zubrzycki, the nation was reimagined not as a set of political rights and institutions, but as “a moral entity… a community held together voluntarily by a shared history and the common will to regain independent statehood” (Zubrzycki 2006, 44). Catholicism became the natural ally of victimized Poland, “the Christ of Nations.” Man was its “heroic martyr” (Zubrzycki 2006, 34) and woman its Matka Polka (Polish Mother), who selflessly protects her family, community, and nation. During national uprisings against tsarist rule, and in later periods of oppression, women smuggled food and clothing to political prisoners, operated clandestine networks, and followed convicted husbands to exile. However, they never overtly challenged male dominance (Jaworski and Pietrow-​ Ennker 1992). Catholic notions of good and evil gave the opposition’s struggle a binary typology of “us versus them” that obscured real differences of class, ethnicity, and gender. The typology pitted “a unitarily conceived state against an equally undifferentiated society, which left little space conceptually or organizationally for a specifically feminist consciousness or voice” (Hauser, Heyns, and Mansbridge 1993, 261). At the heart of the binary perception was the opposition’s anti-​political disposition. Because politics was identified with communism and thus shunned, the opposition would be social and moral, as articulated by opposition theorist/​activist Adam Michnik (Ost 1990, 75). Moral motivations for dissent lent credibility to women’s activism and some women even claimed they were not involved in politics but in morality-​based social activism, a stance that intentionally or not, averted tensions about women’s involvement in a conventionally male domain (Szczęsna 1991).

Women’s rights and opposition to socialism The rights of women as workers and citizens fared poorly in the Gdańsk Accords, the 21 labor demands put forth by the MKS that were agreed upon and co-​signed by the Communist Party on August 31, 1980. At first glance, it would seem that the Gdańsk Accords provided significant gains for women: increased placements in daycare centers and preschools for the children of working mothers; three-​year paid maternity leave; and reduction of women’s retirement age from age 55 to 50. 136

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Closer inspection suggests that while these provisions addressed the real needs of working mothers, they also “helped maintain them in traditionally subordinate positions, reinforcing the image of women as secondary wage earners focused on the family and the home” (Hauser, Heyns, and Mansbridge 1993, 262). This view of women is consistent with the position taken by Solidarity in its critique of the communist state’s claims to be both the workers’ party and the party that liberated women. The critique drew on the experience of female emancipation with its conflicting messages of liberation and oppression (Hauser, Heyns, and Mansbridge 1993, 263). Women’s unprecedented mass entry into the postwar labor force across wide-​ranging industrial and professional fields marked liberation; oppression followed with, among other factors, the liberalization of the state socialist system in 1956. Paradoxically, liberalization restricted women’s options by introducing feminized labor and exclusion from high earning, physically demanding industrial jobs deemed unfit for women. It might logically follow that Solidarity would expose the contradictions in the state’s claims to female emancipation by strategizing to enforce gender equality in all facets of public and private life. However, though both women and men benefitted from many of the state’s gender policies such as access to education, work, and abortion, feminism became closely and narrowly identified with a discredited communism, a common occurrence throughout the Soviet bloc (Drakulic 1990). Even women oppositionists viewed gender issues as contentious and likely to undermine group solidarity (Hauser, Heyns, and Mansbridge 1993; Long 1996; Penn 2005). The Gdańsk Accords shifted the emphasis from the socialist ideal of gender-​equal participation to the patriarchal ideal of women’s family role (Hauser, Heyns, and Mansbridge 1993, 261–​263). Valuing family life overshadowed the needs of women living outside families and also obscured the power dynamics between men and women in the home, including unmentionable subjects such as domestic violence, rape, or the unavailability of contraception and the use of abortion as a form of birth control (Fuszara 1993). The oppositionists, careful to distinguish themselves from a government that notoriously invaded people’s privacy, declined to intervene in matters considered to be private. Their assumption that they had to guard the private sphere from the public sphere kept them from addressing the humiliations women experienced in their homes at the hands of abusive male partners. It was easier to blame the state than directly confront oppressive family relations (Marcus 2009).

Women organize the underground: Solidarity’s “third space” Despite the cultural and legal constraints, some women, acting as a team, created powerful positions within the opposition and became de facto leaders of the resistance, both locally and nationally, when martial law was imposed. When the government declared martial law on December 13, 1981, and revoked Solidarity’s legal status, it imprisoned or isolated Solidarity’s leaders, nearly all of them men. Those who were not arrested went into hiding. The emergency circumstances enabled women to create space within the boundaries imposed both by the government and by Solidarity’s official organization. With the effective absence of male leaders, the women, recognizing the historical precedents for permissible activism when the nation is besieged, planned a rescue mission. In place of open confrontation and negotiation, they organized a clandestine resistance based on the protection of male leaders and the establishment of a national underground media organization to promote the opposition’s message and assure supporters that the 137

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movement was alive and working. “We created a patient revolution, the kind that women are best suited to organize,” said Helena Łuczywo, the mastermind of the underground who, after 1989, built the multimedia empire Agora (Penn 2005, ­chapter 7). Łuczywo’s characterization of the Solidarity underground as a patient revolution implies a change in the typical male locations and patterns of dissent. Instead of organizing strikes and negotiating with the state on national television, the women focused on grassroots civic activities like newspaper production, whose clandestine daily operations required thousands of hands and task-​oriented activism: typing, editing, delivering messages, distributing newspapers, escorting people, and lending apartments for meetings. Łuczywo’s patient revolution resonated with Solidarity’s initial concept of a “self-​ limiting” transformation through peaceful civic actions. During Solidarity’s legal existence, however, its male leaders turned aggressive toward the government, thereby contributing to their downfall (Michnik 1985, 29–​30).

A gendered elite Kenney notes that “the fire of martial law reforged Solidarity, melting down some components while giving rise to new ones, and forcing the core to reinvent itself to survive” (Kenney 2007). In Warsaw seven women leaders emerged: Łuczywo, Ewa Kulik, Joanna Szczęsna, Anna Dodziuk, Anna Bikont, Zofia Bydlińska, and Małgorzata Pawlicka. Skilled editors, some had been working together at an independent newswire service called the Solidarity Press Agency, which they had founded during Solidarity’s legal period. Self-​identifying as professional oppositionists, not as Matka Polka, they became part of an activist elite who received remuneration for their underground work. They belonged to the 1968 generation of women and men who led campus human-​rights protests, were arrested, imprisoned, suspended from their studies, had police records, and helped organize the opposition. They shared common loyalties and experiences, which they perceived as gender-​neutral and lending a sense of unity and gender complementarity. In their 20s and early 30s at the time of martial law, three were single mothers; one was a wife and mother who divorced while in the underground; three were not married, either with or without partners. Families and friends helped care for their children when they went underground. Tygodnik Mazowsze (Regional Weekly), the newspaper they produced, became the voice of Solidarity, without which “the underground could not have existed,” notes Grudzińska-​Gross. “It was an institution, the national headquarters, a symbol of civic life and of Solidarity’s staying power” (cited in Penn 2005, 11, 148 respectively). Its weekly print run of up to 80,000 copies involved tens of thousands of people nationwide, working secretly, illegally, and without the use of real editorial offices, printing houses, or distribution centers. The Warsaw group developed a distinctive mode of operation that was neither symbolic nor spontaneous but, rather, ambitious, strategic, sustainable, yet endorsed by men. Deploying tactics planned during the 1970s in the event of a Soviet intervention, they recruited women of all ages and backgrounds, recognizing that the communist regime did not regard women as important opposition players. The regime’s gender-​biased misunderstanding of the situation enabled the women to operate with seeming impunity. Knowing the secret police and the militia mainly searched for male oppositionists, they manipulated gender stereotypes, smuggling documents sewn into their clothing and

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feigning pregnancy when in transit, and hiding illegal papers under refrigerators and in washing machines—​wherever policemen would not think to look. Solidarity’s move underground brought a sudden need for places to hide activists and provide space for editorial and administrative offices, printing presses, distribution centers, and other infrastructure. Since residential apartments were the most accessible private spaces for such facilities, and tradition accorded women a decisive position in the home, the decision to go underground meant that Solidarity’s infrastructure was now operating in a female-​centered domain. The women leaders who were building the underground, secured permission from other women to use their apartments. Politics came into the home and politicized women, even though this pattern departed from the conventional view that politics was a male domain. The women in their private spaces were on familiar ground, but they were using it in a new way, affecting “a momentary re-​ ordering of domestic/​private and public/​political domains through a major extension of the domestic ground into public spaces” (Long 1996, 42). In a twist of norms, women, not men, could move freely in public spaces and negotiate with outsiders and officialdom; they mediated opposition men’s contact with the world outside their hideouts. The dynamic recalls the argument by Johnson and Robinson (2007, 2) that alternatives to the gender constructions of state socialism existed where “at some times, in some places for some women, some personal agency in the process of constructing individual identities in opposition to the state … women and men did act in ways that push the boundaries of what was acceptable gendered behavior.” Ultimately, both the women and men continued to regard politics as a primarily male domain. By and large, the men devalued the underground operations by considering them a momentary expedient. They failed to reward the women leaders and silenced any gender dialogue, thereby suppressing any implications for changes once Solidarity regained its legal status.

The rise of feminist and nationalist turns After the 1989 democratic victory, women lost political leverage, and their leadership during the critical underground era became what Wrocław’s Barbara Labuda called Poland’s “national secret” (Penn 2005, 6). One of the few women to be elected to the first post-​1989 Parliament, Labuda had honed her political instincts through exposure to French feminism in Paris, where she studied in the 1970s. Her female colleagues in Poland, lacking comparable access to feminism, did not engage with her feminist views, although they respected Labuda and many agreed with her assertion that, without women, Solidarity would probably not have endured or achieved its democratic victory. Because Solidarity’s mythic male narrative focused on two spectacular events—​its founding in 1980 and its defeat of communism in 1989—​it paid scant attention to how the movement survived the years in between. Still, signs of an indigenous feminism were evident by the mid-​1980s, when the relaxation of government restrictions provided opportunities for travel and communication with other Soviet Bloc activists and westerners. A younger generation advocated, not for Solidarity, but rather, for pan-​European social movements such as feminism, ecology, and disarmament. Surprisingly, Kenney’s 2003 work on this youthful grassroots activism neglects feminism. His book’s index references only the subject “women in opposition” (333, 340). Yet women across generations were studying feminism in classes, reading

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groups, and film screenings, mostly on urban campuses. The Polish Feminist Association, formed in 1988, was one of the first registered nonprofit organizations after communism. Consequently, even before Solidarity’s victory, two streams of discourse about women had developed. One was traditional and supported by Solidarity, the Church, and many women who had played roles in the underground; the other was feminist, with adherents who also belonged to the opposition but were not necessarily deeply active. With notable exceptions like Labuda, the two groups were largely irreconcilable.

The new patriarchy After 1989, when Solidarity’s unproblematized patriarchal values became instrumentalized through policies and political platforms in the new democracy, feminists confronted daunting challenges including restrictive abortion legislation, employment discrimination, political marginalization, and misogynist propaganda. However, by 1999, feminists had found a platform and receptive audiences. Through a three-​month national media debate during the 10th anniversary commemorations of communism’s end, they demanded the nation recognize women’s leadership in Solidarity, and they argued how an ostensibly male-​led revolution had fostered a male-​led democracy. Public polls following the catalytic debate indicated growing awareness of gender discrimination in democratic Poland. Feminists gained a rightful space in national discourse and an unprecedented, strategic opportunity to question the traditional image of the family-​oriented female and the discredited socialist rhetoric of female empowerment, and the feminist critique of both (Graff 1999, 20–​23).

Conclusion Although feminism gained traction in progressive circles during the early 21st century, rapid social change and increasing integration into the European Union unleashed anti-​ gender campaigns in Poland and across Europe, exploited by ultranationalist populist governments in Poland and elsewhere (Kuhar and Paternotte 2017). Ultranationalist revisionists usurped Łuczywo’s patient revolution to minimize women’s role in Solidarity’s underground media, counter-​arguing that men also worked in the underground media (Jarska and Olaszek 2014). The anti-​gender offensive occurs in the broader context of state-​funded revisionism that undercuts Solidarity scholarship and vilifies key personalities, including Łuczywo and Michnik and their “anti-​Polish” newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza. Meanwhile an unexpected feminist critique appeared that argues against restoring Solidarity women in the historical record (Graff 2014). Some of the same Polish feminists who, during the 1999 media debate tried to embrace Solidarity women as role models but were rebuffed, assert that women’s role in Solidarity history is not worthy of feminist attention. Since most Solidarity women were not feminist, they argue, their story could not serve feminist objectives, particularly the urgent need to combat anti-​genderism. On purely conceptual grounds, any critique like this, which ignores history, also eliminates history as a source of understanding. More concretely it fails to recognize that formerly anti-​feminist Solidarity women had participated in recent feminist activism. Nationwide marches demanding abortion and gender rights mobilized tens of thousands of citizens, including the Warsaw Solidarity women and their milieu. The feminist argument to ignore these women, though problematic, highlights a critical, present-​day moment, 140

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in which fighting for rights matters more than the past or past differences. Three decades after 1989, Solidarity may be receding into the past, into the realm of scholarship, while a new, feminist-​inclusive opposition struggles to restore or protect what women had wanted from the beginning.

References Drakulic, Slavenka. 1990. “In Their Own Words: Women of Eastern Europe.” Ms. (July–​ August): 36–​47. Dzido, Marta. 2014. Solidarność według Kobiet. Warsaw: Emotikon Film. Einhorn, Barbara. 1993. Cinderella Goes to Market: Citizenship, Gender, and Women’s Movements in East Central Europe. London: Verso Books. Fuszara, Malgorzata. 1993. “Abortion and the Formation of the Public Sphere in Poland.” In Gender Politics and Post-​Communism, edited by Nanette Funk and Magda Mueller, 241–​252. New York: Routledge. Garton Ash, Timothy. 1983. The Polish Revolution. London: Trinity Press. Graff, Agnieszka. 1999. “Patriarchat po seksmisji.” Gazeta Wyborcza, June 19–​20, 20–​23. –​–​–​–​. 2014. “Gdzie Jesteś, Polski Feminizmie? Pochwala Sporu I Niejasności.” Krytyka Polityczna, June 2. https://​krytykapolityczna.pl/​kraj/​graff-​gdzie-​jestes-​polski-​feminizmie-​ pochwala-​sporu-​ i-​niejasnosci/​. Grudzińska-​Gross, Irena. 1985. The Art of Solidarity. Staten Island, NY: International Popular Culture. Hauser, Ewa, Barbara Heyns, and Jane Mansbridge. 1993. “Feminism in the Interstices of Politics and Culture: Poland in Transition.” In Gender Politics and Post-​Communism, edited by Nanette Funk and Magda Mueller, 257–​273. New York: Routledge. Ivecović, Sanja. 2009. Magazine cover of Wysokie Obcasy, December 8. An article in the same issue profiled the artist and the artwork. “Kobiece w samo południe” by Katarzyna Pabijanek. https://​ www.wysokieobcasy.pl/​wysokie-​obcasy/​1,53662,7328146,Kobiece_​w_​samo_​poludnie.html. Jancar, Barbara. 1985. “Women in the Opposition in Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1970s.” In Women, State, and the Party in Eastern Europe, edited by Sharon Wolchik and Alfred Meyer, 168–​185. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Jarska, Natalia and Jan Olaszek, eds. 2014. Płeć buntu. Kobiety w oporzespołecznym i opozycji w Polsce w latach 1944–​1989 na tle porównawczym. Warsaw: Institute for National Remembrance. Jaworski, Rudolf and Bianka Pietrow-​Ennker. 1992. Women in Polish Society. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs. Johnson, Janet Elise, and Jean C. Robinson, eds. 2007. Living Gender after Communism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Kenney, Padraic. 1999. “The Gender of Resistance in Communist Poland.” American Historical Review 104 (2): 399–​425. –​–​–​–​. 2003. Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2007. “A Solidarity Still Unexamined.” (Review of Penn’s Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland). H-​NET Online, October. www.hnet.org/​reviews/​showrev. php?id=13690. Klimek-​Domaniuk, Elżbieta. 2016. “Resisting (In)visible Women of Solidarity: Gender in American and Polish Oral History, Life Writing, Visual Arts and Film, Part I.” In Miscellanea Posttotalitariana Wratislaviensia 5 (Special Issue) 1 (May): 103–​199. Kondratowicz, Ewa. 2001. Szminka na sztandarze: Kobiety Solidarnosci 1980–​1980: rozmowy. Warsaw: Sic! Kuhar, Roman and David Paternotte. 2017. Anti-​Gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. Long, Kristi S. 1996. We All Fought for Freedom: Women in Poland’s Solidarity Movement. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Marcus, Isabel. 2009. “Wife Beating: Ideology and Practice under State Socialism in Hungary, Poland, and Romania.” In Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe, edited by Shana Penn and Jill Massino, 115–​132. New York: Palgrave USA.

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14 FROM SOVIET FEMINISM TO THE EUROPEAN UNION Transnational women’s movements between East and West Magdalena Grabowska

This chapter examines developments in the study of women’s and gender equality activism in Central-​Eastern Europe (CEE) after 1945 as engaging with two broader, intersecting theoretical and academic projects. The first project is part of the debate on relations between feminisms in the East and West (see also Hinterhuber and Fuchs, Chapter 3 in this Handbook), and aims to overcome the enduring tendency to represent CEE women’s movements as lacking, delayed, or even antifeminist when comparing to the West. Newly emergent research on post-​1945 history of women’s emancipation in the region and beyond expands narrow understandings of global feminist politics and finds that concepts of equality and practices of implementing gender social justice have been, in part, conceived and transformed within CEE after World War II and during the 1990s’ social and political transformations. The goal of the second project is broader, as it attempts to deconstruct the chronological, and deterministic, visions of the history of women’s movements, and is part of a larger debate on continuity and “clear break” (see Regulska and Włodarczyk, Chapter 2 in this Handbook). The genealogical approach that is proposed as an alternative to the linear history of emancipation engages the view of the past, reconceptualizing it as explanatory but not as altogether determining the way things are in the present. It cautions scholars, both in the East and the West, against speaking of a single, particular path that determines the development of women’s activism, and calls for incorporation of the state’s socialist past as an essential component of their examination of the current gender power dynamics, including transnational engagements at the level of the European Union (Popa and Krizsán 2016). Over the last decade, the absence of the CEE “non-​ region” from transnational feminisms has been a subject of debate within studies on postsocialist women’s activism, and postcoloniality in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Grabowska 2012; Kobak 2013; Suchland 2015, see also Shchurko and Suchland, Chapter 7 in this Handbook). Some argue that the seemingly egalitarian and inclusive frame of transnational feminism has failed to recognize the complex experiences and legacies of emancipation present 145

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within the CEE region (Grabowska 2012; Kobak 2013). Others point to the fact that dominant periodization modes, based for the most part on the metaphor of feminist’s waves, and historical narratives that operate within the “Cold War paradigm” fail to include contributions made by CEE women and gender equality activists to transnational social movements (de Haan 2016). I use a genealogical approach to examine post-​1945 and post-​1989 gender transformations in CEE as engaging with intersecting paths of emancipation: socialist and, more recently, liberal. I propose to see women’s service activism after 1989, institutionalization and feminists engagements with the state (through gender mainstreaming), as well as the current turn toward “connective action,” as diverse, yet intertwined ways of articulating specific subjectivities of CEE women and gender equality activists, within the context of ambivalent historical legacies, and continuing domination of right-​wing politics in the region (Jacobsson and Korolczuk 2017; see also Graff, Chapter 26 in this Handbook).

East–​West exchanges after 1945 Current academic research on women’s activism in CEE engages with broader debates about the role of the post-​1945 period in shaping emancipation discourses in CEE and beyond, the genealogy of transnational feminism, and the status of civil society in the region after 1989 and today. While traditional feminist historiography of women’s activism (both in the West and in the East) renders the decades after 1945 as a period of “stagnation” or feminism’s descent, recent studies note that unraveling the complex connections and connectivities between East and West after World War II may produce a new, and fascinating, if controversial knowledge on genealogies of modern feminisms. Works by scholars such as Castledine (2012), McDuffie (2011), and Weigand (2001) highlight how “second wave” feminism in the USA descended directly from the work of antiracists and communist emancipatory efforts (Horowitz 1998), both in terms of individual biographies of the women’s activists (including figures such as Betty Friedan) and political goals (Giardina 2018; Weigand 2001). Similarly de Haan (2018), Daskalova (2007), Fidelis (2010), and Ghodsee (2017) are among the most outspoken about the need to reconsider the impact of post-​World War II women’s state-​led emancipation in CEE within a genealogy of emancipation movements worldwide. All these studies suggest that rather than being dismissed as “non” or “anti-​feminist,” the socialist project of women’s equality, which stems from 19th-​century emancipation movements, should be considered as an alternative program for gendered social justice, one that developed in parallel, and oftentimes preceded liberal feminism. Authors such as Fidelis, Artwińska, Mrozik, and I argue that Marxist and liberal visions of equality differ in various ways, including: communist emphasis on collective well-​being rather than individual rights and autonomy; a focus on the economic rights of women; a perception of state institutions as major agents of emancipation and providers of social services; and the communist goal to ultimately revoke the private vs. public distinction through the abolition of the monogamous family and state subsidy for what was seen as private housework (Artwińska and Mrozik 2020; Fidelis 2010; Grabowska 2018; see also Gapova, Chapter 11 and Wood, Chapter 21 in this Handbook). Recent research on the history of CEE emancipation also proposes several crucial revisions to the debates on genealogies of transnational feminisms. De Haan (2018) argues that recasting state-​socialist women’s activism as part of the genealogy of women’s

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movements globally requires taking a closer look at international mobilizations post-​1945 and the transformational work of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), a socialist-​feminist organization that was created in 1945 in Paris. Federation founders defined WIDF’s mission as focusing on four major concerns: antifascism, international peace, child welfare, and the status of women. Between 1945 and 1969, WIDF organized six international World Congresses: in Paris (1945), in Budapest (1948), in Copenhagen (1953), in Vienna (1958), in Moscow (1963), and in Helsinki (1969). Reporting on the status of women’s rights in various parts of the globe, and networking among delegates were principal activities of these gatherings. WIDF managed to bring together women from different states and affiliations: Soviet communist Nina Popova, French scientist Irene Joliot-​Curie, as well as progressive women from the US, such as anthropologist Gene Weltfish and anti-​racist communist Claudia Jones (Boyce-​Davies 2011). Socialist states from CEE were represented at the congresses as well as in the leadership of the Federation. Eugenia Pragierowa (from Poland), Elisabeth Andics (from Hungary), and Anezka Hodinova (Czechoslovakia), for example, were members of the organizing Committee of the WIDF Second International Congress in 1948 (Committee consisted of 18 members). Boris Fai (from Hungary) and Edwarda Orłowska (from Poland) were members of the Congress’s Secretariat (consisting of nine people). Incorporation of women into a labor force, rights of working women, and maternal provisions were seen as key components of socialist-​ feminist emancipation worldwide and the center of WIDF’s international agenda. Most of all, the federation recognized “inequality of women’s wages” as “the most flagrant social injustice,” and its representatives fought for equal pay both “at home” (by securing the introduction of the equal pay rule to national laws) and globally (by lobbying for recognition of the rule by international bodies such as the International Labor Organization). In the 1950s, WIDF consolidated its position as a leading actor fighting for women’s rights internationally. The final document of the 1953 WIDF Copenhagen Conference, “The Declaration on the Rights of Women”—​highlighting issues such as women’s right to work, equal pay, the right of peasant women to own their land, the right for education, political rights, and equal rights with men in relation to poverty, marriage, and children—​ was an important stepping stone toward the recognition of the connection between local and global gender politics (de Haan 2018). In the 1960s and 1970s, contributions by women from the Soviet bloc to the development of the transnational equal rights agenda developed in two directions (de Haan 2018). First, in 1963, representatives of socialist states—​Zofia Dembińska from Poland, Hanna Bokor from Hungary, Helena Leferowa from Czechoslovakia, and Zoya Mironova and Tatiana Nikoleyeva from the USSR—​started the work on the UN’s Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the 1967 precursor to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, adopted in 1979). Later, CEE women stood behind another groundbreaking UN event, the 1975 International Women’s Year, which inaugurated the Decade of Women and the series of periodic UN Conferences on women in Mexico City (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985), and Beijing (1995). The main ideas of gender mainstreaming proclaimed in the Beijing Platform for Action and now official policy of the European Union, paralleled goals of the CEE-​influenced progressive postwar movements as it aimed to conceptualize gender equality as a structural issue, crucial for social justice and development at the state and supranational levels.

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From international to local: Impact of international networks on local gender politics Post-​World War II women’s activism in CEE and in the West was transnational. It transcended national borders, foregrounded the circulation of the intersectional feminist ideas beyond the national states, and connected local politics to global visions of social change. Studies show that the work of communist and socialist women politicians and women’s organizations activists after 1945 was inspired by their international contacts at the WIDF Congresses, and conversely, their locally acquired expertise shaped the politics of women’s movements internationally (Ghodsee 2017; Grabowska 2017; Popa 2009). In CEE, the impact of internationally inspired gender politics was never homogeneous partially because of the significant political, economic, religious, ethnic, and linguistic diversity that was and is still present in the region. The extent of state socialist equality, its authenticity, and value for women’s emancipation is a subject of lively academic debate. Some scholars argue that while legal provisions meant more extensive social and economic rights for women, they offered no space for an authentic exercise of agency (Funk 2014). Going beyond the notion of state socialism as “Soviet patriarchy,” other studies have shown that during state socialism women were able to exercise their agency and make claims to different international bodies (de Haan 2018), as well as local institutions (e.g., Daskalova 2007 in de Haan 2016; Popa 2009). In the majority of CEE locations, the implementation of equality rested on introducing legal frameworks for structural equality between women and men (including the introduction of civil marriage and equal pay laws, most often in the mid-​1940s) and creating state support for the work–​family balance (public childcare, maternity provisions, and decriminalization of abortion). Yet, the legislation regarding various women’s rights varied: while the majority of socialist states legalized abortion in the 1950s, in Romania, Nicolae Ceaușescu enforced criminalization of abortion and contraception under the “Decree 770” during 1966–​1989. The impact of women on state socialist emancipation policies and their transnational involvement also depended on the level of autonomy of state controlled “civil society” organizations through which activists tried to influence policies and practices. In Romania, for instance, the Council of Romanian Women remained the party’s unit, and all women active in it were party employees (Popa 2009, 59). The Committee of the Bulgarian Women’s Movement (CBWM) locally fought for socializing housework and later on birth control, issues that were often not fully supported by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Internationally, in the mid-​1940s CBWM coordinated the work of socialist women’s organizations participating in the Decade for Women (Ghodsee 2012). In Poland, the postwar women communists of the Women’s Department of Polish United Workers Party active between 1946 and 1952, many of whom had been part of a pre-​war communist activism, engaged in political activism not only as actors—​whose actions were simply an implementation of party orders—​but also as agents, co-​creating party politics. They exercised power to initiate fundamental political and social changes, through proposing crucial legal changes, challenging male comrades’ sexism and fundamental structures of cultural domination embedded in the Polish Catholic Church (Grabowska 2018). This changed in the 1950s, when Polish governmental policies partially reverted to pre-​war ideas of gender roles, offering only a limited role of “practical activist” to women’s organizations (Nowak 2009). New measures and institutions introduced after 1956, including the Committee for Household Economics (1957), became 148

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tools for “modernization,” places that facilitated reconciliation of wage work and family life, but also served as sites where limited legislative initiatives, particularly in the area of health and labor rights, were feasible. In 1956, women politicians succeeded in introducing progressive legislation on abortion—​during the debate on the issue in the Polish Parliament, Maria Jaszczukowa, Wanda Gościmińska, and Zofia Tomczyk (politicians and League of Women activists) brought up important arguments on behalf of women’s equality and well-​being. Paid maternity leave was extended in 1972 (to four months) and 1974 (to 16 to 26 weeks), and the Alimony Fund was established securing divorced women’s rights for child support. These changes led to women constituting 45 percent of the workforce and over 88 percent of working mothers returning to work after having a child in the late 1980s (Kosztowna 2016).

Postsocialist feminism, the European Union accession, and the turn to “connective” action The postsocialist transformation was, without a doubt, an ambivalent process where gender equality and feminist activism are concerned. While the region experienced a significant drop in women’s participation in both political processes and labor force, new opportunities arose for independent organizing on behalf of women’s rights (Watson 1993). After 1989, some state socialist women’s organizations remained active, keeping their hierarchical structure, while a number of democratic and loose-​structured groups and organizations have emerged all over the region (Regulska and Grabowska 2014). These new organizations were built on dissident traditions of opposition movements and were based on informal East–​West networks created in the 1980s, and more recent ones, which, like the Network of East–​West Women, were established in the early 1990s. Many of these organizations were grassroots and service organizations (Mueller 1995); they responded directly to the changing social conditions and focused on fighting new forms of discrimination that accompanied social transformations and the declining welfare state (Fábián 2014). In the mid-​1990s, activism on behalf of gender equality in the region was driven by two tendencies: institutionalization and professionalization (Hašková 2005; see also Irvine, Chapter 16 in this Handbook). Transnationally, these processes were strongly related to global transformations, broader processes of political, social, and economic dislocation, and transition from a bipolar to a unipolar world dominated by the supranational market economy (Einhorn 2005). In terms of CEE’s transnational engagements on women’s and gender equality, the 1995 United Nation’s Beijing Conference was a milestone: it triggered the first wave of institutionalization of equality (incorporating gender equality into state institutions, and local and national policies) and professionalization of activism in CEE (Popa and Krizsán 2016). Intensified contacts with western-​ developed ideas and strategies influenced the agendas of local NGOs and interested newly emergent women’s groups in regional and transnational alliances (Fábián and Korolczuk 2017). The Beijing Conference was also a critical moment in the formation of the new movements’ regional subjectivity. Not only did CEE activists manage to establish regional transnational networks—​such as the KARAT Coalition (a network of Central and Eastern European and Central Asian organizations working on women’s equality since 1997) and the ASTRA Network (Central and Eastern European Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights created in 1999)—​they also coined the

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term “non-​region” to describe the dubious, marginal position of postsocialist states within transnationalism, that centered on the exchanges between the Global South and the Global North (Nowicka 1995). EU accession was responsible for major structural transformations that took place in CEE at the turn of the 21st century, including a second stage of institutionalization and transformation within the women’s movement (see Spehar, Chapter 36 in this Handbook). EU membership brought a significant change in the funding structures. Unlike earlier funding coming from US donors, the EU financial scheme was fortified with a number of formal requirements, including: financial stability, equity contribution, and international partnership, which were hardly achievable for small NGOs, as was the EU’s requirement for transnational collaboration. After 2004, some countries activists formed national branches (e.g., the Czech Women’s Lobby) of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the largest and most prominent umbrella organization active at the EU level, securing their position as countries’ women’s movements’ representatives within EWL and the EU. In other locations, women’s groups remained dissatisfied with both: the practices of representation at the EU level and the scope of EWL activities (Regulska and Grabowska 2014). At home, women’s organizations attempted to use gender mainstreaming as a means to incorporate progressive policies on gender equality into nation-​ state’s agendas (Rawłuszko 2018). In this process, EU funds, and in particular the European Social Fund (ESF), represented a strong bargaining tool in NGOs–​state exchanges (within this funding scheme a failure to comply with gender equality requirements was linked with a real sanction, dismissal of the ESF application). To secure the success of a program, a number of feminist activists were contracted to different state agendas, where they provided gender equality training or consultancy in long-​and short-​term educational programs (Rawłuszko 2018). Scholars note that this kind of cooptation of feminism contributes to the situation in which civil society activists were used to provide primary services and expert knowledge to otherwise anti-​feminist states (Jacobsson and Korolczuk 2017). Some negative effects of this tendency included the bureaucratization and depoliticization of gender equality activism. As in Western Europe, gender mainstreaming turned feminist activists into technocrats, and once again the women’s activists found themselves in the role of transmitting bureaucratic routines and guidelines, rather than instituting substantial social changes (Lombardo, Meier, and Verloo 2003). Some authors argue that the top-​down implementation of EU gender equality had indirect, negative consequences, including fostering the emergence of the last decade’s war against “gender ideology.” The strategy of promoting gender equality from the outside, via “room-​service feminism” (Miroiu 2004), and without much on-​the-​ground consultation with the general public (Rawłuszko 2019) fueled beliefs that international policies, like the “Soviet feminism” of the past, serve political and economic interests of the supranational powers rather than local communities. In this context, anti-​genderism has become a new language of resistance to “ebola from Brussels” (Graff and Korolczuk 2017), and gender became a “symbolic glue” for anti-​ capitalistic and anti-​ western sentiments (Kováts and Põim 2015; see Graff, Chapter 26 in this Handbook). However, other scholars argue that institutionalization and professionalization processes had profound, positive effects on women’s activism. In the first decade of the 21st century, feminisms in CEE went mainstream. The fact that local NGOs were able to pressure the state from within by reaching out to the international institutions, created a “boomerang pattern” that increased significance of women’s NGOs in political processes 150

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(Keck and Sikkink 1998). At the national level, through gender mainstreaming training, NGOs and individual women’s activists have gained an opportunity to reach out to new audiences, including local government officials (Rawłuszko 2018). The scope of the feminist base was broadened: women coming from various sectors—​the state bureaucracy or politics, the women’s movement, and academia—​were now involved in pursuing institutional changes on behalf of gender equality, leading to the establishment of the new forms of feminist activism that appeal to broad masses (such as the Congress of Women in Poland). Other women’s activists have moved to more radical and critical positions. Recent resurgence of grassroots feminist activism and the search for new modes of organizing across CEE are in part a reaction to transplanting models and practices of gender equality mobilizations from the West (Fábián and Korolczuk 2017). They are also an effect of broadening the scope of mainstream public debates that are, regardless of the current right-​wing turn in electoral politics, more and more receptive to gender equality ideas.

Conclusions Newer studies on local, regional, and transnational activisms in CEE assert that past accounts on CEE’s civil societies neglected various forms of social activism that exist in CEE for theoretical, methodological, and ideological reasons (Ekiert and Kubik 2017). A number of authors suggest that the new typology of civil activism is needed when problematic forms of activism in CEE are examined, arguing that while participatory activism (based in membership in civil society organizations) has been scarce in the region, transactional activism defined through relations with the state is more prominent (Petrova and Tarrow 2007). This emerging body of work suggests that postsocialist civil societies, including feminisms, were not created “from scratch,” and demonstrates how post-​1990s social and political engagements built on the past and developed in relation to transforming political and cultural contexts (Fábián and Korolczuk 2017). While contemporary gender equality activism in CEE grew beyond NGOization (Jacobsson and Saxonberg 2013; Irvine, Chapter 16 in this Handbook), it is no longer preoccupied in producing fixed and collective subjectivities, but rather, as it was in the case of the 2016 “black protest” in Poland (spurred by a proposal to almost completely ban abortion), relies on connectivity (Fábián and Korolczuk 2017) and the “weak resistance” of groups of women and minorities who remain relatively powerless within the existing institutionalized politics (Majewska and Szreder 2016). Many current mobilizations on behalf of gender equality are intersectional in their essence, combining struggles against gender, racial, ethnic, and class discrimination and building strong alliances with LGBTQ and workers’ movements. This fragmentation and diversity of social mobilizations in the postsocialist context is no longer mistaken for an absence of social movements in the region.

References Artwińska, Anna and Agnieszka Mrozik, eds. 2020. Gender, Generations and Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond. London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Boyce-​ Davies, Carole. 2011. Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment. Banbury: Ayebia Clarke Publishing. Castledine, Jacqueline. 2012. Cold War Progressives: Women’s Interracial Organizing for Peace and Freedom. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

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15 TRANSNATIONAL FEMINISM AND WOMEN’S NGOS The case of the Network of East–​West Women Nanette Funk

The Network of East–​West Women (NEWW) is a transnational feminist network and nongovernmental organization (NGO) connecting and supporting Central-​ Eastern European and Eurasian (CEE&E) women’s civil society activists working for gender justice. Founded in 1990–​1991 and formalized as an NGO in 1995, NEWW was one of the earliest transnational women’s networks in CEE&E, originally based in the USA with members from over 10 different countries at the first meeting. I was a founding member of NEWW, writing on and studying European issues since the 1970s, with connections to several Central and South European countries and Germany. I became engaged in several debates on the role of women’s NGOs, arguing that important NGOs in CEE&E opposed neoliberalism, that some transnational feminist associations in CEE&E were not imperialist, and that it was problematic to identify state socialist women’s organizations as feminist, as some claimed. Transnational feminist networks have long been criticized as feminist colonizers and imperialists for imposing western feminist premises that a woman’s gender is her primary self-​identification, and for using a concept of “woman” that presumes there is an essential nature that all women share, a “homogeneous category of woman,” mistakenly thought to be independent of race, class, and ethnicity (Lugones and Spelman 1983; Mohanty 2003, 22). Critics, focused on CEE&E, repeated these accusations, using virtually the exact same formulations (Ghodsee 2004, 727–​728, 732–​733; Hardt and Negri 2000; Hemment 2007; Olsen 1997, 2223ff; Petras and Veltmeyer 2001, 134), sometimes speaking of purported CEE&E feminist assumptions of an “essential difference between men and women” (Ghodsee 2004, 728, 732–​733, 749; Petras and Veltmeyer 2001). Feminist NGOs were also said to become “unwittingly complicit” in neoliberalism, accepting funding for projects that promoted neoliberalism—​for example, replacing state services, enabling the state to cut back services, and urging the state to do so (Ghodsee 2004, 728, 738; Hanlon 2000; Hemment, 2007, 52; Petras and Veltmeyer 2001, 128–​130, 132–​136). Finally, they were berated for focusing on the “private sphere and personal politics” (Petras and Veltmeyer 2001, 134f), and for not criticizing neoliberalism.

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Through an examination of NEWW and its partner NGOs, I here consider the debates over transnational feminist networks in CEE&E and whether there are steps that reduce the risks of incorporating western feminist assumptions and other forms of western feminist domination in CEE&E. A participant in these debates, I argue that some feminist transnational networks—​of which NEWW is a prime, though not the only, example— had learned from past criticisms and took steps to minimize the risks of imposing US-​ based feminist concepts. An examination of NEWW and its partners shows that some feminist associations in CEE&E do not presuppose essentialist conceptions or promote neoliberalism. This discussion is meant to compensate for critics’ lack of attention to organizations such as NEWW. Analysis of NEWW serves as a pivot from a critical to a constructive discourse about transnational feminism and feminist NGOs in CEE&E.

Structural steps to minimize risks of US feminist domination NEWW was intended to be a democratic transnational network, incorporating partnership and the principle of equality. To this end, we as activists took structural steps to reduce the risk of US feminist domination. First, NEWW was jointly founded by Slavenka Drakulić, the Yugoslav writer and feminist leader since the late 1970s, and the US feminist Ann Snitow, a seasoned feminist activist, organizer, writer, and teacher working since the 1970s. Drakulić gave a talk in spring 1990 in New York that became a symbol of how the collapse of communism was gendered. Drakulić held up a tampon, declaring that state socialist countries’ failure to produce such consumer products, contributed to their failure. Snitow and I individually contacted her, impressed by her vivid illustration of the intersection of gender and the economy, that is, the gendered nature of state socialist consumer production. I invited her to contribute to Gender Politics and Post-​Communism (Funk and Mueller 1993), which she did, while Snitow asked what we in the USA could do to support women in CEE&E, to which Drakulić replied, “Bring us together.” This, not a US feminist agenda, set the stage for NEWW. NEWW enabled women from CEE&E to meet each other and US women, often for the first time, at NEWW meetings, building community and friendships, each identifying those with whom they shared projects. Snitow—​ a vibrant, warm, smart, and deeply committed feminist—​ became the moving force in NEWW. Aware of the past problems of transnational feminism, she was determined to avoid US feminist domination. NEWW was not to act for women in CEE&E, to impose its own agenda, or to act as US women in NEWW decided, but to be a network of equal partners from CEE&E. Snitow’s know-​how from having helped form many important US feminist organizations, taught her the necessary steps to create an effective woman’s organization. Her approach was one of active listening more often than speaking. It embodied the cognitive virtues of self-​reflection, self-​criticism, and epistemic generosity; when confronted with substantive differences with some CEE&E women, one needed to acknowledge that one’s own assumptions might be mistaken (Funk 2007). Second, the founding meeting deliberately had a majority (51 women out of about 70 women) from CEE, albeit 19 from the USA alone. Participants were jointly invited through Drakulić’s network in CEE, Snitow’s network of US feminist writers, activists, and those she met in CEE in 1990 (Snitow 2020) and mine in the former German Democratic Republic and CEE&E. Women from the former Soviet Union were not initially included due to some CEE women’s resentment of Soviet domination.

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Third, in 2003, NEWW moved its headquarters from New York and Washington, DC to NEWW/​Polska in Gdansk, Poland. NEWW/​Polska was founded and directed since 1999 by the Polish feminist Małgorzata Tarasiewicz, a former Solidarity and Peace and Freedom activist long active in NEWW, strengthening CEE&E women’s role in NEWW decision-​making. NEWW/​Polska took over the NEWW email and its interactive bilingual Polish/​English online communications site. It works in the often problematic European Women’s Lobby (EWL), primarily focused on western European women’s issues and positions, with dues that imposed a greater burden on CEE women’s organizations. NEWW/​Polska worked to strengthen and coordinate the network of Polish women’s organizations in the EU, worked on violence against women, particularly the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention, and in support of women immigrants in Poland. It has an active Facebook presence. Fourth, in 1993, NEWW created a transnational decision-​ making body, the International Steering Committee, with a majority from CEE&E, ideally one woman from each CEE&E country, with sometimes 20 members (Network of East–​ West Women Newsletter, Spring 1993). Decision-​making requires deliberation, and in 1995, the NEWW On-​Line Committee, put online 150 women active on sex/​gender justice in CEE&E countries, with an online forum for deliberation and discussion. Adopting Drakulić’s initial proposal, this was also to break down previous barriers between countries within CEE&E, for example, between Warsaw Pact and non Warsaw Pact countries such as Yugoslavia, and within the Warsaw Pact, due to its hierarchical nature. At the cusp of the Internet age, with little online access in CEE&E and with email still in its infancy in the USA, the On-​Line Project provided computers, and brief computer and email training and created a proto mailing list for discussion, exchange of knowledge, strategies, and news. This replaced an occasional print newsletter, the only prior official means of exchange in NEWW. A printed membership directory had been the networking vehicle; in 1996 it included 2000 women with contact information, without email addresses, which most did not have in the 1990s. This was to make possible both non-​hierarchical egalitarian communication within each CEE&E country and transnationally (NEWW Newsletter, Winter 1994, 1), and non-​hierarchical joint Steering Committee decision-​making. Decisions were to be made primarily as NEWW members in CEE&E decided, in response to issues women in their countries considered important. Fifth, with active feminist lawyers in NEWW and fast-​ paced legal changes, the NEWW East–​West Legal Conference in Budapest in 1995 founded the East-​East Legal Committee, with members mainly from CEE&E (NEWW East-​East Legal Committee n.d.). They created a small, deliberately co-​ determined and co-​ directed innovative training program in gender law for CEE&E gender activists with internships at leading US women’s human rights organizations and practices, and a Legal Fellowship Program (1996–​2003). Isabel Marcus (USA) and Ursula Nowakowska (Poland) were the guiding forces. The training incorporated jointly proposed topics to compensate for the absence of gender frameworks in CEE&E law school education (Marcus 2017, 549–​550). This included gendered unemployment and labor discrimination (Nowakowska’s focus), domestic violence (Marcus’s focus), trafficking of women, and strengthening women’s political participation in CEE&E. Distinguished feminist law professors and lawyers Małgorzata Fuszara (Poland), Eleanora Zielińska (Poland), and Rhonda Copelan (USA) all participated. Twenty-​four young women, lawyer activists from 12 different CEE&E countries, received fellowships and $10,000 to use for gender rights projects with their home NGO. Sylwia Spurek, one of the fellows, later played an important role in 156

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developing gender law in Poland, helping to draft the domestic violence law and working in the Government Plenipotentiary for the Equal Status of Men and Women, and was Deputy Ombudsman for Equal Treatment in the Polish government. This training program, like the NEWW headquarters, was then transferred to CEE&E, to Bulgaria. The initial US-​based training was innovative, but flawed, predicated on the US common law legal system based on precedent and irrelevant to the Roman law-​based civil law tradition of CEE&E countries. To remedy this defect, the Legal Committee, in partnership with NEWW/​Polska, the US Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation (BGRF) jointly formed the Women’s Human Rights Training Institute (WHRTI) in 2003 in Sofia, Bulgaria, directed by Geneveva Tischeva of BGRF (Marcus, 2014, 298; 2017, 544, 552). WHRTI adopted the Legal Fellowship’s approach but rooted it in CEE&E civil law. It trained over 100 lawyers in feminist legal theory, women’s rights practices, in understanding law as itself a gendering practice, and included analysis of the discriminatory impact of neoliberal changes (Marcus 2017, 550, 555–​556). From this examination of NEWW, we see the many steps a transnational network in CEE&E can, and did take, to minimize risks of US feminist colonization, including the following: co-​founding NEWW by CEE&E and US women with a CEE&E majority at its founding meeting, with its direction set by a feminist from CEE&E; co-​direction of its committees with greater authority for CEE&E members; privileging CEE&E members in setting network goals and in network decision-​making; transferring leadership and headquarters to CEE&E; and creating non-​hierarchical egalitarian communication.

NEWW as transnational feminist donor without colonization Through its Book and Journal Fund, NEWW was also a small intermediary donor, funding feminist CEE&E women’s feminist educational projects through books and grants, the largest being $2,500. This included supporting a feminist magazine, Aspekt (Slovakia), and a women’s studies center, the Prague Gender Center. NEWW avoided imposing its own conceptions by supporting NGOs’ ongoing, self-​defined projects. It also advanced Drakulic’s goal of fostering communication across borders in CEE&E through funding translations, publications, and exchanges of CEE&E women’s own publications into other local languages, for example, by the Polish Feminist Association, SOS Hotline in Belgrade, Bosnian women refugees (1992), as well as US writings (Snitow 2020). NEWW provided feminist works (over 6,000 books) but only as requested, including, but not limited to, US feminist works. NEWW was thus a midwife for CEE&E women’s own agency. Recognizing the need for US members’ education about CEE&E, NEWW had earlier created an internal US Study Group including readings from my manuscript for Gender Politics and Post-​Communism with writings mainly by CEE&E women. NEWW worked with a wide range of CEE&E women’s centers, women’s studies, and women’s media including the Second Independent Women’s Forum in Dubna Russia in 1992, the Center for Women’s Studies at Vilnius University (Lithuania), the Romanian Feminist Working Group with Laura Grunberg, efKa (Krakow, Poland), Feminist Network (Budapest), B.a.B.e (Croatia) and NaNe Domestic Violence Project (Budapest); only the latter focused on the private sphere. NEWW did not work with those groups arising from former state socialist women’s organizations, who had their own networks, funding sources, and properties and who did not seem generally interested in cooperation. Several NEWW members had questions regarding these organizations’ transparency, 157

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but their members were not excluded from NEWW. Individual NEWW members had friendly, supportive contacts with some in these organizations.

NEWW commitment to intersectionality NEWW and its feminist partners were not built on essentialist metaphysical assumptions and their practices are compatible with an intersectional concept of gender identity, that is, that one’s identity and experience as a woman differs depending on one’s national, religious, class, and ethnic identities. NEWW’s foundations were political, not metaphysical, that gender was a fundamental, legitimate category of social analysis, and gender injustice an equally important form of injustice as race, class, and national injustice. NEWW was committed to supporting CEE&E women’s agency for gender justice and that “the unity of woman … is something that has to be … struggled for” (Mohanty 2003, 116), not presupposed, and that relations of power, including between women, need to be recognized. NEWW opposed the sacrifice of sex/​gender justice for other goals as in conventional left politics. Sex/​gender justice included respect for: women’s social rights to benefits; equal employment rights; rights in the workplace, such as to not be harassed; equal political power; reproductive freedom; freedom from violence of all forms; and the equal worth of LGBTQI lives. Rather than assuming “the primacy of gender oppression” or being built on the slogan “gender first” (Ghodsee 2004, 732–​733), NEWW and its partner NGOs worked to prevent it being “gender last,” and gendered, ethnic, or class forms of oppression from being ignored. Ghodsee’s claim that “women’s NGOs narrowly focused on projects for women” and, as a result, “directly undermine the possibility of a united proletariat” (Ghodsee 2004, 742) exhibits a conventional left appeal to the primacy of class, and a willingness to sacrifice gender justice to that end. NEWW’s focus on broad educational and conceptual transformation was anything but narrow. Moreover, transnational feminism and women’s NGOs only threaten unjust, gender-​ biased forms of class solidarity that presume a male worker and his interests, or that ignores gendered workplace injustices—​for example, the sexual harassment of women employees. Acknowledging them promotes a more complex understanding of class oppression and exploitation as gendered and greater attention to such issues, generating more solidarity from women. Nor does unity require all being in one class-​based organization, but can occur through coalitions, for example, between gender and class-​based organizations. It is true that NEWW did not focus on the intersection of class and gender in the 1990s, but focusing on gender does not at all preclude doing so. NEWW and its partners especially addressed the intersection of gender with national and ethnic identity. There was an unavoidable urgency to these issues given the horrific, violent, nationalist wars and ensuing national tensions among women in the 1990s, with women being raped based on their national identity as in Yugoslavia; many ex-​Yugoslav women were associated with NEWW. In the 1990s, after the fall of state socialism, many CEE&E women had an allergy to discussing class. As Ost (2015) wrote, “no one, it seemed, could utter the term ‘class’… associated almost exclusively with the departed and discredited old regime.” NEWW did also have a relatively narrow class membership, with mainly highly educated feminist academics and intellectuals from CEE&E and the US, which helped NEWW to survive, but also limited its focus (see NEWW Membership Directory 1996).

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How not to be donor driven NEWW shows that, although there is a risk of transnational feminist networks and NGOs being western donor driven, this can also be avoided. Contrary to critics’ claims that funding for women’s NGOs and networks was abundant (Ghodsee 2004, 30; Olsen 1997; Petras and Veltmeyer 2001) as was well known, it was fickle, available only for a brief period in the 1990s, and was only a very small percentage of funding for civil society (Funk 2006). NEWW had only a few small grants, and no major foundation support until 1994–​ 1995, almost four years after it started. Though short of space and funds, it survived on commitment, determination, and improvisation, for example, carrying cash discreetly to its Dubrovnik meeting, exchanging it at favorable black market exchange rates (Snitow 2020), using social networking, holding meetings at Snitow’s loft in NYC from 1990–​1995, relying on the generosity of members and their contacts, and later, through academic institutional support and support from the Gdansk city government. NEWW received major US funding only in 1994–​1995 for its Online Project, from Eurasia, MacArthur, World Learning (Vrana 1995, 1), and later from the relatively sympathetic Soros and Ford Foundations, in which some CEE&E women committed to gender justice, and associated with NEWW, held important positions. It is also important to distinguish between strong NGOs—​such as NEWW and its partner NGOs in CEE&E, on the one hand, with entrenched value commitments, strong social networks, non-​ foundation resources, multiple donors, or supporters among foundation officers and active strategies to resist unwelcome donor imperatives—​and on the other hand, weak NGOs of which this is not true (Funk 2006, 275). NEWW could survive with little foundation support through its access to university support, including Rutgers University, but especially The New School University for Social Research where Snitow taught, which long had a special focus on CEE&E, albeit with utterly no attention to gender. The New School summer school in Poland, the Democracy and Diversity Institute, founded in 1992, enabled Snitow to create and teach a gender course there for 25 years, with students from throughout CEE&E (Snitow 2020), strengthening her own and NEWW’s ties to Polish feminism and CEE&E. The NEWW member, Polish-​ American professor Joanna Regulska of Rutgers Women’s Studies and Global Studies Departments, and director of major local democracy projects in Poland, in the 1990s used her institutional power to fund CEE&E women and NEWW conferences. NEWW was in many ways privileged, which helped its transnational project. Some NEWW activities required little funding. The 1990s was a time of immigration and movement across borders from CEE&E. NEWW provided immigration support in New York for some CEE&E women, including for asylum and permanent residency claims in the US. Through NEWW members’ university affiliations, some CEE&E feminist activists could study in the USA, a respite from intense feminist activism in CEE&E, and have time to think. US NEWW members provided recognition, solidarity, friendship, university positions, admission, scholarships, and mentorships. Some CEE&E women thereby reclaimed their status lost through immigration, integrating themselves into US women’s professional, personal, and friendship networks. CEE&E women in turn transformed and enriched the lives of US women active in NEWW professionally and intellectually, and through their friendship. There was mutual learning whereby US NEWW members provided social learning about US ways, such as how to write an American résumé, while CEE&E women provided US women enormous insight, 159

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knowledge, translations, and introductions in CEE&E countries and friendship as well. In my own case, a CEE&E member’s moral shock about the lack of daycare for faculty and staff children at my university led me to initiate action, which became the first step in providing faculty daycare (Funk 2007, 205–​206).

Avoiding complicity in neoliberalism The criticisms that feminist NGOs support neoliberalism are vast overgeneralizations, focus on bad actors, and do not examine those who did not support neoliberalism, and what can be learned from them. NEWW and its partner NGOs were critics of the neoliberal dismantling of state socialist services and benefits. A minority of NEWW partner NGOs provided services, but usually services the state hadn’t provided or did so only poorly, such as for women war victims or for domestic violence. They fought, sometimes successfully, for the state to provide those services, or educated their recipients to become politically active, as did the Center for Women War Victims in Croatia. NEWW and its partner NGOs did not focus on the private sphere but on changing public understanding and practices, introducing concepts of gender discrimination. The claim that accepting western funding promotes neoliberalism presumes that all western donors had a neoliberal agenda in CEE&E, that they could achieve their aims, to which recipient NGOs passively acceded. But none of this is true. Many strong and savvy women’s NGOs knew how to thwart neoliberal donors. Some major funders of many women’s NGOs in CEE&E, including of NEWW’s NGO partners, opposed neoliberalism, as did several women’s foundations, who would not support NGO projects to provide services—​for example, the German Greens’ FrauenAnstiftung, Mama Cash (Netherlands), Kvinna del Kvinna (Sweden) (Funk 2006, 273–​274; 2013), all important funders of many feminist NGOs in CEE&E. Contrary to critics, NEWW and many feminist NGOs in CEE&E in fact also addressed issues in the public sphere, such as nationalism, war and nationalist-​motivated war rapes, and unemployment, or worked to get women elected in parliaments. In Bosnia-​ Herzegovina in the 1990s, women’s NGOs worked on ethnic reconciliation after the war while many others in the former Yugoslavia were peace activists, such as Women in Black.

NEWW’s difficulties NEWW did not avoid all the risks of transnational feminism, but not for the reasons critics of transnational feminism cite. Face-​to-​face meetings of the International Steering Committee, and NEWW generally, were expensive and labor intensive, and in 1995 NEWW turned to an unsuccessful technological solution, the-​then new technology of email, to make possible egalitarian transnational decision-​making and communication. But it was severely constrained by technological and language difficulties. NEWW was unaware, as were most at the time, that since email is not synchronic, it is a poor decision-​ making vehicle, especially for complex discussions. Frustrating, inconclusive email-​based Steering Committee meetings could take six weeks (Robbins 2000, 45–​46, 51). NEWW in New York and Washington had a dominant role in online steering committee meetings, determining the discussion questions, which CEE&E steering committee members did not themselves choose. Email was at the time still new even in the US, and NEWW should have taken into account that getting online was unavailable, unaffordable, and unstable,

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in much of CEE&E in the 1990s. Overburdened as CEE&E activists were, the Steering Committee also sometimes failed to have majority representation from CEE&E. The Steering Committee thus could not remain an effective, transnational governance body (NEWW Newsletter, Summer 1995). From 1999 to 2003, a very small, non-​representative US-​based Board of Directors became the effective decision-​making body. Some others knew little of what was happening in NEWW, becoming less engaged. There were also unaddressed tensions within NEWW. Scholars, academics, and researchers studying, and from, CEE&E, were sometimes frustrated by other US NEWW activists’ lack of knowledge about CEE&E. This was reflected at the first NEWW meeting in Dubrovnik both in the creation of consciousness raising groups to discuss personal experiences with strangers, inappropriate for those who had learned to protect their private spheres, and in the lack of extensive panels on unemployment, when so many were so economically threatened. Thus NEWW did not avoid all the risks.

Conclusions NEWW has changed, but it has survived more than 25 years, headed by NEWW/​Polska. It played a key role in an EWL seminar in 2019 for women politicians and on feminism and politics in Poland. It aims to reestablish its website and continue as a resource for transnational communication and cooperation among feminist scholars and activists in and about CEE&E. Transnational feminism among those in CEE&E is important, given overlapping histories and contemporary gendered institutions and politics. Western feminist engagement and research have to be pursued with caution, given the serious risks of each being used for political or self-​interested ends and professional agendas antithetical to feminism’s normative commitments. Gender research benefits from an intersectional understanding of gender that utilizes national and ethnic identity, class, rural and urban identity, religion, immigration status and, where relevant, is contextualized to current gendered political regimes. From urgent political issues of neoliberalism, to nationalism’s covert gender agenda, populism’s and authoritarianism’s overt attacks on gender, issues of state and society in CEE&E are increasingly overtly gendered. To honor its feminist commitments and not become instrumentalized, gender research must remain connected to gender programs and activism in CEE&E.

References Funk, Nanette. 2006. “Women’s NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: The Imperialist Criticism.” In Women and Citizenship in Central and Eastern Europe, edited by Joanna Regulska, Jasmina Lukic, and Darja Zavirsek, 265–​ 286. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press. –​–​–​–​. 2007. “Fifteen years of the East–​West Women’s Dialog.” In Living Gender after Communism, edited by Janet Elise Johnson and Jean C. Robinson, 203–​226. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. –​–​–​–​. 2013. “Contra Fraser on Feminism and Neoliberalism.” Hypatia 28 (1): 179–​196. Funk, Nanette and Magda Mueller, eds. 1993. Gender Politics and Post-​Communism. Reflections from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. New York: Routledge. Ghodsee, Kristen. 2004. “Feminism-​ By-​ Design: Emerging Capitalisms, Cultural Feminisms, and Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations in Postsocialist Eastern Europe.” Signs 29 (3): 727–​754.

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Nanette Funk Hanlon, Joseph. 2000. “An Ambitious and Extensive Political Agenda: The Role of NGOs and the Aid Industry.” In Global Institutions and Local Empowerment: Competing Theoretical Perspectives, edited by Kendall Stiles, 132–​145. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. 2000. Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Hemment, Julie. 2007. Empowering Women in Russia: Activism, Aid and NGOs. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Lugones, Maria and Elizabeth Spelman. 1983. “Have We Got a Theory for You! Feminist Theory, Cultural Imperialism and the Demand for ‘the Woman’s Voice.’” Women’s Studies International Forum 6 (6): 573–​581. Marcus, Isabel. 2014. “The ‘Woman Question’ in Post-​Socialist Legal Education.” Human Rights Quarterly 363 (3): 507–​568. –​–​–​–​. 2017. “Compensatory Women’s Rights Legal Education in Eastern Europe: The Women’s Human Rights Training Institute.” Human Rights Quarterly 39(3): 539–​573. Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 2003. Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. NEWW East-​East Legal Committee. n.d. NEWW Membership Directory. 1996. NEWW Newsletter, Spring 1993. NEWW Newsletter, Winter 1994. NEWW Newsletter, Summer 1995. NEWW Projects. n.d. www.neww.org/​projects/​book_​journal_​project.html. Olsen, Francis. 1997. “Feminism in Central and Eastern Europe: Risks and Possibilities of American Engagement.” Yale Law Review 106 (7): 2216–​2257. Ost, David. (2015). “Class after Communism: Introduction to the Special Issue.” East European Politics and Societies 29 (3): 543–​564. Petras, James and Henry Veltmeyer. 2001. Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st Century. Halifax: Zed Books. Robbins, Sonia Jaffe. 2000. “Network of East–​ West Women. Offering Hope in a Time of Upheavals.” In Women in Sync: Toolkit for Locally, Connecting Globally. Women’s Networking Support Program, Studies from the Region, 45–​65. Johannesburg: Association for Progressive Communications. Snitow, Ann. 2020. Visitors. New York: New Village Press. Vrana, Victoria. 1995. “NEWW On-​Line Connects Women. The First Women’s Electronic Network In Central & Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.” In Network of East–​West Women Newsletter (Summer).

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16 CONTENTIONS OF FUNDING GENDER EQUALITY IN CENTRAL-​ EASTERN EUROPE Jill Irvine

This chapter investigates the debates and dilemmas associated with three decades of aid provided to gender equality organizations in Central-​Eastern Europe (CEE). While a substantial literature of empirical studies, theoretical debates, and activists’ assessments has emerged about this subject globally, CEE offers a particularly rich case for studying how donor practices and priorities shape gender equality advocacy. Emerging funding frameworks were developed and applied here, and women’s organizations were targeted as essential vehicles of change and recipients of aid. Three main debates have shaped the ways in which funding practices impact gender equality activism. The first, which emerged in CEE during the democratic assistance programs of the 1990s, involves the increasing NGOization of women’s organizing and the accompanying “project feminism.” The second debate, highlighted by the EU accession process and the project of building gender equality architectures, involves the increasing professionalization of women’s organizations and the legalistic strategies they pursue. The final debate, associated with the post-​2008 period of austerity and the rise of right-​wing populism in CEE, involves the ways in which the funding landscape has helped or hindered the inclusion of historically marginalized groups. This chapter argues that emerging civil society and funding frameworks in CEE were aimed at promoting the twin political projects of democratization and neoliberalization, with gendered consequences. While the underlying political goals remained the same throughout the postsocialist period, major donors and donor practices shifted significantly, as funding moved from democratic assistance programs in the 1990s, to EU harmonization programs in the period of EU accession, and to a significant drop in funding after the economic crisis began in 2008. Women’s organizations and activists in CEE were challenged to navigate this funding landscape while at the same time building women’s movements capable of promoting transformational change. Their experiences and insights thus contribute fundamentally to our understanding of how funding shapes gender equality initiatives and activism. 163

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Gender equality and women’s organizing under late state socialism The state socialist regimes that came to power in Central-​Eastern Europe after World War II proclaimed their intention to achieve the emancipation of women and devoted considerable effort to promoting new gender ideals. Nevertheless, state socialist policies concerning the emancipation of women suffered from a host of shortcomings resulting from the regime’s unwillingness to address gender relations in the private sphere where women were expected to carry the burden of domestic and caring work (Verdery 1994). Women suffered from both horizontal and vertical segregation in the labor market and, despite the institutionalization of gender quotas, rarely held any positions of authority in decision-​making bodies. Women’s organizing under state socialism in the decades after World War II was channeled through officially sanctioned women’s groups or larger socialist umbrella groups controlled by the state. This began to change in several countries by the 1980s as women organized to advocate for better state responses to such pressing problems as violence against women and, in some cases, to establish hotlines or safe houses for victims of domestic violence (Einhorn 2002). With the collapse of state socialism, autonomous women’s organizations exploded on the scene, along with other civil society organizations. In the first several election cycles after 1989, women’s representation in the formal political sphere plummeted across CEE, largely as a result of the abolition of gender quotas (Matland and Montgomery 2003; see Wolchik and Chiva, Chapter 42 in this Handbook). Even as women’s issues were sidelined in the formal political arena, however, women’s activism in the informal political sphere grew rapidly, as childcare, healthcare, and other state social services were slashed and women’s organizations moved in to fill the gap (Einhorn 2002). The growth in the number and importance of women’s civil society organizations occurred at the same time that governmental and private funding agencies were turning their attention to the postcommunist world with increased interest in providing financial and other support (Hemment 2007). International donors and European and US government agencies increasingly viewed women’s organizations as promising recipients of aid and as crucial building blocks in strengthening civil society during the period of postsocialist transformations.

Frameworks for funding: The civil society and philanthrocapitalist approaches Civil society has been critical in shaping the theory and practice of funding women’s organizations and gender equality programs around the world, including CEE. As international assistance to CEE grew as a response to the postsocialist transformations, civil society experienced a renaissance in democratic theory and funding practices (Ottaway and Chung 2002). Many donors and activists alike came to see NGOs as a “magic bullet” for achieving almost every goal (Hemment 2007, 52). In this “civil society funding model,” NGOs were seen as essential vehicles of education, advocacy and service provision, and assistance programs targeted women’s NGOs as a vehicle with which to perform all three of these functions (Irvine 2018). In practice, this approach usually meant funding women’s organizations for short-​term projects with limited goals, driven by what Krause (2014) has insightfully called the logic of the “good project,” with its easily tracked and measurable deliverables. Easterly (2006) argued that NGO short-​term projects were far more likely to yield results and produce better outcomes than vaguely formulated projects 164

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aimed at achieving emancipatory political goals. Despite the claims of those promoting the “neutral” value of civil society, funding women’s organizations was usually tied to larger political objectives that were determined in New York or Washington or Brussels and associated with the dual political projects of democratization and neoliberalization in postsocialist Europe. As the civil society funding model took hold in CEE and elsewhere, it was joined by the emergence of a set of ideas associated with philanthrocapitalism. “Philanthrocapitalism” is a term that covers a range of actors and approaches, but the hallmarks of this funding have been “an entrepreneurial result-​oriented framework and the use of market mechanisms to achieve philanthropic ends” (Edwards 2009, 245). Along with neoliberal ideas about the greater efficiency of the market for delivering social goods, donors embraced approaches that rested on the notion of “doing well by doing good,” that aid programs could and should use the same cost analysis and “bottom line|” thinking as private companies (Bishop and Green 2011). Reflecting neoliberal values, it stressed individual opportunity and choice over collective strategies for achieving social change (McGoey 2015), focusing on the achievements of individual women in transforming their communities, while neglecting the role of women’s movements in achieving enduring, structural change. The philanthrocapitalist approach dovetailed with the civil society funding framework, reinforcing the preference for funding NGOs for short-​term projects with quantifiable indicators and measurable outcomes (Witte 2009). Together they connected the funding approaches aimed at promoting the twin political projects in CEE of democratization and neoliberalization.

NGOization, project feminism, and movement building The funding landscape in CEE in the initial postsocialist period began with democratic assistance programs in the 1990s, including funding for the “color revolutions’‘ in several CEE countries (Bunce and Wolchik 2011). Although private foundations and organizations played a crucial role, the largest donors shaping the funding landscape in CEE during this period were US and European government agencies along with the UN, particularly in the war-​torn regions of southeastern Europe. During the first decades after the collapse of state socialism, significant funds were directed toward women’s organizations as essential civil society partners. US funders tended to favor competitive grant processes involving US-​based INGOs or USAID with a requirement for local partner participation (Halterman and Irvine 2014). This approach resulted in the rapid increase of women’s equality NGOs working on particular projects in the “third sector” of civil society as they sought to take advantage of new opportunities for achieving their goals. Gender equality and women’s rights activists faced significant challenges in building women’s movements in this landscape dominated by large international donors with their own agendas. The process of NGOization in CEE followed a different trajectory than that of Latin America, North America, or Europe. In these parts of the world, well-​established women’s movements were threatened with fragmentation by increasing professionalization. In contrast, in Eastern Europe, where women’s movements were relatively weak, women’s organizing was characterized by rapid NGOization. It is perhaps as a result of these pressures on gender equality organizing that scholars and activists from and writing about CEE (and post-​Soviet countries more generally) were instrumental in contributing to the emerging critique of donor practices and ensuing NGOization. 165

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According to this critique, donor practices and the resulting NGOization raised issues both of fragmentation and representation. First, cooperation among women’s organizations and activists is undermined by the influx of project-​based funds and competitive bidding processes, as women’s organizations compete with one another for the resources necessary to their survival (Hemment 2007). Second, organizations often become beholden to their donors instead of their constituents, causing them to shift priorities suddenly or invest in resources outside their mission (Lang 1997). Donors have tended to favor urban elites, who they believe have the language and professional skills to quickly master the necessary reporting and budgetary requirements, denying resources to rural women’s organizations and projects (Ghodsee 2004). The result has been the emergence of what Stubbs and Wedel (2015) call NGO flexians, who are more concerned about their professional careers than pressing for crucial social, economic, and political change. Finally, professionalized organizations chasing short-​term, project-​based funding, must often spend a great deal of their time writing reports and preparing new proposals, leaving them with little time or energy to think strategically about women’s empowerment (Bagic 2006). The upshot of NGOization has been the depoliticization of the discourses and practices of women’s activism. While these potentially negative effects of NGOization have been well documented in the literature, others have pointed out that it is a mistake to neglect the capacity of women’s organizations to develop effective strategies for responding to them or to dismiss the positive, capacity-​building impact of funding women’s organizations (Stubbs 2017). As Funk (2006; also Chapter 15 in this Handbook) argued in response to the growing critique of NGOization in CEE, most women’s organizations strongly support funding assistance, viewing it as essential not only for their survival but also for increasing their capacity to act effectively. The potentially demobilizing effects of NGOization and fragmentation have become the explicit focus of counter-​strategies in CEE. These activists eschew funding in order to avoid becoming mired in competition for funds and rely instead on more grassroots, movement-​building activities (Bias 2019). For example, women’s movements in CEE, often operating outside mainstream funding sources, have pressed successfully for political reform in a number of policy areas, including violence against women and reproductive rights (Montoya 2013). In some cases, women’s organizations proved adept at using democratization assistance to build organizational structures and capacity through networks and coalitions that brought gender equality issues to the fore in election campaigns and political party platforms (Irvine 2007).

Neoliberalism, governance feminism, and movement building A new period of funding practices and political opportunities emerged in the late 1990s as the EU access process got underway and the EU emerged as the major funder of gender equality initiatives in the region. In contrast to US government funding, EU funding favored the creation of supranational umbrella organizations such as the European Women’s Lobby or the Social Platform, as both mechanisms for funding and for the representation of women’s interests in the policymaking process (Johansson and Kalm 2015). This approach tended to favor larger, more established women’s organizations with the capacity to operate through these complex bureaucratic structures spanning national borders, and it reinforced the professionalization of women’s organizations that was already underway (Butterfield 2016). For example, the EU requirement that gender equality organizations use new public management tools resulted in many organizations 166

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shifting away from using voluntary staff and hiring professionals (Mahoney 2004). As CEE countries worked toward the “harmonization” of their legal and regulatory structures with EU prescriptions, building gender architectures within a neoliberal economic framework became a primary focus of women’s organizations and activists. This meant that many women’s organizations shifted to a more legalistic or governance strategy focused on the policymaking process. The EU funding approach resulted in potential gains for women’s organizations as their political activity widened to include not only the third sector but more participation in the formal political arena. Women’s organizations and activists were consulted on the project of building gender architectures and provided the expertise needed to draft new gender equality legislation (Spehar 2012). As gender equality agencies were established across CEE, gender equality concerns were, at least symbolically, integrated into the highest levels of government. This integration was reinforced by the gender mainstreaming policies and practices promoted by the European Union and adopted as part of the harmonization process in CEE countries. As the European Union promoted gender equality norms and policy prescriptions, funding was directed toward studying the role of gender in the policymaking process through such initiatives as Quality in Gender Equality Policies (QUING) and (Diversity and the European Public Sphere—​ toward a Citizens’ Europe (EUROSPHERE). Nevertheless, the project of building gender equality architectures did not necessarily result in concrete gains, as a “compliance gap” emerged between comprehensive gender equality legislation enacted as part of the EU conditionality process and the actual implementation of gender equality policies and processes (see Spehar, Chapter 36 in this Handbook). At least part of the problem lay with the deficiencies in the EU model itself, as well as a lack of will among EU officials to require enforcement of these laws (Avdeyeva 2008). At the same time, activists and scholars began to raise the alarm about the “governance feminism” infusing women’s organizations and movements. According to these interpretations, through adopting forms of feminism centered on legalistic strategies “friendly” to the existing neoliberal governments, women’s organizations had been diverted from the project of challenging the existing economic and political structures that reinforce inequality (Kantola and Squires 2012). “Governance feminism” had adapted to the neoliberal context by “providing gender expertise into existing policies rather than engaging in more radical forms of feminist critique” (Kantola and Lombardo 2017, 18). Resistance to legalistic strategies and governance feminism has sparked important new forms of activism (Elomäki and Kantola 2017). Some activists have embraced forms of neo-​Marxist feminism that insist on bringing class back in (Butterfield 2016). This left-​feminist activism, often operating outside official channels or funding streams, has rejected the professionalized women’s organizations of governance feminism, that, according to it, has emptied the women’s movement of its historical commitment to transformational, emancipatory aims (Irvine and Sutlović 2019). In the post-​accession era of austerity, when the gap between gender equality and policy prescriptions and their implementation has widened, activists continue to challenge the NGOization and professionalization of women’s organizations.

Austerity, identity, and intersectional movement building With the economic crisis beginning in 2008, the shortcomings of the EU model of funding gender equality initiatives within a neoliberal framework became more apparent. 167

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First, with austerity came a narrowing of policy frameworks. The needs of working-​ class, non-​white women, never the main focus of EU economic policies, were further pushed to the margins of the agenda (Elomäki 2012). According to one recent study, funding for organizations focusing on anti-​racism and/​or LGBT issues was particularly affected (Ahrens 2019). Second, the creation of the Economic Benefits of Gender Equality in the EU (EIGE) and greater budget scrutiny reinforced the impact measurement aspect of grant requirements and squeezed out the harder-​to-​quantify social justice approaches (Roberts 2013). States prioritized service delivery over advocacy, while pushing to the margins their previous commitment to gender mainstreaming. At the same time, reductions in funding for gender equality resulted in a fierce struggle among gender equality organizations at the top, undermining women’s movement strength and cohesion (Jacquot 2017). The introduction of austerity funding practices has raised serious challenges related to European identity and intersectionality. In the first decade after regime change in CEE, intersectionality was not on the funding agenda, but this began to change after the turn of the century as EU policy moved from its single focus on gender equality toward a wider focus on other identity groups based on race, religion, disability, age, and sexual orientation (Krizsán and Lombardo 2013). Funding for gender equality programs and organizations was restructured to reflect this emphasis on multiple forms of inequality and discrimination. Despite the rhetorical support for funding multiple disadvantaged groups of women, critics argued that EU funding practices remained both exclusionary and hierarchical. In her recent study of funding for equality organizations in Europe, Ahrens (2019) reached two conclusions: first, that EU funding structures make it much easier for civil society organizations focusing on one ground of discrimination to gain funding and, second, that resource allocation is ranked according to class, gender, and race, with migrants, refugees, and ethnic minorities at the bottom (Ahrens 2019). According to one perspective, at the heart of exclusionary and hierarchical donor practices is the instrumentalization of gender equality as a “foundational European value” in the service of constructing and maintaining a “true” European identity in distinction to others (Chiva 2009). In this view, EU officials and institutions have made gender equality a litmus test for Europeanness and established themselves as the ultimate arbiters (Kunz and Maisenbacher 2017). During much of the postsocialist period, this approach was directed toward the more “backward” area of Eastern Europe as these countries sought to achieve the standards and norms that would allow them to join the European Union (Bilic 2016). More recently, several CEE governments and political parties have adopted this approach in relation to immigrants from outside Europe, touting the gender equality norms and practices of their citizens as a way of distinguishing themselves from “backward” migrants and migrant communities. By claiming to defend the “European values” of gender equality, they assert their white, Christian, European identity against migrant outsiders. The resurgence of right-​wing populism in Europe, directed against migrants, has negatively impacted the ability of some historically marginalized groups in Europe to build meaningful coalitions across positional differences (Bassel and Emejulu 2018). It also has created fissures and disagreements among gender equality activists and organizations across Europe. While some feminists point to the dangers posed by migrant men, including an undermining of equality gained over the past several decades, others warn against the potential this stance has of being used by right-​wing populist groups to demonize migrants (Montoya 2013). In other instances, women’s organizations have campaigned 168

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against genital mutilation and forced marriages in immigrant communities which, as others charge, simply reinforces right-​wing populist claims about a fundamental “clash of civilizations” (Akkerman and Hagelund 2007). It is clear that right-​wing populism threatens the general receptiveness of national governments and the EU to fund gender equality programs that address the needs of historically marginalized groups and those that do not conform to particular ideas about what constitutes European values and identity.

Conclusion Three decades of funding gender equality initiatives in CEE have produced several arguments and debates about how donor practices and priorities shape gender equality advocacy and outcomes. The first is that funding practices have professionalized gender equality organizations and advocates in ways that may divert them from their mission and weaken their ability to build and strengthen gender equality movements. While many scholars and activists have pointed to the fragmenting and even demobilizing effects of NGOization, others point to the need for capacity building that NGOization can help address and the crucial support that project grants provide. At the same time, many funding programs support neoliberal projects that have reinforced the very inequality gender equality groups are dedicated to reducing. While some studies emphasize the gains women have made by acting as gender equality experts, others highlight the dangers of “governance feminism,” which is complicit in neoliberal policies Finally, although there has been a greater discursive emphasis on supporting gender equality programs with intersectional aims, evidence suggests it has produced mixed results at best. Some activists and scholars point to the potentially positive impact that EU discourse and funding has had on intersectional activism in CEE; others argue that austerity policies and rising anti-​immigrant sentiment has marginalized some gender equality advocacy groups, while privileging others. In short, there is still much we do not know about how funders interact with INGOs, national governments, and intergovernmental organizations in devising and delivering gender equality aid. Unless we are to give up altogether on the funding that gender equality advocates desperately need, we can and should continue to better understand the funding landscape shaping gender equality initiatives in CEE and around the world.

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Contentions of funding gender equality Kunz, Rachel and Julia Maisenbacher. 2017. “Women in the Neighbourhood: Reinstating the European Union’s Civilising Mission on the Back of Gender Equality Promotion?” European Journal of International Relations 23 (1): 122–​144. Lang, Sabine. 1997. “The NGOization of Feminism.” In Transitions, Environments, Translations: Feminisms in International Politics, edited by Joan Scott, Cora Kaplan, and Debra Keates, 101–​ 120. New York: Routledge. Mahoney, Christine. 2004. “The Power of Institutions.” European Union Politics 5 (4): 441–​466. Matland, Richard E. and Kathleen A. Montgomery. 2003. “Women’s Representation in Post-​ Communist Europe.” Women’s Access to Political Power in Post-​Communist Europe: 321–​341. McGoey, Linsey. 2015. No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy. London: Verso. Montoya, Celeste. 2013. From Global to Grassroots: The European Union, Transnational Advocacy and Combatting Violence against Women. New York: Oxford University Press. Ottaway, Marina and Theresa Chung. 2002. “Toward a New Paradigm.” Journal of Democracy 10 (4): 99–​113. Roberts, Adrienne. 2013. “Financing Social Reproduction: The Gendered Relations of Debt and Mortgage Finance in Twenty-​First-​Century America.” New Political Economy 18 (1): 21–​42. Spehar, Andrea. 2012. “This Far, but No Further?” East European Politics and Societies: And Cultures 26 (2): 362–​379. Stubbs, Paul. 2017. “Review. Patrice C. McMahon: The NGO Game, Post Conflict Peacebuilding in the Balkans and Beyond.” H-​Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences. www.h-​net. org/​reviews/​showpdf.php?id=50472. Stubbs, Paul and Janine Wedel. 2015. “Policy Flexians in the Global Order.” In Actors and Agency in Global Social Governance, edited by Alexandra Kaash and Kerstin Martens. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Verdery, Katherine. 1994. “From Parent-​ State to Family Patriarchs: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Eastern Europe.” East European Politics and Societies: And Cultures 8 (2): 225–​255. Witte, Jan Martin. 2009. “Are Private Actors Revolutionizing Foreign Aid?” World Politics Review. www.worldpoliticsreview.com/​articles/​3964/​are-​private-​actors-​revolutionizing-​foreign-​aid.

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17 PUSSY RIOT AND FEMEN’S GLOBAL TRAJECTORIES IN LAW, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE Jessica Zychowicz and Nataliya Tchermalykh

Pussy Riot and FEMEN—​two all-​female activist collectives, originating from within the former USSR since 2010—​have each become a global phenomenon, meaningful for diverse audiences. This chapter follows the trajectory of each of these groups to better understand the continuities and breaks in emerging forms of feminist movements, and, in particular, how these patterns have taken civic shape in Central-​Eastern Europe (CEE). Public receptions of both groups are important for understanding gender and feminism in the region, made more acute by FEMEN’s provocative design and the legal outcomes of the 2012 trial and sentencing in the case of Pussy Riot. While both can be read as general resistance to authoritarian state structures, a closer look at their positioning in scholarly and legal debates in fraught East–​West relations tells a different story: rising agitation, even panic, around the female body as the most prominent site for social movements in the first two decades of the 21st century. FEMEN and Pussy Riot began in the late 2000s as collectives, marking a continuity with the long traditions of underground, nonconformist, and self-​organizing cultural production dating to the Soviet period. The intersection of media and politics served as the main stage for the dramaturgies that each group manifested through strategies tailored to the public sites, courtrooms, and virtual public square. Pussy Riot and FEMEN differ in how they maneuvered the political stage, but their trajectories have moved in parallel: from periphery to center, local to global, and as cultural icons capable of commanding audiences from DAVOS to the EuroCup (UEFA Football Championship). These transformations were shaped by postcommunist legal cultures, geopolitics, commercial campaigns, and celebrity production specific to CEE. Initial scholarly debates focused on these groups’ claims to feminism. Some saw in them a redefining historical context for women by way of circumscribing social agency in the rejection of binary gender roles (Rubchak 2012; Sperling 2015; Zychowicz 2011). Others pointed to their socioeconomic origins, noting the demographics of the two groups as non-​representative of any social majority (Dmytriyeva 2011; Gapova 2014; 172

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Kis 2011; Phillips 2008). Studies on the role of the media in FEMEN (Reestorff 2014) pointed to both hyper-​sexualization and demonization of sex-​work in undermining clear aims (Thomas and Stehling 2016). After FEMEN’s move abroad in 2012, the group’s adoption of “sextremism,” in their depictions of Muslim women caused a backlash. FEMEN earned severe critique from women-​of-​color feminist scholars who claimed the group overly universalized oppression and ignored cultural differences (Al Mahadin 2015; Eileraas 2014; Salime 2014; Savage 2013; Weiner 2017). Attention in global mass media pivoted around the question of whether or not naked breasts could lead to feminist agency. Scholars of Ukraine have tended to agree that the visibility around feminism that the group introduced was, initially, highly valuable in local terms (Mayerchyk and Plakhotnik 2012; Tchermalykh 2012, 2014), even if their protests had mixed results or led to unexpected outcomes in the inconsistency of their reception (Martsenyuk 2019). Ukrainian feminist cultural figures, often working across the Ukraine–​Russia border, and in Europe, expressed a similar stance, though also underlined their opinion that the West had given too much credit to these groups’ significance for politics, and that the celebrity scale of FEMEN and Pussy Riot had somewhat muffled or even silenced platforms of support for the wider art-​activist community (Briukhovetska 2016; Dmytryk 2016). Assessments of gender-​based protest in CEE by scholars in the wake of the Pussy Riot trial in 2012, tended to focus on the emergence of new legal cultures that they argue would, over time, have lasting impacts across the region (Bernstein 2014; Borenstein 2018; Johnson 2014; Kayiatos 2013). Where FEMEN and Pussy Riot were criticized for being inauthentic as feminist movements, some pointed to this charge as one often leveraged against the radical feminine presence in politics, and more generally to devalue non-​verbal and performative forms of political expression (Tchermalykh 2019). These studies converge with other scholars working specifically on gender in the CEE region. Some link Pussy Riot and FEMEN’s art activism in the 2000s to new civic vocabularies for dissent and its shaping of prior understandings of women’s movements in East–​West exchanges (Rubchak 2012; Sanborn and Timm 2016) that emerged from postcolonial theory (Chernetsky 2007; Mohanty 2013), and which complicate how we understand gender in light of rising authoritarianism and nationalism in CEE today (Puar 2017; Smith-​Prei and Stehle 2016; Wiedlack 2014, 2015; Zychowicz 2020).

Design and strategies Initially, Pussy Riot—​an acephalous and anonymous collective of radical performance artists—​was genealogically linked to the early post-​Soviet experiments practiced within the muscovite artistic and political underground by such (predominantly male) performers as Brenner, Ter-​Oganyan, Kulik, Voina group, and the poet Prigov (Obukhova 2014). The group reached global notoriety after 2012, becoming an international cause celebre: the Pussy Riot as we know it today was produced by close encounters with the Russian criminal justice system. On February 21, 2012, five members of Pussy Riot attempted to stage a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, but were quickly stopped by church security officials. The collective then released a music video, combined with prior footage, entitled, “Punk Prayer—​ Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” On March 3, 2012, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Yekaterina Samutsevich was arrested two weeks 173

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later. All three members were held until their trial in July 2012, when they were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. Samutsevich appealed and was freed on probation, but Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sent to serve time in separate women’s detention facilities. In early November 2012, prosecutors appealed to Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow under “anti-​extremism” to ban several Pussy Riot videos, including the video of the group’s “Punk Prayer.” The court added the videos to the Federal List of Extremist Materials maintained by the Ministry of Justice, making it a criminal offense to disseminate them by any means within the Russian Federation. On June 30, 2013, Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law imposing jail terms and fines for “any insult to people’s religious feelings.” Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were amnestied after 21 months on December 23, 2013. In 2014, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova brought a suit addressing their arrest and detention to the European Court of Human Rights. FEMEN is a self-​proclaimed feminist group founded in Khmelnytskyi in 2008. Their demonstrations initially took place on public squares in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, but the group became known internationally through social media for their actions, mostly topless, orchestrated as performances addressing sex work and women’s rights. They later expanded their public posturing to include commentary on other issues, including anti-​corruption, censorship, and the separation between church and state. The greatest number and frequency of their actions were realized between 2008 and 2013, after which they were forced out of Ukraine. Members of the group were arrested by the police several times during this period, but were usually held for only a short amount of time and released on relatively minor charges. Seven months before Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer,” FEMEN had staged an action at the same Moscow cathedral, yelling a near-​identical slogan “God chase away the King!” but were not prosecuted. Shifting their bodies between physical sites and virtual settings, FEMEN’s strategy and design afforded the spectacle of a dystopian totalitarianism in which patriarchy and annihilation appeared as one and the same. Their overtures to totalitarianism parody authoritarianism through hyperbole and humor. In some ways, this is the same strategy employed in earlier happenings that claimed to be antipolitical and sought to deconstruct communist rhetoric (Kenney 2002). Artistic protest entails a rich history in CEE, where art and artistic communities have often challenged regimes of injustice. Polish art critic Piotr Piotrowski (2012) has termed this tendency in postwar Poland, Ukraine, and Russia “agoraphilia,” describing public anxiety around the borderline between art and politics. In these instances, an artist acts upon a deeper desire: “to perform critical and design functions for the sake of and within the social space” (Piotrowski 2012, 7). For both FEMEN and Pussy Riot, this is achieved through a strategy of public appearance that is marked by disruptive, transgressive performances in locations of significant symbolic value. Scholars of feminism working at the intersection of gender and culture in the region in the 1990s noted similar strategies rooted in performance and public space (Holmgren and Goscilo 1996). FEMEN and Pussy Riot collapse the border between politics and art; for scholars and others, their relationship with their audiences, including law enforcement, has been controversial.

Common roots, diverging routes On the day of Pussy Riot’s conviction, FEMEN member Inna Shevchenko used a chainsaw to cut down a four-​meter wooden cross near Kyiv’s central square in protest against 174

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the incarceration of Pussy Riot. The public, including Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, condemned the act, and a criminal case was filed against Shevchenko under Part 2 of Article 296 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The destruction of the cross in Kyiv took place on the tailwind of Pussy Riot’s globalization: both produced unprecedented events in global digital media for how oppositional politics are marketed across borders in the information economy (Kennedy 2014; Mouffe 2013; Zychowicz 2015). Inna Shevchenko, claiming she had faced threats from security services after sawing down the cross in Kyiv in support of Pussy Riot, left Ukraine and was granted political asylum in France, where she led FEMEN’s new, global phase. The arrest of Pussy Riot increased their visibility both on the Russian and international stages. For FEMEN, emigration from Ukraine presented itself as the only solution for continuing their movement. Whereas Pussy Riot became assimilated into the western liberal public, the nudity of FEMEN prevented them from fully mainstreaming into international icons (Zychowicz 2020). Where Pussy Riot had been publicly tried and incarcerated, their court case signaled increasing restrictions around citizen’s rights and revealed deeper divides in Russian society (Gessen 2014; Lomasko 2016), FEMEN had not; and although FEMEN’s formula of nude radicalism had been too much for local audiences to accept or for the Ukrainian authorities to condemn in any serious way, their catalyzing of global mass media worked to maximize the visibility of both groups. After FEMEN left Kyiv in 2013 they became émigrés who, in attempting to export and utilize the same tactics that they had applied to the postcommunist context in their new liberal host society, failed; they were less easily recognized in western liberal definitions of injustice, which differ from the Ukrainian context they were addressing. By contrast, Pussy Riot leveraged approval from western governments at odds with Putin, even while choosing to remain in the Russian Federation, where they are human rights activists. Upon release, Pussy Riot members Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and her former husband Pyotr Verzilov founded their own legal organization, Zona Prava, dedicated to carceral ill-​treatment and media censorship (Tolokonnikova 2018).

From postcommunist post-​secularism to “sextremism” Both FEMEN and Pussy Riot utilized religious sites and symbols for their performances, and stimulated fierce reactions from authorities, as well as from religious activists. Early on, near 2011, FEMEN adopted “sextremism,” a strategy of provocation involving painting controversial slogans onto bare skin in black war paint: “Our God is a Woman! Our Mission is Perfect! Our Weapons are bare breasts! FEMEN is born and sextremism is launched!” (FEMEN and Ackerman 2018). Their first action as FEMEN France was a “Naked Jihad!” at the Eiffel Tower with French-​Arab feminist Safia Lebdi. FEMEN was criticized as overidentifying with Islamic women (Al Mahadin 2015) and a group called Muslim Women Against Femen formed (Facebook Group). FEMEN’s imagery is rooted in a post-​Soviet form of challenging a church-​state bond, where deeply entrenched boundaries, constants, and definitions of the religious and the secular orders fluctuate against the backdrop of ecclesiastical movements increasingly affiliated with governments (Uzlaner 2014). This wide spectrum of postmodern radicalism blurs gender, but also religion and race. For a social movement, such polysemy can be coopted, so mixing signs/​signifiers with nudity does not easily integrate into liberal political norms. FEMEN’s exaggerated radical statements are more ambivalent than the anti-​clerical and anti-​authoritarian declarations of Pussy Riot. For example, former 175

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FEMEN Brazil leader Sara Winter in 2020 reversed into an “antifeminist” and started “300 do Brasil,” a far-​right group. This ambivalence is openly acknowledged by Yelena Myshko, former leader of FEMEN Amsterdam. Reflecting on sextremism, she holds that it afforded “internal power hierarchies” that she felt ran counter to the “inclusiveness” she believes is a prerequisite to a successful feminist movement, and why she left the group (Myshko 2018). By contrast, Pussy Riot’s case was widely validated by western liberal audiences. The group successfully increased their political reach (but not artistic—​the sequence of events distanced them from other figures of the Russian opposition on the cultural scene). Nonetheless, Pussy Riot declared at the European Human Rights Court that they had defended themselves from Russia in 2012, not as a representative set of laws or culpable party, but Russia as an entity with Putin as an authoritarian President (Tolokonnikova 2012). Pussy Riot’s stage on the public square, as with FEMEN, became characterized by the reversibility of positions of the accusers and the accused. This reversibility is characteristic of the governing structures in oligarchy that preserve authoritarianism in Ukraine and Russia (Way and Levitsky 2010). The absence of FEMEN from the events on Kyiv’s Maidan in 2013–​2014 sealed their exile from Ukraine. Around this same time, western governments’ recognition of Pussy Riot as symbols of anti-​Putinism further solidified the group’s shift away from protest politics toward pop performance; this was looked upon by their critics as courting commercial interests over fighting for feminism. Pussy Riot’s anonymous members circulated a letter on the Internet in 2013 stating their official split with the two convicted members. This announcement coincided with Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina—​as Pussy Riot—​ launching their creative careers by going on a global tour. Nonetheless, the pair would maintain their political views. They protested during the Sochi Olympics in Russia just as state violence was unleashed on the crowds in the revolution then taking place on Kyiv’s Maidan.

A moving vector with no endpoint On July 17, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued an announcement with its final decision on Pussy Riot, described as a feminist punk band that gives spontaneous public performances dressed in brightly colored balaclavas. ECHR ruled that “a reaction” to the defendants’ performance on account of their “breaching the rules of conduct in a place of religious worship” might have been warranted, yet decided two years of imprisonment to be disproportionate, aside from the violation of four articles of the European Convention (Art. 3, 5, 6 and 10). In July of 2018, both FEMEN and Pussy Riot suddenly reappeared in western media. The first instance was on July 15, 2018, during the EuroCup Football Championship match between France and Croatia in Moscow. Four members of Pussy Riot disrupted the game wearing Russian police uniforms, triggering a minute-​long delay on the field in front of many global cameras. Pussy Riot publicly claimed full responsibility. They called their performance “Policeman Enters the Game” and issued a statement calling for the release of political prisoners in Russia, including Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker and opponent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, sentenced in 2015 to 20 years. Sentsov began a hunger strike in May 2018 and only after international protest was released in late 2019 (Human Rights Watch 2019).

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In a version of streaking—​nudist intrusion into public spaces—​members of Pussy Riot readapted FEMEN’s strategy to their own devices by storming the soccer field, but did so fully clothed in an ironic “drag” uniform of the disciplinarians of civil disobedience: street police. By disrupting the rules of the playing field, they also temporarily inverted the social hierarchy: inserting feminism into a mass-​media event televised and pitched for male soccer fans’ global consumption. The four Pussy Riot demonstrators were consequently charged with “violation of spectators’ rights and illegal display of official symbols” (Interfax 2018). These bold protesters could be seen storming the field on screens in Paris, but not in Ukraine, where all traces of the action had been cut, replaced with commercial advertisements, and then filtered out of all recordings.

Conclusions The misbehaving female body in public is a trope for attaching and signifying transgression in broader ideological frameworks. This trope has proven durable and multilateral, and when viewed today, in the context of the history of transatlantic women’s and feminist organizations, unprecedented in its power, afforded by the instantaneous transmission of information. This development has shifted the demands voiced by activists in the periphery of the former “Second World” to the center of international affairs. During the later 2000s Ukraine witnessed a vibrant outpouring of protest by women and others calling for a range of demands tied to gender. Two contradictory tendencies positioned the Russian and Ukrainian public spheres in opposition to one another. After the pro-​Russian candidate Yanukovych won the presidential election in 2008, public protests were, in comparison with Russia, mostly tolerated in Ukraine. At this time the feminist protest group FEMEN realized numerous demonstrations, reaching the greatest frequency from 2008 to 2012, yet only one led to criminal procedure in Ukraine. This caused the group to emigrate to France. Bearing political agency—​as social movements—​Pussy Riot and FEMEN evidence dual roots in western liberalism and the postcommunist sociolegal landscape. Initially, the arrest and trial of Pussy Riot was a case dealing with the Russian context and its codes, which shared aspects with Ukraine, namely, the corrupted alliance between the Orthodox Church and Putin’s regime. In Russia, the trial of young and unknown punk artists resulted in harsher punishment. When each of these groups first exported themselves in English and other language media, they were interpreted and presented as anti-​ Putin protest scandals. By contrast, the postcommunist mainstream largely condemned them as imprisoned princesses and celebrities, fixating on the young women’s bodies and ambitions to explore artistic and music careers. Putin’s character in his authoritarian performances of masculinity (Sperling 2015) added to this story an Iron Dictator, evoking familiar depictions of the USSR as an Empire of Evil easily recognizable, though divergently packaged, for audiences on both sides of the former iron curtain. Both FEMEN and Pussy Riot found audiences in their own countries and abroad, but the outcomes of each were diametrically opposed. The western liberal public expressed outrage and concern at the behavior of conservative Russian authorities; this reinforced the symbolic capital of Mariya Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot within their own national context, maximizing their visibility in the West, which then facilitated their ability to position themselves as human rights defenders. The group FEMEN—​scandalous in the West for their nudity and “sextremism”—​culminated in

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the polar opposite outcome: forced to leave Ukraine and emigrate to France, they were not accepted by many feminists abroad. By contrast, Pussy Riot was positively received, marked in statements by the UNHCR, EU, and the US State Department issued against their arrest and subsequent crackdown on protest in the Russian Federation. Ten days after the Pussy Riot protest on a soccer field in 2018 at the UEFA Football Championship in Moscow, another critical event occurred that further marks the evolution of both groups. On July 25, 2018, Oksana Shachko, a visual artist and one of the founding members of FEMEN, committed suicide (Johnson 2019). Only one month earlier, on June 11, she had protested at the French Ministry of Justice on behalf of the trial of Russian activist Petr Pavlensky. Marie-​Francoise Verdun, a former French judge, joined the group of lawyers, activists, and artists. Russian and Ukrainian émigrés also stood together, despite the ongoing war between their home countries. All held a photograph of Pavlensky with the statement: “An artist in prison is a graveyard for culture.” Few knew that Shachko, who had become a recognized artist in Paris for her paintings of Orthodox icons, was silently suffering from depression. In contrast to FEMEN’s performances and the persecution that members endured, there was nothing ironic about this second act of resistance. There remains a need for more critical analysis of FEMEN, Pussy Riot, and so many unknown feminists beyond them—​who have boldly challenged how we approach feminism today, and by extension, global vocabularies for dissent from gendered oppression and authoritarianism in the early decades of the 21st century.

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PART III

Constructions of gender in different ideologies

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INTRODUCTION Constructions of gender in different ideologies Mara Lazda, Janet Elise Johnson, and Katalin Fábián

The chapters in Part III analyze how Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E) has experienced gendered ideological shifts since the beginning of the 20th century. They show how seemingly disparate and often competing ideologies relied on constructions of gender in creating and maintaining power hierarchies favorable to them. Proponents of nationalist ideologies in CEE&E have sought power by endorsing a gendered and overwhelmingly heteronormative us versus them discourse. Regardless whether this unity was constructed under the framework of ethnicity, religion, or class, or whether ideologies emerged in the multi-​ethnic Habsburg Monarchy or the Ottoman, Russian, or Soviet empires, nationalists incorporated gender into their constructions of national unity. Discourses and policies prescribed women’s and men’s roles, often relegating women to the role of mothers and keepers of the nation’s culture, men as armed defenders. The diversity of the region and variations of CEE&E nationalisms challenge scholars’ assumptions of these gendered ideals as homogenous. In the Habsburg Monarchy, nationalists were more likely to accept the fluidity of masculinity, tolerating homosexuality expressed behind closed doors, but only for majority ethnicities. Even where national idealizations of masculinity and femininity seemed hegemonic—​such as in 20th-​century Russia and the Soviet Union—​they were periodically challenged, defended, and reconstructed. Fascism capitalized on gendered, exclusive, and racist definitions of the nation. Various organizations embraced fascism—​such as the Iron Guard (Romania), Ustaša (Croatia), and Arrow Cross (Hungary)—​at times in collaboration, but also in competition, with German Nazism. Fascists co-​opted conservative nationalist idealization of women’s maternal roles in a way that suggested to women that their domestic work was revered and a source of empowerment. They framed this idealization of women as mothers in a context of considerable violence, which some women saw as an opportunity to challenge patriarchal norms, even within fascism. Socialists and communists defined themselves in opposition to gendered fascist and nationalist ideologies, charting a path to what they called the emancipation of women. Socialist and communist propaganda reconstructed gender in the “new socialist man” and the “new socialist woman” as workers for the state; policies linked these gender

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conceptualizations to tangible support for housing, childcare, healthcare, pensions, and education. Individual authors in this Handbook chose how to use the terms “socialism” or “communism,” whether to reflect periodizations of communism, the self-​designation of regimes, and scholars’ debates. Much of existing scholarship on socialism and communism has been focused on ascertaining the intentions or success of socialism and communism as agents of gender equality, concerned with the contradictions between ideals and results. The chapters in Part III suggest that this dichotomized approach overlooks the complexities within socialist and communist ideas of women’s roles and the complicated relationship women leaders such as Alexandra Kollontai had to feminism. Ethnicity and race intersected with socialist and communist understandings of gender and class. Romani women in CEE were subjected to racialized antinatalist policies while women of majority ethnicities were the targets of pronatalist programs. In Central Asia and the Caucasus, Soviet efforts to emancipate women reflected Orientalist and imperialist priorities; efforts that included education initiatives as well as unveiling campaigns claimed to free Central Asian women from seclusion but in fact reinforced the idealization of Russian women. The history of the criminalization and decriminalization of homosexuality in the region further underscores the diversity belying gendered ideological conformity. The last section in this Part examines how leaders of democracies partially incorporated gender in representative governments. In the interwar democracies, leaders included policies of gender equality as signifiers of their legitimacy as new republics, as much of the region introduced universal suffrage. Postcommunist democratic leaders have relied on explicitly gendered language mixed with policies of gender equality to separate themselves from previous regimes, provide evidence of westernness, as well as to create or reestablish national identity based on historical trajectories. In the last decade, regimes that appeared democratic and gender progressive have moved toward authoritarianism, embracing an illiberal populism that has derided gender equality and embraced anti-​ genderism. In its campaigns against gender equality policies, LGBTQ rights, and even the very term “gender,” anti-​genderism provides evidence of the enduring influence of religious institutions in claiming cultural and social norms as well as policies. Taken together, the chapters in this Part expose fissures within gendered ideologies while revealing the interactions and overlaps in their constructions of gender and sexuality. While the implementation of gendered ideologies brought diverse results, it also points to transnational and transregional commonalities of exclusion (antisemitism and xenophobia) and inclusion (membership in Europe and democracy).

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18 NATIONALISM AND SEXUALITY IN CENTRAL-​ EASTERN EUROPE Anita Kurimay

As sexuality and gender have become more widely used categories of analysis, scholars have illustrated the centrality sexuality played for nationalist visions in Central-​Eastern Europe (CEE). In particular, histories of prostitution, eugenics, and homo and non-​ normative sexuality have demonstrated how within the multi-​ethnic, multi-​lingual, and multi-​denominational context of CEE, heteronormative sexuality and strict prescriptive gender norms became cornerstones of ethnic nationalism. Nationalists—​initially urban intellectuals and politicians—​ saw ethnic purity, sexual health, and sexual practices, that is, who was having sexual relations with whom, as existential questions during the interwar years. Those nationalist visions and approaches to sexuality, similarly to nationalism more broadly, were highly gendered. However, what made the issue of prostitution and discussions of sexual morality so crucial for nationalism in the context of CEE, was the region’s remarkable ethnic diversity. Nationalists used discourses on sexuality to promote their idealized conceptualization of the nation, which became increasingly exclusionary. The combination of the CEE region’s ethnic heterogeneity along with a cultural understanding of male sexuality as rather flexible, resulted in a situation where nationalists embraced the protection and scrutiny of female sexuality as paramount for national survival, while male sexuality, with the exception of Jews and ethnic minorities, most notably the Roma, was left relatively alone. This chapter focuses on discourses in nations of the former Habsburg Monarchy, and Russian, German, and Ottoman Empires, particularly in Hungary and Romania in the interwar period. Nationalists in CEE often approached sexuality in practice—​through policing, laws, or policies—​in complex and contradictory ways. Scholarship highlights the region’s heterogeneous experience of the periodic coexistence of nationalism with non-​normative sexual practices and identities. Historicizing the relationship between nationalism and sexuality helps frame the ongoing theoretical debate about the possibility of approaching sexuality in CEE on its own terms, rather than, as most scholars do, applying the dominant western (Anglo-​American) theoretical framework of sexualities. Queer studies scholars of the region have produced a substantial critique of the dominant western and postcolonial models in conceptualizing sexual politics in CEE. Kulpa and Mizilienska’s edited volume (2011) is a testament to this new direction in scholarship 187

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that, by conceptualizing the region as a place of “in-​betweenness,” offers insight on how to think about sexual politics in CEE on its own terms.

Strange but magnetic bedfellows: Prostitution and nationalism Scholars on the history of prostitution were pioneers in bringing attention to the politics of sexuality in relation to nationalism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These works (Forrai 2008, 2018; Stauter-​Halsted 2015; Stauter-​Halsted and Wingfield 2011; Wingfield 2017) established that upholding patriarchy and controlling female sexuality (as opposed to male sexuality) were paramount for nationalism and nation building. In the second half of the 19th century, nationalism emerged as the most important political ideology that was embraced within ethnic communities—​including Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, and Croatian—​living at the time under German, Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian rule (Judson and Rozenblit 2005). Over time, the more exclusive form of ethnic nationalism became dominant over civic understandings. Intellectuals, writers, and the popular press in each respective language across the Habsburg Monarchy portrayed the nation as a “national brotherhood” (Maxwell 2007, 413) while touting that the nation’s existence depended on female sexuality. The same processes that fostered the spread of a gendered national consciousness—​the growth of urbanization, the popular press, literacy, and mass media, along with generally liberal attitudes toward male sexuality—​also fueled a booming urban sexual culture especially in metropolises such as Vienna and Budapest. Growing attention to prostitution in popular and academic press marked the beginning of a sustained public discourse around sexuality in fin de siècle CEE, responding both to the visibility of prostitution in cities across the Habsburg Empire and the rapidly rising rates of sexually transmitted illnesses (see Wingfield, Chapter 28 in this Handbook). The topic of prostitution provided a platform for different articulations of the nation. There were those who saw prostitution as a representation of sexual freedom and a vibrant sexual culture. Since these nationalists understood ethnicity in terms of linguistic, not innate biological or racial terms, cosmopolitan sex culture could act as a melting pot and as an agent of national cohesiveness (Kurimay 2019). This positive view of prostitution was echoed by municipal authorities and lawmakers who at first considered prostitution as a public health issue, not a moral or national one. However, for a growing number of nationalists (initially urban intellectuals, writers, and politicians) an antithetical view emerged. These nationalists imagined their nation in primarily ethnic terms (where membership to the nation was predicated on a dominant ethnicity) linked to gendered ideas of moral purity and biology. They argued that prostitution represented society’s (and the nation’s) moral decay and was antithetical to nationalist values of female chastity and male honor. There was an important gendered difference within nationalist ideas about prostitution. Scholars have found that the same nationalists who prescribed chastity and modesty for women as the guardians of public and private morality of the nation, held men to different standards (Kurimay 2020; Stauter-​Halsted 2015; Stauter-​Halsted and Wingfield 2011; Turda and Weindling 2007; Wingfield 2017). The boundaries of respectable male behavior were more expansive and far more porous than those of acceptable female behavior. While men represented Austria’s, Hungary’s, or Poland’s strength after World War I by being virile and honorable, they also took advantage of flexible understandings of male respectability. 188

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In Hungary, the male gentry (nobility without land) enjoyed romanticized admiration as bastions of patriotism linked to chivalry. In the eyes of contemporary nationalists, the masculinity of the Hungarian gentry also manifested itself in lavish spending, decadent parties, and a bohemian lifestyle (Gyáni and Kövér 1998). A number of cultural assumptions about maleness prevailed, including the association of male virility with sexual prowess. This meant that nationalists—​along with the rest of society—​considered female prostitution and public (hetero)sexual culture “necessary evils.” For many men of the Austro-​Hungarian Monarchy who could afford it, visiting prostitutes was a coming-​of-​age experience and an expected expression of masculinity. In contrast, women engaging in casual sex committed a capital sin and merely the suspicion of having an inappropriate male friend could ruin a woman’s respectability. At the time when only men and prostitutes were considered to possess a sexual drive, sexuality and female respectability were mutually exclusive. Such marked differences between the cultural norms for the sexes, which were not unique to the Monarchy, continued into the 20th century even as nationalists, along with social critics, politicians, and particularly religious institutions, increasingly demanded moral purity for both sexes (Maxwell 2015; Szegedi 2015a). The ethnic heterogeneity of CEE, however, shaped the discussion of prostitution and sexual morality in particular ways. Discussions about the sexual ethics of prostitution became a vehicle for nationalists to define who did and did not belong. For nationalists who embraced ethnic and moral purity as foundations for the nation, sexuality as a private and public performance became an important means to delineate who was worthy of membership of the nation. Nationalists across CEE glorified military masculinity for men and female reproductive sexuality for women for the creation of homogenous ethnic communities. Newspaper accounts that boasted about the superior sexual virtues of one’s own populace (i.e., Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian) while blaming “foreign” (the non-​dominant ethnic) sexualities for various social ills including prostitution are illustrious examples of what constituted sexual nationalism. By the turn of the 20th century, sexual stereotyping in the context of prostitution increasingly reflected ethnic stereotypes and helped to reinforce an exclusionary form of nationalism (Maxwell 2005; Stauter-​Halsted 2015; Wingfield 2017).

Eugenics and the scientific legitimization of racialized nationalism Eugenic ideas about human development, remarkably adaptable within the diverse region, emerged as one of the driving forces shaping the relationship between the politics of sexuality and nationalism in CEE. While eugenic societies in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest were established prior to World War I, eugenic ideas did not become crucial agents shaping public and professional discourses until after the war, as Bucur (2002) argues in her study on Romania. The war, with the dismantling of four empires, resulted in the new CEE nation-​states of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia, which continued to be ethnically diverse. The establishment of these new states, while grounded in the idea of national self-​determination of peoples and guaranteeing the rights of ethnic minorities, also strengthened ethnic nationalism that was increasingly based on biological constructions of ethnicity, as opposed to a linguistic or cultural one. In contrast to the pre-​World War I era, the governments of most of the new nation-​ states (with the exception of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia), openly embraced ethnic 189

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nationalism. Eugenic ideas, claiming to be based on “biological laws of heredity” (Turda and Weindling 2007) legitimized exclusionary ethnic nationalist policies by the 1930s. By conceptualizing inter-​ethnic marriage and ethnic diversity as biologically dangerous, eugenics provided scientific legitimacy to ethnic nationalists, many of whom now were in national governments. In their eyes, the health of the ethnic majority was no longer simply a public health concern but, by the 1930s, was an issue of national security and survival (Kund 2016; Kurimay 2020; Szegedi 2015a; Turda and Weindling 2007; see Varsa, Chapter 23 in this Handbook). Embracing eugenics as a tool of modern scientific management of the nation, interwar nationalists believed in the right of the state to intervene in matters of sexuality. Whether it was to regenerate the nation, as in Hungary, which had lost territory (Kund 2016; Szegedi 2015b; Turda 2015), or to strengthen the nation, as in Romania, which now had more territory with a larger non-​ethnic Romanian population (Bucur 2002)—​eugenics, with its racist and ableist ideas, provided an important justification for controlling sexuality. In Czechoslovakia, eugenics had support too (even though it had not embraced ethnic nationalism), as a tool to bolster democratic order (Lišková 2018). At the same time as they aligned themselves with religion, nationalists turned to a distinctly modern “science” to create their nation, which meant a patriarchal family, restrained and monogamous procreative sexuality for both men and women, and high fertility rates. The strong alliance between interwar nationalists, nationalist governments, and organized religion or “Christian nationalism” (Hanebrink 2006) had a crucial impact on nationalist discourses in the popular and official press and on actual policies on sexuality across CEE. Like their counterparts elsewhere, interwar nationalists in CEE believed that control over women’s sexuality and reproductive choices was the prerequisite of a healthy and prosperous nation. Despite women gaining the right to vote for the first time across the new countries in CEE (although not in Romania), women’s rights to their bodies remained secondary to the nation’s interests. Hungary and Romania, both of which experienced sharp turns toward autocratic rule during the interwar years, enacted labor and public health regulations to protect women’s reproductive health. Both countries provided eugenics-​ based marriage counseling and education. In Romania, peasant women were instructed how to find ethnically pure and biologically healthy mates (Bucur 2002); in Hungary, marriage counseling became mandatory from 1939. These measures claimed to promote healthy births and marriages but also were intended to weed out the birth of ethnically, racially (first and foremost Jewish), and biologically undesirable children (Szegedi 2014). More recent scholarship introduces important nuances to discussions about the influence of eugenics on nationalists’ understanding and regulation of sexuality. First, these works show how sexuality and CEE eugenics were at once intimately connected to western eugenic ideas (in particular in the USA and Germany) and also shaped by local and national characteristics, including the co-​constitutive nature of eugenics and radical nationalism (Kund 2016; Turda 2015). Second, Lišková (2018) argues that nationalist supporters of eugenics (including government officials) throughout CEE did not necessarily introduce new regulations on sexuality, but rather relied on the stricter enforcement of existing laws such as the criminalization of abortion to further their eugenic goals. Third, by emphasizing the particular significance of ethnic nationalism, scholars make a distinction between the regulation of supposed hereditary or biological “defectives” and of ethnic and religious minorities. While sterilization and prevention of hereditary 190

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illnesses and anti-​Jewish and anti-​Roma regulations prohibiting marriage and criminalizing sexual relations were both propagated in public discourse, only prohibiting marriage and criminalizing sexual relations came to be introduced legislatively (Lišková 2018; Szegedi 2015b; Turda 2015). In contrast to Germany, and also to the USA, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland where eugenic sterilization was legalized during the interwar years, in CEE, no countries legalized involuntary eugenic sterilization. This is where the importance of nationalist alliance with religion in CEE becomes crucial. Nationalists who were aligned with the Catholic Church (Poland and Hungary), while inherently antisemitic and xenophobic, followed the Vatican’s lead and its pro-​life stance. Nationalists upheld a sexual double standard and strongly supported the prosecution of women for abortion and prostitution, which they perceived as a threat to the future of the nation, but the sterilization of “defectives” based on physical, mental, or (homo)sexual grounds was not made into law. The regional exception was Romania, where the Orthodox Church remained silent on abortion and sterilization (Turda 2009) and abortion was legalized for certain conditions deemed hereditary in 1936.

Nationalism and homosexuality Until recently, histories of non-​normative sexualities were absent in the historiography of CEE (Stauter-​Halsted and Wingfield 2011). Homophobia and sexism were present both within and outside CEE academic institutions. The perceived association of one’s intellectual subject with one’s sexual identity made writing on LGBTQI+ history challenging. The scarcity of sources has also limited work on same-​sex sexuality in CEE. The devastation of World War II destroyed many historical archives. Four decades of communist rule silenced, prosecuted, and used homosexuals as informants (communists destroyed evidence related to queer informants). Thanks to the digitalization of archives, dedicated scholars and their students, and some institutional support, the research and writing of queer history is more feasible. Scholars’ recent examinations of discourses around homosexuality in interwar CEE demonstrate how the exclusivity of nationalism in CEE was invested in (hetero)normative procreative sexuality (Cornwall 2012; Kurimay 2020; Takács 2018). These works also provide a more complex view of nationalism, suggesting how nationalists tolerated and even normalized certain forms of sexuality. Cornwall’s (2012) reconstruction of the life of Henz Rutha, the internationally known leader of the ethnic German youth movement in interwar Czechoslovakia, examines the co-​existence of male homosexuality and ethnic nationalism. Rutha, a supporter of ethnic superiority and exclusionary nationalism, also embraced certain forms of male same-​sexual desire. My study of interwar Budapest (Kurimay 2020) also finds that nationalism and homosexuality were not mutually exclusive, though for different reasons. In Hungary, a conservative Christian nation-​state that was founded on irredentist nationalism, with a powerful radical right, practiced tolerance toward certain forms of homosexuality. Paradoxically, at the same time as nationalists demanded control over sexual practices, homosexuality as a private sexual act between consenting adults of both sexes was tolerated. An analysis of discourses, along with judicial and police treatment of non-​normative sexuality in Hungary, during the first half of the 20th century brings to light the highly gendered, class-​based and racialized notion of sexual citizenship. Prior to World War I, the same understanding of flexible masculinity, which accepted prostitution as part of the male sexual world, also tolerated male homosexuality or queer sex. As long as adult 191

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men had the means to conduct their affairs in private, their sexual conduct was no concern for Hungarian nationalists. In the interwar years, even as they worked to assure what they saw as the country’s future strength (moral, physical, and numerical), and made heteronormative sexuality a prerequisite of citizenship (Kurimay 2020; Szegedi 2015b), they did so through a highly sexed and gendered policing and enactment of its ideals. Nationalists prescribed procreative monogamous sexuality for both men and women. But in practice, nationalists used the state to channel greater resources into policing female sexuality than male sexuality, including male homosexuality. Authorities did not ignore non-​normative male sexual behaviors in public, especially homosexual behaviors. During the interwar years the police increased the policing of sexual activities (anything from mutual masturbation to anal sex), between men under the criminal code of “crimes against nature” in force since 1878 (female homosexual acts were not criminalized anywhere in CEE). As in the case of eugenic policies, interwar nationalists relied on a stricter enforcement of an existing law. However, by differentiating between “authentic” homosexual men who engaged in homosexual activities in private because of their sexual inclinations, which they tolerated, and those “inauthentic” homosexual men who only engaged in, or were associated with homosexual activities for immoral reasons (i.e., blackmailing sexual partners), which was prosecuted, interwar nationalists showed tolerance toward “respectable homosexuals” (Kurimay 2020). These men were productive members of the community who conducted their affairs in private, which, considering the crowded living situations of the lower classes in Hungary, was a class privilege. “Authentic” homosexuals paradoxically benefitted from the increased presence of the state and the policing of sexuality. By focusing more closely and imposing harsher measures on the exploiters of so-​called authentic sexual otherness, while at the same time not prosecuting or ignoring consensual homosexual activity conducted in private, the Hungarian authorities—​with, the backing of nationalists—​protected and helped to normalize male homosexuality during the 1920s and 1930s.

Sexuality and nationalism through the lens of antisemitism The CEE history of antisemitism provides additional insights to the complex relationship between sexuality and nationalism. By the first decade of the 20th century in partitioned Poland (Stauter-​Halsted 2015), imperial Austria (Wingfield 2017), and Hungary (Kurimay 2020), the popular press’s focus on scandalizing prostitution and writing exposés on “white slavery” or the trafficking of women provided an important platform for antisemitism. The portrayal of pimps, madams, and traffickers as exclusively Jewish connected antisemitism and exclusive forms of nationalism. This focus also contributed to the erasure of the female agency of women who decided to enter the sex industry (Kurimay 2020; Stauter-​Halsted 2015; Wingfield 2017). In the context of interwar eugenics, the anti-​ Jewish laws shed further light on nationalists’ double standards of male and female sexuality. Inspired by Nazi racial laws and Hungarian eugenics arguing about the superiority of Hungarian “race,” by 1941, Hungarian nationalists codified Jewishness as a racial category rather than a religious belonging, and prohibited intermarriage between Hungarians and Jews (Kurimay 2020; Szegedi 2015b). The law that racialized Jewish people, also criminalized sexual relationships between Jewish men and “honorable” Hungarian women. In noted contrast to the initial Nazi racial laws, however, while the law prohibited sexual relationships 192

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between Jewish men and all non-​Jewish women living in Hungary, Hungarian men could have sexual relationships with Jewish women without punishment. The enacting of the Hungarian law of race defilement, along with the news coverage it received, brought all women, irrespective of their class, under scrutiny (Nagy 2015). Even simply being seen in the company of Jewish men threatened non-​Jewish Hungarian women’s moral and sexual respectability and could land them in court, resulting in hundreds of criminal cases annually in Budapest alone (Nagy 2015, 489). Permissiveness surrounding male sexual behavior was limited to those of the ethnic majority. My own work shows that while Hungarian men’s homosexual practices were of little concern for most nationalists, the sexual practice of Jewish men did not escape scrutiny (Kurimay 2020). This fact becomes particularly striking in a region where right-​ wing nationalism and aggressive antisemitic propaganda were decisive in influencing the conservative ruling elite and authorities in adopting anti-​Jewish laws and regulations (Hanebrink 2006). In sharp contrast, right-​wing nationalists were conspicuously silent about homosexuality, refraining from openly addressing or making homosexuals scapegoats for social ills. As long as people were deemed ethnically pure and conformed to other areas of the nationalist ideal, their (homo)sexual actions in private could be ignored.

Conclusions In matters of sex, the coexistence of secular eugenics, the strong alliance between organized religion, and increasingly racialized nationalism produced a particular set of regulations and had some counter-​intuitive effects. In upholding cultural assumptions about maleness that encompassed promiscuity, nationalists disproportionately focused on women and their bodies while they showed tolerance toward certain non-​normative male behaviors including homosexual behaviors. Believing that the state had the right to intervene in the sexual life of its female citizens and especially of ethnic minorities, interwar nationalists also chose to uphold the view that what happens in the bedroom of men, as long as it remains private, is no concern of nationalists or the state. The history of sexuality of CEE thus offers important insights to understanding the complex historical relationship between nationalist discourses, including silences, nationalist policies on sexuality, and lived experiences on the ground. The historical study of prostitution, eugenics, and homosexuality in the region also provides insights into the strong rejection by nationalists of sexual minorities in the present. With the accession of CEE countries to the European Union, symbolic fights over gender and sexuality emerged as defining features of 21st-​century nationalisms in the region (see Graff, Chapter 26 in this Handbook). While within nationalist discourses in Western Europe homosexuality and gender equality are upheld as beacons of European civilization (vis-​à-​vis the assumed cultural and religious value system of Muslim refugees and immigrants), for nationalists in CEE, homophobia and patriarchy are upheld as national virtues and signs of patriotism vis-​à-​vis assumed cultural imperialism of the EU, expressed in the form of the celebration of multiculturalism and gender and sexual equality (Moss 2014). Within this interpretation, homosexuality and gender are rejected not on religious or moral grounds but rather on presumed national (for instance Polish or Hungarian) cultural identity (Graff 2010). A different interpretation stresses the importance of the resurgence of religious nationalism and its role in CEE—​often amplified with US NGO support (such as the World Family Organization)—​in making homosexuality, 193

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along with “gender ideologies,” antithetical to Christian nationhood (Sremac and Ganzevoort 2015). Both of these interpretations are predicated on the belief that the visibility of homosexuals and queer people are a product of the post-​1989 democratic era. In turn, the belief that queers are western imports provides a convenient ideological foundation for the ongoing efforts to resist granting LGBTQ communities in CEE equal rights and recognition (Swimelar 2019). However, incorporating historical works that attest to the visible presence of homosexuals and the coexistence of homosexuality and nationalism in the interwar era introduces an important disruptor to perspectives on the relationship between homosexuality and nationalism that contend that homosexuality and nationalism in CEE are (and always were) incompatible (Sremac and Ganzevoort 2015). While both interwar and postsocialist nationalists prescribed to strictly heteronormative views, they were willing to accept homosexuality, especially within their own ranks, as long as it was confined to the bedroom. The example of the rehabilitation and unconditional embrace of Cécile Tormay (1875–​1937), celebrated interwar queer Hungarian writer, by the Orbán government is illustrative of this tendency (Kurimay 2016). In fact, by imposing silence around, and the lack of public engagement with, issues of their own members and protégés’ non-​normative sexuality in their approach to sexuality, 21st-​century Hungarian nationalists have followed in the footsteps of their interwar counterparts. It is first and foremost homosexuality as an act or identity in public that has been incompatible with nationalisms in CEE, past and present.

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19 GENDER, MILITARISM, AND THE MODERN NATION IN SOVIET AND RUSSIAN CULTURES Karen Petrone

This chapter explores the intersection of gender and national identities in Russia before 1917, the Soviet Union, and post-​Soviet Russia, particularly through the construction of the ideal soldier by both state and society. The image of the ideal soldier remains remarkably consistent over time, persisting through the pre-​revolutionary and Soviet periods and emerging into contemporary Russian culture. To say that this model of masculinity is enduring is not to say that it is static. While periodization is rarely exact, and there are always exceptions to general trends, there is a discernable chronology of alternating periods of challenges to and retrenchment of military masculinity throughout the last 120 years. These alternating cycles of challenge and restoration of the masculine ideal help to explain why there are robust scholarly debates about when and whether more conservative tenets of patriarchy and Russian nationalism superseded early Soviet ideas about gender equality and national/​racial equality (Ashwin 2000; Brandenberger 2002; Krylova 2004; Reese 2011; Timasheff 1946; Wood 1997). This chapter contributes to these debates by exploring the chronology of the formation of and challenges to the military masculine ideal. In modern Europe, the hegemonic soldierly ideal serves as one of the highest forms of masculinity to which all men are supposed to aspire and against which all men are supposed to be measured (Mosse 1996). During the two extended revolutionary periods in which the Russian and then the Soviet governments fell and were reconstituted, (1917–​ 1932 and 1985–​2000), the Russian and Soviet military-​masculine ideal underwent significant challenges but nevertheless survived. During World War I and World War II as well as the war in Afghanistan (1979–​1989), masculinity was also threatened as the horrors of mechanized and asymmetrical warfare destroyed masculinity rather than reaffirming its valor. Women’s participation in fighting the World Wars, and the expansion of the definitions of femininity to include military valor likewise put the hegemonic masculine ideal in jeopardy. While the end of World War I ushered in a revolutionary period that brought about advances in gender equality, the period after 1945 saw a significant, though 196

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not complete, retrenchment of hegemonic masculinity and the suppression of women’s wartime heroism until the second revolutionary period of glasnost in the mid-​1980s. A key premise of this chapter is that gender, militarism, and the modern nation, originating with the creation of the first citizen-​soldiers during the French Revolution, are inextricably intertwined (Sanborn 2003; Timm and Sanborn 2016). Sanborn (2003) argues that between 1905 and 1925, Russian and Soviet military conscription sought to create a modern nation by nationalizing masculinity, as the Russian and then Soviet states engaged in constructing Russian and Soviet manhood through military service and forging a lasting connection between manliness and patriotism. Sanborn demonstrates that both the Russian and Soviet ideal soldier had the physical attributes of “health, strength, hardiness, and dexterity” and the spiritual attributes of “honor, discipline, a feeling of duty, self-​sacrifice, a ‘hard’ will, attentiveness, courage, boldness, initiative, and obedience” (Sanborn 2003, 132–​133, 139, 143–​144). While Sanborn emphasizes the continuities in the ways in which the Russian and Soviet states promoted an ideal soldierly masculinity that they then upheld as ideal manliness in general, it is crucial to understand that both states did so amidst a dramatic backdrop of war and revolution that challenged, destroyed, and then rebuilt the foundations of the state and society as well as of masculinity and femininity. Although states and military establishments often treated the enduring soldierly ideal as if it were a natural and perhaps even biological aspect of masculinity, in which manly prowess was equated to devotion to the nation, there is nothing at all natural about the hegemonic soldier or his ideally feminine civilian counterpart. They both require constant constructing and reconstructing, making and remaking in order to endure. These ideals may be challenged during wartime and in periods of revolutionary upheaval, but they can also serve as anchors for post-​revolutionary and postwar retrenchment. This chapter demonstrates the power of the male soldierly ideal in Russia and the Soviet Union, as it has reemerged again and again in the 20th and 21st centuries, articulating a particular kind of hegemonic and national masculinity, reasserting masculine and Russian/​Soviet superiority, and also reshaping understandings of idealized femininity.

Intertwined national and gender identities In Russia, national and gender identities were interdependent and each was shaped and formed in relation to the other (Petrone 2002). The Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union, which was divided into 15 different national republics with more than 100 ethnic groups, had, in the words of Anderson (1991, 86), sought to stretch “the short, tight, skin of the nation over the gigantic body of the empire.” After the French and American Revolutions, notions of gender became deeply entwined with ideas about nationalism, citizenship, and military service. States began to define citizenship as a reward for bearing arms on behalf of the nation, a reward often limited to males of European descent. Females of European descent, denied full republican citizenship, were celebrated instead as the mothers of the next generation of soldiers. In this formulation of nationalism, the state required the participation of both males and females in their gendered roles of protectors and birth-​ givers to ensure the perpetuation of the ethnicized nation through time. The Russian Revolution destabilized this version of nationalized gender relations. Even before the Bolshevik takeover in October of 1917, the Provisional Government, which had emerged in February 1917 after Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, gave voting rights and legal citizenship to men and women equally. Because of the national emergency 197

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caused by World War I, the Provisional Government also took the unprecedented step of recruiting women into combat roles in the Russian Army. While units such as the “Women’s Battalion of Death,” so named because these women soldiers pledged to fight to the death, did not turn out to be an effective solution to low morale among male soldiers, by taking this step, the Provisional Government demonstrated their commitment to a radical reimagining of citizenship rights and service to the nation as the purview of both genders (Stockdale 2004, 111–​112). The Bolsheviks continued this gender revolution with equal citizenship rights for men and women, and tens of thousands of women served at the front with the Soviet Red Army during the Russian Civil War (1918–​1921), though the Soviet state conscripted only men into the Red Army. While women mostly served in non-​combat roles (nurses, political instructors, etc.), some also participated in combat. In the following decades, Soviet culture heroized both fictional and non-​fictional female as well as male Civil War veterans for their military contributions. In this new formulation of citizenship, men continued to fulfill their traditional military and labor obligations, with many of the same ideal attributes as their tsarist predecessors, but women were also recognized as citizens who served the state as soldiers, laborers, and mothers. Women’s new roles necessarily changed the relationship between military masculinity and ideal femininity, increasing the possibility that women would be recognized as full citizens and simultaneously allowing for a more capacious social understanding of feminine roles. Equally striking and equally gendered was the Soviet state’s simultaneous re-​ envisioning of nationalism, welcoming all of the nationalities of the Russian Empire into the Soviet Union on a putatively equal footing, as articulated in the 1924 Soviet Constitution. The state conceived of Soviet identity as open and multinational, and this overarching Soviet identity fulfilled the same function within the state as the 19th-​century national ideal. The Soviet Union promised autonomy to the most populous nationalities within the Soviet Union, but this promise was not ultimately kept, and Moscow’s relations with the Soviet republics often reproduced repressive colonial relationships. The idea of equality across all nations and all races was nonetheless radically different from tsarist ideals and practices. The creation of the Soviet Union initiated a new, explicitly multinational state that disrupted the idea of a single nation perpetuating itself through exclusive biological reproduction of men and women of a certain nationality; the Soviet state also envisioned women’s equality as a key feature of a new modern Soviet identity that encompassed all nationalities. These developments changed gendered expectations for both men and women in the creation of a new form of non-​ethnic but yet somehow still national-​patriotic allegiance to the first communist state (Goscilo and Lanoux 2006; Martin 2001; Northrop 2004; Riabov 2014). Soviet notions of heroism, masculinity, and patriotism must be considered in this radically new context in which revolutionary policies challenged the presumed superiority of males and of Russians (or more broadly, Slavs from an Orthodox Christian background). While the Soviet state often backpedaled or failed to enforce these radical policies, or even used terror against its citizens in direct contradiction to them, the key ideological tenets of racial and gender equality remained part of Soviet doctrine until 1991. Soviet military masculinity operated within a system in which, theoretically, and also sometimes in reality, women could participate alongside men in military activities and be equally valued for these activities, and in which the heroism of non-​Slavs could equal that of Slavs, as soldiers of all nationalities fought side by side on behalf of the Soviet Union. Real Soviet men and women of all ethnicities experienced new ideologies and rapidly changing conditions within the Soviet military and Soviet society, but the Soviet ideal 198

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of military masculinity was more resistant to change. Non-​Slavs and women may have assumed new roles, but the archetypal Soviet male soldier, whose default ethnicity was Slavic, and who was obligated to protect the Soviet land (zemlia, gendered female; and Rodina or motherland, even more explicitly female), was in many ways nearly identical to his tsarist counterpart. The Soviet soldier represented a powerful hegemonic soldierly ideal that had originated in classical Greece, but which was tied to the nation-​state in particular ways during the 19th century (Clements 2002, 5–​10; Connell and Messerschmidt 2005). This desirable and canonical type of masculinity, set up as a model for Russian and Soviet men (and also women) of all ethnicities to emulate, remained remarkably consistent from the tsarist army, to Soviet patriotic masculinity under Joseph Stalin, to late Soviet masculinity with its greater Russian nationalist tinges, and also to contemporary post-​Soviet Russian masculinity.

Hegemony and challenge: Masculinity and the military What were the attributes of hegemonic military masculinity? The quintessentially honorable soldier was first and foremost willing to sacrifice his life to defend the Russian or Soviet land. Despite the atheistic nature of the Soviet state, this sacrifice, which had been conceived of in tsarist times as Christ-​like, remained tinged with spiritual significance. In his analysis of the centrality of war to pre-​revolutionary Russian national identity, Carleton points to the significance of the Gospel of John 15:13 when Jesus declares, “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Carleton 2017, 28). By dying for Russia or the Soviet Union, the ideal hero gained eternal life either through heavenly reward in the Christian context or through the living community of the Soviet people in the atheist Soviet context. This ideal hero was exceptionally brave, passionate, and powerfully effective in battle. He willingly fulfilled his duty of committing violence against enemies, but he refrained from harming civilians or the wounded. The hero was disciplined and endured great difficulties and privations; even when wounded he followed orders. He was an active part of a homosocial world with close, nearly filial, bonds, maintaining great rapport with the other soldiers, and whatever his rank, he knew how to encourage and lead them. He remained morally grounded and committed to his cause in spite of the violence he carried out. The first period of questioning the masculine soldierly ideal occurred from the revolutionary period through the early 1930s when Soviet censorship was relatively lax compared to the rest of the Stalin period. During this time, there were numerous challenges to the soldierly ideal, including the fundamental rejection of the cornerstone of soldierly masculinity: the idea that the soldier should sacrifice his life for his country. In Soviet literature and films about World War I written in the 1920s, there were a variety of episodes in which Bolshevik soldiers in the tsarist army proudly described their evasion of military conscription, their absences from the front without leave, and even their outright desertion to the enemy. These soldiers sought to avoid sacrificing their lives for their friends. In these works, the soldierly ideal was turned on its head and the soldier’s heroic exploit consisted of his refusal to fight for tsarist Russia. In some cases, the authors articulated an even broader pacifist rejection of fighting in all wars (Petrone 2011, 101–​105). While these authors (Lev Voitolovskii, Aleksandr Pireiko, Leonid Katzov, V. Dmitrieev) were not well known, they launched a direct attack on militarism, modes of masculinity, nationalism, and patriotism all at once. More famous Soviet authors such as Mikhail Sholokhov and Ilya Erenberg also expressed pacifist thinking and a profound ambivalence about war. 199

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For these thinkers who challenged hegemonic masculinity, the courageous masculine ideal was not to fight and not to kill. This attack on the idea that fighting in wars was a man’s patriotic duty did not survive the tightening of censorship in the 1930s. After the upheavals of Stalin’s forced industrialization and collectivization, Stalin and other Communist Party and cultural leaders began to promote the Soviet military. This campaign was so comprehensive that censors no longer allowed works that questioned service in the tsarist army. As paradoxical as it might seem given the Soviet rejection of World War I as an imperialist war, no heroic Soviet figure could evade military service even in a tsarist war; anyone who did so was marked in the new literature as a villainous other. Soviet censors did not allow the republication of some pacifist works; others were republished with the offending pacifist passages excised (Petrone 2011, 251–​252, 259–​262). The seemingly natural endurance of hegemonic military masculinity required substantial political, social, and cultural work to uphold the ideal and to combat challenges to it. The idea that a soldier might be fearful during battle was not welcome in 1930s Soviet discourse with its heightened militarism and intentional restoration of the masculine soldierly ideal. A telling example was a scene from World War I in Soviet writer Mikhail Sholokhov’s popular novel Quiet Flows the Don. The Cossack Grigorii Melekhov, the novel’s ambiguous hero/​anti-​hero who at the end of the novel rejected Soviet power, became fearful during an attack: “Now as never before he was afraid for himself and for his men. He wanted to throw himself to the ground and weep, pouring his troubles out childishly to the earth as if she were his mother” (Petrone 2011, 246; Sholokhov 1996, 366–​367). The censors removed this passage from all Stalin-​era editions after 1933, while the World War I scenes in which Melekhov performed bravely remained. The ideal soldier (or even in Melekhov’s case the flawed soldier) in Soviet discourse had to defend his mother earth (the Soviet or Russian land) courageously, not be comforted and protected by her. Melekhov’s fear transgressed gender boundaries and was excised from the novel.

The Great Patriotic War of the Fatherland With the outbreak of World War II, or as the Soviets called it “The Great Patriotic War” or “The Great War of the Fatherland (otechestvo),” a national emergency led to the necessity of mobilizing both men and women for war in unprecedented numbers. The influx of female militia and Red Army personnel working alongside Soviet male soldiers required the men to reconsider the soldierly ideal. Approximately 500,000 out of the 800,000 women who served in the military during World War II were, in effect, conscripted by the party or the Communist Youth League, the Komsomol. Although the majority of these women served in non-​combat roles such as radio operators, doctors, nurses, censors, drivers, laundresses, and cooks, there were substantial numbers of women in combat as snipers, infantry soldiers, members of tank and artillery crews, pilots and also as partisans in the occupied territories (Reese 2011, 257). Krylova (2004, 628) argues that it became conceivable for women to participate in “combat, war and violence” because of the “radical undoing of traditional gender differences that Stalinist society underwent in the 1930s.” There is no doubt that the official ideology of Soviet gender equality influenced women’s commitment to serve and the Soviet leadership’s willingness to allow them to do so. Reese (2011, 264) places more emphasis on conscription and the context of national emergency. Reese suggests that

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the women vigorously challenged gender differences, but that these differences were not “undone,” as many women continued to perceive the military as a masculine sphere even when they were determined to join it. Women served in record numbers, during which they were required to engage in violence against the enemy, and they exhibited attributes such as strength, bravery, duty, self-​sacrifice, and discipline that qualified them as ideal soldiers irrespective of gender. The success of women in combat roles and the existence of Soviet propaganda celebrating these women had potential to destabilize hegemonic military masculinity. Yet, the Soviet state, like other wartime states in the 20th century, employed “for the duration” tactics to defend and restore Soviet hegemonic masculinity after the war (Rupp 1978). Soviet propaganda during the first two years of national emergency often framed Soviet women as potential warriors enacting violence and vengeance on enemies. After the tide turned against the Nazis in 1943, propaganda also shifted toward the valorization of male warriors, and began to associate women more frequently with motherhood, the restoration of domestic order, and the healing of the bodies and souls of wounded veterans (Kirschenbaum 2000; Krylova 2001). In this way, state discourse asserted the primacy of the male soldier and veteran and advocated motherhood as a response to demographic disaster. After the war, the majority of women did not remain in the military and returned home to rebuild their civilian lives, though some women continued in military careers throughout the Soviet period. Beyond women’s success in the previously all-​male sphere of the military, the postwar state also had to cope with the devastating costs of war, and especially the disproportionately high number of dead and wounded male soldiers. Dale (2017) argues that the postwar period was the site of multiple masculinities as the less than ideal behaviors of traumatized and wounded veterans subverted archetypal masculinity. While McCallum (2018) and Fraser (2019) do not agree on the timeline in which the state reconfigured masculinity in the postwar period, or about the nature of the reconfiguration, each shows the reimagining of traumatized and wounded masculinity after the war. McCallum argues that fatherhood became central to visual depictions of postwar masculinity, constructing an appealing masculine ideal of the former soldier-​father in domestic space. She also argues that realistic visual depictions of male suffering and trauma did not emerge until the mid-​1960s, an era that is usually associated with reining in some of the more open discourse about the war. The outpouring of grief about the wartime suffering of men (and women too) coexisted with the state-​sponsored glorification of war and with new prohibitions on criticizing the military leadership. Fraser (2019), by contrast, identifies a variety of postwar tactics to rebuild a hierarchical and hegemonic masculinity through valorizing such figures as male scientists and cosmonauts, while devaluing women’s contributions. She also discusses official concerns about military mobilization in the late 1940s and 1950s when young Soviet men were not very eager to follow the soldierly ideal after witnessing the toll it had taken on the previous generation, and were evading conscription in unmanly ways. This phenomenon demonstrates ongoing challenges to the manly ideal that the Soviet government sought to contain.

Late Soviet responses to military masculinity In considering challenges to military masculinity, the trends of the Brezhnev period are complex and not as well researched as earlier ones. Tumarkin (1995) argues that the

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leadership created a cult of World War II that celebrated male soldiers’ heroism as the post-​World War II “baby boomer” generation entered military service. Although conscription was supposed to be a rite of passage that made “men out of boys,” young men continued to resist service, especially after the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. In addition to the dangers of combat, another increasingly negative aspect of conscription was hazing (dedovshchina or grandfathers’ rule), the practice of the second-​year recruits systematically bullying and beating (and sometimes raping and killing) the new inductees. Being the victim of homosocial violence and then in turn enacting violence on other men became a hallmark of military service, but one that strongly contradicted the ethos of the ideal soldier. Despite the fact that the military was an all-​union institution intended to strengthen relations within the multi-​ethnic Soviet state, tensions developed among recruits of different ethnicities, and nationalist resistance emerged to conscription (Eichler 2012, 7, 30–​31). Contradictions between ideals and reality deepened and the “short, tight, skin of the nation” was also beginning to rip. When Mikhail Gorbachev opened up Soviet discourse in his efforts to reform the Soviet system, he made broad criticism of the military-​masculine ideal possible. One significant publication that challenged the Soviet hegemonic masculine ideal during glasnost’ was Svetlana Alexievich’s The Unwomanly Face of War first published in Russian in 1985, though she began her interviews with women soldiers in the late Brezhnev period. Alexievich was a pacifist and articulated the idea that war caused the suffering of people as well as of, “the earth, the birds, the trees.” She made an argument based on gender difference: that war through women’s eyes was profoundly different than what she perceived as the standard view of war: “How certain people heroically killed other people and won.” Instead of discussion of “heroes and incredible feats, there are simply people who are busy doing inhumanly human things.” Alexievich (2017, xv–​xvi) could not accept “[w]‌hy, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history?” She then chronicled the war from the women’s point of view, destabilizing the idea that courage and heroism were masculine traits. This book was one of the first of a torrent of materials that questioned Soviet myth making about World War II and the heroic masculinity of World War II soldiers.

Conclusions Between 1985 and 2000, the news media heavily criticized the military, and during the Boris Yeltsin era, the military’s institutional prestige and state funding dropped precipitously, and ideals of military masculinity declined (Eichler 2012). The free press recognized many failures of Red Army leadership and soldiers, demonstrating that neither group consistently lived up to heroic masculine ideals. In the last two decades, Vladimir Putin has raised the prestige of the military, and has reburnished the military masculine ideal, in large part through the resurrection of the cult of World War II (see Borenstein, Chapter 8 in this Handbook). A law that was passed in May 2014 punishes the denial of the verdicts of the Nuremberg Tribunal, the dissemination of false information about the Soviet Union during World War II, and the desecration of symbols of Russian military glory. The mutually constitutive nature of gender and national identities through the soldierly ideal both pre-​dates and post-​dates the Soviet Union, demonstrating a remarkable continuity. At the same time, this ideal masculinity has been challenged by the realities 202

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of war and public opposition to it, and it is perennially being repaired by state and non-​ state actors who are invested in maintaining national and gender hierarchies and promoting militarization. The Soviet case shows the creative ways in which these actors repair modern masculinity when it is challenged by egalitarian politics or broken by the horrors of war. Soviet policies of gender equality and the cataclysm of World War II led to powerful challenges to the Soviet masculine ideal, but masculinist forces in the Soviet state, military, and society actively sought to maintain male dominance, even while sometimes simultaneously promoting official values of gender equality. The efforts to uphold the hegemonic soldierly masculine ideal bolstered other male roles such as father and scientist, while postwar pronatalism and the suppression of women’s participation in World War II undercut women’s claims to equal citizenship and political power. The current Russian cult of the soldier continues this trend of disempowering women and affirming male hegemony.

References Alexievich, Svetlana. 2017. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. New York: Random House. Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso Books. Ashwin, Sarah. 2000. Gender, State, and Society in Soviet and Post-​Soviet Russia. London and New York: Routledge. Brandenberger, David. 2002. National Bolshevism: Stalinist Mass Culture and the Formation of Modern Russian National Identity, 1931–​1956. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Carleton, Gregory. 2017. Russia: The Story of War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Clements, Barbara Evans. 2002. “Introduction.” In Russian Masculinities in History and Culture, edited by Barbara Evans Clements, Rebecca Friedman, and Dan Healey, 1–​14. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave. Connell, R. W. and James W. Messerschmidt. 2005. “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept.” Gender and Society 19 (6): 829–​859. Dale, Robert. 2017. “‘Being a Real Man’: Masculinities in Soviet Russia during and after the Great Patriotic War.” In Gender and the Second World War: Lessons of War, edited by Corinna Peniston-​Bird and Emma Vickers. London: Palgrave. Eichler, Maya. 2012. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-​Soviet Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Fraser, Erica L. 2019. Military Masculinity and Postwar Recovery in the Soviet Union Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Goscilo, Helena and Andrea Lanoux, eds. 2006. Gender and National Identity in Twentieth Century Russian Culture. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. Kirschenbaum, Lisa. 2000. “‘Our City, Our Hearths, Our Families’: Local Loyalties and Private Life in Soviet World War II Propaganda.” Slavic Review 59 (4): 825–​847. Krylova, Anna. 2001. “‘Healers of Wounded Souls’: The Crisis of Private Life in Soviet Literature, 1944–​1946.” Journal of Modern History 73 (2): 307–​331. –​–​–​–​. 2004. “Stalinist Identity from the Viewpoint of Gender: Rearing a Generation of Professionally Violent Women-​Fighters in 1930s Stalinist Russia.” Gender and History 16 (3): 626–​653. Martin, Terry. 2001. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–​1939. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. McCallum, Claire E. 2018. The Fate of the New Man: Representing and Reconstructing Masculinity in Soviet Visual Culture, 1945–​1965. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. Mosse, George. 1996. The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity. New York: Oxford University Press. Northrop, Douglas T. 2004. Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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Karen Petrone Petrone, Karen. 2002. “Masculinity and Heroism in Imperial and Soviet Military-​ Patriotic Cultures.” In Russian Masculinities in History and Culture, edited by Barbara Evans Clements, Rebecca Friedman, and Dan Healey, 172–​193. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave. –​–​–​–​. 2011. The Great War in Russian Memory. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Reese, Roger R. 2011. Why Stalin’s Soldiers Fought: The Red Army’s Military Effectiveness in World War II. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. Riabov, Oleg V. 2014. “The Symbol of ‘Mother Russia’ Across Two Epochs: From the First World War to the Civil War.” In Russian Culture in War and Revolution, 1914–​22, Book 2: Political Culture, Identities, Mentalities, and Memory, edited by Murray Frame, Boris Kolonitskii, Steven G. Marks, and Melissa K. Stockdale, 73–​97. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers. Rupp, Leila. 1978. Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-​1945. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Sanborn, Joshua. 2003. Drafting the Russian Nation: Military Conscription, Total War, and Mass Politics, 1905–​1925. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. Sholokhov, Mikhail. 1996. Quiet Flows the Don, translated by Robert Daglish, edited by Brian Murphy. New York: Carroll and Graf. Stockdale, Melissa K. 2004. “ ‘My Death for the Motherland is Happiness’: Women, Patriotism, and Soldiering in Russia’s Great War, 1914–​1917.” The American Historical Review 109 (1): 78–​116. Timasheff, Nicholas S. 1946. The Great Retreat: The Growth and Decline of Communism in Russia. New York: E. P. Dutton. Timm, Annette and Joshua Sanborn. 2016. Gender, Sex, and the Shaping of Modern Europe: A History from the French Revolution to the Present Day. London: Bloomsbury Academic Press. Tumarkin, Nina. 1995. The Living and the Dead: The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia. New York: Basic Books. Wood, Elizabeth. 1997. The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

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20 FAR-​R IGHT EXPECTATIONS OF WOMEN IN CENTRAL-​ EASTERN EUROPE Andrea Pető

Gender-​based analysis of Central-​Eastern European (CEE) far-​right movements’ history had a late start in comparison with research on Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. One reason behind this is the pre-​1989 ideological control under communism, another is the state of gender historiography in the region. After 1989, fueled by desire for retribution for crimes committed during Soviet occupation (e.g., forced resettlement, nationalization of property), anti-​communism became the ideological foundation of CEE countries, undermining the previous anti-​fascist consensus. There has also been a tendency with the nascent scholarship on women’s participation in far-​right parties in CEE to see women as victims, losers, or lunatics. I propose an alternative theoretical framework in two ways. First, I take the agency of these women into consideration when trying to explain why women joined far-​right movements, and what role ideology played in that process. Building on Mudde’s (2004) concept of host ideology, I hold that women’s equality requires a host ideology to which its demands for equality can be attached, represented, or glued, depending on the historical context (Pető forthcoming). Second, I use Mahmood’s concept of agency (2006, 34), “a capacity for action that historically specific relations of subordination enable and create.” Far-​right women challenged social norms and their subordination primarily through participation in violent actions, suggesting that violence, not just ideologies such as fascism, can be a host of gender equality. In the interwar period, the far right grew in influence across CEE, acquiring varying degrees of power. Many CEE movements modeled their ideology on Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, but at the same time, they sought to distinguish themselves from Western European fascism, creating their own, nativist stances on women and gender. While considering the commonalities among movements in the region, this chapter focuses on the gendered politics of those movements that acquired institutional power, such as the Arrow Cross in Hungary, or those that had the support of the German Nazi Party, such as in Slovakia and Croatia.

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Research on women and fascism in CEE after WWII During their liberation of CEE from Nazi occupation, the Red Army frequently committed atrocities against civilian women. The anti-​communist rhetoric of the Cold War focused on this violence. This discourse framed Nazi collaborator far-​right parties as victims of Soviet military violence (see discussion in Pető 2017, 132–​148). Both the Soviet and western occupation zones in postwar Europe were similar in one aspect: when examining the role that women played in Nazism, their tribunals either minimized that role or perceived it as exotically “other.” These female war criminals were perceived as counter to the idealized roles of women as caretakers and mothers. Women who said they committed their crimes under orders from male relatives were acquitted. These trials downplayed the agency of women and sought to undo the “matriarchy born in need” during the war and, as a result, far-​right women were marginalized and forgotten (Barna and Pető 2015). If there was any mention of far-​right women public figures in CEE, then it referred to the occupying Germans and never to the locals. Cold War scholarship on both sides of the Iron Curtain also excluded women active in far-​right regimes from research on fascism but for different reasons. At first, the focus of researchers was mostly on political history, and they did not see women in decision-​making positions. Women’s stories were not examined. In the 1980s, German historians began to study women perpetrators, whom they portrayed as “evil” or “bad women,” followed by researchers in other countries (Kater 1983, 218–​224; Windaus-​Walser 1988, 102–​115; see reflection on this by Pető 2009, 147–​151). Research on women in fascist movements was first oriented toward women in prominent positions—​concentration camp guards, actors, journalists—​and the wives of famous men, including various politicians. However, as Schwarz (2000) points out, these women were relegated to a special and extreme category, which therefore did not deserve scholarly attention. Women’s roles in fascism drew particular attention through the prolonged debate between Gisela Bock and Claudia Koonz, which, in reference to the Historikerstreit (Historians’ debate) on the responsibility of Germans for Nazism, was called the Historikerinnenstreit (Female historians’ debate). This debate was about the definition of gendered collaboration, where Koonz argued for a broader understanding of women’s collaboration, and Bock rejected the implications of women’s collective guilt (Grossmann 1991, 350–​358). The debate rendered invalid the assumption that German women were all victims of Nazi sexism. This assumption of victimhood sweeps under the carpet the fact that non-​Jewish German women profited from racist Nazi politics partly through the maternal welfare institutions of the eugenics program, and also because of the employment opportunities available for them in the newly built health system. Yet the Koonz and Bock debate has had limited influence on CEE scholarship. Scholarship in the Soviet bloc on women’s participation in extreme right movements was limited by the inaccessibility of state archives to those researchers who were considered ideologically unreliable. The hegemonic anti-​fascist rhetoric created homogenized victim and perpetrator groups, ignoring the differentiation of victims like Jews or women, and the complex relationship between the mainstream political ideology and extreme right politics. Women’s participation in local far-​right movements as wartime collaborators was left unexamined. If studies on local far-​right movements mentioned women at all, they focused on the far-​right portrayal of women as mothers. Anti-​fascist and socialist historians argued that the far right put women back in the family home, ending women’s increased employment as well as their political emancipation, which socialists promised to return. 208

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Gendered analyses of fascism in CEE after communism After the collapse of communism, research on women and the far right was shaped by other political and cultural shifts. There were few women historians, and gender history at this time was mostly written by women. Gender research followed the pattern of early feminist historical work in other regions, which examined women’s movements, but limited its definition of women’s movements to leftist, liberal, and emancipatory movements. The focus on select movements was motivated by an interest in legitimizing leftist contemporary movements campaigning for women’s equality, while ignoring women who were equally active, but on the right. As the presence and influence of contemporary non-​progressive women’s movements in 21st-​century CEE has grown, research on women’s connections with far-​right movements has become a political necessity (Pető 2004, 173–​183). As part of the growth of illiberalism, some Nazi collaborator politicians, such as Ukrainian Stepan Bandera, have been rehabilitated as anti-​communists and used to legitimize the new political regime (Kis 2015, 53–​82; Petrenko 2015, 57–​74). Illiberal versions of CEE far-​right movements include women but exclusively as victims or as suffering mothers that symbolize the nation (Grzebalska and Pető 2017). Perpetrator research (Täterforschung) is a developing field in CEE (Lower 2013; Pető 2020), but to integrate women and gender, scholars have had to dismantle widely accepted models including the dichotomy of victim and perpetrator. This limiting dichotomy existed outside CEE; most research has focused on the social and psychological condition of perpetrators, and set up typologies of perpetrators, without taking gender into consideration (Mann 2000, 331–​366; Paul 2002; Waller 2002). Williams and Buckley-​Zistel (2018) argue that simplifying typologies should be left behind, and they consider the complexity of subgroups, including gender. Incorporating gender into perpetrator typologies not only challenges simple dichotomies but also identifies how women interacted with far-​right ideologies in institutional, formal, and informal social spaces (Pető 2014, 107–​131). The process of studying women in CEE far-​right movements, whose history had been silenced because of gender and memory politics during communism and neoliberalism, gives insights into how far-​right movements tried to marginalize women and how far-​right women themselves contested that marginalization.

The birth of gendered anti-​modernism in Central-​Eastern Europe Far-​right movements in CEE were connected to a broader anti-​modernist critique—​ under the influence of a variety of intellectual schools including nativism—​that offered a new and viable alternative to 19th-​century liberal capitalism. In interwar CEE, different political forces from the Croatian Ustasha to the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party successfully recruited women’s support as voters, sympathizers, and members, and engaged gender politics to build even more popular support (Bitunjac 2018). In some cases, religious, mostly Catholic women’s, organizations advocated for including women in public life in opposition to unresponsive far-​right movements, like Hlinka’s guard in Slovakia, which celebrated only militarized masculinity (Zavacká 2012, 425–​451). These far-​right movements incorporated criticism against liberalism and socialism to build up electoral and popular support, presenting themselves as an alternative to the Left. In the cases of Hungary and Bulgaria, the Right blamed the Left for territorial losses after World War I. In the cases of the Baltic states or Romania, the Right opposed their powerful and expansive neighbor, the Soviet Union, which used women’s 209

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emancipation as a tool of public diplomacy. The Right’s gendered criticism of the Left also targeted what they saw as liberal and leftist women’s behavior. Estonian veterans blamed the decadent and immoral behavior of young Estonian women for “having put cigarettes in the mouths of our daughters and having taught them the bodily contortions of the foxtrot” (Kasekamp 1999, 593). Far-​right parties in CEE exhibited strong anti-​woman tendencies by opposing women’s employment and demands for suffrage, both of which had expanded during World War I. Women in several CEE countries—​Germany, Poland, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Czechoslovakia—​gained the right to vote during and soon after World War I. In far-​right political discourse, “woman” and especially “the new woman” emerged as an unpredictable and dangerous element that threatened male hegemony in the economic, political, and cultural life. This opposition was based, as Sandulescu (2004) shows in Romania, in part on male-​dominated friendships and connections members of the far right had formed during World War I in the army (Sandulescu 2004, 349–​361). For the far right, a woman who did not conform to a biologically determined caring role (i.e., was not a mother), was not considered a real woman. This discourse on motherhood was also closely linked to eugenics movements across the CEE region (Bridenthal, Grossman, and Kaplan 1984; Lafferton 2007, 706–​732; Turda 2006, 303–​325; see Kurimay, Chapter 18 in this Handbook). Motherhood was integrated into electoral laws in Hungary where women having three living children were eligible to vote together with educated women or women with considerable wealth (Pető and Szapor 2004, 172–​181). Women joined far-​ right parties and movements to resist the conservative patriarchy’s opposition to women’s participation in the public sphere, as well as to pursue acknowledgement for their unpaid care work at home (Zarnowska 2004, 57–​68). Uniforms were a common fascination and tool for far-​right parties, and each party had special uniforms designed for women. The design of these uniforms communicated far-​right gendered ideals, and also reflects the particularities of these ideals, revealing differences between the Italian, German, and CEE movements. While the woman members of the Republic of Salò in Italy sported women’s trousers, the female members of the Arrow Cross Party in Hungary wore skirts with neckties. They received written instructions from party headquarters on how to color silk green, the color of the movement, if such dye was not available in shops. Hungarian far-​right leaders also instructed women to feel pride in sewing their own uniforms, which helped them avoid the exploitation of other laborers (Pető 2020). The uniforms of Nazi women’s organizations, by contrast, painstakingly avoided every stylistic feature that could have accentuated what they saw as masculine characteristics such as broad shoulders or narrow hips and neckties. Fashion that did not clearly distinguish between men and women was considered “alien” (Guenther 1997, 29–​58). The difference between extreme right parties in controlling women’s bodies reflects the variances among their gendered ideologies.

Gender and fascism during World War II in CEE Leaders of CEE far-​right women’s movements, their fellow intellectuals, as well as representatives of respective party media, regularly participated in the meetings of Italian and German fascist women’s organizations. The local far-​right women’s press often published translations of articles from German and Italian newspapers. All far-​ right movements incorporated antisemitism into their own nation’s mythology. Still, as

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the example of women’s uniforms shows, although CEE far-​right movements were in contact with German and Italian movements, they also maintained a strategic distance as they understood German and Italian interest in their work not only as a new form of hegemony but also as a political influence harming their national interests (Bauerkämper and Rossoliński-​Liebe 2017). During the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe, women members of local far-​right parties (that in other ways collaborated with the Germans) often got into conflict with the German women workforce who arrived together with the occupying forces—​among them doctors, nurses, typists, and administrators—​because of the privileges the latter enjoyed (Lower 2013). CEE right-​wing movements adopted Nazi idealized gender models and applied them to their own national contexts (Passmore 2003). In particular the CEE far-​right parties incorporated Nazi tactics of violence, inspired in part by the rapid armament and initial military successes of Nazi Germany. This cult of violence distinguished the far right from conservative parties and was linked to two other cults. The first was the cult of the heroic soldier who fought in World War I, but was betrayed by the Great Powers and domestic, leftist political forces. In this discursive field in idealization of soldiers they were competing with the mainstream conservative ideology (Lambert 2007). In Romania, the cult of the soldier honored ordinary soldiers instead of heroic ones (Platon 2012, 65–​90). The second cult as an ideological base was the cult of the martyr mother and wife. Both gendered cults incorporated Christian images to compete with the dominant mainstream ideology. As more and more men were mobilized to serve on the frontlines, a “matriarchy born in need” brought women into the labor market (Pető 2008, 63–​83). This labor market development reshaped political discourse in which the far right claimed to protect women. First, the far right raised alarms about the damaging effects that paid employment would have on women, and the wartime woman worker would undermine their idealized image of the woman homemaker. Second, as the state became increasingly impoverished by its growing military expenditures, more women found support in welfare services provided by far-​right parties, receiving aid as members and as party employees. Third, as women’s employment grew, more women experienced gender-​based discrimination. In 1938, the Arrow Cross Party was the first to propose a bill against workplace sexual harassment to the Hungarian Parliament, though its focus was the antisemitic claim that young Hungarian women were being exploited by Jewish employers (Pető 2020). Starting in 1938, as the Hungarian Parliament passed several anti-​Jewish laws, which strengthened the positions of far-​right parties, leaders like Ferenc Szálasi emphasized that the far right discouraged women to become like men and did not want women to compete with them at the workplace. The far-​right parties’ and movements’ policies on women were like conservative anti-​feminism as they also held that the place of women is in the family home with their children. However, the far-​right cult of violence, which was also linked to reaching back to pagan “traditions,” separated the far-​right parties from conservative parties. Before coming to power, the Croatian Ustasha movement mobilized women in a relatively wide array of roles—​mother, wife, worker, writer, and artist—​while men were only to be fearless warriors (Jelınek 1992, 191–​223; Yeomans 2005, 720–​721). Combative queens informed the historical prototype of the ideal woman for the Ustasha, but the first woman tram conductor of Sarajevo and women artists also appeared in the Ustasha press as potential examples to follow. Women could choose to become fierce amazons

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as well, with which they would have reached the Ustasha movement’s final political objective: turning into “men” and deleting gender differences, which would then erase all the political and rhetorical problems that arise from women’s difference. But that theory of gender neutrality was only a part of their program. In 1941, when the Ustasha took power and formed the Independent State of Croatia, they put theory into praxis, which de-​emphasized gender equality. Then they stated their goal to be sending women back to their families and homes in contrast to promises of liberal feminist and socialist emancipation, which they perceived as a failure, shedding a light on the inbuilt paradoxes of their gender politics. The Hungarian Arrow Cross Party similarly pushed women toward their domestic responsibilities in its six months of power in 1944–​1945. In both cases, female activists encountered the same glass ceiling as their sisters had earlier encountered with the mainstream conservative parties. Conservative and far-​ right parties faced the same problem: how to integrate women with increasing economic and psychological independence into their movement while, in their idealized state, women’s work would confine women to their homes. During the period of the war’s radicalization, small and often previously banned parties in CEE entered the government, and together with them, their female party members and supporters also experienced a measure of independence and power. In their memoirs, the women who served in the Italian Republic of Salò’s Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps describe this period as “the time of freedom” because they could finally leave the politically sanctified confinement of motherhood—​in uniforms and armor (Schiavo 2016, 135–​ 145). In both fascist Italy and CEE, where fascist states promoted normative motherhood, appropriating Christian imaginary and rhetoric, women challenged this framework confining them to the home. Women in the Italian Saló Republic and women in the Hungarian Arrow Cross actively participated in the killing, murdering, robbing, and denouncing in the last days of World War II. As Cynthia Enloe warns us, “many women who experience militarization do not see themselves as victims of that process” but rather see it as a form of empowerment (2000, 297). For these women, the militarism and militarization of the far right provided much needed resources for upward mobility or regaining dignity.

Conclusions The difficulties of research on the relationship between women and the far-​ right movements in CEE are caused just as much by the blind spots of mainstream historical research as by the shortcomings of gender research in CEE. There is a lack of amply complex analytical concepts to understand the motivations of women in far-​right movements and parties in CEE. The concepts developed and applied to research on leftist and liberal movements are not always applicable for researching the far-​right mobilization of women. For instance, these far-​right movements were attractive for women because they could join them directly, that is, they did not have to establish a separate women’s organization as they were integrated into the main movement. The far-​right discourse about saving the nation had a powerful positive impact on women’s mobilization as well. The gendered discourse of CEE far-​right nationalism distinguished it from German Nazism. After women were admitted in these parties, they created spaces of their own. Within these spaces, women activists often challenged the official program of far-​right parties 212

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regarding women’s official role as housewives only, causing serious internal tensions. The party leadership wanted women to focus on social politics alone, while the women themselves wanted to engage in real politics by developing an alternative, anti-​modernist vision of women’s emancipation. This was especially the case with female medical doctors in CEE, as women who achieved a university degree and were dedicated to social change very often only found space in the extreme political movements of the Right and the Left (Pető 2020, 45–​52). Women’s participation in conservative-​ nationalist and especially in far-​ right movements also brings up theoretical questions. Approaches to this area of research fail to acknowledge the agency of these women in deciding to participate in right-​wing political movements. Failure to recognize the choices women made lessens the critical potential to see how these women’s organizations could challenge patriarchy, while also recognizing their ideological-​political involvement with racism and the Holocaust. Comparing women’s involvement in different far-​right parties, not just the often-​studied countries of Germany, Italy or Spain and Portugal, provides an insight into the often-​ neglected “dark legacy” of Central and Eastern Europe.

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21 PARADOXES OF GENDER IN SOVIET COMMUNIST PARTY WOMEN’S SECTIONS (THE ZHENOTDEL), 1918–​1 930 Elizabeth A. Wood

The women’s section of the Russian Communist Party (Zhenotdel) was founded in 1918 immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution. It took as its principal aim to “draw the female masses into socialist construction” (Metody i formy raboty 1921, 1933, 247). At the same time, its founding director Aleksandra Kollontai and her colleagues wrote extensively about women’s emancipation as a project by and for women. In practice these two goals—​ drawing women into the party and encouraging their emancipation through their own efforts—​proved difficult to combine in one organization. The difficulty emerged because the one goal (drawing women into the party) was inherently oriented toward the official party center, while the other (self-​realization, emancipation) was inherently centrifugal, encouraging women to move outward from patriarchal sources of power to find their own liberation. This tension also reflected a second set of contradictions as women organizers sought to have the new party-​state treat women the same as men (through extensive legislation), yet also as inherently different from men because of their presumed “backwardness” and the corresponding need, therefore, to organize them separately and in different ways. Scholars of Soviet and East European feminisms have recently been engaged in a lengthy debate over the degree of women’s autonomy and proactive feminist agency in state-​sponsored, socialist “women’s movements” in the early and mid-​20th century (see Hinterhuber and Fuchs, Chapter 3 in this Handbook). The relationship between ideology and practice has been especially troubling. To what extent, some have asked (Funk 2014), should communism be viewed as “state patriarchy,” that is, as an inherently repressive social and political order that may have espoused women’s emancipation but ultimately failed to allow autonomy and activism by and for women? Conversely, others have wondered (Daskalova 2007; de Haan 2007; Ghodsee 2015), should it rather be seen as a positive example of “state feminism,” that is, a set of policies and practices put in place from above in order to emancipate women and foster gender equality in private and public life? The latter question thus involves both goals and means. Regarding women, early Soviet authorities spoke much more consistently about “emancipation” than they 219

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did about gender “equality.” To them emancipation meant liberation from the strictures of prerevolutionary patriarchy, especially that of the Russian Orthodox Church which, as Marxists, they roundly condemned for its obfuscation and oppression of the masses. The practices of the Zhenotdel revealed paradoxes and challenges in actual practice that made the attainment of what feminists today call equality quite difficult.

Tensions from the beginning From the first post-​ revolutionary Conference of Working Women in Petrograd in November 1917, activists sparred over taking a Marxist, worker-​oriented approach versus a more feminist, all-​woman one. Activist Konkordia Nikolaeva argued that there should be “no separate women’s organizations,” while Kollontai insisted, to the contrary, that women workers should have their own representatives at the upcoming Constituent Assembly to safeguard their interests in the family, motherhood, childcare, and the workplace (Hayden 1976, 153). A year later in 1918, Bolshevik women activists held a follow-​ up conference where they presented an extensive package of new institutions, from childcare centers to public dining, that would advance women’s emancipation from the patriarchal structures of the family (Krylova 2017, 430). Inessa Armand and Kollontai also received a green light from the Central Committee to create what became women’s sections or zhenotdely. In March 1919, the newly renamed Communist Party established the Secretariat, Politburo, and Orgburo, with the new women’s sections under the Secretariat. This meant that the women’s sections were pursuing neither high-​level policy (the domain of the Politburo), nor purely organizational matters (usually handled by the Orgburo). Rather, zhenotdely were linked with Communist Party agitation and propaganda. They were also organized in a hierarchy in which the district-​level women’s section was subordinated not to the women’s section at the regional level, but to the district-​level branch of the Communist Party, which in its turn was subordinated to the regional branch of the Communist Party. Nor did the women’s sections have their own funding; rather, funding was supplied by the branches of the party and by the agitation sections. A major victory came, however, in a circular from the Central Committee in December 1919 ordering all party committees at all levels to organize zhenotdely.

Organizational struggles force the women’s sections to become more compliant During the Civil War (1918–​1921), the women’s sections concentrated on recruiting staff and on supporting the war effort through campaigns and workdays to aid sick and wounded Red Army soldiers. This effort included publishing new journals for women (e.g., Kommunistka [The Woman Communist] from 1920) and creating institutions for maternal and child health, childcare, canteens, and laundries. They also contributed to campaigns against illiteracy. With the advent of economic liberalization through the New Economic Policy (NEP), women’s section leaders like Kollontai vociferously attacked the high rates of female unemployment that accompanied the government’s refusal to maintain and subsidize unproductive factories and other enterprises. Male party leaders like Valerian Kuibyshev used Kommunistka to express their disagreement with the economic liberalization of NEP and the attendant high rates of female unemployment, suggesting

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that, as a second-​string journal, Kommunistka was a place for some genuine party debate (Wood 1997, 173–​176). Kollontai had made ambivalent statements about feminism throughout her career (Iukina 2003; Uspenskaia 2003). Although she had advocated using methods similar to those of feminists since the 1860s (such as special circles for women workers, women’s clubs, childcare programs), she insisted that she was not a feminist; in her view the revolution would create a new social order that would solve the so-​called “woman question,” as it was called. For reasons not entirely clear, she disbanded all feminist organizations, as well as women’s educational institutions and the independent women’s press as soon as she was brought into the Soviet government as Commissar of Social Welfare in the fall of 1917 (Patterson 2011, 41–​42). In 1923, Kollontai and her deputy Vera Golubeva provoked a raging party controversy over feminism as a word and the concept. Golubeva, head of the TransCaucasus regional Zhenotdel, published an article in Pravda in which she argued that the women’s sections should broaden their work to include not only women workers and peasants (their official mandate), but also housewives and unemployed women, especially since NEP was having pernicious effects on women’s employment. She argued that they should create “special societies” to work on women’s emancipation outside the party. When she was attacked in the press by several women party members for overstepping the party mandate to draw women into the party and raise their political consciousness, Kollontai came to her defense, suggesting feminism was not such a terrible word and should be rehabilitated now that the work was taking place in a workers’ state rather than a bourgeois one (Dubinina 1981; Patterson 2011, 43–​48). This conflict over the meaning of feminism and women’s interests reached its apex in 1923 when the 12th Party Congress accused the women’s section of “creating the grounds for feminist deviations” which ran the risk of “separating the female part of the workers from the general class struggle” (cited in Wood 1997, 192). Joseph Stalin weighed in at the Party Congress, characterizing the women’s sections as “an essential transmission mechanism joining our party with the female portion of the working class.” From encouraging women’s emancipatory voices, party leaders moved to further suppress women’s independent initiative (Emelianova 2003). Kollontai, who had relentlessly spurred the party into giving women representation at all levels, was now sidelined and sent abroad to Norway in October 1922 as a member of the Soviet diplomatic mission. By 1926, the International Women’s Secretariat of the Comintern (founded in 1920 and headed by Clara Zetkin) was closed by order of the Soviet Politburo. The women’s section became immersed in internal debates over questions of marriage, divorce, alimony, and illegitimacy of children born out of wedlock, ceding ground to more conservative women who wanted more restrictive divorce practices in particular (Goldman 1984). In 1927, the 15th Party Congress criticized the women’s section for not sufficiently following party guidance (Hayden 1979, 351). Thereafter, the women’s sections became increasingly compliant with official directives. Anna Artiukhina (head of Zhenotdel, 1925–​1930) played down the Zhenotdel’s independence, arguing that the sections should follow the party line. The women’s journal Kommunistka followed party directives to accentuate the threat of war and the need to “militarize” women workers. In 1928–​1929, the women’s sections concentrated on pushing for the official policy of collectivization even though it had no benefits and significant harm for women’s agricultural practices (Kingston-​Mann 2018, 70–​72; Patterson 2011).

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In January 1930, the Zhenotdel was formally closed on the grounds that the “woman question” had been “solved.” Artiukhina, still head of the section, tried in vain to appeal the decision. Henceforth, work among women would be carried out by so-​called “women’s sectors” inside the agitation department, but they would have no funding and no independent personnel (Goldman 1996; Scheide 2001).

Assessing the work of the women’s sections To assess whether the women’s sections fulfilled their official mission to emancipate women, it is necessary to go beyond the debate over state patriarchy versus state feminism. On the one hand, the women’s sections functioned as a “transmission belt” through which the party-​state spread its control over the larger society. Yet, on the other, they also established an agenda and a process for giving women some voice and agency in striving to improve their position in society. One way to square the circle, as it were, is to view them as an integral part of a larger program of transformation in the Soviet Union, which had both positive and negative consequences. As Scott (1998) documented in his work on Soviet collectivization, utopian projects often fail to consider the people involved and the local ways of doing things. Yet they also create new structures that have a long-​term impact. In the long run, while the Zhenotdel agenda may not have entirely succeeded, it laid groundwork for greater equality, with both beneficial and sometimes not so beneficial outcomes. Over the course of their existence from 1919–​1930, the work of the women’s sections can be assessed in five key areas, each of which merits individual attention. The most time-​ consuming of all these tasks, so-​ called “organizational” work, meant holding women’s meetings at all levels of the party. These were strictly controlled affairs designed to bring women into the party and educate them in the spirit of the party, as one party directive said, “so as not to end up with incorrect women’s sections at the local level” (cited in Iukina 2007, 449). The women’s delegate meetings were expected to draw in the most inexperienced women and to keep them for a year, during which time they were asked to observe and learn, rather than to advocate for change on behalf of women (Goldman 1996; Scheide 2001; Wood 1997). There is little evidence that these women, many of them illiterate or inexperienced, were able to effect change or improvement in women’s lives more broadly. In publishing, by contrast, the Zhenotdel activists made some of their strongest contributions to women’s equality. By 1930, they were putting out 18 different publications with a total circulation of 670,000 copies, not counting the special “women’s pages” in the main party newspapers (Stites 1978, 336). Readership included women workers, peasants, and the delegates serving in local government. Kommunistka, in particular, became a place for trying out new ideas and debating women’s roles in society, women’s leadership, and organizing work among women (Goldman 1996; Krylova 2017). Activists, male and female, used the journal to write probing criticism of NEP in particular (Wood 1997). They fought against the disbanding of local women labor organizers in the second half of the 1920s (Goldman 1996). They debated the best forms of creating services for women and children that would create new ways of living (byt) and new gender relations. Women’s sections also worked successfully with various institutions to improve maternity and childcare, especially the Section for the Protection of Mothers and Children (Okhmatmlad). With roots in the prerevolutionary period, they were significantly more

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developed in the Soviet period and lasted until the post-​Soviet period. Soviet architects built high-​rise apartment buildings complete with childcare facilities, food shopping, and laundries right up until the fall of the USSR. In the post-​Soviet period, childcare and social services have been drastically cut back, but some women activists have been able to continue the work of social service centers for women and children in crisis situations (Johnson and Saarinen 2013). Less successful was Zhenotdel work with the Commission for the Improvement and Study of Female Labor in Industry created in 1922, but not fully functional until 1925 or 1926 (Patterson 2011). Improving women’s position in the workforce proved difficult because of resistance among male workers and trade unions, as well as persistent efforts to eliminate separate organizing of women workers (Goldman 1996). Zhenotdel activists frequently expressed concern that women workers forced out of jobs would resort to prostitution. Working first with the Commissariat of Social Welfare (headed by Kollontai) and later with the Commissariat of Health, the Zhenotdely sought to eradicate prostitution (Wood 1997, 111–​116). Kollontai viewed the problem as a breakdown of solidarity between men and women workers when women were equated with instruments of pleasure (Kollontai 1920). Soviet practice in this period was not uniform, however, and ranged from supporting women by providing alternative work to stigmatizing and even prosecuting them (Hearne 2020). Key leaders of the women’s section—​Kollontai above all, but also Armand, Nadezhda Krupskaya (Vladimir Lenin’s wife), and others—​worked with legislators to create new law codes on a range of topics including equal rights in marriage and the family, equal property ownership, the legalization of abortion, and labor protection (Goldman 1993). Compared to government policies at the time and even today, this was some of the most progressive legislation the world had ever seen (see Htun and Weldon 2010 for a discussion of how to measure gender equality; also Johnson 2018, 9, on the problem of gender legislation that is not actually implemented). Even though the 1930s saw a clawback of rights given to women and increased regulation of sexuality—​especially the criminalization of abortion, prostitution, and male homosexuality, as well as the banning of divorce and the stigmatization of illegitimate children who were not allowed to carry a patronymic (their father’s name) in their passport—​the general legislation made outright discrimination against women illegal in a range of areas (the family, education, and work) in ways that were sustained for the next 70 years and technically still hold today. The Soviet Union was also one of the first states to ban sexual harassment in the workplace or in situations where the perpetrator used his position of authority to extract sexual favors (Granik 1997).

The gender politics of backwardness Often the efforts in these areas had unintended consequences, however. Two stand out as the most important: the tendency to equate women with “backward” areas of society and the demand that women both work and care for children and the household, often with insufficient support. From the beginning, the new authorities mobilized the women’s sections to deal with the most challenging social holdovers in everyday life from the Tsarist period—​illiteracy, high rates of maternal and infant mortality, syphilis, and prostitution. The concentration on women’s illiteracy and inexperience meant that they were, by definition, in need of the

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party’s tutelage. This use of gender as a wedge to bring in the party’s domination can be seen particularly in Central Asia (Gradskova 2019; Kamp 2011; Massell 1974; Northrop 2004), but also in the whole of the USSR (Zdravomyslova and Temkina 2005). In posters, the artists employed by the new leadership tended to display men as warriors looking forward (a metaphor that had been used by populists and socialists from the 1870s up to the Revolutions of 1917) and women as backwards, looking back over their shoulders and barefoot, with kerchiefs on their heads (Wood, forthcoming). At the same time, the party (both leaders and rank-​and-​file) continued to view women’s contributions to society primarily through the lens of maternity and child welfare. This meant that over the long haul “women’s matters” (zhenskoe delo) would come to be associated with the domestic sphere and relegated to second-​class status after the more urgent problems of production and heavy industry. Since the domestic was associated almost exclusively with women, there was little call for men to change the degree of their responsibility for home and childcare. International Women’s Day (March 8), to take just one example, evolved from a holiday to emancipate women from the drudgery of the kitchen into a frilly holiday for women with flowers and cakes (Chatterjee 2002). Since Bolshevik policy was implemented somewhat sporadically and not always with an eye to the diversity of women’s own experiences, women themselves (especially peasant women) expressed deep ambivalence about issues of divorce and abortion, even how best to work among women (Goldman 1993). By the end of the Soviet period, many women had rejected “the woman question” altogether. If one of the main tasks of the Zhenotdel was to provide public solutions to the issue of the family, women themselves did not always agree (Fuqua 1996).

Conclusions Perhaps in the end it is unfair to raise the question of Zhenotdel effectiveness as either emancipatory or instrumentalist exploitation for the purpose of building party loyalty and control. Nonetheless, it will probably long remain a subject of controversy whether such a public, state takeover of domestic issues represented a step forward in emancipating women or a step backward in subordinating them to a different authority—​the patriarchal state instead of the patriarchal male head of household. Despite excellent studies of the Zhenotdel that have been emerging in Russia (Alferova 2011; Emelianova 2005; Iukina 2003, 2007), much more needs to be done in a number of areas. One is to determine the degree to which activists in the women’s section (particularly but not only Kollontai) worked with early jurists to create the new emancipatory laws on women and the family, and the degree to which that legislation was actually implemented. A second concerns the connections between the Commissariats of Social Welfare, Health, and Labor and the women’s sections. Although the leading Soviet-​era author on the women’s section, Chirkov (1978, 79), claims that the zhenotdely did not have any impact on the commissariats when they tried to send their representatives to work in them, it is not clear how much progress was actually made in creating the institutions for women that socialist theory advocated. From 1918 to 1930, the women’s sections struggled with their identities as the Push-​ Me-​Pull-​You’s of the Communist Party. On the one hand, they tried valiantly to push the party, setting out demands and resolutions for improving women workers’ and peasants’ lives. On the other hand, they were frequently pulled in many directions, both through their own lack of confidence and through the party’s insistence that their first priority was 224

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to draw women into the party, which was itself frequently changing direction through those years.

References Alferova, Irina V. 2011. “Delegatskie sobranie 1920e godov kak proekt podgotovki sovetskikh zhenshchin k upravlencheskoi deiatel’nosti.” [“Delegates Meetings of the 1920s as a Project for Preparing Soviet Women for Management.”] Magistra vitae 1 (216). Chatterjee, Choi. 2002. Celebrating Women: Gender, Festival Culture, and Bolshevik Ideology, 1910–​ 1939. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Chirkov, P. M. 1978. Reshenie zhenskogo voprosa v SSSR, 1917–​1937 g.g. [The Solution of the Woman Question in the USSR, 1917–​1937]. Moscow: Myslʹ. Daskalova, Krassimira. 2007. “How Should We Name the ‘Women-​Friendly’ Actions of State Socialism?” Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History 1: 214–​219. de Haan, Francisca. 2007. “Introduction.” Aspasia 1: v–​ix. Dubinina, N. I. 1981. “Pobeda velikogo Oktiabria i pervye meropriiatiia partii v reshenii zhenskogo voprosa.” [“The Victory of the Great October Revolution and the First Efforts of the Party in the Solution to the Woman Question.”] In Opyt KPSS v reshenii zhenksogo voprosa [The Experience of the CPSU in the Solution of the Woman Question], 14–​34. Moscow: Mysl. www.a-​ z.ru/​women/​texts/​s_​14r.htm. Emelianova, Elena Dmitrievna. 2003. “A. M. Kollontai-​ zachinatel’ demokratizatsii partiino-​ gosudarstvennoi sistemy.” [“A. M. Kollontai, the Initiator of Democratization in the Party-​ State System.”] In Aleksandra Kollontai: Teoriia zhenskoi emansipatsii v kontekste Rossiiskoi gendernoi politiki, edited by V. I. Uspenskaia, 119–​130. Tver’: Zolotaia bukva. –​–​–​–​. 2005. “Gender v sovetskoi istoriografii.” [“Gender in Soviet Historiography.”] In Pol i gender v naukakh o cheloveke i obshchestve [Sex and Gender in the Humanities and in Society], edited by V. I. Uspenskaia. Tverʹ: Feminist-​Press, 2005. Funk, Nanette. 2014. “A Very Tangled Knot: Official State Socialist Women’s Organizations, Women’s Agency and Feminism in Eastern European State Socialism.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 21 (4): 344–​360. Fuqua, Michelle. 1996. “The Politics of the Domestic Sphere: The Zhenotdely, Women’s Liberation, and the Search for a Novyi Byt in Early Soviet Russia.” Treadgold Paper (10). Ghodsee, Kristen. 2015. “Untangling the Knot: A Response to Nanette Funk.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (2): 248–​252. Goldman, Wendy. 1984. “Freedom and its Consequences: The Debate on the Soviet Family Code of 1926.” Russian History 11 (4): 362–​388. –​–​–​–​. 1993. Women the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, I917–​1936. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. –​–​–​–​. 1996. “Industrial Politics, Peasant Rebellion and the Death of the Proletarian Women’s Movement in the USSR.” Slavic Review 55 (1): 63–​67. Gradskova, Yulia. 2019. Soviet Politics of Emancipation of Ethnic Minority Women. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Granik, Lisa. 1997. “The Trials of the Proletarka: Sexual Harassment Claims in the 1920s.” In Reforming Justice in Russia, 1864–​1996. Power, Culture, and the Limits of Legal Order, edited by Peter H. Solomon. New York: M.E. Sharpe. Hayden, Carol Eubanks. 1976. “The Zhenotdel and the Bolshevik Party.” Russian History 3 (2): 150–​173. –​–​–​–​. 1979. “Feminism and Bolshevism: The Zhenotdel and the Politics of Women’s Emancipation in Russia, 1917–​1930.” PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, California. Hearne, Siobhan. 2020. “Liberation and Limitation: The Early Soviet Campaign to ‘Struggle with Prostitution.’” In The Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution: Illiberal Liberation, 1917–​41, edited by Lara Douds, James Harris, and Peter Whitewood. London: Bloomsbury. Htun, Mara and S. Laurel Weldon. 2010. “When Do Governments Promote Women’s Rights? A Framework for the Comparative Analysis of Sex Equality Policy.” Perspectives on Politics 8 (1): 207–​216.

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22 WOMEN’S EDUCATION, ENTRY TO PAID WORK, AND FORCED UNVEILING IN SOVIET CENTRAL ASIA Yulia Gradskova

When the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in 1917, they were quick to declare equality for men and women, but at the same time stressed that women’s cultural levels were low; educational efforts were needed for women to achieve real equality with men and to contribute to socialist production in the same manner as men. The non-​Russian women living in the Russian Empire were considered to be particularly backward and in need of Russian help for their emancipation. This Soviet gender ideology focused on the importance of work, political participation, and education for both men and women, while women were also responsible for reproduction. Soviet ideology shaped gendered relationship and policies outside Russia, including in the case of the so-​called “women of the East,” the non-​Slavic women living in Central Asia, Caucasus, and Siberia. Attempts to enact Soviet gender ideology in Central Asia resulted in conflicting policies and gendered violence. This chapter focuses on the implications of Bolshevik (1920s) and Soviet (1930s) ideas on gender equality in the territory of Central Asia that had been colonized by Russia in the 19th century. It places the study of Bolshevik politics at the intersection of national and gender politics and considers the Soviet emancipation of non-​Slavic women in the USSR (Gradskova 2018). The emancipation of women in Central Asia has been the focus of scholarly discussions, in particular with respect to its possible connection to the colonial politics of the past and their long-​lasting effects (see Shchurko and Suchland, Chapter 7 in this Handbook). The Central Asian part of the Soviet Union included five Soviet republics, the now independent countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. This region is populated by diverse and often mixed populations (including some numerically small ethnic groups in the Pamir mountain region), with their own languages and traditions concerning gender norms. The Tashkent area was conquered around 1868, the Pamir mountains in the mid-​1890s.

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Debates about the Soviet emancipatory project There are continuing debates about the Soviet emancipatory project in the region centering on the issues of intent and source of emancipation, its character, and long-​time effects. Central Asia (called Turkestan in Russian imperial documents) was one of the territories that the Russian Empire conquered last, and its relationship to Russia was similar to that between West European empires and their colonies. The Central Asian population was less Russified before 1917 than that of many other imperial territories (Khalid 1999; Sahadeo 2007), which drew the special interest of historians studying Sovietization. However, Cold War period researchers were limited in their analysis of the emancipation of women in Central Asia. While Soviet historians followed the scripts of Soviet ideology and praised the emancipation of women (e.g., Palvanova 1982; Shakulova 1981), the ones based in the West often lacked access to the primary materials, leading to some assumptions that were not grounded in empirical facts. Soviet modernization of Central Asia was used by Soviet authorities and scholars for showcasing the achievements of state socialism and its affirmative politics in Asian and African countries that got their independence as a result of the anti-​colonial struggle, particularly Muslim countries (Rasulov 2017, 225). One of the first studies of Soviet gender politics in Central Asia was published during the Cold War by Massell (1974). Focusing on the work of the Women’s Section of the Communist Party (Zhenotdel), he argues that the Bolsheviks attempted to use the mobilization of women, the “surrogate proletariat,” for destabilizing the traditional social order in Central Asia. Women, liberated from the control of men and families, could advocate for Bolshevik politics in a region that lacked proper proletarians. However, according to Massell, social change with respect to women’s status was pushed too strongly by the Bolsheviks, which negatively affected men’s “self-​image, self-​definition, self-​esteem and ego-​identity” (1974, 401). Massell’s analysis does not discuss much the implications of these politics for the identity of women in Central Asia, nor their implications for Soviet discourse on the emancipation of women in general. The opening of the archives after the fall of the Soviet Union contributed to renewed research interest in the Soviet gender project, which began to examine discourses of emancipation with a particular focus on Soviet imperial ambitions (Edgar 2006; Florin 2017). Several scholars saw Soviet politics in the borderlands as a continuation of Russian colonial politics to establish Russian control over the borderlands’ natural resources and population through destroying religion, national languages, and the traditional system of the socialization of children (Florin 2017). In Central Asia, the campaign against Islam, together with forced collectivization and ecological disasters (an effect of Soviet economic exploitation), were the most important arguments for explaining to the West that Soviet politics in the region were colonial. These scholars pointed to the extreme violence in the hujum campaign—​the attack on traditional gender norms culminating in mass forced unveilings in many cities of Uzbekistan, but also Tajikistan, on March 8, 1927. In reaction to the hujum, some local men attacked and killed several thousands of women who had unveiled as a result of this campaign. The killing was seen as a protest against the unveiling as a violation of the gender order. However, scholars do not agree in their evaluation of this campaign. Kamp, examining both documents and interviewing women witnesses of the campaign, suggests that discussions on changes in women’s societal status and the tradition of covering women’s 228

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bodies, started inside Uzbek society well before the Bolshevik campaign (Kamp 2006). Kamp states that before the mid-​1920s unveiling was partially voluntary—​some Uzbek women observed Russian and Tatar women and wanted to have similar freedoms, for example, to study. Some Uzbek women married members of the Uzbek communist youth organization and were less restricted than other women. Kamp questions the interpretation of the killing of women, who took off their paranja [traditional robe] on March 8, as “crimes of passion” and insists it was a rather well-​planned action of revenge (Kamp 2006, 186–​187). Northrop (2004) claims that hujum was an expression of Russian colonial ambitions; it hindered, rather than facilitated, the emancipation of women. Indeed, the Russian conquest of Central Asia contributed to a heavier veiling of women who had to be protected from colonizers; control over women also became stronger after the Bolshevik campaign. Another approach acknowledges the emancipatory intention of Soviet gender politics, but focuses on the limitations of Soviet influence. Many studies published after 1991, including Kamp, examine the role of national intellectuals and reformed Islamic scholars (jadids) advocating women’s education in different parts of the Russian Empire before the Bolshevik Revolution (Kamp 2006; Khalid 1999; see also Zikrieeva 2002, 67–​69). They argue that the Bolshevik discourse on “backward Muslim women” undermined local efforts (Igmen 2012, 152; Kocaoglu 2009; Makhmutova 2006). Still, a researcher from Tajikistan, Zikrieeva, suggests that Muslim women of many parts of Central Asia faced discrimination in their families and did not have political rights. Their situation in colonized Turkestan was similar to that in the Bukhara Emirate, the state in Central Asia that had relative independence from the Russian imperial government (Zikrieeva 2002, 59). Kyrgyz scholar Moldosheva (2016) argues that the Soviet campaign included Bolshevik female activists who had a genuine interest in emancipation. Other scholars analyze the structure and long-​term effects of the Soviet emancipation. According to Kalinovsky (2018, 77), in the 1960s, female economists like Rano Ubaidullaeva from Uzbekistan showed that women working in both industry and on collective farms were mainly engaged in manual labor, but did not have managerial positions or those requiring technical skills. However, other work argues that the Soviet emancipatory efforts led to significant progress. In their introduction to a collection of oral histories of women from Uzbekistan, Tokhtakhodzhaeva, Abdurazakova, and Kadyrova argue that, thanks to Soviet emancipation politics, including hujum, “Several generations of women got to the center of the public life,” and they take a critical position toward contemporary Uzbekistan’s officials’ perspective on hujum as a “campaign imposed by Moscow and requiring to refuse one’s own cultural roots.” At the same time, the authors do not approve of “the Soviet methods of social transformation” that limited their success (2002, 7, 8). In particular, they criticize the lack of preventative measures against local resistance (2002, 8). They also stress the limited character of changes sponsored by Moscow: while most of the women worked outside of the home in the 1930s to 1940s, family life continued to be patriarchal during the whole of the Soviet period (2002, 9). Families preserved separate male and female spaces, practiced customs of female obedience and silence, and in some cases, participated in arranged marriages. My study on the Soviet politics of the emancipation of ethnic minority women in the Soviet Union argues that the Soviet narrative that praised the generous help of the Soviet center to the “backward woman of the East” contributed to the othering of minority women vis-​à-​vis the greatness of the civilizing mission successfully fulfilled by the Soviet center (Gradskova 2018, 161–​164). The Soviet politics of emancipation often follow the colonial patterns even if not with intention. 229

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Bolshevik ideas on women’s education and emancipation: The “woman of the East” To become an equal builder of communist society, Soviet gender ideology held that women had to be educated and professionally trained, even more so than men because the levels of literacy and professional skills among women were considered to be significantly lower than among men. Schooling for girls had to be on equal terms with boys, and adult women who could not read and write had to be involved in courses or informal literacy groups. The elimination of illiteracy of women from the former colonial borderlands was a more difficult and longer process than the education of women in central Russia. It involved the costly preparation of teachers speaking national languages, and changing popular attitudes toward the education of girls (Rakhimbabaeva 1949). In the case of most Turkic languages, Soviet modernization also meant a change from the Arabic writing system into Latin around 1927–​1928. The use of the Latin alphabet was explained through simplification and Europeanization; however, it contributed to the Bolsheviks’ fight against Islam. In the late 1930s, the Latin alphabet was substituted by the Cyrillic one. The Bolsheviks recognized, quite early, the importance of special institutions for the emancipation of women in former colonies and territories with a non-​Slavic population. This task of setting up such institutions was first assigned to the Women’s Section of the Communist Party, the Zhenotdel (Massell 1974) and in April 1921 the first meeting for those working among “women of the Orient” took place in Moscow. According to the memoirs of Zhenotdel member, Serafima Liubimova, that meeting was attended by 45 delegates, including from some Central Asian countries (Liubimova 1958, 6). In March 1923, at the second all-​Russian meeting for those working among people of the East in Moscow, only seven delegates could speak the language of the local people with whom they were working (Materialy 1923). The Bolshevik center’s ability to influence changes in the former imperial borderlands was limited from the beginning. In 1926, the All Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) created the Special Commission for the Improvement of Work and Everyday Life to work with the women of “culturally backward people” (kulturno-​otstalykh narodnostei) (GARF 6983/​1/​141, 60–​63). The documents of the commission show that women’s emancipation was focused on the improvement of women’s work conditions, helping with the organization of education and the involvement of women in professional education, establishing healthcare and childcare institutions, introducing women into work in Soviet organizations, and spreading propaganda about the new Soviet legislation on women’s rights in family life (Gradskova 2018, 83–​102). The ideas of the Soviet emancipators were shared in a series of pamphlets titled “Woman-​Toiler of the East,” published in 1927/​1928 by the Institute for the Protection of Motherhood and Childhood. As toilers (truzhenitzy), women in the region were not proletarian workers, but people who earned their living through their work on a farm or in a small business. The series was for Russian participants in the emancipation campaign—​ Zhenotdel specialists—​but also teachers, party cadres, nurses, or midwives. The series included 28 pamphlets mainly written by ethnologists, with each pamphlet dedicated to the life of a woman from a particular ethnic group, focusing on her dependency and oppression. The series used anti-​imperialist language, and often started from a critique of tsarist colonial politics (Gradskova 2018, 76–​80). 230

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Despite the emancipatory rhetoric and critique of imperial politics, the description of the life of the “woman of the East” usually followed an orientalist paradigm. For example, the pamphlet on the Uzbek woman presented Uzbekistan as a place very far from Moscow and with different norms (Moskalev 1928, 6, 18). The pamphlet also stated that changes were underway, however, and that Uzbek women were starting to take part in public life and even be represented in local Soviet councils (1928, 36). Soviet leaders saw education as crucial for women’s Sovietization. In contrast to many other regions of the Soviet Union, where mixed gender education was a norm established by the Bolsheviks, Uzbekistan was allowed to have many gender-​segregated schools (1928, 45). Although this practice was largely abandoned in the 1930s, according to Soviet data, girls constituted approximately 42 percent of school pupils of gender-​integrated schools in 1937–​1938 (Rakhimbabaeva 1949, 41).

Bolshevik ideas on work among “women of the East” According to Bolshevik ideology, socialist society should be based on the collective productive work of all its members, men and women, whether living in the center or on the periphery. Similarly to schooling, Soviet emancipators saw the mass involvement of Central Asian women into production as a gradual process. Bolshevik leaders considered that women-​toilers of the national minorities lacked culture and education, but they also assumed that these women worked for their communities and performed important duties in indigenous households, in a way similar to Russian peasant women. The Soviet emancipators considered it important to study the work that women were doing in their traditional societies, to better organize professional training and education for them. The series of pamphlets and documents of the commission named the different types of work women that were performing—​from working in the fields to producing carpets (Venediktov 1928) or silk. Bolshevik emancipators’ assumptions that tied the productive role of “women of the East” to the household led them to believe that women had to learn new technologies and instruments to improve their skills. The commission organized special courses on poultry, milk products, silk production, and cloth making. The commission’s documents also expressed hope that in the near future some women would organize different kinds of cooperative enterprises and workshops, with modern methods, including collectivization and mechanization (Trud i byt 1928, 5). The materials on Uzbekistan show that the Bolsheviks were thinking about a fundamental change in women’s attitudes toward work and consumption, hoping that it could help to overcome their seclusion. They recognized the challenges they would face in a society that supported gender segregation and adopted a gradual model. A cooperative shop in one region of Uzbekistan reserved one day a week for women customers only (GARF 6983/​1/​10, p. 72). The pamphlet on Uzbek women reported that in 1928, local Uzbek women worked in 17 cooperative shops and 18 workshops, producing silk and milk products, and sewing (Moskalev 1928, 38). The documents of the commission show that these initial plans met a lot of difficulties, including a lack of finances and a lack of cadres (Gradskova 2018, 78–​90). The work of Soviet emancipators often repeated typical imperial-​colonial dynamics: women sent by the Bolshevik center to emancipate the “woman of the East” felt themselves stepping onto unknown ground, attempting to prepare themselves through reading books written by imperial orientalists and having difficulties in establishing contacts with Central Asian women (Liubimova 1958). 231

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Moreover, while the Soviet government expected Soviet women of all ethnicities to be promoted to important positions at the production sites and in Soviet institutions, in practice non-​Russian women were not trusted from the beginning, even as low-​paid workers. Many factory directors and Communist Party leaders on different levels were very suspicious: “The Kazakh woman never worked at the factory, she does not have the necessary skills. But at the same time the growing industrial production requires from her knowledge on productive processes, skills and qualification” (GARF, d 11 p. 4 from 18.05.1928). The commission often expressed dissatisfaction with the involvement of women in industrial production (GARF 6983/​1/​141, p. 58). With the beginning of the first five-​year plan (1928) and forced industrialization, women from the imperial borderlands, together with women from the center, started to be seen not as individual producers, but as a productive force that could be used as was best suited for the state.

Soviet ideology on the transformation of women’s family and private life: The case of hujum Soviet ideology also required the transformation of private life (termed as everyday life or byt). The private space was less accessible to the Bolshevik party or the commission’s supervision and required changes in the family regarding a woman’s status, as well as considering a woman’s religious beliefs and national traditions. The commission confronted the same issues that “Christian civilizers” and “imperial modernizers” had been dealing with before 1917, challenging religious institutions and traditions connected to marriage and family life, including seclusion and women’s dress. To emancipate the woman of national minority [natsionalka], the commission focused on informing her about her new rights in accordance with Soviet legislation, especially regarding so-​ called everyday crimes—​ polygamy, bride kidnapping, bride price, and domestic violence. The pamphlet on the Uzbek woman declared that the new Soviet legislation demanded that a man who kills his wife must be executed, and that forced marriage would lead to three years in prison (Moskalev 1928, 47). Soviet legislation, seen as a violation of local laws and traditions, met much resistance on the way to its implementation. While some women in the cities of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were killed by their relatives for taking off the paranja, Werner’s (2004, 84) work on bride kidnapping in Kazakhstan shows that, even if non-​consensual bride kidnapping in Kazakhstan diminished significantly during the Soviet period, it never stopped. Ideas on the protection of health through the regulation of dress were no less intrusive for family life and the national communities than the regulation of personal relationships. The campaign against paranja and other traditional clothes was inspired by the assumption about progress associated with western modernity. Antonina Nukhrat, a member of Zhenotdel and of the Commission for the Improvement of Work and Everyday Life of Women considered “rationalization of dress” to be an important part of Sovietization (Nukhrat 1930, 50). One of the institutions supported by the commission was the so-​called house of the woman-​toiler (dom truzhenitsy), a kind of club offering courses, library facilities, and dormitories for women whose ethnic group was considered to be in need of special help with Sovietization. Often the program of such houses included the opportunity to try on “European” (in practice Russian) clothes. Liubimova’s memoirs (1958, 31) state that the house of dekhanka (agricultural worker) in Ashkhabad (Turkmenistan) gave out “European clothes” and underwear to women while they were attending courses in the house. 232

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The clothes of Muslim women covering the entire body were at the center of particular criticism by male and female Soviet emancipators. While Soviet doctors criticized the covering of women’s bodies as dangerous for their health, some Soviet publications, following works of the pre-​1917 Muslim reformers, jadids, argued that the Quran did not require women to cover their faces (Smirnov 1929, 27); thus the “harmful tradition” could be changed without destroying the social order prescribed by religion. The pamphlet on the Uzbek woman used similar arguments, referring to the Quran, and compared Central Asian women with Muslim women from the Volga-​Ural region who did not cover their faces (Moskalev 1928, 19). The covered bodies of women, argued the author, symbolized the submissiveness and dominated status of Uzbek women. Her husband is described as looking at a woman as “Something that has a much lower status compared to a man” (Moskalev 1928, 22). The paranja is described as an obstacle to modernization and development, however the attacks of March 8, 1927 in the hujum campaign are described without acknowledging the tragedy of female mass murder. The victory of Soviet modernization and the bright future of socialism seemed more important to the authorities than the lives of individual women.

Conclusions The Soviet scenario for the emancipation of “women of the East” showed itself to be contradictory and marked by imperial and orientalist thinking about “other” women as more backward than women from the Russian center and as those unable to find their own way to freedom. Even during the first decade after the Bolshevik Revolution the new Soviet leaders of Central Asian countries criticized Russian imperial politics for the lack of rights and education for women in the imperial borderlands. At the same time they also criticized the heavy burden of traditional and religious rules that limited women’s freedom. Bolshevik propaganda production on the “backward woman of the East” had a double function: showing the dependent position of non-​Russian women while elevating the status of Russian women and Russia itself (on the Russian inferiority complex compared to the “West” see Tlostanova 2008). Examining the Central Asian experience of women’s emancipation in the Soviet period identifies important differences in gender politics between the Russian center and the periphery. Many men and women in Central Asia saw the institutions and policies aimed for development of women’s education, culture, and work as a continuation of the imperial politics of Russification, and resisted such reforms. Similarly to the pre-​1917 period, new ideas and institutions came from outside while local traditions concerning gender norms and family relationships were modified without local consent. Even if these efforts had been embraced by more people, the Bolshevik center never had enough money and cadres for realizing the promised program: the number of nursery schools, hospitals, clubs, and cooperatives getting state help in the 1920s was quite limited. The Bolshevik party was “compensating” these small practical achievements through loud propaganda campaigns and violent “attacks on old life” like hujum. The ideological violence of the Soviet state became harmful not only for the emancipatory ideas but for the life of the activists. Many women from different nations who were active in supporting early Bolshevik “emancipation” campaigns became victims of Stalin’s Great Terror of the late 1930s (see Gradskova 2018). As Edgar (2006, 271) argues, the legitimacy of Soviet emancipation directed from the imperial center came under growing criticism from the site of nationalizing states in 233

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post-​Soviet Central Asia. This lack of legitimacy was exacerbated by the fact that Central Asian women experienced the double burden that women everywhere in the communist world had experienced. While women in Central Asia largely got full access to universal school education in the post-​1945 period, the school curriculum continued to be controlled from Moscow. Women could not choose if they wanted to work outside of home or to spend some years at home caring for their children. The lack of such a choice was also attributed to the politics of Moscow, while the contradictory legacies of Soviet emancipation now have to be faced by the post-​Soviet states in Central Asia.

References Edgar, Adrienne. 2006. “Bolshevism, Patriarchy, and the Nation: The Soviet “Emancipation” of Muslim Women in Pan-​Islamic Perspective.” Slavic Review 65 (2): 252–​272. Florin, Moriz. 2017. “Beyond Colonialism? Agency, Power and Making of Soviet Central Asia.” Kritika 18 (4): 827–​838. GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), fond 6983, Kommitet po uluchsheniyu truda i byta rabotnits i krestianok. 1926–​1932. Gradskova, Yulia. 2018. Soviet Politics of Emancipation of Ethnic Minority Woman. Natzionalka. Cham: Springer, 2018. Igmen, Ali. 2012. Speaking Soviet with an Accent: Culture and Power in Kyrgyzstan. Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh University Press. Kalinovsky, Artemy. 2018. Laboratory of Socialist Development. The Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Kamp, Marianne. 2006. New Woman in Uzbekistan, Islam, Modernity and Unveiling under Communism. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. Khalid, Adeeb. 1999. The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Kocaoglu, Timur. 2009. “The Past as Prologue? Challenging the Myth of the Subordinated, Docile Woman in Muslim Central Asia.” In Gender Politics in Post-​Communist Eurasia, edited by Lina Racioppi and Katherine O’Sullivan See, 169–​208. East Lancing, MI: Michigan University Press. Liubimova, Serafima. 1958. V pervye gody (In the first years). Moskva: Gospolitizdat. Makhmutova, Alta. 2006. “Pora i nam zazhech zariu svobody.” Jadidism i zhenskoe dvizhenie [“It is a time for us to ignite the dawn of the freedom” Jadidism and Women’s Movement]. Kazan: Tatarskoe knizhnoe izdatelstvo. Massell, Gregory. 1974. The Surrogate Proletariat: Moslem Women and Revolutionary Strategies in Soviet Central Asia, 1919–​1929. Princeton, NJ: University of Princeton. Materialy. 1923. Materialy Vtorogo Vserossiiskogo soveshchaniia rabotnikov sredi zhenshchin vostochnykh narodnostei [The Materials of the Second All-​Russia Meeting of those Working among Women of Eastern People]. Moskva. Moldosheva, Anara. 2016. “ ‘Naberites khrabrosti i prochtite vse!’ Perepiska rabotnits zhenotdelov Kyrgyzstana 1920-​kh gg.” [“ ‘Get the courage to read to the end’ The correspondence of the Zhenotdel of Kyrgyzstan.”] In Poniatiia o Sovetskom v Tsentralnoi Asii. [Ideas about “Soviet” in Central Asia], edited by Georgi Mamedov and Oksana Shatalova, 210–​269. Bishkek: Stab-​Press. Moskalev, V. I. 1928. Uzbechka [The Uzbek Woman]. Moskva: Institut okhrany materinstva i mladenchestva. Northrop, Douglas. 2004. Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press. Nukhrat, Antonina.1930. Bytovaia rabota potrebitelskoi kooperatsii v natsionalnykh raionakh [Work of the Consumer Cooperation in the National Regions]. Moskva: Tsentrsoyus. Palvanova, Bibi P. 1982. Emansipatsiia musulmanki. Opyt raskreposhcheniia zhenshchiny sovetskogo vostoka [Emancipation of the Muslim Woman. Experience of Emancipation of Woman of the Soviet East]. Moskva: Nauka. Rakhimbabaeva, Zukhra. 1949. Zhenshchina Uzbekistana na puti k kommunismu [Woman of Uzbekistan on the way to Communism]. Tashkent: Gosizdat Uz.SSR.

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23 “GYPSIES”/​ROMA AND THE POLITICS OF REPRODUCTION IN POST-​STALINIST CENTRAL-​E ASTERN EUROPE Eszter Varsa

The historiography of gender in Central-​Eastern Europe (CEE), especially postsocialist women’s and gender history, has long identified Stalinism (1934–​1953) with repression, especially regarding women’s reproductive freedom (Pető 2002; Wolchik 2000). Some scholars argue that the Thaw (1953–​1964) after Stalin’s death ushered in more freedom in women’s reproductive decision-​making (Funk 1993; Wolchik 2000; Wolchik and Meyer 1985). They have interpreted the legalization of abortion in most state-socialist countries in CEE between 1955 and 1957 to be “part of the post-​Stalinist liberalization of social and political life” that suggested greater gender equality (Zielinska 2000, 24–​25). Other scholars have argued, however, that the Thaw was a backlash that brought about a decrease in gender equality. Goldman (1991) shows that the reproductive measures in Stalin’s Soviet Union, though restrictive, had positive outcomes for working-​class women and single mothers. In post-​World War II CEE, critics compare the Stalinist 1950s to the more conservative gender politics of the interwar period (Fidelis 2008) or to the post-​ Stalinist reaffirmation of sex-​based differences, the emphasis on women’s reproductive role, maternal identity, and accompanying pronatalism (Adamik 2000; Fidelis 2010; Haney 2002; Ignaciuk 2020; Kościańska 2016; Lišková 2018; Misthal 2009). Fidelis (2010, 9) argues, for example, that Stalinism in post-​WWII Poland was a “force that brought about radical social changes” in “interwar conservative structures.” De-​Stalinization by contrast, affected women more negatively than men. While women benefitted from political liberalization, which brought release from Stalinist imprisonment and reforms that included access to abortion, “precommunist gender hierarchies” strengthened and “heightened male authority over women” (Fidelis 2010, 171–​172). Lišková (2018) makes similar claims concerning Czechoslovakia. She locates some liberalizing changes in sexuality during Stalinism, and argues against a linear understanding of the history of

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sexuality in which the liberalization of reproductive politics following the Thaw contrasts to the repressive 1950s. This chapter intervenes in this scholarship by considering the intersections between gender and race/​ethnicity in post-​Stalinist reproductive politics. It identifies pronatalist discourses in CEE between the 1960s and the 1980s as aiming to reaffirm maternal identity only in certain groups of women. “New eugenic” selectivity (Varsa and Szikra 2020) targeted all those considered to potentially endanger population quality and healthy birth, such as “too large families,” the “degenerate,” and alcoholics. The examples of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria show that when mixed with racial/​ ethnic prejudices, “new eugenics” manifested in antinatalism, especially directed at “Gypsy”/​Romani women. Both racial and ethnic understandings of social difference historically have been used to construct the categories of “Gypsy” and Roma. The two terms are not synonymous or interchangeable. This chapter uses “Gypsy”/​Roma to denote the combination of assigned, derogatory versus self-​chosen categories of identification in the past and present. The text uses “Gypsy” solely with reference to historical sources from the 1930s to the 1980s where this label was applied. In all other cases, “Roma (adj. Romani)” is used to refer to (self-​identified) members of this population group.

Pronatalism and eugenic thought in the first half of the 20th century Population size and reproductive issues gained political importance in Europe at the end of the 19th century when, with expanding industrialization, birth rates started to decline (Timm 2010). The Soviet Union was the first to legalize abortion in 1920. Bolshevik leaders initially introduced legal abortion along a series of other legal changes they saw as liberating women from the home to facilitate their entrance to paid work, including women’s rights to property and divorce and equal rights to children born out of wedlock (Goldman 1991; Hilevych and Sato 2018; Hoffmann 2000). Growing concern about the drop in birth rates, however, resulted in restrictive legislation to increase population size, including the ban on abortion in 1936 under Stalin (Hilevych and Sato 2018; Hoffmann 2000). In the newly independent states of CEE following the breakup of the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, concerns about declining birth rates, accelerated by population loss as a result of World War I, gave the issue of fertility rates political weight and also prompted questions around population quality related to national strength (Bucur 2002; Karge, Kind-​Kovács, and Bernasconi 2017; Promitzer, Trubeta, and Turda 2011; Turda 2009, 2014, 2015). Eugenics that embedded the idea of a healthy population as a source of power gained political support in Europe. In pursuit of modernization and nation building, interwar CEE governments introduced a variety of eugenically motivated reproductive policies (Bucur 2002; Kund 2016; Turda 2009, 2015; see also Kurimay, Chapter 18 in this Handbook). These efforts resulted in both positive eugenic measures, such as protective legislation for mothers and child welfare benefits targeting increased fertility rates among population groups perceived to have desirable qualities, and from the 1930s, increasingly negative eugenic measures, such as premarital examinations, sterilization, and euthanasia that aimed to eliminate population groups labeled to have undesirable traits (Kuźma-​Markowska 2011; Shmidt 2019; Szegedi 2012; Turda and Weindling 2007).

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With the rise of National Socialism in the late 1920s in Europe and the radicalization of national politics in CEE, eugenics was increasingly mixed with racial thought (Thorne 2011; Turda 2013; Turda and Weindling 2007). Racial hygiene was central to National Socialist reproductive and fertility politics and formed part of the persecution of both “Jewish” and “Gypsy” populations during the Holocaust in the territories of the Third Reich (Turda and Weindling 2007; Weindling 2000). Preserving the “biological capital” of the nation became a political task for CEE governments. In Romania and in Hungary, for example, interwar “plans for a new, national order” based on “eugenic principles” shifted by the late 1930s to include more radical discourses (Turda 2011, 2013). Though these views were held by a minority, they called for the elimination of “Gypsies” alongside “Jewish” populations, promoting the “racial purification” of the Romanian and Hungarian nations (Thorne 2011; Turda 2011, 2013; Turda and Weindling 2007; Varsa 2017b; Zimmermann 2008). The extent of the racial hygienic persecution of “Gypsies,” however, varied greatly in CEE during World War II, depending on the Third Reich administrative structures in occupied territories (Zimmermann 2008).

“New eugenics” in post-​World War II reproductive politics Anxiety about fertility and falling birth rates remained a central concern for the immediate postwar democracies as well as the Stalinist and state-socialist regimes of CEE between the mid-​1940s and the end of the 1980s. Efforts to increase births were intertwined with a resurgence of “new eugenic” concerns connected to questions of healthy birth that, from the second half of the 1950s and especially from the 1960s and 1970s, were articulated in the field of family planning (Kuźma-​Markowska 2011; Kuźma-​Markowska and Ignaciuk 2020; Varsa and Szikra 2020). One of the first issues that arose concerning healthy birth was the question of abortion. In the early 1950s, under Stalinist governments, many CEE countries retained the ban or the very restrictive regulation of abortion that had existed since the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries, which allowed abortions in only very limited cases (Hilevych and Sato 2018; Ignaciuk 2020; Lišková 2018). Though Hungary had briefly allowed abortions in 1945 in response to the rapes committed by Red Army Soldiers (Pető 2017), regulations limiting access were strengthened in 1953. After the legalization of abortion in the Soviet Union in 1955 as part of the Thaw several countries, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, also liberalized abortion (Massino 2019). While legal abortion was part of Marxist thought on women’s liberation, in the Soviet Union (Hilevych and Sato 2018), Czechoslovakia (Dudová 2018; Hašková and Dudová 2020), and in Poland (Ignaciuk 2020) legalization was explicitly framed as a measure to ensure the reproductive health of women. Using eugenic arguments about protecting women’s fertility and securing healthy birth, medical professionals saw the advantages of legalization to regulate abortions and protect women from “the threat of illegal abortionists” (Ignaciuk 2020, 5). While providing information about contraceptive measures, physicians also warned women about the health risks of abortion (Ignaciuk 2020; Hilevych and Sato 2018). The centrality of the question of abortion to (pronatalist) reproductive politics is further underlined by the fact that some state-socialist countries did not legalize abortion, as in Albania; lifted their abortion ban much later, as in East Germany; or recriminalized abortion, as it was in Nicolae Ceaușecu’s Romania in 1966 (Doboş 2020; Kligman 1995). Due to the restricted availability of other contraceptive means, abortion rates increased dramatically in many countries by the early 1960s (Doboş 2020; Hašková and Dudová 238

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2020; Hilevych and Sato 2018; Varsa 2017a). These high numbers of abortions, along with declining birth rates, growing rates of out-​of-​wedlock births, and divorce, caused concern among medical and population experts (Doboş 2020; Hašková and Dudová 2020; Hilevych and Sato 2018). Between the mid-​1960s and the end of the 1980s, state-socialist governments used welfare incentives and reproductive policies, including restricted access to abortion, to increase births (Brunnbauer and Taylor 2004; Fidelis 2010; Haney 2002; Hilevych and Sato 2018; Hoffmann 2000; Kassabova and Brunnbauer 2009; Sokolová 2008; Szikra and Tomka 2009). In close interaction with Western European and North American movements and transnational actors, family planning was increasingly embraced in the state-socialist countries of Europe from the 1960s in the form of selective pronatalism (Hašková and Dudová 2020; Kuźma-​Markowska 2011; Kuźma-​Markowska and Ignaciuk 2020; Varsa and Szikra 2020). Physicians and organizations propagating family planning in sex education and marriage counseling services in CEE emphasized the importance of “healthy birth” through the use of (hormonal) contraceptives to reduce abortion rates and secure the health of mothers and their families (Hilevych and Sato 2018; Ignaciuk 2020). In this context, voluntary and compulsory sterilization as a eugenic measure to prevent the “reproduction of ‘biologically defective’ individuals” (Kuźma-​Markowska 2011, 109) was actively debated in Poland, while in Czechoslovakia voluntary sterilization was introduced in 1972. When due to the global economic crisis in the 1970s welfare budgets were cut, incentives aiming to increase family size favored educated, better-​to-​do families (Varsa 2017a). Meanwhile social and medical professionals blamed poor and “too large” families for being a burden on the welfare system, whose “undesirable” fertility endangered “quality reproduction” and “the health of the population” (Kuźma-​ Markowska 2019; Melegh 2011).

“Gypsies”/​Roma as targets of post-​World War II “racialist thinking” More than 200,000 Sinti and Roma lost their lives during World War II in the territories of the Third Reich and its allied countries (Donert 2017). The surviving Roma, who formed between less than 1 to 10 percent of CEE societies, formed very heterogeneous population groups in these countries. As discriminatory practices in postwar Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria show, although overt racism was delegitimized after World War II, “racialist thinking” continued to exist (Fehrenbach 2005). In both Western and Eastern Europe, racial bias affected the investigation of crimes committed against Roma during the Holocaust (Margalit 2007; Zimmermann 1999). A number of the anti-​Gypsy regulations established between the late 1920s and the early 1940s were not revoked or were reenacted after the end of the war (Donert 2017; Margalit 2007; Widmann 2001). In Czechoslovakia, for example, police introduced the national register of “nomadic Gypsies” only two years after the end of the war (Donert 2017, 40), while in Hungary separate color identification cards existed for “Gypsies” that labeled them as “work-​shy” between 1953 and 1961 (Purcsi Barna 2004). In Hungary, forced bathing in “Gypsy settlements” carried out by local medical staff and aided by the police, that had begun in the 1930s, continued well into the 1980s (Bernáth 2002; Purcsi Barna 2004). Scholars have pointed to a direct relationship between the mistrust among Roma for hospital care and medical services provided by Gadje (non-​Roma) and the genocidal efforts directed at them during the Holocaust in the form of medical tests and sterilization (Donert 2017; Sokolová 2008). 239

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Initially addressing “citizens of Gypsy origin” with the promise of “emancipation” (Donert 2017, 2) state-socialist governments aimed to solve the “Gypsy question” through their assimilation into the working class (Crowe 2007; Guy 2001; Stewart 2001). Efforts toward their assimilation through improved access to jobs, schooling, and better housing were, however, riddled with contradictions (Donert 2017). State officials designated “Gypsies” as backward, and denied them means for self-​representation. Assimilatory efforts were often realized through repressive and coercive measures, such as the anti-​ nomadism campaigns in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s and sedentarization in Romania between the 1960s and 1980s, the forced transfer of “Gypsies”/​Roma from the Slovakian to the Czech half of Czechoslovakia during the 1960s nationwide resettlement program, and the implementation of housing programs in Hungary (Crowe 2007; Donert 2017; Guy 2001). De-​Stalinization also brought about another shift in politics toward Roma in CEE from the 1960s and 1970s. As research on Czechoslovakia and Hungary shows, experts and policymakers focused less on the goal of assimilating Roma through bettering their social and economic circumstances which, in practice, was fraught with conflicts and difficulties. Instead, officials increasingly promoted the idea of their “natural or ‘biological’ difference” (Donert 2017, 148). This shift in approach to the “Gypsy question” paralleled the post-​Stalinist shift in approach to the emancipation of women, which moved toward a gender order based on the “biological difference” between men and women, and in which women’s roles as mothers strengthened (Adamik 2000; Donert 2017; Fidelis 2010; Haney 2002; Ignaciuk 2020; Kościańska 2016; Lišková 2018; Misthal 2009). Focusing on the difference of Roma not only explained the failure of previous assimilatory efforts but also strengthened prejudices and stigma, that in turn were reflected in policymaking (Donert 2017; Sokolová 2008; Varsa 2017a).

“Gypsies”/​Roma and racialized selective pronatalism The “new eugenics” of post-​ Stalinist CEE reproductive politics intersected with racialized prejudices against “Gypsies”/​Roma (Varsa and Szikra 2020). With a growing emphasis on the qualitative aspects of population increase, from the mid-​1960s the “Gypsy question” became equated with “problematic fertility” and “unhealthy birth” (Donert 2017; Hašková and Dudová 2020; Melegh 2011; Shmidt 2019; Sokolová 2008; Varsa 2017a). Eugenically selective pronatalism, combined with racialized prejudices, resulted in antinatalist efforts targeting “Gypsies”/​Roma (Brunnbauer and Taylor 2004; Donert 2017; Kassabova and Brunnbauer 2009; Varsa 2017a). Like pronatalism, these antinatalist efforts addressed the female members of communities, who were discouraged from giving birth or were forced and tricked into infertility operations (Hašková and Dudová 2020; Shmidt 2019; Sokolová 2008). In Hungary, medical professionals were especially worried about the fact that young and well-​situated women were “refusing to give birth” and requesting abortions while those with many children, such as “the Gypsies” and “the degenerate” were not limiting their family size (Varsa 2017a). Recent research has found how family planning and health education advice provided by physicians to Romani women in Hungary and Czechoslovakia included free pregnancy screenings and the distribution of free oral contraceptives to stop “unwanted birth” (Donert 2017; Shmidt 2019; Varsa 2017a). Experts in Czechoslovakia and Hungary agreed that young women and married women

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from the majority population with fewer than three children should be “discouraged from having an abortion” (Donert 2017; Hašková and Dudová 2020, 8; Varsa 2017a). Meanwhile experts and authorities posited that abortion was the best alternative “for mothers with multiple children, living in poverty and all those considered unable to care for their children properly” (Hašková and Dudová 2020, 8). Romani mothers were explicitly identified with the latter group and encouraged to use abortion as a means of birth control (Donert 2017; Varsa 2017a). These racialized antinatalist discourses and practices happened while the reproductive policies of the 1960s to 1980s in CEE restricted—​and, in Romania, even reintroduced the ban on—​ abortion to encourage births in general (Doboş 2020; Hašková and Dudová 2020; Kligman 1995; Varsa 2017a). The restructuring of family allowances in these countries embedded similar selective pronatalist intentions by providing more benefits for more children, but making the marginal increase much smaller once there were three or more children (Brunnbauer and Taylor 2004; Sokolová 2008). These indirect measures to “tackle the issue of the undesirable fertility” of the Roma and other minorities were part of the social support schemes for families introduced in Czechoslovakia in 1968 (amended in 1972), as well as in Romania and Bulgaria (Hašková and Dudová 2020, 15). In the 1980 Romanian reform of welfare support, families with more than five children with parents “who were not employed in a ‘useful social activity’ and whose children did not attend school regularly” could be denied benefits (Barany 2000, 426). In Bulgaria, when child allowance and paid maternity leave were significantly increased in 1968 with the goal of stimulating fertility, benefits explicitly “excluded incentives for a fourth child, because the abundance of children in the Roma and Turkish families should not be rewarded” (Brunnbauer and Taylor 2004; Kassabova and Brunnbauer 2009, 42). Sokolová (2008) argues that a similar, covert form of racism against Roma was manifested in the race-​neutral legislation that resulted in the forced sterilization of Romani women in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic between the 1970s and the 1990s. Shmidt (2019) underlines the continuity in equating being “Gypsy” with disability in interwar and postwar Czechoslovakia and claims disability co-​constructed the category “Gypsy.” “The universal definition of Gypsy as unhealthy led to the translation of, and interchangeability of terms” used to define Roma with those defining “social abnormality and deviance” (Sokolová 2008, 226). The law of 1966 and the Ministry of Health directive issued in 1972, which described who could be targeted by sterilization in Czechoslovakia, did not include any reference to Roma. They referred to “psychopaths,” the “sexually severely deviant,” chronic alcoholics, recurrent criminals, and those who might give birth to a genetically defective child (Shmidt 2019; Sokolová 2008). The negative perception of Roma as socially deviant, as irresponsible and bad parents who lacked an interest in family planning, which increased with the shift in approach to the “solution of the Gypsy question” in CEE from the 1960s (Donert 2017), overlapped with the categories of social and medical deviance, whose sterilization the law permitted. The forced sterilization of Romani women in Czechoslovakia is thus not an extraordinary case of violence committed against Romani women by actors of “the communist state.” It rather highlights the much more general pattern of the intersection of “new eugenic” selectivity in postwar pronatalism with racial bias against “Gypsies”/​Roma that characterized reproductive politics in CEE.

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Conclusions Putting Roma at the forefront of analysis, with an intersectional framework of “new eugenics” and racialism, reveals the antinatalism that women labeled as “Gypsy” faced during the pronatalist decades following the Thaw. This recognition of the “regressive impact of de-​Stalinization for Roma rights” (Donert 2017) supplements scholarship in gender history that has questioned the linear history of progress in terms of family and reproductive politics from the “totalitarian” years of Stalinism to the systemic changes of 1989–​1991. The chapter also highlights the historical role of reproductive politics in constructing Romani difference and deviance in CEE, and the centrality of this process of othering in defining “healthy birth.” Selective reproductive politics, combining eugenic concerns with racialist thinking were not specific to CEE. The US population policy of the 1970s resulted in the disproportionate sterilization of Native American, Latina, and African American women (Davis 2003). The UN-​driven efforts of postwar population control that targeted “third world” women implemented racialized reproductive politics on a global scale. This chapter’s examples from behind the Iron Curtain are among many historical contexts where poor, ethnic, or colonized populations were considered dangerous to the “health” and “quality” of the (nation) state.

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24 LEGALIZING QUEERNESS IN CENTRAL-​ EASTERN EUROPE Judit Takács

Central-​Eastern European (CEE) policies and discussions of the decriminalization of homosexual practices are similar to other parts of Europe, beginning in the 19th century. Same-​sex sexual activity between women was not criminalized, partly because of the traditional phallocentric view of sexuality and preoccupation with penetrative procreational sex as the legitimate form of sexual activity (Hildebrandt 2014). Historical recollections of same-​sex desire and acts were often sporadic and piecemeal, reflecting the desires of men rather than women, whose same-​sex identifications and practices left fewer detectable marks in the public realm. The scant social visibility of lesbians can be linked to the limited social and economic resources of women in general, relative to men who traditionally had more access to public spaces. In both CEE and Western Europe, the experience of trans people has been marginalized by scholars and contemporaries to varying degree. The history of decriminalization in the context of CEE reveals how discourses on homosexuality marginalized specific social groups, and how ideologies, particularly state-​ socialism (1945–​1989) and postsocialism, shaped these discussions. This chapter argues how ideological shifts and disruptions did not play a crucial role in determining (de)criminalization outcomes. At the same time, ideology did play a role in how activists framed their work.

Discourses on decriminalization Criminalization of consensual sexual practices between same-​sex individuals, especially between adult men, became a contested issue in CEE in the second half of the 19th century. Before this time, any queer act transgressing the ostensibly God-​given authority of the church and the monarch, and especially of non-​reproductive sexuality, had been covered by the broad category of sodomy or unnatural fornication. Sodomy was one of the gender-​and identity-​neutral misdeeds that could be committed by anyone irrespective of their sexuality. In the 1860s, CEE intellectuals proposed different arguments for decriminalization: the German writer and jurist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs supported decriminalization based on the idea that homosexuality was innate, arguing that men-​loving men, characterized by a 246

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certain degree of “femininity of the soul,” made up a third sex (Kennedy 1988). Austrian-​ Hungarian writer Károly Kertbeny, who coined the terms homosexuality and heterosexuality (Takács 2004), put forward a classic liberal argument of non-​intervention by the modern state in the intimate lives of its citizens. After the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership in 1871, Kertbeny’s political pamphlets argued against maintaining the criminalization of consensual homosexual acts. However, his argument of privacy was marginalized in legal discourse. CEE policies and discussions were shaped by shifting power structures that brought with them different legal models. Traces of legal path dependence (Asal and Sommer 2016) can also be observed particularly regarding the adoption of the Napoleonic Penal Code of 1810, based on the French Penal Code of 1791, which disregarded the criminalization of sodomy. For example, the Polish Criminal Code of 1932, also patterned on French Law, was the first to decriminalize homosexuality in Europe in the 20th century (Szulc 2017). With the crystallization of psychology and psychiatry as medical specialties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the disease model of homosexuality, emphasizing its biological innateness, became widespread across Europe. The long-​term effect of applying medicalized and often pathologizing models of non-​reproductive forms of sexuality was that essentialist interpretations about sexuality became widely palatable, regardless of the ruling ideology.

Ideological continuities in the conceptualization of homosexualities Comparing legislation on homosexuality under different political regimes reveals previously unwrapped complexities: contrasts and often continuities. The Soviet Union’s temporary decriminalization of homosexuality between 1922 and 1933 reflected the rejection of moral standards based on religious belief (Hildebrandt 2014), and the Bolsheviks’ passing stance that criminalization of homosexuality was a bourgeois relic. Stalinism, by contrast, “relied on an intolerant and negative view of sex,” and “for the sake of both the nation and the Communist Party” (Herzog 2011, 100) demanded self-​discipline as well as marital and family stability from its citizens. This framing of homosexuality as detrimental to the nation was similar to that found in Nazi Germany, where sexual life was linked to preserving the race and the nation, and homosexuality was heavily condemned as “asocial,” with “adverse effects on the German birth rate” (Pine 1997, 122). In state-​socialist societies in CEE, especially during the Stalinist period, homosexuality was perceived as incompatible with the communist healthy mores (Kon 1995). We can also observe similarities in the treatment of communists and homosexuals during McCarthyism in 1950s’ USA, comparable with state-​socialist considerations of homosexuals being “unreliable elements” (Moss 1995, 230), with limited (reproductive) contributions to building state-​socialism, who are easily compromised. While female homosexuals or lesbians were still considered to be women, this was not the case for men. Male homosexuality was mostly perceived as a manifestation of “disreputable and illegal masculinity” (Healey 2002, 166), underscoring the strict boundaries and insecurities of the exclusively heteronormative scripts of Soviet-​type masculinities.

Ideological approaches to legislation in post-​Stalinist CEE Almost all state-​socialist countries decriminalized homosexuality in the period after 1953. Though the reasons differed, legislation was often framed in medical terms. Their 247

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diverse decriminalization paths challenge the idea about a homogenized “bloc” ideology shared among CEE countries. In state-​socialist Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the notion that homosexuality is a pathological phenomenon was essential to the legalization of consensual homosexual sex in 1961, but the decisions were based on different medicalized approaches. In Czechoslovakia, it took place in the context of sexology research. The world’s first university-​based sexology institute opened in 1921 in Prague and continued work during the state-​socialist period under the leadership of Josef Hynie. He and his colleagues, including Kurt Freund, applied medical rather than criminal approaches to sexual deviations. After his failed aversion therapy experiments in the 1950s, Freund concluded that homosexuality is not “curable,” and advised counseling toward self-​acceptance (Freund 1977, 239). Freund took part in organizing a legal-​psychiatric seminar, where psychiatrists, sexologists, legal experts, and representatives from the police drafted a proposal against continuing the prohibition of homosexual acts, preceding the introduction of a new penal code in 1961 (Davison 2020; Sokolova 2014). Lifting prohibition of consensual homosexuality in Hungary followed the 1958 medical recommendation of a committee of psychiatrists. The committee considered counter-​arguments against decriminalization, including that homosexuality corrupted the youth, harmed family life, inhibited population growth, and may lead to homosexual marriage. The inhibition of population growth argument was quickly dismissed by referring to the general acceptance of birth control. The committee emphasized that ending criminal liability would likely limit blackmailing. They also argued that the struggle between one’s homosexual instinct and the fear of being caught and punished would lead to neurosis. With the introduction of the 1961 Hungarian Criminal Code, consensual homosexual activity between adult men was decriminalized, and gender equality or more precisely, equal treatment regarding the perpetrator’s gender, was introduced regarding “unnatural fornication” (forms of behavior that have never been clearly defined). From this time, both men and women could be prosecuted, and a special clause prohibited “unnatural fornication conducted in a scandalous manner” (Takács 2015a). The age of consent for same-​sex relationships was set at 20, considerably higher than the 14 years age of consent for heterosexual relationships. Bulgaria decriminalized male same-​sex sexual activity in 1968, and used language similar to Hungary in retaining laws against acts that “cause a public scandal or entice others to perversity” (Torra 1998, 75), and set a higher age of consent for homosexual than heterosexual sex (18 and 14 years respectively). In 1968, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) also removed the prohibition of consensual homosexual acts between men over 21 from their Criminal Code, although in practice this prohibition had been rarely enforced since the late 1950s (McLellan 2012). Also in 1968, Yugoslav legal experts published a report in which they argued against repressive measures for dealing with “deviant sexual behavior” among consenting adults, and defined homosexuality as a “less dangerous social phenomenon” (Takács, Kuhar, and PTóth 2017, 1949). The first Yugoslav decriminalization steps took place in 1977, but only in the Socialist Republics of Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro and in the Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (in the northern part of Serbia, with a Hungarian ethnic minority), while Serbia did not enact legislation at this time. In Slovenia and Montenegro, the age of consent remained 14 years for all, while in Croatia and Vojvodina a higher age of consent was set at 18 years only for homosexual relationships (Torra 1998). 248

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Romania had a different trajectory, with criminalization of consensual homosexual acts for both men and women being introduced for the first time in 1936, two years after homosexuality became re-​criminalized by Stalin in the Soviet Union. The 1936 Romanian Penal Code came into operation during the chaotic years preceding World War II, when the Kingdom of Romania was more aligned with Nazi Germany than Soviet Russia (HRW 1998), and homosexuality remained criminalized through the socialist period.

Postsocialist decriminalization The diversity of approaches to decriminalization under socialism continued under postsocialism. As the Soviet Union maintained criminalization from the 1930s until its collapse in 1990, decriminalization could start only in its successor states, including Ukraine in 1991, Estonia and Latvia in 1992, and Lithuania as well as Russia in 1993. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, a second wave of decriminalization took place, starting with Serbia in 1994. In Romania, the infamous “section 200” of the 1968 Romanian Penal Code (Long 1999), criminalizing public manifestations of homosexuality, was abolished only in 2001. A year later postsocialist Hungary equalized the age of consent, setting it at 14 for all consensual sexual relations, a decade after Czechoslovakia equalized the age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual sex at 15. The diversity of the timing and forms of legalizing queerness complicates the conceptualization of (homo)sexual politics of state socialism across CEE and challenges approaching the region as a bloc. Several factors contribute to the region’s heterogeneity, including varying cultural and religious traditions, as well as democratic and economic conditions. In CEE, Orthodox Christian denominations seem to generate a more negative effect on attitudes toward homosexuality than Roman Catholic ones (Szalma and Takács 2019), but the influence of Orthodox Churches differs. Spina (2016) argues that the Romanian Orthodox Church wields more influence over their members’ beliefs and attitudes than the Bulgarian one. The importance of democratization can be illustrated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to a decriminalization wave in its successor countries. At the same time, it can be argued that liberation from a semi-​colonial status might also contribute to the (re)emergence of nationalist agendas, re-​traditionalizing gender regimes, and in the longer term in some cases, even a form of demographically focused neoliberal governance.

Grassroots mobilizations under different ideologies It is important to see legalizing queerness in specific socio-​spatial contexts as an often lengthy and complex process rather than a one-​off event of decriminalization. These processes usually included several iterations and alterations in the scope, composition, genders, ages of the (sexual) actors, as well as their—​typically not at all well-​defined—​acts. In fact, it can be argued that the lack of active prosecution could make legal emancipation efforts—​at least temporarily—​redundant. This was the case in Poland between the 1930s and the 1980s which, Szulc (2017, 91) argues, had “a more progressive legislation toward homosexuality than some Western Bloc countries” that can be linked with the lack of an urgent need for more systematic homosexual self-​organization before the 1980s. Repealing sodomy laws reduced the chances of creating “queer scandals” in the press that could draw undesired public attention to criminalized queer encounters, even 249

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though such press scandals were not a very likely scenario in CEE, where state-​controlled media avoided discussion of non-​normative sexualities and gender expressions. In this context, especially when considering that the social visibility of lesbian women in public spaces was more limited than that of gay men, the 1982 presentation of the film Another Way [Egymásra nézve] directed by Károly Makk, the first mainstream film in Hungary and CEE to portray a lesbian relationship, was a great breakthrough for challenging silence. Winning the FIPRESCI critics award at Cannes, it soon became a Hungarian lesbian cult film, which carved a place in public discourse for same-​sex desire among women. The thawing of official attitudes toward homosexuality did not necessarily translate into greater visibility or a more accepting social climate. Queer life in CEE and grassroots activism during state socialism was characterized by the precarious coexistence of homosexual identities and the constraints of everyday life, including limited access to private space, the surveillance of public spaces and private lives, along with limited opportunities for self-​identification (Long 1999; McLellan 2011, 2012; Sokolova 2014; Takács 2015a). Until the end of the 1980s there was no officially recognized homosexual movement in CEE, where besides the general constraints on individual self-​expression, communist parties prohibited the formation of any kind of NGOs. The history of the first organized homosexual groups in CEE was divergent, depending considerably on the harshness of prosecution of homosexuality. Despite official restrictions in some countries, including the GDR, Hungary, and Poland, activists organized their movements within the confines of state socialism, instead of opposing or hoping to undermine the system. They met in private parties organized in bigger apartments or in spaces rented for other purposes, such as for movie nights (Kurimay and Takács 2017; McLellan 2011; Szulc 2017). The collapse of state socialism in CEE after 1989 opened opportunities for mobilizing queers in their home countries as well as—​rephrasing Szulc (2017)—​“transnationalizing” homosexuality by (inter)connecting formerly unconnected people and products, including cultural representations, leading to potential acceleration in various sexual and gender identity formation processes. These changes resulted in an expansion in the volume as well as diversification of activism, from a homosexual toward LGBTQI+ movements since the 1990s. The seedlings of this expansion had already been planted in some places several years before. In Hungary, for instance, where one of the first formal homosexual organizations of CEE, the Homeros-​Lambda National Association of Homosexuals, was registered in 1988, the increasing visibility of the movement was not primarily a result of democratization or a crisis within state socialism. Instead, it was the considerable agency of Hungarian homosexual activists in navigating space within late socialist Hungary, and the emergence of HIV/​AIDS, that worked as a catalyst that transformed the Hungarian homosexual subculture into a more organized gay and lesbian movement (Kurimay and Takács 2017). The emerging LGBTQI+ movements in CEE and elsewhere tried to problematize the ways in which sexuality and gender—​of their members and in society at large—​shaped social inclusion and exclusion mechanisms, and in many cases prevented the enjoyment of full citizenship rights. In former state-​socialist countries, citizenship in general, referring to rights and practices in the public sphere and “intimate citizenship,” dealing with the “rights, obligations, recognitions and respect around those most intimate spheres of life—​who to live with, how to raise children, how to handle one’s body, how to relate as a gendered being, how to be an erotic person” (Plummer 2001, 238), in particular, evolved slowly and with disruptions deriving from their semi-​peripheral condition and the democracy deficit accumulated especially after World War II. Recent European 250

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empirical findings indicate that individual perceptions of democracy deficit, expressed in CEE countries, can contribute to a homophobic social climate, while satisfaction with the functioning of the democratic system can contribute to an increase in the social acceptance of lesbians and gays (Szalma and Takács 2020).

Movements and EUropeanization processes In the post-​Soviet era, the Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) have become important agents of change toward the legal emancipation of LGBTQI+ people, expanding equality issues beyond gender, and mainstreaming LGBTI+ rights in the EU policymaking processes (Hildebrandt 2014). EUropeanization could provide much needed transnational resources, such as organizational capacity, for mobilizing NGO-​ based activism in resource-​poor environments but interaction between Europeanization processes and domestic norms could result in various outcomes in different CEE countries (Ayoub 2016). For example, for Polish lesbian and gay activists, entering the EU meant an opportunity to be fully recognized, while their opponents saw it as “a threat to Polish sovereignty combined with an opportunity for Poland to introduce ‘Christian values’ to EU politics” (Ayoub and Chetaille 2020, 22). By the time eight CEE countries became members of the EU in 2004, sexual orientation had already developed into a protected category with anti-​discrimination rights attachments (Stychin 2001). However, the EUropean values were shaped by the founding members and the old EU member states, and latecomers received them as part of a ready-​ made package deal. Kulpa (2014, 432) argues that this passive receiver role was rooted in a “didactical and cultural hegemonic relation of power, where the CEE figures as an object of West/​European pedagogy. […] the CEE is somehow ‘European enough’ to be ‘taken care of’, but ‘not yet Western’ so as to be allowed into the ‘First World’ club.” The still ongoing EUropean(ization) project has been criticized by activists and scholars for promoting a homonationalist Pink Agenda (Ammaturo 2017), elevating “certain forms of gay activist engagement and, perhaps also non-​heterosexuality, more generally, to a measure of democracy, progress, and modernity” (Bilić and Stubbs 2016, 233). At the same time, while homonationalism is often portrayed by scholars as being closely connected to Islamophobia, in CEE there are alternative racialized and sexualized Others that deserve attention, especially in local contexts with long histories of antisemitism and social exclusion targeting the Roma people. In postsocialist societies that have been characterized by dynamics of re-​traditionalizing gender regimes and the mixing of late modern commodification with nationalism, the social acceptance of gay, lesbian, and trans people is often portrayed as a desirable European or western value by local LGBTQI+ communities, and at the same time as an undesirable foreign import by nationalists who try to evict homosexuals and homosexuality from their nation (Moss 2014). The strategy of portraying homosexuality as alien to the national culture has been an evergreen in nationalist heteronormative discourses. In postsocialist Romania, the reluctance to decriminalize homosexual relations derived from essentialist assumptions about homosexuality being “alien and threatening to the family and religion oriented Romanian way of life” (Nachescu 2005, 130). Anti-​gender movements have mobilized across Europe, triggered by concrete policy proposals such as the introduction of same-​sex marriage in France, or as a preventive measure to avoid the implementation of such policies in the future, for example in Croatia and Romania (Paternotte and Kuhar 2018; see Graff, Chapter 26 in this Handbook). The concept 251

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of genderphobia describes the strategic avoidance of breaking gender(ed) norms in institutional settings and in everyday life (Takács 2015b). Genderphobia can be institutionalized (e.g., banning gender studies from higher education) and often internalized. It is a conceptually broader and more neutral term than than homophobia, to be interpreted as a specific subset of genderphobia, partly because social rejection of lesbians, gays, queers, and non-​heteronormatively aligned others, seems to be part of a broader gender belief system based on assumptions about (hetero-​and cisnormative) procreation-​centered and often deterministically distinct paths of women and men in society. Genderphobia targets trans people, often framed as threatening the heteronormative binary gender system by their mere existence, and thus they can encounter hostile interpersonal and social reactions (Kuhar, Monro, and Takács 2018). Trans communities increasingly face organized resistance against gender equality and intimate citizenship by anti-​gender movements attacking the straw man of gender ideology, a multi-​function enemy that can be shaped in different ways to fit into a political protest to protect allegedly endangered traditional family values. Because of their particular economic and social marginalization, transgender communities have been able to develop activist networks with increased difficulty. Trans and gender variant people have historically been—​and to a great extent continue to be—​largely invisible in CEE, where state institutions were for a long time highly reluctant to deal with trans issues. In postsocialist CEE, a lack of systematic legal protection and healthcare provision is a crucial aspect of trans citizenship. Yet questions remain whether it is just transsexual men and women’s citizenships that are sought, or citizenship rights for all gender variant people, which would entail fundamental changes in the social categorization systems of sex and gender (Kuhar, Monro, and Takács 2018).

Conclusions Queer legalization in CEE refers to complex cultural processes that made non-​ heteronormatively aligned queer lives increasingly possible at different—​ individual, interpersonal, and social—​levels by creating (social) space and at least some (political, legal) recognition for sexual and gender diversity. These processes provide insights into how concepts and variations of being queer traveled between countries, regions, and within national histories. This chapter challenges the idea of treating the region as a bloc by showing significant diversity within CEE regarding the timing and forms of legalizing queerness. Local developments were guided less by ideology than by country-​specific sociocultural conditions, and individual or ego-​network actions. These reveal that ideological shifts and disruptions cannot determine (de)criminalization outcomes as a rule, which can further complicate the conceptualization of (homo)sexual politics of state socialism across CEE. Steps toward decriminalization took place under authoritarian state socialist governments. Medicalized approaches to sexuality at least in some CEE countries contributed to lesbians’ and gay men’s ability to navigate within a paternalistic state-​ socialist system predicated on socialist (heterosexual, cisgender) homogamy that shaped both public and private life. Recent research findings indicate that hostile social attitudes can be unlearned, especially if this process can be supported with practical policy developments strengthening LGBTQI+ rights (Szalma and Takács 2020). At the same time, the democratic decline resulting from resurgent authoritarianism “hybridised with neoliberal capitalism” (Bilić 252

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and Stubbs 2016, 245), which is present in an increasing number of countries in CEE and elsewhere, questions the link between improvement of attitudes and the democratization process, often envisioned as a linear development. Recent policies in CEE, such as ending legal gender recognition for trans people in Hungary by introducing an unalterable sex-​at-​birth record in the civil registry, proposed and rapidly introduced in the midst of the 2020 COVID-​19 pandemic crisis, point to the community-​mobilizing capacity of LGBTQI+ rights. These developments also underscore the need for intersectionally sensitive analyses of genderphobia, and intimate, sexual and trans citizenship, that recognize decriminalization as a broad, multilayered process.

References Ammaturo, Francesca Romana. 2017. European Sexual Citizenship: Human Rights, Bodies and Identities. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. Asal, Victor and Udi Sommer. 2016. Legal Path Dependence and the Long Arm of the Religious State: Sodomy Provisions and Gay Rights across Nations and over Time. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Ayoub, Phillip M. 2016. When States Come Out: Europe’s Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility. New York: Cambridge University Press. Ayoub, Phillip M. and Agnès Chetaille. 2020. “Movement/​Countermovement Interaction and Instrumental Framing in a Multi-​level World: Rooting Polish Lesbian and Gay Activism.” Social Movement Studies 19 (1): 21–​37. Bilić, Bojan and Paul Stubbs. 2016. “Beyond EUtopian Promises and Disillusions: A Conclusion.” In LGBT Activism and Europeanisation in the Post-​Yugoslav Space: On the Rainbow Way to Europe, edited by Bojan Bilić, 231–​248. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Davison, Kate. 2020. “Cold War Pavlov: Homosexual Aversion Therapy in the 1960s.” History of the Human Sciences. https://​doi.org/​10.1177/​0952695120911593. Freund, Kurt. 1977. “Should Homosexuality Arouse Therapeutic Concern?” Journal of Homosexuality 2 (3): 235–​240. Healey, Dan. 2002. “The Disappearance of the Russian Queen, or How the Soviet Closet Was Born.” In Russian Masculinities in History and Culture, edited by Barbara Evans Clements, Rebecca Friedman, and Dan Healey, 152–​171. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Herzog, Dagmar. 2011. Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-​Century History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hildebrandt, Achim. 2014. “Routes to Decriminalization: A Comparative Analysis of the Legalization of Same-​sex Sexual Acts.” Sexualities 17 (1/​2): 230–​253. HRW (Human Rights Watch). 1998. Public Scandals: Sexual Orientation and Criminal Law in Romania, January 1, 1-​56432-​178–​9. www.refworld.org/​docid/​3ae6a7e70.html. Kennedy, Hubert. 1988. Ulrichs. The Life and Works of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Pioneer of the Modern Gay Movement. Boston, MA: Alyson. Kon, Igor S. 1995. Sexual Revolution in Russia: From the Age of the Czars to Today. New York: Free Press. Kuhar, Roman, Surya Monro and Judit Takács. 2018. “Trans Citizenship in Post-​socialist Societies.” Critical Social Policy 38 (1): 99–​120. Kulpa, Robert. 2014. “Western Leveraged Pedagogy of Central and Eastern Europe: Discourses of Homophobia, Tolerance, and Nationhood.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 21 (4): 431–​448. Kurimay, Anita and Judit Takács. 2017. “Emergence of the Hungarian Homosexual Movement in Late Refrigerator Socialism.” Sexualities 20 (5–​6): 585–​603. Long, Scott. 1999. “Gay and Lesbian Movements in Eastern Europe: Romania, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.” In The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics: National Imprints of a Worldwide Movement, edited by Barry D. Adam, Jan Willem Duyvendak, and Andre Krouwel, 242–​265. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. McLellan, Josie. 2011. Love in the Time of Communism: Intimacy and Sexuality in the GDR. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

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25 GENDER AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARADOX IN LATVIA Daina S. Eglitis, Marita Zitmane, and Laura Ardava-​Āboliņa

Women played significant roles in the opposition to Soviet occupation, contributing to Latvia’s reestablishment of independence in 1991. They have held prominent positions in political institutions in the three decades since then. At the same time, the democratization process in Latvia has been characterized by key paradoxes. First, public discourse highlighted the imperative of normalization after a half-​century of Soviet rule, which was perceived as having deformed and degraded Latvian national norms, institutions, and traditions, including gender roles. Equality between the sexes, rather than being embraced as a fundamental characteristic of democracy, was associated with Soviet ideology and practices. Second, in spite of a slow but steady rise in Latvian women’s representation in political institutions, the development of policies directed at ensuring gender equality between men and women commanded little attention until EU accession forced the topic onto the political agenda, and it remains more a novelty than a priority. In Latvia, as in other democratizing states in the region, the late communist period ushered in a process of liberalization and a decline in women’s representation in public life (Fallon, Swiss, and Viterna 2012). Scholars have argued that across postcommunist Europe, “the ‘regaining’ of a traditionally prescribed gender identity [was] an important aspect of the nostalgia for ‘normality’ ” that many hoped to reclaim with the end of communism (Watson 1993, 472–​473). Democratization processes in Latvia after the reestablishment of independence in 1991 point to the significance of gendered historical legacies that shape contemporary understandings of gender equality, competing with domestic and international agendas. These legacies have hindered gender equality in spite of gains that women have made in employment and political representation. Latvian women’s presence in the public sphere, including politics, is not sufficient for the development of an inclusive and gender-​equal democratic state and society.

Political legacies of 20th-​century Latvia From 1918 through to 1940, Latvia was an independent state, with mixed developments for the realization of women’s political voices in the public sphere. Women in interwar Latvia gained suffrage in 1918, before many of their European sisters, and the country’s 257

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1922 Constitution enshrined equal political rights for men and women. At the same time, women were valued primarily for their contributions to the domestic sphere as wives and mothers. Robust population growth was embraced as a national imperative to counter the decimation of the population during World War I. In the 1920s and 1930s, political and religious public figures commonly expressed concern about the country’s low birth rate, the number of single men and women, and the high divorce rate (Lipša 2013). Women participated in political life as voters, but few held elected office. In the 1920 elections, women won six seats on the Riga City Council, and in the national election of 1931, a woman won a seat in parliament for the first time. Their influence as political actors, however, was circumscribed, most apparent when democracy came to an end in 1934 with the one-​party rule of Kārlis Ulmanis. In the authoritarian context, appeals to embrace masculine national traits to the exclusion of perceived “weak” traits of the Latvian character like sentimentality and tearfulness, which were associated with women, became commonplace in culture and political discourse (Lipša 2018). During authoritarian rule, laws were used as an instrument of social control by male decision makers. Among the regulations that came into force after 1934 was an abortion law that banned abortions for “social” reasons (i.e., for elective rather than medically necessary abortions). The state’s interference in reproductive matters continued to expand in the last years of independent Latvia. After 1938, abortions had to be approved by the Eugenics Commission, a signal that Latvia was following a disturbing trend in population engineering (Lipša 2013). World War II altered the political fate of the Baltic states, which had a dramatic effect on the gender regime. In June 1940, the Soviet Union occupied Latvia. Later, it was occupied by Nazi Germany (1941–​1944), and then the USSR again from 1944 to 1991. The postwar Soviet restructuring of society called for ideological equality between the sexes, though it was incompletely realized in practice. On the one hand, women had ample educational opportunities and entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers. On the other hand, wage work was obligatory and women workers disproportionately occupied low-​status and poorly remunerated positions, continued to be responsible for domestic tasks, and spent hours in lines waiting for goods in the deficit-​riven Soviet economy, a phenomenon referred to as the “triple burden” (Johnson and Novitskaya 2016, 216). While quotas ensured that women occupied about a third of legislative positions in the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic across the period of occupation, this body had limited power in an authoritarian state and women were excluded from the highest echelons of the Soviet state and Communist Party, where key decisions were enacted (Eglitis 2002). In addition to policies, carefully cultivated images of women were an important component of Soviet propaganda. Soviet images of women were a stark contrast to the domestically oriented woman who had been a touchpoint of late interwar-​era images of Latvia’s women. In the Soviet period, dominant images elevated women as fully vested members of society, who enjoyed political equality with men, and were also good mothers. In the 1970s and 1980s, Soviet mass media offered two other (unflattering) images of women alongside the venerated image of a socially active and maternal woman. One was a woman who was not interested in public activities, but instead concerned herself with fashion, flirtation, and cosmetics. The other was a rural farmwoman who preserved archaic traditions and habits (Azhgihina 2000, 261–​273). These images were not limited to the Latvian context but ubiquitous across the Soviet space that constructed the narrative about women and their acceptable roles. 258

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Women and opposition: Building the foundations of democratic development The politics of ethnically based opposition to Soviet occupation formed a foundation for the transformation of gendered political discourse. According to the 1989 Soviet census, Latvians comprised a bare 52 percent majority compared to Russian-​speakers in their republic after decades of immigration from other parts of the USSR. This made ethnic Latvian women’s below-​replacement rate fertility a perceived existential threat to many Latvians. The pursuit of independence and democracy was entwined with an ambition to revitalize the Latvian nation, which was, at least in part, understood to be a responsibility of women (Eglitis 2002). In 1990, when the Supreme Council of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic approved a declaration on the restoration of Latvia’s independence, the pronatalist discourse that elevated women’s maternal role to the exclusion of other roles was taking shape. At a conference hosted by one influential political organization, Latvia’s National Independence Movement, a participant tied the “survival of the Latvian nation” to the birth rate: “[T]‌he hot-​blooded slogans about independence will do nothing if there are no children” (Maulinš 1990, 68–​70). Opposition movement discourse that suggested that the Soviet period had deformed “natural” gender roles and relations was present in academic spheres as well. On International Women’s Day on March 8, 1990, a University of Latvia professor argued that, “studies show that because of a greater burden in caring of hearth and home and of difficulties in everyday life, the professional qualifications of women increase more slowly, and it is only natural, therefore, that their wages are lower than those of men” (Zvidriņš 1990). A significant number of women were engaged in pro-​independence political activism, though they were less visible in public discourse than their male peers. Sandra Kalniete, who later became a member of parliament, remembers that women of the opposition movement mostly did “grunt work.” They handled organizational and administrative duties, but earned less recognition as public figures from the general public and media (Kalniete 2000). Shortly before the March 1990 election, the newspaper Latvijas Jaunatne [Latvia’s Youth] published a public opinion survey, the results of which suggested that some respondents had negative attitudes toward the involvement of women in the public sphere: not a single woman emerged among the reader-​ selected “top ten” political activists in Latvia (Urdze 1990, 4). Few women were selected as opposition candidates in this election: they made up less than 18 percent of candidates who stood for election on the slate of the pro-​independence Latvian Popular Front, comprising 22 of the 390 candidates for the legislative body (Zariņa 1994, 10–​12). Prior to the 1990 election, Latvijas Jaunatne and the newspaper Atmoda [The Awakening] published opposition candidate profiles, including those of women standing for election. A notable pattern in the profiles was the stereotypical characterization of women: while they were recognized as aspirants to public office, unlike their male counterparts they were simultaneously tied to the private sphere. For example, in an interview with Atmoda, a woman candidate noted, “It turns out that one of my main shortcomings [was] my second marriage. I didn’t know what to say when someone brought this up at a meeting with voters … is it all that uncommon among women of my generation?” (“Kam uzticēsim Latvijas nākotni?” 1990). Election results returned a roster of 200 men and 10 women: from the Latvian Popular Front, winners included 123 men and 9 women. 259

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Gender and early postcommunist “normalization” in Latvia Early postcommunist “normalization” was tied to an imperative of restoration of interwar democracy, including a restoration of perceived interwar gender roles. The National Report on the Situation of Women, produced in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Women in 1995, lamented the “destruction of individuality brought on by socialism generally [that] led to the asexualization of behavioral norms, disdain for women and traditionally ‘feminine’ work, [and] ignorance of female characteristics” (quoted in Eglitis 2002, 202–​203). The process of remaking institutions and relationships in a constructed image of the past was also ethnically exclusionary. The first citizenship law restored citizenship to interwar citizens and their descendants, leaving a significant proportion of ethnic Russian inhabitants of Latvia without citizenship and political voice in the early years of postcommunist independence: initially, Latvian citizenship was conferred on most of the ethnic Latvian population but only on about 38 percent of the ethnic Russian population (Eglitis 2002). The citizenship law—​though since amended in part due to pressure from institutions such as the Council of Europe (Schulze 2018)—​highlights the paradoxical exclusionary characteristics of early postcommunist democratic development. It also points to the centrality of ethnic identity as a political master identity that contributed to the marginality of gender equality as a widely accepted shaper of political orientations and interests. The early postcommunist democratic process in Latvia was exclusive rather than inclusive, ordered around a restorationist narrative that sought to marginalize the participation of women as a group in the public sphere in order to foster a return to family and maternal priorities. Politically, it functioned to define the body of the citizenry restrictively for fear of enfranchising non-​Latvian residents whose political motivations and interests could fail to comport to the goals of the new state. These restorationist initiatives, however, were not successful. Restorationist discourse on gender roles and practices, which drew from the rhetoric and imperatives of the 1980s anti-​Soviet movements, but also hearkened back to traditional roles associated with independent interwar Latvia, bore little fruit in practice. First, the entreaties of nationalists to raise reproduction rates and return to the gender roles of the past has not been resonant in society, though the influence of economic imperatives rather than ideology is also significant. Women continue to comprise a significant share of the labor market in independent Latvia. Women’s economic activity in Latvia exceeds rates of labor force participation and full-​time work in most other European Union states: for example, just over 10 percent of Latvia’s women workers are employed part-​time by comparison to over 32 percent in the EU—​the rest are employed full-​time (Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia 2016, 26). Second, women have pulled further ahead of their male peers in educational attainment: a higher education matriculation and completion gap that began in the communist era when “many women compensated for their relative lack of political capital and occupational prestige by seeking high levels of educational credentials” (Glass 2008, 759) has continued to grow in the decades after independence (Eglitis 2017). Third, in the decade after independence was reestablished, both marriage and fertility rates took a dramatic downward plunge, though they have rebounded moderately since then. Women’s participation in educational institutions and the labor market, however, cannot be construed as evidence of a democratization process tilted toward the goal of 260

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gender equality. The institutionalization of equality as part of a robust democracy would entail addressing, for instance, the gender wage gap, which exists and persists in spite of women’s higher median educational attainment and long-​term attachment to the full-​time workforce. Women-​dominated occupational sectors like education and healthcare are characterized by lower wage scales than male-​dominated sectors. The gender wage-​gap has not made its way onto the political agenda in spite of the fact that women comprise a significant proportion of heads of household in Latvia (65 percent; United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2019).

Public representation and political practices in a gendered democracy The process of democratic development does not organically improve women’s access to political voice and power (Fallon, Swiss, and Viterna 2012). Early postcommunism saw low levels of representation for women, but by the turn of the millennium, women had increased political visibility. At the same time, women’s ascent to positions of political prominence did not usher in a gender equality agenda, which was sidelined by competing priorities (see Wolchik and Chiva, Chapter 42 in this Handbook). Most prominently, in 1999, Vaira Vīķe-​Freiberga became the first woman President of Latvia, as well as the first in the postcommunist region. Her presidency was followed by the election of woman presidents in the neighboring Baltic countries of Lithuania (Dalia Grybauskaite, 2009–​2019) and Estonia (Kersti Kaljulaid, 2016–​). Vīķe-​Freiberga was elected by Latvia’s unicameral legislature, the Saeima, to a four-​year term and re-​elected in 2003. In a parliamentary system without a popularly elected president, her election represented an elite political compromise rather than a popular movement for a woman executive. She was acceptable as a political and geographic outsider (she had lived most of her life outside of Latvia as a member of the exile community and thus had no ties to communist Latvia), as well as a link to independent interwar Latvia, where she was born (Lazda 2018). In a country deeply skeptical about politics and politicians, she enjoyed record high approval ratings throughout her presidency. She exercised considerable political power in spite of the institutional limitations of the presidency in Latvia’s parliamentary system and the cultural obstacles imposed by persisting patriarchal norms and practices (Eglitis and Ardava 2017). Domestically, Vīķe-​Freiberga fostered public dialogue on Latvian and European identity and social issues. In foreign policy, she was instrumental in securing membership in the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for Latvia. As president, Vīķe-​Freiberga did not embrace an explicitly feminist agenda: faced with economic challenges in a newly capitalist country, societal challenges in a country experiencing ethnic tensions between the majority Latvian and minority Russian populations, and security challenges posed by a revanchist Russian neighbor, she focused on building consensus around those issues. These challenges, among others, ensured that a feminist-​ oriented agenda remained marginal in spite of the president’s stated interest in women’s and children’s issues (Eglitis and Ardava 2017). Latvia’s pursuit of membership in the EU, shepherded by Vīķe-​Freiberga, helped foster the development of gender equality as a component of the national agenda (Eglitis and Ardava 2017). Consistent with EU imperatives, Latvia adopted legislation that prohibited differential treatment or discrimination based on gender and established institutions to promote gender equity. While the influence of EU mandates on the lived

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experience of gender equity may be debated (for instance, some EU states, such as Poland and Hungary, have made strident efforts to circumscribe women’s reproductive freedom), it is also the case that EU mandates forced attention to issues that might otherwise remain marginal: monitoring requirements on, for example, intimate partner violence promoted more robust data collection than might be expected without the benefit of external institutional pressures. Women’s representation in national elected offices has been noteworthy, though the party list system by which they are elected creates both obstacles and opportunities for women candidates. In Latvia’s 2018 election, women’s representation on lists ranged between 20 percent and 42 percent, with slightly more women listed for left-​oriented parties, but little difference between Russian-​and Latvian-​dominated parties. Only one of 16 parties running for the 2018 parliament placed a woman first on the list in all five electoral districts (Dean 2018). Recent national elections have seen significant gains for women. More women were elected to parliament in 2018 than in any previous democratic election: out of 100 deputies, 31 are women. In previous elections, the number of elected women deputies has ranged between 8 and 21. The representation of women in local legislative bodies is similar, though it varies significantly by location: recently, in some of Latvia’s larger cities such as Jēkabpils and Rēzekne, male candidates won over 90 percent of seats, though representation is greater in more rural districts (Ministry of Welfare 2016, 7–​8). Women’s representation remains low in the Cabinet of Ministers: Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, elected in 2019, chose four women to fill the 13 cabinet positions. As in most previous cabinets, women hold traditionally “feminine” chairs in the Ministries of Education and Science, Culture, Welfare, and Health. At the same time, in 2019, the parliament’s highest leadership position was held by a woman, Ināra Mūrniece. Since the renewal of Latvia’s independence, this position has been held five times by men and five times by women. Women’s ability to implement a gender equity agenda, especially one that represents women’s diverse interests, remains circumscribed by historical and contemporary forces. On the one hand, historical legacies have underpinned a perception on the part of conservative political forces that normality is to be found in traditional gender roles. On the other hand, an amalgamation of illiberal political figures, nationalist parties, and conservative religious entities, has positioned itself against measures promoting gender equality, rejecting them as threats to the family, children, and the nation. The perceived imperative of a return to traditional values has united political forces that otherwise hold fundamentally opposing views on most national questions, including questions of citizenship. The founders of the group “Let’s Protect Our Children,” for example, are pro-​Kremlin activists, and the organization “Our Children” is tied to the political party Harmony, which is the primary representative of Russophone interests in Latvia. On the other side of the political spectrum, “Family” mobilizes Christians in ethnic Latvian churches and leans politically toward the hard-​right party National Alliance (Zitmane 2018). These conservative forces have targeted the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, which was developed to prevent and combat violence against women and foresees state responsibility for addressing gender-​based violence as a societal phenomenon by taking steps to prevent abuse, protect victims, prosecute perpetrators, and address cultural norms that normalize violence.

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Latvia is among a number of states in CEE where ratification of the Istanbul Convention has resulted in public and political resistance (Korolczuk 2015, 47). While Latvia signed the convention in 2016, as of late 2020 it had yet to be ratified. Conservatives have suggested that the Istanbul Convention is a threat to traditional and spiritual values and its ratification will lead to the homogenization of masculinity and femininity. The Latvian language term for “gender” translates back to English as “social sex,” a term that been manipulated by opponents of the convention to claim that it will lead to a reconstruction of the male and female sexes that is unnatural and a threat to traditional families and the nation (Zitmane 2018). Reproductive rights have periodically come under legislative pressure. In 2016, a bill in Parliament was proposed to prohibit women who have not previously given birth from donating their eggs to prospective mothers in the country. The bill caused a furor over what was widely perceived to be legislation challenging women’s bodily autonomy. At a June 2018 demonstration, protesters carried signs with slogans like, “Respect the Constitution, Respect Women” and “Women with ovaries and their own mind.” The legislation was repeatedly postponed; when a vote was finally taken, it was soundly defeated (Diena 2018). Although Latvia as a democratic state has leaned toward traditional understandings of gender roles, women’s steady advances in political representation, educational attainment, and economic independence have curtailed efforts to limit the rights of women.

Conclusions The Latvian case is significant because it points to several important aspects of gender and the democratization process in the Baltic region and postcommunism. First, it highlights the centrality of the interwar democratization experience to the process of creating postcommunist institutions and norms. While political continuity was prioritized through, for instance, the utilization of interwar constitutions as the basis of the independent Baltic states, it is arguably the case that cultural continuity was embraced by nationalists, in particular, in ways that had the potential to compromise women’s social, political, and economic gains by defining their societal role primarily in terms of motherhood. This pattern was repeated across CEE, with the restoration of democracy providing some cover for the attempted restoration of a regressive gender order. Second, it points to the phenomenon of the elevation of women into executive offices across the Baltic region in a political environment inimical to active legislating for gender equity and inclusion. Women executives, arguably, did not evoke the public hand-​wringing about whether Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia were “ready for a woman president” (or prime minister), as observers have witnessed in the USA. At the same time, women’s executive power did not translate easily to political or social acceptance of progressive gender legislation. The road to greater equity and inclusion has been paved most fully in these democratic states by imperatives set by European institutions, and, recently, by women’s own collective efforts to speak out against attempts to curtail their rights. If full democratization is to be realized, then equality of access must be recognized across societal spheres, institutionalized, and nurtured culturally. Latvia has made significant progress, but that progress is deterred rather than realized by democratization

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processes that have sidelined the women and have failed to recognize and remediate gender inequalities in the economy and politics.

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26 ANTI-​G ENDER MOBILIZATION AND RIGHT-​W ING POPULISM Agnieszka Graff

Unlike earlier waves of anti-​feminist backlash, the Vatican-​inspired transnational right-​ wing countermovement against gender equality and LGBTQ rights, which began in Europe in the mid 2000s, demonizes the very concept of gender (Case 2011; Kováts and Põim 2015; Kuhar and Paternotte 2017; Paternotte and Kuhar 2018). Rather than targeting feminism, these campaigns vilify “gender ideology,” “gender theory,” or “genderism.” This vilification of gender has facilitated alliances between religious and non-​religious actors on the populist right, and propagators of “gender ideology” are presented as corrupt elites: ideological colonizers, enemies of ordinary people, both wealthy and arrogant (Korolczuk and Graff 2018). The movement is a well-​networked transnational phenomenon that Corredor (2019) describes as a global countermovement against gender equality. Neither the anti-​gender discourse nor its activist manifestations are peculiar to CEE. Yet, as this chapter argues, there are several reasons to view the region as a distinctive case, as well as an area where these efforts are particularly effective. The new conservatism in Russia and CEE has been an important source of anti-​gender argumentation and activism. Anti-​gender campaigns in the region tend to link “gender ideology” with Soviet propaganda, thus linking the anti-​gender struggle with resistance against totalitarianism. In the anti-​gender imaginary, gender is a sign of the West’s degeneration and arrogance, while the East is viewed as a frontier where conservative family values can be most successfully defended (Kuby 2015). Resistance to gender is legitimized as national pride, a form of resistance to EU efforts to shame the region as “backward” and “civilize” it (Graff 2010). Most scholars have examined anti-​genderism as a phenomenon rooted in religion, independent of, and largely pre-​existing, the rise of right-​wing populism (Case 2011, 2016, 2019; Fassin 2016; Garbagnoli 2016). Paternotte and Kuhar (2018) call for methodologies that carefully disentangle the two. Some scholars, however, have pointed at close alliances between them, both emphasizing their ideological kinship and suggesting their common historical origin as conservative responses to neoliberalism (Grzebalska and Pető 2018; Gunnarsson Payne 2019; Korolczuk and Graff 2018). The relationship between anti-​gender mobilizations and right-​wing populism can also be conceptualized as an opportunistic synergy: an alliance based on discursive similarity and motivated by strategic calculations (Graff and Korolczuk, forthcoming). 266

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Origins and core claims of the anti-​gender discourse Anti-​gender campaigns originate with the Vatican’s reaction to two United Nations (UN) conferences: the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development and the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women (Bracke and Paternotte 2016; Buss 1998; Buss and Herman 2003; Case 2011, 2016, 2019; Corredor 2019). Since then, the Holy See has protested against the use of the term “gender” in international treaties on population and women’s rights. Gender has largely replaced “civilization of death” within Catholic teaching. This strategy facilitated alliances that are both international and interfaith: Catholic Integralists build coalitions with Evangelical fundamentalists and representatives of Russian Orthodoxy. By the mid 2000s, anti-​genderism gradually evolved into a social movement with a fairly coherent and widely shared ideology, whose core is a declension narrative (Bracke and Paternotte 2016). The sexual revolution—​ described as a form of enslavement conducted in the name of freedom—​is blamed for secularization and the steady decline not just of the “natural family” but of civilization as such (Kuby 2015). Anti-​gender campaigns present the concept of gender as a force responsible for “denaturalization of the sexual order” (Garbagnoli 2016), a powerful global plot, a new form of Marxism, a sinister force associated with “globalism,” and—​with important consequences in non-​ western contexts, including CEE—​as a form of “ideological colonization” (Korolczuk and Graff 2018). One way to understand the movement’s ideology is as a foundationalist response to gender constructionism, a political struggle over universals (Fassin 2016). In one of the movement’s core documents, Benedict XVI (2012) blames gender for subverting the order of creation: “The words of the creation account: ‘male and female he created them’ (Gen 1:27) no longer apply … Man calls his nature into question” (Benedict XVI 2012). Such attacks against the idea of social construction of gender are a departure point for an elaborate narrative about the decay of the West caused by secularization, a story that, in some versions goes back as far as the French Revolution and includes Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Engels, Simone DeBeauvoir, Alfred C. Kinsey, and Judith Butler, as well as international bodies such as the UN and the World Health Organization. Key anti-​gender books include works by German sociologist Gabriele Kuby (2015) and Belgian American theologian Marguerite Peeters (2013), both of which have been translated into many languages and circulated widely in Eastern Europe. They appear to be more popular in the postsocialist region than in their countries of origin. Kuby held well-​attended lecture tours in Poland and Slovakia. These sources, however, are not necessarily known to the movement’s activists in the region. Anti-​gender ideas spread through endless repetition, through traditional media and social media, disguised as common-​sense truths and alarmist calls to action. Perhaps the most pervasive theme of the campaigns is the child in danger: “genderists”—​often personified by transgender people or gay activists in drag—​are presented as sexual deviants whose aim is to corrupt innocent children. The aim of anti-​genderists appears innocent to many: to “defend the traditional family.” The idea that local populations are under siege from the decadent West is more than a metaphor here. In October 2019, on the eve of parliamentary elections, a Polish public television info channel aired a propaganda film titled “Invasion,” focused on LGBTQ demonstrations organized in several Polish cities that year. The film presented activists as a direct threat to the nation’s safety, equating homosexuality with pedophilia. 267

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Transnational anti-​gender networks and organizations While Roman Catholics—​bishops, priests as well as lay intellectuals and journalists—​ remain the core ideologues and organizers, anti-​gender campaigns have been a fertile ground for interfaith alliances that involve representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, Evangelical Christians and, at times, Orthodox Jews and Muslims. In 1997, Orthodox Christians in Europe and the American Christian Right joined forces to establish the World Congress of Families (WCF, now renamed the International Organization for the Family). It is a global network of self-​identified pro-​family and pro-​life groups, with more than 40 official partner organizations around the world and the long-​term ambition of becoming the counterweight to the UN regarding population policies. So far, 13 congresses have taken place, with attendance ranging from 700 in Prague in 1997 to almost 4000 in Warsaw in 2007. Russians (next to Americans) were among the founders and have remained a strong presence throughout the organization’s history (Moss 2017). The WCF actively seeks support from populist leaders. In 2017, Viktor Orbán gave the opening address at the XI Congress in Budapest; the 2019 Congress, held in Verona, Italy, featured the leader of the country’s populist right, Matteo Salvini, as keynote speaker. A second noteworthy transnational player with significant influence in CEE is the Tradition Family Property (TFP), an ultra-​conservative organization of Catholic laity founded in Brazil in 1960 to combat communism. Its daughter organization, a group of ultra-​conservative lawyers named the Ordo Iuris Institute, has been active in anti-​choice campaigns in Poland and Croatia. Strong links exist between activists, groups, and strategies in both countries (Brakus 2018) as well as connections between the CEE groups and the TFP (Suchanow 2018). Third, Agenda Europe, a network of over 100 organizations from 30 European countries, was established in 2013 by a group of US and European right-​wing religious campaigners (Datta 2018). The network’s ideological claims are those of religious extremists, but its language is a strategically devised secular discourse of rights (especially religious freedom) and natural law. Agenda Europe’s long-​term plan is to overturn LGBT rights and reproductive rights, as well as the right to divorce, the use of embryonic stem cells, euthanasia, and organ transplantation. The group’s manifesto recommends reframing ultraconservative religious positions on sex and reproduction to sound like human rights language. This strategy positions Orthodox Christians as the victims of discrimination and intolerance (Datta 2018).

Anti-​gender campaigns in CEE Since the mid-​1990s, the movement has branched out from these theological origins. When used by right-​wing populists, gender means “deviance” and laws that the Right happens to deem worth attacking in a given context. In addition to linking gender ideology to pedophilia, another much-​repeated claim is that genderists use sex education to encourage arbitrary sex change in young children. Public schools constitute a key target of the campaigns, and much effort is put into involving parents in the movement’s activities (Hennig 2018; Kuhar 2017; Kuhar and Zobec 2017). The movement’s key ideologues present themselves as defenders of freedom and democracy, which, they claim, has been hijacked by NGOs and supranational bodies such as the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

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In a controversial argument similar to Ghodsee’s earlier critique of feminist NGOs (2004), Polish feminist scholar Marta Rawłuszko (2019) argues that gender equality projects have often been introduced in CEE with little regard for democratic process (fostered mainly by external commitments), providing the impetus for anti-​ gender campaigns. The controversy around Equality Kindergartens, which Rawłuszko examines, was not just about gender roles and education but, more significantly, about citizens resisting what they experienced as losing control over their state and disregard for their participation in decision-​making (Rawłuszko 2019, 18). Anti-​gender activism quite consistently targets issues of sexual citizenship: reproductive rights and the recognition of non-​heteronormative partnership and marriage. The campaigns target sex-​education and gender-​equality education in schools, same-​sex marriage, legal abortion, contraception, divorce, and trans-​rights. Anti-​gender activists claim a corrupt global elite stands behind these measures and the traditional views of ordinary people are ignored. The earliest outburst of activism occurred in Spain, when the Catholic Church mobilized conservative parties and organizations against the same-​ sex marriage law proposed by Zapatero in 2004 (Cornejo and Galán 2017). This was followed by Croatia’s mobilization against sex education (2006), protests against same-​ sex civil partnership in Italy (2007), mobilization against marriage Equality in Slovenia (2009), and the “Manif pour Tous” (Protest for Everyone) against same sex marriage in France (Paternotte and Kuhar 2018). Most CEE countries witnessed campaigns in 2010–​2014. Anti-​gender activity is staged to appear as spontaneous outbursts of moral outrage; in fact, the campaigns always begin with strategic interventions in specific policy debates, aimed to prevent or derail efforts at introducing progressive legislation. Throughout CEE, an important trigger was the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention). In Poland (Graff and Korolczuk 2017), Slovenia (Kuhar 2017), and Bulgaria (Darakchi 2019), anti-​gender actors dubbed the convention a “trojan horse for gender ideology,” agitating against its ratification and raising anti-​EU sentiments in the process. In Croatia, Slovakia, and Romania, anti-​gender movements anticipated the introduction of marriage equality and called for constitutional referenda to change national constitutions so as to exclude the possibility of same-​sex marriage (Ciobanu 2017; Hodžić and Štulhofer 2017; Smrek 2015). Strategies include collecting signatures under legislative initiatives (often ones involving referenda), organizing pickets, marches, and rallies (often quite colorful and festive ones) in defense of the “natural family,” as well as silent vigils, stand-​ins, and sit-​ins. Much of the activity takes place online, in social media, through the building of online communities, emails bombarding state institutions, and the spreading of fake news including through mainstream media outlets (e.g., concerning “sexualization of children” at the hands of UN bodies, including the WHO). The movement has also targeted gender studies scholars and programs, presented as sources of “gender ideology,” a breeding ground for sex-​educators, as well as “fake science” undeserving of taxpayers’ money. In the fall of 2018, Victor Orbán’s government closed down gender studies programs at two Hungarian universities (Eötvös Loránd University, ELTE and the Central European University, CEU). There is a widespread sense among gender studies scholars that both their jobs and their personal safety may be at stake; scholars report receiving hate mail. In 2017, the Ordo Iuris Institute in Poland

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demanded that rectors of public universities provide a list of gender studies scholars, whom anti-​genderists accuse of promoting pedophilia. CEE countries most affected by the movement have been those with a strong presence of Roman Catholicism: Poland (Graff and Korolczuk 2017), Slovakia (Ďurinová 2015), Croatia (Hodžić and Štulhofer 2017), and Slovenia (Kuhar 2017), but also the predominantly Eastern Orthodox Bulgaria (Darakchi 2019). The language of these campaigns is one of wounded national pride: each country is presented as the final frontier under siege, the last bastion of the natural family, bravely opposing western interference and colonization. Reliable research is still lacking on the precise extent of Russian influence on (or funding for) CEE anti-​gender initiatives, but there is no doubt that the Russian brand of “new conservatism” (Bluhm and Varga 2019) is reflected in anti-​gender campaigns. The promise that Russia, and the East more generally, will “save the West from corruption” appears to have originated from Russian conservatives, to be then popularized by the World Congress of Families and the work of Gabriele Kuby. In Russia itself, critique of “gender ideology” has long been firmly established at public universities, notably the Sociology Faculty at Moscow University (Moss 2017); key anti-​gender voices include the enormously influential Aleksander Dugin, Anatoly Antonov, and Aleksei Komov, the most visible face of the World Congress of Families in Russia.

Anti-​genderism and populism: Political alliances and discursive patterns This chapter argues that while the origins of anti-​gender ideology are religious, anti-​ gender rhetoric owes its successes to both discursive and strategic alliances with right-​ wing populism. Opposition to gender brought together religious groups, far-​ right nationalist groups and right-​wing populist parties. If populism is a “thin-​centered” ideology (Mudde 2004), then resistance to gender was one of the ways for it to “thicken.” Müller (2016) has argued that populism is the moralization of politics and anti-​gender campaigns are, at their core, moral panics. Participation in the anti-​gender scene seems to offer immense moral satisfaction to its participants: collectively experienced righteous anger, a sense of moral superiority, and a sense of mission. It is a political identity based entirely on moral claims: to purity, normalcy, and victimhood. As Paternotte and Kuhar (2018) point out, anti-​genderism and populism resonate with each other in four different ways. First, populists are among the key drivers of the campaigns, which in some contexts—​Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Italy—​means that anti-​gender actors have political power. Second, the two discourses share certain core elements: anti-​ European sentiments, focus on the nation and its demographics, and anti-​elitism. Third, the anti-​gender movement shares elements of what Wodak (2015) defines as populist “politics of fear”: reliance on victim/​perpetrator reversal, scapegoating, and conspiracy theories. Finally, their strategies are strikingly similar, for example, denunciations of media or the use of referenda. Anti-​genderism emerged during the period of austerity measures following the economic crisis of 2008 and many scholars argue that—​through its alliance with right-​ wing populism—​it became a language for expressing dissatisfaction with neoliberalism. Grzebalska, Kováts, and Pető (2017) observe that gender ideology has become a “symbolic glue” signifying “the failure of democratic representation … [and] different facets of the current socioeconomic order, from the prioritization of identity politics over material issues, and the weakening of people’s social, cultural and political security, to the

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detachment of social and political elites and the influence of transnational institutions and the global economy on nation states.” The heart of right-​wing populism is the opposition between corrupt elites and ordinary honest people (Mudde 2004, 2017). Anti-​gender rhetoric heavily relies on this binary. Gender is presented as a neo-​colonial project, a violent imposition of powerful global elites on local populations with the aim of undermining traditional cultures and national sovereignty (Korolczuk and Graff 2018). The rhetoric capitalizes on the fact that the word sounds foreign in most contexts. Hostility to gender brings together nationalists, who may be indifferent to the religious component of anti-​gender argumentation. As related political phenomena, anti-​gender movements and right-​wing populist parties coexist in an opportunistic synergy: a strategic alliance that is based on strong similarity between their worldviews (a juxtaposition between elites and innocent people, authoritarian tendencies, and strong anti-​western sentiments) (Graff and Korolczuk forthcoming). Right-​ wing populists often draw on anti-​gender rhetoric in electoral campaigns as it offers a robust moral frame for their claims to legitimacy; anti-​gender groups, in turn, use their links with populist parties to gain access to political power and funding for their projects.

Central-​Eastern Europe: Is there a difference? According to Paternotte and Kuhar (2018), key scholars in the area, “despite the fact that some differences can be accredited to the historical and political contexts of post-​ socialist countries in Eastern Europe, the East–​West divide does not offer a particularly useful analytical lens.” This chapter argues that CEE movements and discourses are distinctive and that the region has a special place in the anti-​gender imaginary and strategy. First, CEE anti-​gender campaigns rely on anxieties and antagonisms specific to the region and rooted in its recent history. Analogies between “gender ideology” and Soviet propaganda are a staple of campaigns in CEE: gender is viewed as part of “cultural Marxism” and hence, by association, is linked with communism, a remnant of the Soviet past. Consequently, resistance to gender is framed as a continuation of opposition to Soviet rule, except that now the local, national values are under threat from western liberalism. The discourse thus allows the Right to smoothly combine anti-​communism with anti-​western (anti-​liberal) sentiments, which, as Bluhm and Varga argue, is a central feature of the new conservatism in CEE (2019, 2). Second, due to the relative weakness of women’s and LGBT movements and lack of institutional and cultural entrenchment of gender studies in the region, the campaigns have been remarkably effective. A recent study shows that 30 percent of Poles believe that gender studies are involved in a conspiracy (Marchlewska et al. 2019). Arguably, anti-​gender discourse in the region did not undermine a feminist consensus in support of gender equality because no such consensus was established in the first place. Instead, the campaigns confirmed and strengthened pre-​existing conservative attitudes and a pervasive distrust of EU gender-​ mainstreaming policies. Anti-​ gender mobilizations in the region capitalized on these feelings, insisting that feminism and LGBTQ rights are a foreign import; that such ideas do not properly belong in the local cultures. Anti-​ gender campaigns expand these claims further, suggesting that the introduction of gender equality measures after 1989 was part of western economic and cultural and economic colonization—​a claim that, incidentally, resonates with certain feminist critiques

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(Ghodsee 2004). Thus, the vulnerability of activists and scholars in the region has been considerably greater than in the West. Third, it is worth noting that the East figures prominently in western anti-​gender discourse itself. The movements’ main authorities, especially Kuby (2015), consider countries of the former Soviet bloc to be superior to western democracies—​an argument that repeats the claims of Dugin in other messianic-​nationalist interpretations of CEE Christianity. In this region, anti-​genderism has become a language for the expression of Eastern European anxiety and resentment against Western Europe. CEE is claimed to be immune to Marxism and communism because of its experience with it, and hence, according to Kuby (2015), is able to oppose “genderism” more effectively. The claim that Russia is destined to be the savior of European civilization is a central tenet of Russian anti-​genderism (Moss 2017), and similar claims have been made regarding countries such as Poland, Croatia (Brakus 2018), and Bulgaria (Darakchi 2019). This discourse is evident in an article on the website of Tradition, Family, and Property, one of the key transnational anti-​gender organizations: “In the past, Croatia was known as the Shield of Christendom thanks to her glorious defense of Europe against Mohammedan invasions. Today, we can deem it as the Shield of the Family. May her example be followed in the West and throughout the world!” (Campos 2014). Fourth, only in CEE (and Italy) is anti-​gender rhetoric used by ruling parties. Populist parties, especially in Hungary and Poland, have managed to integrate anti-​gender discourse into their programs and instrumentalize this rhetoric in both their political campaigns and their “modus operandi” (Graff and Korolczuk 2017; Grzebalska and Pető 2018). While in most Western European contexts anti-​gender panics are a marginal if increasingly visible discourse of right-​wing extremists, in CEE anti-​genderism is well integrated into a much broader political enterprise: that of replacing liberal democracy with “illiberal democracy” (Zakaria 1997).

Conclusions Anti-​gender discourse and activism in CEE must be seen as part of transnational mobilization inspired and originally coordinated by the conservative wing of the Roman Catholic Church. However, the movement rose in close collaboration with socially conservative populist forces that are especially strong in the region, and today it is difficult to disentangle the political from the religious. The story of anti-​genderism in CEE is not simply about the power of the Catholic Church in countries like Poland, Croatia, or Slovenia, but also about intense collaboration between the most conservative forces within the Church and the nationalist groups in the respective countries. The collaboration turned out successful in part due to the weakness of feminist movements in the region and the vulnerability of CEE populations to the movements’ particular discursive manipulation in which the movement engaged. A powerful ally of right-​wing populism, anti-​genderism should be interpreted as a response to a vacuum created by a receding welfare state and lack of alternatives on the left. Anti-​gender movements effectively combine a socially conservative agenda with a critique of some aspects of neoliberalism, tapping into existing anxieties and the disillusionments. The anti-​gender discourse serves as a code for expression of anti-​EU sentiments and a broader resentment against the liberal West. With the recurring claim that the East will save the West from moral corruption, anti-​genderism has become the new language

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for nationalisms in the region. Right-​wing populist resistance to gender is presented as Central-​Eastern Europe’s proud determination to withstand western domination.

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Agnieszka Graff Graff, Agnieszka. 2010. “Looking at Pictures of Gay Men: Political Uses of Homophobia in Contemporary Poland.” Public Culture 3: 583–​603. Graff, Agnieszka and Elżbieta Korolczuk. 2017. “‘Worse Than Communism and Nazism Put Together’: War on Gender in Poland.” In Anti-​gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality, edited by Roman Kuhar and David Paternotte, 175–​ 194. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Graff, Agnieszka and Elżbieta Korolczuk. Forthcoming. Anti-​gender Politics and the Populist Moment. London: Routledge. Grzebalska, Weronika and Andrea Pető. 2018. “The Gendered Modus Operandi of the Illiberal Transformation in Hungary and Poland.” Women’s Studies International Forum 68: 164–​172. Grzebalska, Weronika, Eszter Kováts, and Andrea Pető. 2017. “Gender as Symbolic Glue: How ‘Gender’ Became an Umbrella Term for the Rejection of the (Neo)liberal Order.” Political Critique, January 13. http://​politicalcritique.org/​long-​read/​2017/​gender-​as-​symbolic-​glue-​how-​ gender-​became-​an-​umbrella-​term-​for-​the-​rejection-​of-​the-​neoliberal-​order/​. Gunnarsson Payne, Jenny. 2019. “Challenging ‘Gender Ideology’: (Anti-​ )Gender Politics in Europe’s Populist Moment.” The New Pretender, February 10. http://​new-​pretender.com/​2019/​ 02/​10/​challenging-​gender-​ideology-​anti-​gender-​politics-​in-​europes-​populist-​moment-​jenny-​ gunnarsson-​payne/​. Hennig, Anja. 2018. “Political Genderphobia in Europe: Accounting for Right-​wing Political-​ religious Alliances against Gender-​sensitive Education Reforms since 2012.” Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik, October 22. Hodžić, Amir and Aleksandar Štulhofer. 2017. “Embryo, Teddy Bear-​ Centaur, and the Constitution: Mobilizations against ‘Gender Ideology’ and Sexual Permissiveness in Croatia.” In Anti-​gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality, edited by Roman Kuhar and David Paternotte, 59–​78. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Korolczuk, Elżbieta and Agnieszka Graff. 2018. “Gender as ‘Ebola from Brussels’: The Anti-​ colonial Frame and the Rise of Illiberal Populism.” Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43 (4): 797–​821. Kováts, Eszter and Maari Põim, eds. 2015. Gender as Symbolic Glue: The Position and Role of Conservative and Far Right Parties in the Anti-​gender Mobilization in Europe. Brussels: Foundation for European Progressive Studies and Friedrich-​Ebert-​Stiftung Budapest. Kuby, Gabriele. 2015. The Global Revolution. Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press. Kuhar, Roman 2017. “Changing Gender Several Times a Day: The Anti-​gender Movement in Slovenia.” In Anti-​gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality, edited by Roman Kuhar and David Paternotte, 59–​78. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Kuhar, Roman and Aleš Zobec. 2017. “The Anti-​gender Movement in Europe and the Educational Process in Public Schools.” CEPS Journal 7 (2), 29–​46. Kuhar, Roman and David Paternotte, eds. 2017. Anti-​gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Marchlewska, Marta, et al. 2019. “In Search of an Imaginary Enemy: Catholic Collective Narcissism and the Endorsement of Gender Conspiracy Beliefs.” The Journal of Social Psychology, March 14. https://​doi.org/​10.1080/​00224545.2019.1586637. Moss, Kevin. 2017. “Russia as the Savior of European Civilization: Gender and the Geopolitics of Traditional Values.” In Anti-​gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilizing against Equality, edited by Roman Kuhar and David Paternotte, 195–​214. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Mudde, Cas. 2004. “The Populist Zeitgeist.” Government and Opposition 39 (4): 541–​563. –​–​–​–. 2017. “Introduction to the Populist Radical Right.” In The Populist Radical Right. A Reader, edited by Cas Mudde, 1–​10. London: Routledge. Müller, Jan Werner. 2016. What is Populism? Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Paternotte, David and Roman Kuhar. 2018. “Disentangling and Locating the ‘Global Right’: Anti-​ gender Campaigns in Europe.” Politics and Governance 6 (3): 6–​19. Peeters, Marguerite A. 2013. Le Gender, une norme mondiale? Pour un discernement [Gender, the Global Norm? Toward an Understanding]. Paris: MamE. Rawłuszko, Marta. 2019. “And if the Opponents of Gender Ideology Are Right? Gender Politics, Europeanization, and the Democratic Deficit.” Politics & Gender: 1–​23.

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PART IV

Lived experiences of individuals in different regimes

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INTRODUCTION Lived experiences of individuals in different regimes Mara Lazda, Katalin Fábián, and Janet Elise Johnson

Part IV examines the gendered lived experiences of the ideological constructions described in Part III. The lived experience is a channel through which ideologies are imposed by regimes and interpreted by individuals. In the everyday, the regulation of bodies often became the site of gendered power negotiation. The negotiation of the intimate was invasive, but in asserting autonomy over their own bodies and actions, women claimed agency. Examining gendered everyday life—​such as resistance by women peasants to domestic violence in the Russian Empire, sexuality during the Holocaust, or communal kitchens in East Germany—​has been central to the work of feminist scholars of Central-​Eastern Europe and Eurasia (CEE&E). Recorded in diaries, letters, memoirs, poems, novels, trial testimonies, even recipes, everyday experiences allow us to interpret how individuals chose to subvert, condone, or co-​exist with the gendered regimes that exerted varying levels of incentives, coercion, and violence. Much of the population in CEE&E entered the 20th century as subjects of monarchies or empires, not rights-​bearing citizens. Access to education, jobs, political representation, material wealth, and social mobility were differentially dependent on intertwined factors of gender, sexuality, class, age, religion, and ethnicity. Individuals who found themselves on the margins because of any, some, or all of these factors were particularly vulnerable, but all lacked basic political and civil rights. In the Habsburg Monarchy, prostitutes attracted the scorn of society and concern of officials, who considered prostitution an indicator of immorality and instability, and subjected women to varying levels of regulation and surveillance. Recent studies, including the chapter in this Part, reveal how women navigated the systems of regulations, for example, changing their registration status and building networks to move across and out of the Monarchy. Despite their vulnerability, individual women took advantage of political and economic shifts within these hierarchical systems to take control of their lives, leveraging customary law and practice with legal and economic reforms. Peasant women in Russia took their abusive husbands to court and used song to challenge discriminatory attitudes regarding premarital sex. Though they were poorly compensated, women built economic 279

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independence through their work in domestic trade and agriculture, work that men abandoned as they migrated to jobs elsewhere. The establishment of democratic-​aspiring states at the end of World War I augured well for the advancement for women in the region. But acquiring the right to vote did not mean the same thing as sharing power with male elites, who rejected more than the symbolic inclusion of women. Some women resisted this renewed exclusion, and, as in Czechoslovakia, created organizations to hold government leaders accountable in upholding principles of gender equality. Despite these efforts, the proportion of women representatives in governing bodies remained low and further declined over the interwar period. As civic ideals of the nation were replaced by increasingly exclusionary ethnic ones, some women saw opportunity in the turn toward authoritarianism and pronatalism. Part IV considers how individuals coped with Stalinism and Nazism as systems at war with their own populations and with external enemies, at times coopting these systems to their needs. The Nazi and Stalinist dictatorships sought control over public and private affairs, seemingly negating the possibility of individual action. Chapters in this Handbook find, however, that even under the most oppressive regimes, including those that commit genocide, individuals did not give up control over the intimate, which could enable survival and produce resistance. In the Gulags and deportation, women tried to recreate the semblance of autonomous space through traditions and foods that they linked to a sense of normalcy, security, and ethnic identity. Though scholars have been reluctant to broach the topic, the testimonies used in the chapters here reveal that women engaged in sexual barter for food, protection, and to better their chances for survival. Individual experiences after World War II testify to the uneven implementation, at times intentional undermining, of the emancipatory promises of gender equality made by socialist and communist regimes. In Yugoslavia, the gendered experiences of wartime in which women took on what were seen as new and empowering roles in anti-​ fascist partisan resistance, help explain the distinct path of the Yugoslav communist gender program in adapting Stalinist gender constructions. In the German Democratic Republic, the proliferation of workplace canteens and school cafeterias made the experience of food preparation and consumption a collective one, relieving the daily pressure of meal preparation for women, but the institutionalization of meals ideologically enhanced the connection of the domestic to maternal roles. Individuals’ lives spanned more than one regime, carrying strategies of agency from one to the next. Chapters in Part V focus on the lived experiences during the postcommunist period, as individuals have navigated the recent wave of social, economic, and political transitions.

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27 LATE IMPERIAL RUSSIA AND ITS GENDERED ORDER IN THE COUNTRYSIDE Christine D. Worobec

Russian peasant society, which represented more than four out of five ethnic Russians in the Empire at the turn of the 20th century, replicated the structure of the hierarchical patriarchal state. Within Russian villages women found themselves subordinated to husbands, fathers-​ in-​ law, and brothers-​ in-​ law, and children of both sexes were subordinated to fathers and uncles, just as peasants of both sexes as a whole were subservient to the tsar, the supreme father. Subservience also dictated the unequal relationships that peasants experienced with nobles and employers (Worobec 2002, 77). While young men were expected to defer to senior men, and young women to senior women within the peasant household and community, unmarried men also found themselves under the authority of the most senior woman, the household head’s wife (the bol’shukha), who supervised the domestic realm (Olson and Adonyeva 2012, 67, 69). These patriarchal characteristics and hierarchies of submission also applied to largely Orthodox Belarusian and Ukrainian peasant societies within the European and Siberian sector of the Empire although some differences in culture and land tenure practices distinguished them from their Russian counterparts. Although peasant women generally conformed to a subordinate position within the male-​dominated hierarchy, they did occasionally seize opportunities to enhance their status as female heads of households and daughters-​in-​law, to blunt the worst aspects of their lives by demanding separation from abusive husbands, and to protest ill-​defined government reforms, which in their implementation often deprived them of property benefits that customary laws had bestowed upon them. This chapter examines the critical period in the aftermath of the 1861 emancipation, when peasants gained autonomy from their noble owners and the right to govern themselves, all the while retaining their customary laws. The era ends with the implementation of the Stolypin land reforms in late 1906 until 1916 in the midst of World War I. These reforms attempted unsuccessfully to introduce capitalist elements and notions of individual male property ownership in the countryside. Contrary to work that claims otherwise (Muravyeva 2011), peasant women’s positions largely improved in this period within the framework of a modernizing state that allowed for greater freedom of movement, a 283

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rising standard of living, higher literacy rates, and some legal recourse for abused peasant women. The challenges the agrarian reforms posed to women were nipped in the bud by peasant strategies of subterfuge and the unprecedented demands of a total war that ended in revolution, subjects that remain outside the bounds of this chapter.

Peasant male authority and its potential enhancement by way of the Stolypin reforms The Russian male peasant household head (bol’shak) enjoyed absolute authority over all household members, who comprised either a nuclear family or an extended one if a married son or two and their wives or another in-​law or two were present. Besides managing the household’s complex economy and collective family property, the bol’shak determined every able household member’s labor input on and off the land (Worobec 2002, 77–​78). A family member could not leave the commune beyond a fifteen-​mile radius to work or travel elsewhere without his permission until early March 1914. That permission was necessary for a migrant worker or religious pilgrim to acquire and renew a temporary internal passport. After November 1906, the bol’shak’s authority became legally enhanced if he chose to claim title to his communal allotment land, which according to the Stolypin reforms became his private property to sell and bequeath without having to defer to customary practices. In practice, not only could a wife be dispossessed, but exaggerated assertions of individual and communal rights often came at the expense of independent widows who, if they had children to support, had generally been allowed to farm communal allotment lands until their children reached the age of maturity (Gaudin 2007, 124–​125). Those lands, even in areas where domestic trades predominated, gave these women essential income and insurance against economic disaster, a safety net not accorded widowed women without children who forfeited communal land upon their husbands’ death (Dennison and Nafziger 2013, 421). After 1906, men’s specious land claims and communal pressures disfavoring marginal communal members superseded the customary rights of women household heads, who had little recourse but to appeal communal decisions. Even at the appellate level, the odds were two to one against these women in spite of reminders that officials received from the Ministry of the Interior and Senate that widows still enjoyed a right to a communal land allotment. Fortunately, the ill-​defined Stolypin reforms were slow to take effect amidst peasant subversionary tactics and disbanded in late 1916 in the midst of the vagaries of World War I (Gaudin 2007, 199–​202, 204) and women’s protests against inflationary prices and land policies detrimental to their livelihood (Baker 2001). However, any dispossession of women—​including soldiers’ wives—​that had occurred prior to 1916 was not reversed (Gaudin 2007, 200–​201, 204–​205). In spite of the reforms’ negative impact upon some women, other factors associated with post-​emancipation reforms and modernization in the countryside produced more positive outcomes for them. Such changes provided peasant women with greater agency over their lives at the same time that the system continued to victimize them.

Improvements in peasant women’s standard of living By the turn of the 20th century, the standard of living had improved for rural peasant women. Negative assessments about peasants’ living standards, based on incomplete data on tax arrears and on peasants’ ability to purchase a limited number of essential goods, 284

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had dominated the historiography through the early 1990s (see Hoch 1994 and Mironov 2009). However, new sources made available with the opening of Russian archives after 1991 provide a fuller picture of consumption patterns and demonstrate overall improvements, although men fared better than women (Dennison and Nafziger 2013, 421; Mironov 2012, 126). Households in various Russian areas were able to purchase easily accessible foodstuffs and had low costs of living. Anywhere from 15 to 40 percent of household expenses involved “housing, non-​essentials, and luxury goods” and an additional 5 to 15 percent for clothing, items that benefitted women and their domestic realm (Dennison and Nafziger 2013, 414, 412). Peasant women’s living standards were highest in households in central and northern Russia, which engaged in complementary agricultural and nonagricultural labor and experienced a surge in male peasant outmigration to agricultural and urban areas either seasonally or more permanently. Women, children, and the elderly were more closely bound to the land because the landholding system did not allow peasants to abandon their allotments on which they owed taxes. Until 1903 communal members shared mutual responsibility for tax payments. A shortage of housing in Moscow and St. Petersburg also discouraged most women from joining their migrant spouses, although single women’s migration to the capital cities to work in factories and domestic service grew from the 1890s onward. Women who stayed behind were, at least temporarily, freed from abusive husbands. In some locales, women even gained a vote as their households’ representatives in village assemblies and occasionally assumed official political duties (Gaudin 2007, 156–​157). Growing literacy rates for women (around 25 percent by 1911), while low by Western European standards, aided this upward mobility (Dennison and Nafziger 2013, 415). Peasant women’s resourcefulness and hard work were essential to a household’s success. They took charge of the kitchen garden, producing not only vegetables but also herbs, which were critical in healing ailments. They tended to the domestic animals and most of the domestic work, transforming the raw into the cooked. They were full participants in heavy agricultural work, the burdens of which increased in areas of significant male migration. Either in the nonagricultural season or throughout most of the year, depending again on location, peasant women engaged in the domestic production of trades, some of them specialized. Women’s exclusive contributions in Nizhnii Novgorod province included the making of intricate fishnets, the painstaking sewing of sheepskin rags for coats, sleeves, and hats; the weaving of saddle straps from goat hair; and the processing of hemp. Such demanding work involved long hours, which were “constantly interrupted by the need to care for livestock and children” (Evtuhov 2011, 93, 91, 86). Here and elsewhere, women were involved in lace-​making, gold thread embroidery, knitting, wet-​nursing, weaving, basket weaving, bobbin winding, and cigarette mouthpiece assembly. All in all, the production of goods resulted in significant revenues, although women labored “on the lowest status and least well remunerated domestic manufactures” (Pallot 1991, 171). Even in paid agricultural work, women’s wages were anywhere from 30 to 90 percent lower than men’s in Iaroslavl province’s Iurev district, a pattern undoubtedly replicated elsewhere (Dennison and Nafziger 2013, 421). On the positive side, women’s remunerations from any sales that they made at market constituted their own property by virtue of customary law. What they did not spend on clothing and household items, they passed onto their daughters as dowries. As markets became more integrated with the expansion of the railway, and rural migrants went back and forth between town and countryside, ready-​to-​wear clothing and 285

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accessories became ubiquitous in rural areas. Although some upper-​class photographers of village life such as Sergei Prokudin-​Gorskii, patronized by Nicholas II, exhibited a nostalgia for colorful traditional peasant women’s clothing that varied from village to village, such representations of women at work or at leisure were almost as anachronistic as Nicholas II’s attempt to highlight cumbersome Muscovite dress for both men and women at extravagant court balls. More comfortable and sanitary cotton dresses, aprons, and headscarves had become common in the countryside. More fashionable clothing also reflected women’s growing self-​worth and independence, providing them with an opportunity to climb the social ladder. Consequently, peasant women became increasingly indistinguishable from their lower-​class urban counterparts at markets and pilgrimage sites, and on urban streets as well as in photographs (Ruane 2009). That self-​worth and independence might not have sufficiently compensated women for extremely high birth and infant mortality rates and the spousal abuse they experienced. Such high infant mortality rates could not be mitigated without alterations in cultural practices, including the abandonment of the unsanitary rag pacifiers filled with chewed up food; the adoption of a more evenly distributed birthing cycle to avoid a predominance of summer births; and the implementation of breastfeeding on demand, which would have allowed women to have more frequent rest from their labor obligations and to bond with their children more intimately (Ransel 2000, 35–​36, 103, 203). Self-​esteem and independent actions nevertheless reflected ways in which women increasingly tried to mitigate domestic violence and gain some control over their everyday lives.

Sexual norms, violence against peasant women, and peasant women’s agency Peasant women were not protected “from beatings, rape, incest or other forms of violence” (Kingston-​Mann 2018, 14). Steinberg’s (2017, 374–​384) comment that “the power to harm was overwhelmingly on the side of men” in modern Russian urban areas also applied to the countryside, even though lower-​class urban single and sometimes married women were more vulnerable to men’s advances given the anonymity of urban spaces and the lack of the kind of collective action against excessive behavior that occurred in villages. Courtship rituals in the public sphere encouraged frank sexual commentary and tested peasant men’s virility in an assertion of men’s sexual dominance over women. Eligible young women enjoyed some leverage in the mating game by commenting on their suitors’ sexual attributes. A woman’s praise or condemnation of the size of a man’s sexual organ and remarks on his sexual practices could enhance or destroy his reputation (Worobec 2002, 83). However, the double standard ensured that men controlled the dating game by initiating sexual advances, promising to marry women to obtain consent for sex (Engel 1990), and casting doubt on a young woman’s virginity or character through innuendo or public shaming practices (Worobec 1991, 146–​148). The sources’ deafening silence on date rapes, of course, could not mask the prevalence of shotgun weddings. As outmigration of men in the central and northern provinces and their recourse to urban prostitutes became so widespread that sexually transmitted diseases became endemic in the countryside (Engelstein 1986), attitudes to women’s premarital sex became more forgiving in some rural communities, and the public shaming of women for pre-​marital sex largely disappeared by the turn of the 20th century (Pushkareva 2013, 173). Although peasant responses to ethnographical queries privileged the male voice by placing responsibility for sexual transgression solely on women’s shoulders (Pushkareva 286

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2013, 169), peasant women’s melodramatic songs highlighted other aspects of patriarchy by depicting them “as victims of men’s carelessness, self-​interest, or cruelty” (Olson and Adonyeva 2012, 148). By elevating women’s morality above that of men, however, these songs also redeemed the victims. By the turn of the 20th century, rebellious voices against such conservative norms were growing stronger with peasant women’s creation and public singing of short verses (chastushki). These songs challenged social norms, making individual, normally taboo judgments about personal desires collective ones. They championed a woman’s freedom to choose her marital partner and to enjoy sexual agency (Olson and Adonyeva 2012, 147–​148, 166–​172). In his early 1990s oral interviews of Russian peasant women born before 1912, Ransel (2000, 5) notes that a woman’s freedom of choice in a spouse remained somewhat limited by a father’s preference, while most of the interviewees noted that they remained virgins upon marriage. Olson and Adonyeva likewise found their respondents voicing puritanical notions about sexuality, echoing the Orthodox Christian premise that sexual relations were unclean. Young women and their parents sought village assemblies’ support to counter any false slights of reputation and restore the young women’s and their households’ reputations. While shaming rituals of peasant women who indulged in premarital sex appeared to have dissipated by the early 20th century, they continued to be used against women who committed adultery, wherein a husband’s prerogative to beat his wife (and control her sexuality) and invite others to participate in the beating sometimes led to deadly consequences (Pushkareva 2013, 169, 174, 177). In December 1908, a husband persuaded six (presumably male) neighbors in the village of Prilepki in Voronezh province to beat his wife and her lover, leaving the latter dead and the former near death (Russkoe Slovo, December 20, 1908). In an unfortunate twist of events, women of the Ukrainian village of Voloshki in Zhitomir province took extra-​legal justice against a neighbor they identified as “turning the heads of their husbands,” leaving her with life-​threatening fractures (Russkoe Slovo, June 5, 1909). Such collective action by women could also be taken against a cruel wife abuser. In July 1911, 22 women in a village in the Russian Don Region attacked the Cossack Parshin with oven prongs and sticks until his male comrades rescued him (Russkoe Slovo, July 2, 1911). Such extra-​legal actions were not confined to sexual matters. In early 1910, Ukrainian villagers of Viazovka in Zhitomir province avenged the death of the woman Shelest by fatally beating her assailant Ponomarenko; the dispute between the two peasants had been over the possession of a household plot (Russkoe Slovo, February 26, 1910). A similar revenge killing had occurred a couple weeks earlier in the Russian village of Chekalino in Samara region, this time against two brothers who had murdered a peasant woman and beat her daughter over a paltry 25-​kopeck debt (Russkoe Slovo, February 12, 1910). These extra-​legal practices, which were infrequently reported and often escaped authorities’ attention in an undergoverned and underpoliced countryside, constituted part of peasants’ repertoire of collective strategies. They employed them periodically to dilute tensions within their own communities. More often than not, they protested injustices perpetuated by a government that treated them as second-​class subjects and failed to provide them with sufficient legal support against crimes—​including abuse, witchcraft, horse theft, and murder—​that affected their daily lives and subsistence (Frank 1999, 249–​261; Frierson 1987; Worobec 1987; 2001, 87–​108). The 1861 Emancipation legislation had created a separate legal framework for peasants, one governed by customary rather than written law. Elected peasant judges in township courts adjudicated most civil law and petty criminal law cases, under which 287

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instances involving reputation and sexual innuendo, as well as incidents of domestic violence by husbands and other family members, fell. Local customs, however, varied considerably among villages, leading to inconsistencies in the application of customary law and even to the invention of tradition by officials and litigants alike (Popkins 2000, 418). Initially, battered women could not appeal township court decisions. By the end of the 19th century, as the government placed these courts under the oversight of provincial land captains, written law began to influence local decisions more and more. This change was positive for women in terms of abuse but negative with regard to inheritance for widows with underage children because they could receive only one-​seventh of their spouses’ real property and an eighth of his movable property instead of full shares (Gaudin 2007, 125). Fortunately, the latter provision was not applied universally and became more influential only temporarily between late 1906 and 1915. Finally, peasant women were able to appeal cases of “insult” or abuse to the land captain. Husbands convicted of domestic abuse and sentenced to a short prison sentence (or alternatively fined), nonetheless, did return home with their “ ‘conjugal rights’ completely intact” (Engel 2011, 107, 109). Unlike domestic violence and insult, rape and murder fell under the rubric of general criminal law, while incest remained a crime adjudicated by the Russian Orthodox Church. However, rape and incest were rarely reported because of victims’ sense of shame and the need to maintain their households’ reputations. The relative lack of punishments for rape in favor of reconciliation and minimum compensations to injured parties at the communal and township court levels also inhibited reporting (Frank 1999, 162–​163). Finally, victims perceived the harsher sentences of under three years of hard labor for a convicted rapist and a year and a half for attempted rape, levied in the higher circuit courts, as insufficient deterrents to others (Russkoe Slovo, April 22, 1911, May 14, 1910). There was nothing to stop released convicts from taking revenge on the women or the families who had denounced them to the authorities. In spite of various obstacles, significant numbers of Russian peasant women did protest abuse. While extra-​legal practices remained exceptional (although more work needs to be done on this issue after their importance was questioned as “an abstraction created by Russian ethnographers and jurists,” used by historians “to exoticize the peasant” at times to emphasize peasants’ “resistance and subalternity”) (Burbank 2004, 15), already in the 1870s peasant women turned to more impartial township courts to report domestic violence, among other offenses committed by spouses and in-​laws. Vulnerable daughters-​ in-​law and soldiers’ wives figured prominently among the litigants (Farnsworth 1986, 1990). Occasionally, household heads’ spouses (bol’shukhi) made appearances as well; if they could provide evidence through character references from fellow villagers that their abusive husbands were also squandering the household’s resources, township judges might transfer their full household authority to their wives. In a moral economy and taxation system of mutual responsibility, where everyone had to pull their weight, pragmatic economics occasionally trumped patriarchalism. Nevertheless, the issue of spousal abuse remained problematic. By the end of the century, a number of changes improved women’s positions within peasant households. They included an increase in nuclear families due to household divisions championed by daughters-​in-​law wishing independence from in-​laws, growing male out-​migration, and greater “familiarity with the legal system” (Popkins 2000, 414). Between 1905 and 1917, according to Burbank’s analysis of over 900 cases in 10 township courts of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novgorod provinces, 19 percent of women’s criminal charges against men involved beatings, while 10.5 percent consisted of “insults in 288

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deed,” in contrast to charges of “insult in words,” which fell from 44 to 33 percent after 1914. Just over half of the cases involving beatings resulted in convictions and 27 percent in acquittals, while the rest were settled or dropped (Burbank 2004, 215, 219). Dramatic improvements in some women’s lives, albeit a minority, came with the ability to separate from tyrannical husbands. Between 1884 and 1902, thousands of courageous peasant women joined mainly their urban lower-​class women counterparts in appealing to the Imperial Chancellery for Receipt of Petitions for a marital separation. The Chancellery circumvented the law forbidding marital separation and the Russian Orthodox Church’s plodding bureaucracy, which rarely granted annulments. Beginning in 1888, chancellery officials could provide a peasant woman temporary relief by overriding a husband’s prerogative to disallow his wife to have an internal passport so that she could leave the village to work elsewhere, if he had abused or neglected her. That passport had to be renewed each year and could be relitigated; in the event of a lengthy relitigation process, officials simply extended the passport. Even though the same officials sometimes ruled in a husband’s favor, some progress in favor of peasant women had been made and the successful women’s appeals established a precedent for others to take action. After 1902, peasant women gained the right to petition local non-​peasant rather than chancery authorities (Engel 2011, 6, 123, 108, 129).

Religious devotion as resistance Those peasant women who accommodated themselves to abusive husbands and other family members could, of course, take subversive small daily actions of disobedience or foot-​dragging in their labors, but the price they had to pay for such resistance may have been too great. A far safer outlet involved women gaining temporary relief by abandoning their obligations and deference to the power structures of the household and village during slow work times to visit saints’ graves and icons believed to be miracle-​working at nearby or far away monastic sites. By the early 20th century, women dominated among Orthodox pilgrims in the Russian Empire. Not all of them were victims of abuse. Others sought miraculous cures of other ailments or fulfilled religious vows they had made during their own or family members’ illnesses. Often, they were also seeking the advice of monastic elders about domestic affairs. They tended to travel with other female relatives and neighbors. The most adventuresome went for months at a time, visiting multiple monasteries along the way, or fulfilled a vow to visit the Holy Land (Worobec 2016, 373–​375). This temporary religious migration provided cathartic experiences for the sick, abused, and well. The most rebellious women among the Orthodox, Old Believers (who clung to pre-​mid-​17th-​century Orthodox Christian rituals and rejected the modern Russian Orthodox Church), and sectarians chose not to marry but to pursue a full-​time religious vocation within the village or in the case of the Orthodox entered a religious community of like-​minded women.

Conclusions By and large, peasant women’s positions had improved by 1905. A higher living standard, a diversified economy, the growth in male migration to cities, and bureaucratic changes increased peasant women’s self-​worth and provided many with the independence to challenge their subordination and abuse, providing models for others to emulate. Such improvements took a temporary hit with the Stolypin land reforms that began in late 1906. 289

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World War I changed everything: women came to dominate the agricultural sector as ten million men and millions of livestock, including draft horses and milk cows, were sent to the front, and gender roles were altered as women had to assume men’s responsibilities at home. Engel’s pioneering study of Russian peasant women’s participation in subsistence riots (1997) and Baker’s (2001) critical work on Ukrainian peasant women’s leadership in large-​scale protests against the Stolypin reforms during the war and small-​ scale actions against price controls in 1916 in Kharkov province need to be supplemented with multiple case studies to fill out our knowledge of women’s war roles and resistance. Other studies should examine peasant women’s participation in the 1905 Revolution and its aftermath, a subject about which there remains silence. Only then will historians be better able to understand peasant women’s experiences and attitudes during and after the 1917 Revolutions. The story of Russian peasant women’s improvements within the context of a modernizing state provides a glimpse of a complex world in which women were able not only to carve out spaces for themselves within a hierarchical patriarchal society, but also to adapt to a diversifying economy as laborers and consumers and to utilize new courts and appeals procedures to chip away at their victimization and establish some independence and a sense of self-​worth. Their resilience was remarkable.

References Baker, Mark. 2001. “Rampaging Soldatki, Cowering Police, Bazaar Riots and Moral Economy: The Social Impact of the Great War in Kharkiv Province.” Canadian-​American Slavic Studies 35 (2–​ 3): 137–​155. Burbank, Jane. 2004. Russian Peasants Go to Court: Legal Culture in the Countryside, 1905–​1917. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Dennison, Tracy, and Steven Nafziger. 2013. “Living Standards in Nineteenth-​Century Russia.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 43 (3): 397–​441. Engel, Barbara Alpern. 1990. “Peasant Morality and Pre-​Marital Relations in Late 19th Century Russia.” Journal of Social History 23 (4): 695–​714. –​–​–​–. 1997. “Not By Bread Alone: Subsistence Riots in Russia during World War I.” Journal of Modern History 69 (4): 696–​721. –​–​–​–. 2011. Breaking the Ties that Bound: The Politics of Marital Strife in Late Imperial Russia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Engelstein, Laura. 1986. “Morality and the Wooden Spoon: Russian Doctors View Syphilis, Social Class, and Sexual Behavior, 1890–​1905.” Representations 14: 169–​208. Evtuhov, Catherine. 2011. Portrait of a Russian Province: Economy, Society, and Civilization in Nineteenth-​Century Nizhnii Novgorod. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Farnsworth, Beatrice. 1986. “The Litigious Daughter-​in-​Law: Family Relations in Rural Russia in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century.” Slavic Review 45 (1): 49–​64. –​–​–​–. 1990. “The Soldatka: Folklore and Court Record.” Slavic Review 49 (1): 58–​73. Frank, Stephen P. 1999. Crime, Cultural Conflict, and Justice in Rural Russia, 1856–​1914. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Frierson, Cathy. 1987. “Crime and Punishment in the Russian Village: Rural Concepts of Criminality at the End of the Nineteenth Century.” Slavic Review 46 (1): 55–​69. Gaudin, Corinne. 2007. Ruling Peasants: Village and State in Late Imperial Russia. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. Hoch, Steven L. 1994. “On Good Numbers and Bad: Malthus, Population Trends and Peasant Standard of Living in Late Imperial Russia.” Slavic Review 53 (1): 41–​75. Kingston-​Mann, Esther. 2018. Women, Land Rights and Rural Development: How Much Land Does a Woman Need? New York: Routledge.

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28 GENDERED MORAL PANICS IN THE LATE HABSBURG MONARCHY Prostitution, sex trafficking, and venereal disease Nancy M. Wingfield

Three moral panics around what were then called prostitution, venereal disease, and “white slavery” (also Mädchenhandel, literally, “trade in girls”) shaped individual attitudes toward gender in the late Habsburg Monarchy. Weeks’ observation about moral panics in Britain also applies to fin-​de-​siècle Austria-​Hungary: panics crystallize “widespread fears and anxieties” and sexuality has “a peculiar centrality” with sexual “deviants” being scapegoated (1981, 14–​15). Worldwide fears about venereal disease, especially syphilis, and trafficking in girls became intertwined with popular attitudes toward prostitution over the course of the 19th century. The expanding public sphere provided greater possibilities both for increasing the panic over trafficking and for resolving it. Venereal disease (VD) followed trafficking into the Habsburg public sphere as a topic of acceptable discussion; both VD and trafficking were the foci of a series of international conferences around the turn of the century, reflecting the popular, intensely held beliefs about issues that members of the expanding bourgeoisie believed threatened the existing social order in a time of change (Critcher 2009, 17–​34). In Austria-​Hungary, bourgeois, sometimes even aristocratic, women, helped found and/​or participated in regional, national, and international organizations to fight these scourges, which contemporaries believed were endemic in the decades before 1914.

Varying prostitution regulations across Austria-​Hungary The regulation of prostitution in the Habsburg Monarchy—​registering women with police, housing them in brothels, and subjecting them to regular medical examinations— often post-dated the settlement of 1867 (Ausgleich), which gave Austria and Hungary independence in domestic affairs, while leaving the foreign ministry, the military, and the treasury as joint institutions.1 Prostitution was “tolerated” in the dual Monarchy—​so long as women registered with the police—​rather than legal, although rules governing commercial sex varied at the provincial and local level. What all regions of the Monarchy 292

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shared in common was local police jurisdiction over commercial sex, whose regulations varied by locality but were driven by government, military, and popular concerns about public morals and public health, as well as about the effectiveness of the armed forces. The vice police (those concerned with “immoral” activities) in Vienna and Budapest, the capitals of imperial Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary, respectively, regularly corresponded with one another—​ and with vice police elsewhere in the Monarchy and outside it—​about prostitution and trafficking. Local police, who enforced the rules across the Monarchy, had a great deal of discretion in regulation. Many medical specialists in the Habsburg Monarchy continued to believe that prostitution regulation was a “necessary evil.” By contrast, in neighboring countries such as Italy, the medical profession responded to the threat they saw in VD by arguing for “neo-​regulation,” or strengthening the clinical elements of regulation, and, in some cases, the abolition of prostitution. Prostitution in Austria-​Hungary was multi-​confessional, multi-​generational, multi-​ lingual, and, often, international. Aided in part by the Monarchy’s expanding railway network, it was also very mobile, as local studies of prostitution reveal (Baczkowski 2000, 597; Cvelfar 1994, 29). As elsewhere in Europe, the majority of women who participated in the sex trade across the Monarchy practiced their trade clandestinely, sometimes temporarily or seasonally, rather than registering with police. Working-​class women who attended a 1908 meeting of the Austrian Society for the Control of Venereal Disease explained that some women who participated in casual, part-​time sex work were otherwise gainfully employed—​if badly paid—​for much or all of the year in other working-​ class occupations. In addition to female servants, whose employers regularly let them go in the summer, fashion embroiderers, whose work was also seasonal, and seamstresses, whose pay was very low, might “establish relationships” with men, that is, exchange sex for goods or money. Rather than self-​identifying as prostitutes, some of these women may have thought of themselves as participating in the traditional working-​class barter of goods for sexual favors (Walkowitz and Walkowitz 1973, 83–​84). When they came into contact with the vice police, these women were often arrested, tested for venereal disease, and frequently expelled if they lacked right of residency. The variation in regulations across Austria owed to the Stadion Constitution of 1849, which granted townships considerable control over local affairs. Some municipalities permitted prostitution in brothels or designated inns, while others permitted only independent prostitutes. Still others permitted both kinds of prostitution, or none at all. Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost province, prohibited prostitution altogether, with the apparent support of the greater public. Formal regulation of prostitution came later to Vienna, the largest city in the Monarchy, than to other cities in Austria-​Hungary, and it remained in place longer than elsewhere, into the 1970s. Regulation in Vienna developed through a series of ad hoc measures, beginning with a police decree from 1873 that mandated issuing a health book that contained a tolerated prostitute’s personal information, including results of her regular examinations for venereal disease. The 1885 appendix to the so-​called Vagabond Law formalized the existing regulations in Vienna and elsewhere in Cisleithanian Austria. Paragraph 5 of the law placed the punishment of women who used their body for “lewd trade” in the hands of the security authorities. Their male clients were, however, not punished. Viennese regulations were revised in 1911, after several years’ debate over the efficacy of the city’s vice police supervision of prostitution following the explosive 1906 trial of Regine Riehl, a brothel keeper, whose Jewish origin drew the attention of the city’s antisemitic press. She had been found guilty of a variety of crimes related to running 293

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her establishment, including maltreating the prostitutes she employed in a brothel in the center of Vienna (Wingfield 2017, 17–​46). Regulations in several other cities, including the free city of Trieste, the provincial capital of the Austrian Littoral, were also revised after the turn of the century, sometimes following the example of Vienna. Rules for streetwalking in Vienna laid out in the revised prostitution regulations limited the practice to the period from dusk to an hour after coffee houses closed in the early morning and forbade the practice altogether in the wealthy First District, as well as near police stations and other locations detailed in the document. Although many large cities in Austria-​Hungary had numerous brothels, metropolitan Vienna, which had a population of more than two million by 1910, had just six after the turn of the century. Budapest, the Monarchy’s second city, with a population of about 1.2 million, had far more brothels. In contrast to Budapest, where the number of tolerated prostitutes in 1905 was 2,404, there were only 1,478 women registered in Vienna that same year. While 321 prostitutes still lived in Budapest’s brothels in 1912, a decline from more than 500 in the 1890s, only 50 to 60 women lived in Viennese brothels in the last years before World War I (Prokopovych 2017, 40). Most of Vienna’s tolerated prostitutes had long lived independently in apartments and rooms on particular streets of certain districts, their addresses known to the vice police. In Trieste and Lemberg/​Lwów/​ Lviv, the provincial capital of Galicia, many prostitutes lived in brothels. Many of these buildings were located in the older, poorer, parts of town, often in the former Jewish quarters, as was the case in Czernowitz/​Chernivtsi/​Cernăuți and Prague, the provincial capitals of Bukovina and Bohemia. In smaller locales, brothels could be found in isolated areas on the edge of town, to keep commercial sex from offending the bourgeoisie. Local rules also dictated who, besides prostitutes, could live in a brothel. In Trieste, Vienna, and Agram/​Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and other cities in Austria-​Hungary, brothel keeping was an exclusively female occupation. Police obliged registered prostitutes to follow regulations that varied by city and province, including regular medical examinations for venereal disease. Independent prostitutes were not to make themselves a nuisance by soliciting in public, for example by leaning out of windows to proposition men or walking designated streets outside of specific locations during designated hours in the evening. In any case, the number of women who registered with the vice police in larger cities was estimated to constitute only 10 percent of the women who sold sex in the imperial capital. This percentage remained consistent through the end of World War I. The regulations for prostitution in Croatia after the 1868 Nagodba (the Croatian–​ Hungarian settlement governing Croatia’s political status within the Kingdom of Hungary), and in Bosnia-​Herzegovina, which the Habsburg military occupied in 1878, and Austria-​Hungary annexed in 1908, were independent of, but paralleled, the practices in Austria and Hungary. Prostitution in Croatia was regulated by an 1875 code modeled on the Austrian Penal Code of 1873: it left the punishment of prostitutes to the local police, and regulation also varied from city to city, although commercial sex occurred primarily in brothels. Later decrees called for greater surveillance of prostitution owing to its role in the spread of sexually transmitted infections (Filipović 2014, 145). Similar to other European militaries, the Habsburg military sought to regulate prostitution above all to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections in order to maintain troops in fighting condition. Following the occupation of Bosnia-​Herzegovina, the number of prostitutes in the larger cities, especially those where troops were quartered,

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increased. Thus, during the 1880s, prostitution regulations were established. Guidelines in Sarajevo, the provincial capital, laid out the rules for medical and police control of commercial sex, as well as the functioning of brothels. Among the requirements was that clients be permitted to inspect registered prostitutes’ health books, which were required to be displayed in a visible spot in their rooms (Kasumović 2018, 45–​46, 48). As many of the authors cited in this chapter and others have shown, no other female working-​ class profession was so well documented as tolerated prostitution. Police reports, court record