Episode 31 - Alexandra Kollontai

Welcome to Episode 31, released on International Women’s Day 2020. In honor of this day, we meet a woman who was involved in women’s rights, as well as the vote in 1910 at the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen in favor of a day honoring working women, to promote equal rights and inspire action.

Alexandra Kollontai was a Marxist revolutionary who became one of the first female diplomats, representing the Soviet Union in Norway and elsewhere from 1922. After the revolution, she founded the “Women’s Department” to improve women’s lives in the new state. Kollontai wrote about marriage and traditional families as oppressive and about sexuality as a natural human instinct, and she lived by these values for many years. 

She left her first husband to study economics in Switzerland, and later took various lovers, mostly younger. A vocal internal critic of the Communist Party, her diplomatic postings were effectively a form of exile to prevent her meddling in politics. When Stalin’s purges began, she lost many of her friends and former lovers, but her son and nephew survived. She was the only leading Bolshevik from revolutionary times to die a natural death, aside of course from Stalin.  DLS co-founder Katy Derbyshire tells her story. 

Delightful photos and links can be found here: show notes

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The Dead Ladies Show is a series of entertaining and inspiring talks about women who achieved amazing things against all odds, presented live in Berlin and beyond. This podcast is based on that series. Because women's history is everyone's history.

The Dead Ladies Show was founded by Florian Duijsens and Katy Derbyshire.

The podcast is created, produced, edited, and presented by Susan Stone.

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