Happy International Women's Day! This episode features an actual audio clip of Alexandra Kollontai speaking "to the workers." This undated audio clip was downloaded from the www.marxists.org website, and Alina Yakubova provided the translation from Russian to English. In the first part of the episode, Ghodsee reads the English translation between segments of Kollontai's speech. A bit of commentary is then followed by the entirety of Kollontai's speech without interruptions.
The rough translation of the speech by Alina Yakubova is here:
Comrade [female] workers!
For long centuries, a woman had been oppressed and without rights. For long centuries, she had been a man’s appendix and his shadow. The husband fed the wife, and for that, the wife submitted to his will and humbly bore her lack of rights, and her domestic and family slavery. The October Revolution has liberated the woman. Now, a female peasant has the same rights as the male peasant, a female worker has the same rights as the male worker. A woman can make choices everywhere: she can be a member of a council and a Komissar, even a people’s Komissar. But if, according to the law, a woman is equal in rights, life has yet to free the woman. A female worker, a female peasant are still in the vice grip of household labor, she is still a slave in her own family. The task of a female worker is to make life such that the burden of childcare is taken off the woman’s shoulders, to lighten the domestic work’s grip on the female worker and a female peasant.
The working class is interested in freeing a woman in those areas, a worker has to understand that a woman is the same kind of member of the proletarian family as he is, because the woman works equally with the man. One third of all riches on Earth have been created by women’s hands. In Europe and America, female workers are 70 million, and in the communist society, a woman and a man must be equal in rights. Without women’s equality, there is no communism.
So to work, comrade [female] workers, start freeing yourselves, build daycares, mother’s homes, help with your advice to streamline public cafeterias, help the Communist Party to build a new, bright life. Your place is among those who fight to liberate the workers, to bring equality, freedom, and happiness to your children. Your place, female workers and peasants, is under the red revolutionary flag of the global victorious communism.
More information about Kristen R. Ghodsee can be found at www.kristenghodsee.com