On the Woman Question — V.I. Lenin




On the Woman Question is a series of recollections that Clara Zetkin, renowned German proletarian revolutionary, wrote about her conversations with V.I. Lenin concerning the liberation of women from exploitation. From questions of the international women’s movement and how to build it, Lenin divulges into questions he had little time to write about himself — sex and bourgeois morality, and his opposition to the “glass-of-water” theory that promoted the idea that in communism sex would be just as easily obtainable as a glass of water. Promiscuity in sexual affairs, he notes, is thoroughly bourgeois, because the proletariat as a rising class does not need to intoxicify or delude itself in any manner to constitute its aims; rather, it needs clarity and more clarity. Leaving these questions at a sudden realization that there are matters more pressing, he dives back into the women’s movement and questions of a special organization, special demands, the role of the new woman in Soviet life and plans for a world women’s congress. Though concise conversations in passing, Lenin’s thinking on these matters constitutes entire books of content.