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      Excerpt from "The New Woman" 1919
      by Russian Revolutionary Leader Alexandra Kollontai

      Russian revolutionary leader. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, she was a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party. She was the first woman to be appointed as a Soviet diplomat, as the Ambassador to Norway in 1923. She is renowned for her feminist writings.

      There had to be an important revolution in the inner attitude of the women; her internal life had to be intensely complicated; in her soul there had to be stored a rich capital of self-reliant values to prevent her from becoming bankrupt the moment her man took from her the values he had contributed.

      But precisely because the life of the new woman is not exhausted in love, because she has in her soul a store of curiosity and interests that make her a “man,” we will become accustomed to employ new criteria in measuring the moral personality of a woman.

      For many centuries the merits of women were measured, not by their human qualities, not by their mental capabilities, not by their inner characteristics, but exclusively by the stock of womanly virtues that bourgeois property morality demanded of them. “Sexual purity,” sexual virtue measured her worth.

      For the woman who transgressed the code of sexual rectitude there was no mercy... But only in so far as woman stands on her own feet, ceases being dependent on father or husband, and participates side by side with men in the social struggle, will the old criteria become useless...

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