— Alexandra Kollontai Soviet diplomat 1872 - 1952
The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman (1926)
Kontext: By looking back while prying, simultaneously, into the future, I will also be presenting to myself the most crucial turning points of my being and accomplishments. In this way I may succeed in setting into bold relief that which concerns the women's liberation struggle and, further, the social significance which it has. That I ought not to shape my life according to the given model, that I would have to grow beyond myself in order to be able to discern my life's true line of vision was an awareness that was mine already in my youngest years. At the same time I was also aware that in this way I could help my sisters to shape their lives, in accordance not with the given traditions but with their own free choice to the extent, of course, that social and economic circumstances permit. I always believed that the time inevitably must come when woman will be judged by the same moral standards applied to man. For it is not her specific virtue that gives her a place of honor in human society, but the worth of the useful mission accomplished by her, the worth of her personality as human being, as citizen, as thinker, as fighter. Subconsciously this motive was the leading force of my whole life and activity. To go my way, to work, to struggle, to create side by side with men, and to strive for the attainment of a universal human goal (for nearly thirty years, indeed, I have belonged to the Communists) but, at the same time, to shape my personal, intimate life as a woman according to my own will and according to the given laws of my nature. It was this that conditioned my line of vision.