Rozalina the Riveter: Women Roles in the Russian Revolution

Russia really became an interesting place during March/February(who really cares you get the point) of 1917. For the first time in Russian history, the the common people were finally having their voice heard. Surprisingly, out of the woodwork the voice of the Russian women was heard the loudest. The women of Russia demanded to have equal rights just as men. On March 8th 1917, the women of Russia stood in the streets of Petrograd, virtually shutting down all industry in the industrial powerhouse. The women demanded bread for their starving children and to returned their war-torn husbands to theirs homes. The ladies shouted in the streets, “DOWN WITH THE GERMAN WOMAN” (because Alexandra was a German princess before marrying Nick so it kind of complicates things when she’s leading your country against the Germans).


Like women in WW2 in the United States, the Russian women had been dominating Russian Industry while large-mustached husbands were fighting against the Kaiser. Russian women saw that their control in society was no different from a males because they could the same things. Socialism definitely helps back this liberating ideology. Women Socialist groups became the norm and started acting’s like their own sort of Union. The women would ban together whenever Russian industry would make moves that didn’t work in their favor. Since biology says that roughly half of people in the world are females, this really helped to mobilize the Russian population in the Anti-Czar campaign.


After the people of Russia successfully abdicated the throne of the Czar, the temporary government dramatically increased the women’s role in Russian society. They increased it so much that the temporary government formed “The Battalions of Death.” These battalions were compromised 100% of women from officers to enlisted men. Since these battalion were kind of slapped together in a liberating frenzy, there was not much success on the battle-front. Since the war was going to come to an end as soon as the Bolsheviks stepped in, their time o the front-line was short lived. However little role these women played in the actual war effort, the idea of their service to their nation is truly awe-inspiring.

Women in revolutionary Russia played a role that had never been seen before. This movement of women has inspired women worldwide (including the United States) to step up and take an active role in choosing their destiny.


Kelly Cooper

This was an interesting post in the role the women played in the Russian Revolution. I think it is also of importance to note how the Bolsheviks allowed women’s roles to change once they came into power after the Russian Civil War. Freeze stated that “after secularizing marriage and radically liberalizing divorce, the party (Bolsheviks) sought to address these questions by creating the Women’s Section (Zhenotdel)” (Freeze, 305). The Women’s Sections supported new Soviet women who were “proletarian, independent, an activist in the vanguard of the party as a leader and builder of consciousness” (Freeze, 305). Lenin and the Bolsheviks really pursued in effort to incorporate women into Soviet society to a greater degree.

Caitlin Rose

I think it is so interesting that Russian women went out to the battle front! A solely women troop on the front line is quite impressive but I wonder how they prepared and were trained to go to battle. If most of the men were already out fighting, were they trained at all?


Interesting post! I like your title and how you tied the Russian women’s movement into women involved with WWII in the United States. The Russian women definitely went above and beyond simply working in factories, though. Fighting on the front line? No problem. I also think it’s a plus for the Bolsheviks that they tried to get women much more involved in society as a whole. Good photographs and sources as well!


Good post, I especially like the pictures. Women in war isn’t usually a common topic but I’m not surprised given the whole revolutionary situation. Personally, I’d be terrified if I saw an entire unit of female soldiers charging at me with violent intentions.


Interesting post. I like the example the Russian women set in the war effort, between their fighting and their work back home. It does make me wonder however, how and why the Russians are fine with their women seeing combat, but it took the United States up until the past 5 years to let women fight. Is it a social/stereotype issue? Or sexism?


I really enjoyed how you made the connection between women in the US during WWII and the Russian women. It is interesting to see how things like this can occur across the world years after one another. It was a great post! Good Job!


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