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Patriarchy

Sex Relations in Russia: Are they revolutionary?

A Bolshevik writer on literature and sex, well known in America, Mr. V. F.

Proper Gander: Maid In America

Proper Gander

Lengthy, weighty, glossy dramas have become a speciality of US television producers in recent years. The more interesting examples have had some political slant: The Americans follows the increasingly complicated lives of Soviet agents undercover in 80s Washington DC, while House Of Cards depicts the power games and machinations in Congress. The premise behind The Handmaids Tale (Channel 4) is less familiar, but its themes have wider relevance to society today. The series is an adaptation of the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, who is one of the show’s producers and makes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo appearance. Leisurely dramatised over ten episodes (with a second series already commissioned), the series has more time to explore its setting than previous stage and screen versions and, arguably, the novel itself.

Single Mothers and Absent Fathers

Women trying to solve the problem of male dominance by fighting men, and men who try to hang on to their historical dominant role are playing into the hands of the capitalist class, argues Nicky Snell

One of the government's recent scapegoats has been the single parent. An obvious target as single parents are mostly women and mostly poor. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for them, they have hung themselves with their own rope.

The stigmatized "unmarried mother" was in the early part of this century frequently given a life-sentence in a psychiatric institution. Her crime: partaking willingly or unwillingly in sexual intercourse outside of another repressive institution - marriage; and having the fortune or misfortune to conceive. She was labelled immoral, and even if not incarcerated in a psychiatric prison, would be sentenced to a life of shame. Such moral stigma hardly touched the male participant in the condemned sexual act.

Film Review: 'Take It Like a Man, Ma'am'

Feminist Fantasy

'Take It Like a Man, Ma'am' (seen at the ICA), was produced by a Danish feminist film collective. It starkly reveals some of the contradictions in the feminist viewpoint. It stars Tove Maes, who plays Ellen—a middle-aged, relatively rich woman whose children have left home and who, left to her own devices, begins to experience the ‘anomie’ of the lonely, idle housewife. Her main activity is anticipating her husband’s homecoming. The focal point of her life is somewhere on the periphery of his; her main function in life is to look after him.

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