Anna I. Gromova
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
“A Gauntlet” by Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson and “Vera: One for Many: From a Girl's Diary” by Bettina Dorothea Kris in the context of a public discussion about male chastity and double morality in the Russian Empire in the late 19th – early 20th centuries
Gromova A.I. “A Gauntlet” by Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson and “Vera: One for Many: From a Girl's Diary” by Bettina Dorothea Kris in the context of a public discussion about male chastity and double morality in the Russian Empire in the late 19th – early 20th centuries. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2021, vol. 27, № 4, pp. 27-34 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2021-27-4-27-34
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2021-27-4-27-34
УДК: 821(481).09”19/20”
Publish date: 2021-11-15
Annotation: The article examines the controversy that arose in the public space of the Russian Empire after the publication in Russian of two resonant works of fiction – “A Gauntlet” by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and “One for Many” by Betty Kris – and gave impetus to the development of ethical views broadcast by their authors. In these books, translated into Russian with a difference of almost ten years, practically identical innovative and, one might say, sensational ideas for their time are expressed – Svava and Vera, the main heroines of the works, advocate the abolition of “unjust dual morality” and expect from a man the same premarital “purity”, the preservation of which was traditionally required exclusively from a woman within the framework of the patriarchal paradigm of marriage and family relations. The call for the abolition of double standards, expressed by B.Bjørnson and B.Kris (and embodied, which is important, precisely through the women, the heroines of their works), was directly related to the women’s movement developing during this period. There were incomparably more opponents of the ideas broadcast by the authors, who continued to adhere to the traditional view of sexual morality and the position of women in society, than its supporters. However, the very fact that such a discussion appeared in the public field and the fact that a number of representatives of the medical community, public figures, writers and journalists supported these ideas, speaks of the changes that have already begun to take place in the public consciousness.
Keywords: Russian empire, intelligentsia, sexual morality, chastity, marriage and family relations, women’s movement, fiction.
Funding and acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 19-09-00191
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Author's info: Anna I. Gromova, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, anna4gromova@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5628-8750