The New York Times

Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism

Kristen R. Ghodsee, a professor of Russian and East European studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of numerous books on European communism and its aftermath, including, most recently, “Red Hangover: Legacies of 20th-Century Communism.” This is an essay in the series Red Century, about the history and legacy of communism 100 years after the Russian Revolution.

When Americans think of communism in Eastern Europe, they imagine travel restrictions, bleak landscapes of gray concrete, miserable men and women languishing in long lines to shop in empty markets and security services snooping on the private lives of citizens. While much of this was true, our collective stereotype of communist life does not tell the whole story.

Some might remember that Eastern bloc women enjoyed many rights and privileges unknown in liberal democracies at the time, including major state investments in their education and training, their full incorporation

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times6 min read
J.D. Salinger, E-Book Holdout, Joins the Digital Revolution
“The Catcher in the Rye” and other Salinger novels are coming out in digital formats, and the writer’s son plans to release more from his archives.
The New York Times2 min read
4 Books For A Better Understanding Of The Border
(Newsbook) When it comes to writing about border towns like El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting Saturday, “there always seems to be something that’s a little bit off about how it’s depicted,” novelist Oscar Cásares said. “I
The New York Times7 min read
A Pop-Culture Glossary for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
Quentin Tarantino’s film is filled with references to TV shows, movies and other totems of midcentury Los Angeles. We explain who’s who and what’s what.