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DOI 10.52172/2587-6945_2022_21_3_55


The article analyzes the journalistic article «On the women's question» (1902) of E. A. Dyakonova – the famous diarist of the turn of the 19–20 centuries. The now obsolete term of that era – «women's question» described the rights and status of women in all spheres of public life at that time. Dyakonova herself, who experienced parental oppression, hardly got into Bestuzhev courses and faced infringement of her civil rights, this «question» was experienced and felt personally. The article written by Dyakonova in Paris was directed against the writer, her contemporary, who was an idol for her, but whose views on the «sexual question» she could not accept. Her polemic with L. N. Tolstoy is conducted from several positions. First, she discovers contradictions in his Christian views, pointing out that anyone who shares the gospel teaching about love and follows the ideas of the Sermon on the Mount must come to the denial of the subordinate position of a woman in marriage. Secondly, Dyakonova reproaches Tolstoy with «medieval» views on a woman, referring to the well-known thesis about the subordination of a wife to her husband. Continuing her criticism of historical Christianity, she, thirdly, speaks about the enslavement of women by men on new, «New Testament» grounds. Of the modern teachings, only socialism, Dyakonova believes, returns to the original understanding of the gospel commandment about love for one's neighbor and recognizes a woman as equal to a man. Only socialism will liberate women and give the relations of the sexes a new form. In general, the ideological evolution of Dyakonova moved in the direction of «Marxist feminism».


E. A. Dyakonova, L. N. Tolstoy, «Women's question», feminism, Tolstoyism, gender studies.