It seems wild now: why women were condemned in the USSR

Any manifestation of individuality or personal life choices could create a lot of problems for a Soviet woman. Source: Created with the help of AI

The modern humanistic approach to social relations teaches us not to interfere in the personal lives of other people, and to let them build their destinies as they wish. But not so long ago, in the days of the USSR, things were not like that.

Not only did the state make sure that everyone thought and acted following the prevailing ideology. It also encouraged citizens to actively interfere in each other's affairs. And women were especially hard hit here. OBOZ.UA explains why a Soviet woman could receive a portion of public condemnation and even face real problems. Nowadays, it may seem wild.


Any desire to stand out in the USSR was condemned. Too bright hair color or makeup, unusual clothes, not to mention piercings or tattoos, caused public outrage. At school, a girl with makeup could be expelled from class, and at work, a woman who stood out from the crowd could be fired. It was not considered indecent to even approach an atypically dressed woman on the street and make a comment to her.

Personal life

According to social standards in the USSR, it was customary to get married early and have children quickly. Women who chose to remain free lived with a man without marriage, or did not want to have children were considered white crows. Moreover, they could face a lot of real problems for making such a life choice, as they were suspected of an immoral lifestyle and condemned for not rushing to give the state new citizens.


A separate item was the condemnation of women who were married but divorced. Such a woman was called somehow different because she could not keep her husband. It went so far as to attribute fictitious illnesses or mental disorders to women who forced their husbands to leave them. Instead, domestic violence was considered the norm and women were encouraged to endure abuse and humiliation from their husbands. Therefore, many women in the USSR tried to step on their pride to save their marriage, even if their husbands drank heavily, mistreated their wives and children, or were openly unfaithful. By the way, men in the Union were forgiven for adultery, but women were called "loiterers" for the same reason and pushed to the margins of society.

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