Author Topic: Women and higher education  (Read 11989 times)

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2005, 08:44:47 AM »
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The dental college must have been more than a place to train females as dental hygienists.


I forgot to mention Finelly -

... the St. P Medical Institute for women has an interesting claim - it was the world's first school to formally train women in medicine.  


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2005, 08:50:07 AM »
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This is wonderful, Belochka, truly "obrazovanaya".  "Maladetz".

Publish it first and then put it forward on the site.  Vot adin moi covyet.  



I respectfully accept your advice spasibo Alex!  :)

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Offline hikaru

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2005, 12:42:08 PM »
I thought that there were other institute of noble virgins ( Blagorodny Devits) except Smolny, like an Ekaterininsky Institute etc.
Of course , Smolny was the best and the most , but there were other models of Smolny too.

( Maybe I am wrong?)

AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2005, 08:48:08 PM »
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I thought that there were other institute of noble virgins ( Blagorodny Devits) except Smolny, like an Ekaterininsky Institute etc.
Of course , Smolny was the best and the most , but there were other models of Smolny too.

( Maybe I am wrong?)


Dear Hikarushka,

No, you are not wrong.  Perhaps my English wasn't clear.  I apologize.  I thought that I had had said that.  But none, as I wrote, were on the level of Smolny, and the "blagarodnii devitsii" who attended Smolny invariably came from the very highest ranks of Petersburg families, or background, as opposed to the others.

With all of the best,


A.A.

Offline Arleen

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2005, 09:21:21 PM »
Please forgive my ignorance but I thought that the Smolny Institute was more of a finishing school....languages yes, but more in the line of what rich young ladies would have to know to be a success in society.

Would someone please tell us exactly what it was?

..Arleen

Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2005, 12:58:57 AM »



Smol'nii Institut as it appeared in the first decade of the 20th century.

Giacomo Quarenghi was commissioned by Alexander I to erect this building in 1806 - 8.



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AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2005, 08:16:16 AM »
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This is so interesting!  Thank you, both of you, for contributing your knowledge.

I know that my great grandmother was admitted to and attended dental school and I have a photo of her with another woman from her class.  I must assume that she graduated and got a degree, because when she came to the US she was permitted to immediately open her own dental office......

She was a Jew from the Ukraine, and I have always thought that her religion in addition to her gender SHOULD have prevented her from getting in to University....I wonder how she did it?

I know that Victoria did NOT approve of women in the medical profession, yet I believe she actually met Flo Nightengale.  In those times, of course, motherhood was the "only real" job of a woman.  (My great grandmother raised 4 children in addition to having her dental practice....)  Anything that would threaten that role would have been "just not done".  And yet.....slowly but surely, it happened.  There were hardly any female dentists in the US in those days, but obviously women in Russia could study.


I have been thinking about this posting since it was first listed.  It raises some interesting questions, so let's have a look at them, in this case the situation in particular.

1.  I believe that the poster has indicated that her family came from Romy, Ukraine.  Romy, Ukraine would have been in what was called the "Pale of Settlement" of old Imperial Russia.

     The Pale of Settlement was a special part of Russia (essentially occupied Poland and parts of the Ukraine) that were designed by the Tsars as areas in which Jews could live and exercise certain professions.  After the partition and annexation of Poland, the actual number of Jews in Russia increased considerably.  I have heard as much as ten-fold.

      The exericise of the liberal and salaried professions in these areas was extremely limited, and it did not include farming the land, or in any way touching the land directly.  The daily occupations were permitted -- butcher, baker, candle stick maker, etc.  Entrance into into the liberal profession was so limited as to be non-existant.  It was control and discrimination in the extreme, particularly in the Pale.  A prospicka was needed to move from one shettl to the another.  Poor families, without the means to bribe the corrupt and often drunken local officials, could not afford prospickas and the choice was either lifelong poverty or immigration, often clandestine, at night, or over-the-border.

2.   The poster was kind enough to tell us that her grandmother spoke several foreign languages and that she had a mastery of the domestic arts.  This would indicate that the grandmother's family was definitely a rural middle-class familiy of a certain standing. I am curious as what the profession of her great-grandfather might have been.

      Thus, since it was the parents' wish that their daugther study in St. Petersburg, it would have required graciously oiling the hand of the local Okhrana for all the requisite permits and then again oiling all the requisite hands in Petersburg.  But it was a door to a better world because in spite of all of the official Tsarist restrictions on what Jews could and could not do, and there were so many that my head spins, once a Jew from the countryside made it to Moscow or to Petersburg, he or she attained an almost emancipated status.  Papers could be bought, a change of status could be sought and obtained, and particularly in Petersburg where there were hundreds of thousands of persons with German-sounding last name, one more German-sounding last name didn't mean much.  For example, there were Jewish Rosens and there were very noble and very Orthodox Rosens.  Identities became blurred in old Petersburg with time and money.

      What was the catch all, however, was what is called the "kartavitz".  For many reasons, the Jews in the countryside learned and heard the Russian of the noble famlies that surrounded them.  These Russian nobles, approximately 200 years ago, and for approximately 100 years thereafter, spoke Russian with a gutteral French "r" as everyone what to appeared as if they had spent long periods of time in France.  Ce fut la mode.  The Jewish population followed in their stead.  However, for whatever reason, the "kartaviz" remained embedded in the village pronuncation of Russian-speaking Jews, long after it had passed out of the pronunciation of the Russian-speaking upper classes, and in Petersburg and in Moscow, even well assimilated Jews (those who had managed to make the jump from the Pale to the big cities) with all the right spurious papers and the right and legally-exercised liberal professions, if they made the mistake of "kartavil" in front of the wrong persons, it would raise eyebrows at the least and perhaps even cause a visit by the police, and a subsequent "chat" which was never pleasant.  Anyne could be banished from Petersburg or Moscow at any time and it is truly unfortunate to note that this happened all too frequently.  There was no official droit de cite -- just the supposed largess of the Emperor.   It was a litmus test.  Lenin, for one, was never able to get over his "kartavitz" nod did Dzhersinky nor did Trotsky nor did Beria nor Sverdlov nor did Zinoviev.

3.  That the poster's grandmother entered Dental School in St. Petersburg in 1896 is both a testimony to a financially-stable family, a hard-working person and someone who was decidedly upwardly mobile.  She would have been able to open her own clinic and eventually draw her own series of patients.  And all of this from beginning-to-end would have cost the family "gramadnii denghii". By the time 1906 arrived, she should have been by all means a stable middle-class member of Petersburg society.

BUT

4.  The poster was kind enough also to tell us that her grandmother immigrated in 1906, that is after all of the disasterous events of 1905 in Russia and the subsequent pogroms that ensued.  The pograms in Moscow in 1905 were horrific and under the aegis of Sergei Alexandrovitch.  In his personal writings, the Grand Sergie Alexandrovitch very disgustingly refers to them as "la chasse aux juifs".  No one buy no onr did anything to stop them and not even a world-wide outcry would move the Emperor to put an end to them.  However, I am not aware that there were specifically pogroms in St. Petersburg that year, and frankly, please assist me, because I know, factually speaking that the Metropolitan of Petersburg, Metropolitan Antony in those years, was not part of the antisemitic wing of the extreme right wing of the Church.  He protested and was rebuked by the Emperor in quite a scene that eventually led to his disgrace.  But yes, the Pale of Settlement was awash with the blood of innocent people, very awash.  There is no question about it.  Perhaps the grandmother emigrated with these events in mind.

OR

5.  The poster has been kind enough to tell us in another series of postings, right after I joined this Board, that her grandmother became involved with the Trotskyites and was invovled in some other activities thereto associated.  I know nothing of the Troskyites movement in the years 1905/1906 but I was unaware that they were up-and-terrorizing as early as then.  But as I said, I know nothing about these kind of disgusting elemetns.  Can the others help me here?

    What a path this distinguished and educated person took, from a village in the Pale of Settlement, to a Petersburg resident, to a Faculty-educated dentist in St. Petersburg to a member of such a violent group and then to a solid life in America.  There is a whole interesting book to be written here.  She seems to have gotten around many of the prohibitions and interdictions of her time.  Maladetz!

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2005, 02:19:59 PM »
A lot to respond to, Alex!  I'll do a little at a time.

1.  My grandmother's last name was not at all German and was VERY Russian-sounding.

2.  The pogroms in Romny and Poltava took place in 1905.

3.  I think that my great grandmother and grandfather's revolutionary activities mostly took place in the countryside, and I'm guessing, since some of their children were born in Romny, that they went there after she finished school, but I'm not sure........

4.  I don't know what business my great great grandparents were in.  She said they were "bourgeoisie" so I assume merchants of some sort.   Our family has not yet located someone credible to do research into the archives in that oblast yet.

5.  Given what you know about education in Russia at that time, and given what I said about my great grandmother's languages, do you think it is safe to assume that she attended Jewish schools?  

6.  One of her brothers served in the army but was not allowed to become an officer because he was a Jew.  The other brother became a lawyer and lived in Odessa, so I assume that, he, too, attended a university.  If the family could afford to send two of three children to a college,then they must have had money.  And possibly influence with someone in St. Petersburg.

AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2005, 05:18:34 PM »
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A lot to respond to, Alex!  I'll do a little at a time.

1.  My grandmother's last name was not at all German and was VERY Russian-sounding.

2.  The pogroms in Romny and Poltava took place in 1905.

3.  I think that my great grandmother and grandfather's revolutionary activities mostly took place in the countryside, and I'm guessing, since some of their children were born in Romny, that they went there after she finished school, but I'm not sure........

4.  I don't know what business my great great grandparents were in.  She said they were "bourgeoisie" so I assume merchants of some sort.   Our family has not yet located someone credible to do research into the archives in that oblast yet.

5.  Given what you know about education in Russia at that time, and given what I said about my great grandmother's languages, do you think it is safe to assume that she attended Jewish schools?  

6.  One of her brothers served in the army but was not allowed to become an officer because he was a Jew.  The other brother became a lawyer and lived in Odessa, so I assume that, he, too, attended a university.  If the family could afford to send two of three children to a college,then they must have had money.  And possibly influence with someone in St. Petersburg.


1.  Regarding a Russian-sounding name, there are Russian-sounding names that in St. Petersburg would easily have been identifiable as "rycckii-gavariaschii" as opposed to "chistii rycckii" (meaning the names of those who speak Russian but are clearly not Russian as opposed to the names of those who speak Russian and are clearly Russian).

2.  Additionally, in that part of the Pale of Settlement, particularly in Poltava, in addition to the "kartavitz" with which most likely your grandmother spoke, as most likely did all of the Jews of the area, there would have been another deficiency of the language, but this one would have been on an entire regional level :  the Russian "g" would have been pronounced as a Polish "h", i.e., Gocpod would have been pronounced "h" or "hospod". This, plus the "kartavitz" would have tipped off the police in St. Petersburg to a non-ethnic Russian speaker within minutes.  There would have only been issues with syntax and morphology would have automatically identified the speaker..

3.  I write this only to show you additional difficulties in moving from the Pale of Settlement to the metropolitan areas.  It was not as easy and transparent as moving today from Los Angeles to San  Francisco.

4.  Regarding your statement that an Officer could not become an Officer of the Imperial Army, that is both true and false.  All Officers were required to subscribe a personal oath to the Emperor, with one hand upon a Christian Bible and then were required to venerate (to kiss) an icon of the Blessed Mother of God.  These practices were instituted long, long before Russia inherited its masses of Polish Jews after the partition of Poland and at a time when Russia itself was 95% Christian.  There were indeed Jewish officers but I can only assume that they must have come from non-religious families or simply they did what it took to further their careers.  I refer you to the Grand Duke Nicholas's memoires in this regard. You need to remember that in Imperial Russia Church and State were not separated and the State was one with the Church and the Church was one with the State.

5.  Forgive me but I know nothing of Jewish schools at all in Imperial Russia, and even less so in the Pale of Settlement.

6. As for being a lawyer in Odessa, in Odessa itself regulations only went into place in 1910 requiring that all lawyers in Odessa possess a university or faculty education and that additionally such lawyers swear a specific oath to the Emperor, not to the Empire but to the Emperor himself.  It was an vain attempt at controlling the revolutionaries in Odessa, of which there were legion.  Prior to that time, a lawyer could become a lawyer through training, work, or a combination of the both.  So I cannot confirm nor infirm your assertion that about your granduncles attended university prior to becoming lawyers but I will say that the slots for Jewish students in a law faculty in Imperial Russia were extremely few and would have required a great deal of money and that after 1910 they would have also had to subscribe to the same processes as an Officer.  Remember, please, that the law in Russia was essentially the Emperor himself.

7.  The influence in St. Petersburg of which you speak would have been a most likely an influence of money, meaning, you pay enough, we deliver.  Unfortunate but true -- it was the way that the ultimate Governments of the Emperor did business.  And it was an easy way for the corrupt Petersburg officials to make money -- they knew perfectly well that they were legitimizing the arrival in of City of, say, in this particular case, Ukrainian Jews, and that all of this was a violation of Russian Imperial Law, but their hands went out and the money went in.  It is something that most of the great writers have written about.


Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2005, 08:10:41 PM »
From my great uncle's memoirs (unpublished):  He states that he was enlisted into the Czar's army and excelled at sharp-shooting.  He was also a talented musician, which apparently had some meaning in his military division.  At any rate, an officer from another division, approached my great-uncle's commander and suggested that he be made a candidate for officer training.  

"You can't be serious!" exclaimed the commander.  "That dirty Jew?"  

"Oh", said the visitor.  "Well, of course not, then."

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2005, 08:11:31 PM »
The comments about accents reminds me so much of the situation in Sweden, where the people in the south have horrible pronounciation.......

Of course, they claim that WE in the north do!!!!!!!

AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2005, 10:16:46 PM »
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From my great uncle's memoirs (unpublished):  He states that he was enlisted into the Czar's army and excelled at sharp-shooting.  He was also a talented musician, which apparently had some meaning in his military division.  At any rate, an officer from another division, approached my great-uncle's commander and suggested that he be made a candidate for officer training.  

"You can't be serious!" exclaimed the commander.  "That dirty Jew?"  

"Oh", said the visitor.  "Well, of course not, then."


By all Imperial millitary standards of protocol, an officer from another division would not have suggested that subordinate in another division be made a candidate for officer training.  Additionally, candidates for officer training were decided on a much higher level than that and would have depended upon other factors.

In any case, this thread is NOT about antisemitism in the Russia nor is it about the treatment of Jews in the Imperial Russian Army.  The topic of the discussion is "Women and Higher Education" and perhaps we might return to this topic.

This particular poster has a habit in every single posting of somehow managing to return the discussion to antisemitism in Russia and should he/she wish to discuss this matter perhaps it might be done so in the appropriate forum.

Forum Administrator, your kind comments here please?


To wit:

Antisemitism in the Orthodox Church discussion.
Antisemitism in the Role of the Russian Orthodox Church discussion
Antisemitism in Education in Imperial Russia discussion.
Antisemitism in Women and High Education discussion.
Antisemitism in Required Reading in Russian Literature discussion.

And God knows elsewhere.

Ad Infinitum.  Please!  Enough!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2005, 10:22:18 PM »
Oh AlexP, you are the one who deviated the path of this discussion.  What started as a question about women in higher education led to you commenting on the accents of people from the Ukraine, how Jews had to bribe people to get places, etc. etc.

<shrug>

AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2005, 11:26:51 PM »
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Oh AlexP, you are the one who deviated the path of this discussion.  What started as a question about women in higher education led to you commenting on the accents of people from the Ukraine, how Jews had to bribe people to get places, etc. etc.

<shrug>


Again, another magnificent distortion.  Read my postings.  I was helping you to attempt to recreate the path of how your great-grandmother might have ventured from the Podol to St. Petersburg in those days and how she might have obtained an education.  It was a well-reasoned, scholarly, erudite presentation.

I maintain my point.  Please stop hijacking forums and topics.  And in any case, please do not debase other posters.  I have just across the complete hijacking and debasing of poor Blanche's question about Alexandra's feet, and while it may not be a question for the Russian Academy of Sciences, it is far from being the silliest one around here.  And you and your cohors completely buffonized it.

So enough is enough.  Respect the topic and respect other posters' choice of their own topics.  We surely respect yours.

I do not think that is such a difficult request to make of a mature person who exercises a liberal profession.  If I am wrong, please let me know.

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2005, 11:30:06 PM »
Alex, I started this topic.  Since you believe that the authors of a topic have the ultimate say in what is discussed, why not leave this alone.

Frankly, the fact that you take issue with every word I write, and the basis for your taking issue, is obvious to all.  Too transparent.  So let's move on, stop complaining, and either address the issue or ignore this thread completely.