Valentina Orlikova

"When I first met Olga, she was writing a book about the first female captain of the Soviet merchant navy, Valentina Orlikova. A photograph of her had appeared, which all of us fell in love in. Short dark hair, regular features but fleshy and sensuous, beautiful dark eyes, clear-cut and stylized in her captain's uniform. She conveyed firmness and capability, without hardness and coldness. She became a symbol of woman's most secret wishes: to be able to be free and in command of her own destiny, responsible without loss of her womanliness.
We wanted to imitate Valentina Orlikova. We saw ourselves trim, efficient, capable captains of our ship and our own lives. It was not a desire to be a man, but to be free and capable of self-direction and professional growth. I cut my hair short. This admiration for Valentina led to great misunderstandings. Gonzalo thought it was a revolution, and asserted he could never make love to a captain of a ship, a sniper, a lieutenant commander, no matter how beautiful she was."

The Diary of Anais Nin, Volume IV: 1944 - 1947
posted by Eric, Jekyll, and... on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - link to this photo

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