A terrible article was sent to me by a subscriber where the authour is very weak on the history of China. The post is about the sexual revolution in China that is taking place right now. It is a huge challenge to many of the old conservative ideas that were revived with the restoration of capitalism in the late 1970s. One cannot help but notice how the authour seemingly attempts to place blame for the negative impacts of such reactionary policies on Mao and the Cultural Revolution. This is served alongside a tremendous misrepresentation of the Cultural Revolution itself.
The article begins by making the claim that Mao placed a taboo around sex and capitalism. Well, reality completely contradicts this claim. What taboo surrounded capitalism? It existed all around them and they fought a civil war to bring it to an end, (among other things). What was off-limits about it? Mao spoke extensively about capitalism and ending it. There were legendary struggles in the government and among the Red Guards about how best to abolish it. How is this taboo? This post makes it sound as though Mao banned speaking about it and refused all discussion! This was the very point of their existence! They had mass debates and political struggles in order to bringing it to an end. Clearly the authour knows nothing of the Cultural Revolution.
As for sex, what can I say that is not already obvious? The feudal-capitalist-patriarchal ideas of the society were smashed under the weight of revolution. Women were now allowed to own property, a rational choice they made over prostitution, once it was made available. The idea of men owning women was ended, the feudal arranged marriage traditions were banned, and women were allowed to marry and have partners as they please. There was no ban on sex as this authour claims. Women were given freedom to choose their partners, it was made legal to get a divorce, and women could legally have custody of children after a separation.
He makes these absolutely absurd accusations of Mao and the Cultural Revolution like this:
“Under Mao, sexuality was almost done away with. Everyone wore the same baggy colored clothes. Everyone had the same haircut. Couples that fell in love and were caught were punished.”
This is outrageous claim that people were punished for falling in love is beyond stupid. There is literally nothing to indicate that such a thing ever happened. This is cartoonish villainy that the authour is claiming. He provides nothing to back up this ridiculous claim. To pass this off as journalism reflects only upon the website itself.
Now, let me proceed with the rest of this claim. Its true there was much of the same clothing early on in the Revolution. Of course! There was a great need for as many clothes as quickly as possible to cover the lack of them left by capitalism and feudalism. Some parts of China are very cold like the North East. They mass produced as many clothes as possible to take care of the overwhelming immediate need. They were made to a one size fits all specification. Later one once the immediate need was met they began producing more variety among clothing. This is why there were so many people wearing the same thing and why so much of it was baggy. It had nothing to do with sexual repression. The authour clearly has no idea about the conditions that prevailed at that time.
As for haircuts, people generally didn’t care too much about them in terms of style. The same was true (except for the upper classes) in pre-revolution days.
Some criticisms are made of the One Child Policy, a policy that I adamantly denounce for its ignorance and oppressive nature towards women. In the post-Revolutionary era, Deng Xiaoping the capitalist roader brought many reactionary ideas. In 1978 he began the wholesale dismantling of socialism. Under the Revolutionary leadership abortion and contraceptives were offered subsidized or free in order to control population. Under Deng it was just made a law to punished people (women primarily) for having too many children. Often Mao is blamed for this disgusting policy, it was the capitalist roader, the man who brought capitalism back to China who justified and instituted it.
The restoration of capitalism has brought back some of the most reactionary ideas of the old Feudal order. In some instances, it has created even newer forms of reactionary culture and practices. Take this for instance; young Chinese women have taken to ingesting round worm eggs as a means of losing weight. Why? The restoration of capitalism has brought back many of those reactionary ideas about women having to be thin in order to compete with other women for a job. It is based on the patriarchal idea that a woman’s weight and appearance is relevant to her success and effectiveness in the work place. Is this one for those great new aspects to the “sexual revolution” going on now?
Suicides among Chinese women have skyrocketed and have become some of the worst in the world. The situation for women now is absolutely horrible, despite the slanderous lies spread by those frauds Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. They even have the audacity to steal the phrase popularized by Mao, “Women hold up half the sky.”
The effects of the new sexual era in China are not the topic I wish to discuss. I only intended to take to task the dishonest misrepresentations made of China by this article.
China’s Sexual Revolution (viewed as single page), ilookchina.net
Female Chinese students resort to eating roundworm eggs to ensure they look thin for job interviews, Daily Mail
Women’s Suicides Reveal Rural China’s Bitter Roots, New York Times