Besides internal conflicts within the Chinese Communist Party, hostility from Western countries, especially the United States, also contributed to the radicalization of Chinese politics. The Korean War (1950-1953) led to a severe deterioration of relations between Communist China and the free world led by the United States. Chinese Communists decided the United States wanted to invade China via Korea, or via Taiwan because the U.S. government was committed to fully supporting Chiang Kai-shek's regime in Taiwan after the Korean War broke out. Therefore anything that resembled Western culture or politics and economy would be denounced, including love and private family life.
16. Women in Communist China
Communism seemed to usher in a new society for China, and, in many ways, it actually did. Communism abolished polygamy (which was first abolished by the republican government in 1912, but the reform was never completely carried out). Communism also established gender equality and legitimated free love and marriage (in contrast to arranged marriages) in its 1950 Marriage Law, leading to a 50 percent divorce rate in rural marriages in the first few years of the law's implementation. Communism upheld high principles and sought to overcome traditional Confucian social relationships, including its byproduct nepotism and other forms of corruption. But within Communism there were many unresolved problems. Gender equality did not lead to a respect for women. The supremacy of communism and revolution led to a de-emphasis of the family.
Communist China emphasized gender equality, but this emphasis was to make the two sexes more united in the building of socialism. Therefore, gender was not emphasized and from the story of Jung Chang's mother, one can see that her role as a woman was subsumed under her role as a Communist. She was expected to obey Communist rules. Love and marriage were also secondary to revolution. Another consequence of the emphasis on gender equality in China was that many educated women came to look down upon household chores and child rearing. Work came first, and household duties second.
Because the Communist Party came first, like gender differences, everything was subsumed under the guidelines of the Communists, including permission to get married, and with whom. The family and its needs were subordinate to the needs of the revolution.
This Communist deemphasis on women’s gender was inherited from the early 20th century New Culture Movement, when the emancipation of women was first raised by men, not to show respect to women and their gender, but to prevent the “waste” of laying half of the population illiterate and mentally and professionally disabled, in order to achieve national strength and prosperity. The category of women, like that of class, has long been exploited by the hegemonic discourse of the state of China, one that posits the equality between men and women by depriving the latter of their differences (and not the other way around!). In the emancipatory discourse of the state, which always subsumes women under the nationalist agenda, women's liberation means little more than equal opportunity to participate in public labor. The image of the liberated daughter and the figure of the strong female Party leader celebrated in the literature of socialist realism