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Bad idea to quote Mao Zedong
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I wasn’t going to say anything, but then I decided to go ahead and say it. In a recent Public Forum article of your paper, there was an excellent article about some of the lesser-known women who have had a powerful impact on our society. It was a wonderful article! In their last paragraph though they mentioned a “Chinese quote” by Mao Zedong that “Women hold up half the sky.”

I really have to wonder if the writer of the article knows who Mao Zedong was and the history behind that quote. Mao Zedong was the absolute ruler of China from 1949 to 1976. He was also the head of the propaganda department for the Nationalist Party in 1924. Dictatorial governments know the value of propaganda to get what they want! That’s where the quote “Women hold up half the sky” comes into play.

Mao Zedong started a movement in 1958 called “The great leap forward.” Mao Zedong moved a huge portion of the Chinese agriculture producing population to communal living to achieve the goal of transforming China into a Communist paradise. It resulted in widespread famine and death. An estimated 30 to 45 million people died of starvation. That’s a good reason not to quote the guy! It was when the Communist party needed all the support of the people that he quoted that “Women hold up half the sky.” It was a propaganda campaign to get everyone they could on board with their agenda!

The Communist party got the support of the Chinese women they needed. If you look today though, women don’t really have many leadership roles in China. Mao Zedong got what he wanted through propaganda. That was all he wanted. So, to quote him is not a good idea. He was not a good man who cared about women. He only cared about his party’s agenda, complete power.

Jim Hulsey