Saturday, February 16, 2008

"But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao..."

USA Today has this gem.

The state department released minutes from a 1973 meeting between Henry Kissinger and Chairman Mao. Mao offered up 10 million Chinese women...but he was just kidding.

But really, it would've been a great plot. As Mao said, "By [sending Chinese women to the US] we can let them flood your country with disaster and therefore impair your interests. In our country we have too many women, and they have a way of doing things. They give birth to children and our children are too many."

HAHA! The meeting sounds like it was a blast. Women were accused of destruction, faulted for having children, and spoken of as commodities. HAHAHAHA! What a pair of cards Kissinger and Mao were!

More from the transcript:

Mao: The trade between our two countries at present is very pitiful. It is gradually increasing. You know China is a very poor country. We don’t have much. What we have in excess is women. (Laughter)
Kissinger: There are no quotas for those or tariffs.
Chairman Mao: So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands. (Laughter)
Prime Minister Chou: Of course, on a voluntary basis.
Mao: Let them go to your place. They will create disasters. That way you can lessen our burdens. (Laughter)
And Mao wasn't the only bastard in the room:
Mao: Girls. (Prime Minister Chou laughs.) Today I have been uttering some nonsense for which I will have to beg the pardon of the women of China.
Kissinger: It sounded very attractive to the Americans present. (Chairman Mao and the girls laugh.)
Oh but wait...
Mao: You know, the Chinese have a scheme to harm the United States, that is, to send ten million women to the United States and impair its interests by increasing its population.
Kissinger: The chairman has fixed the idea so much in my mind that I’ll certainly use it at my next press conference. (Laughter)
Ah. It's so funny that such powerful people are sexist! It's good Mao can joke about a "problem" that led to loads of baby girls' murders.

I'm not surprised, but it's scary to see it in writing.


Bob Fr!tzel said...

Did not realize the Chairman was so misogynistic. Or maybe just breederphobic? Strange comments considering the Chinese population has a surplus of males numbering in the millions according to the book "Bare Branches, Cpyrt 2004, MIT Press, authors Hudson & den Boer" Peace, - fr!tz

spectre said...

Sexism is horrible.

We can indeed learn from past mistakes.

That having been said...

It should come as no surprise that the leader of a state such as China would say such things. This is a country where people get imprisoned for visiting the wrong website.

Furthermore, Kissinger was a career politician. He served multiple presidents from both major parties. To do that, one must tailor their message and countenance to one's audience. In the presence of Mao, and furthermore in the interests of burgeoning relations between the two countries, it's likely that Kissinger would have agreed that the sky was purple just to smooth things over. I'm not saying he wasn't a sexist - there's plenty of proof to support the idea that he was. Was he really in support of a human trade though? Likely no.

Besides, it was 1973. There were still typing pools at most offices.

None of that transcript should be surprising, and if it is, well...

I don't wish to be mean so I won't make a snide remark. I'm just saying that there are more pertinent arguments to be made regarding the poor state of women's affairs in China, in the USA, in today's world, and in past times.

cecily said...

i think it is just that he saw all people as a comodity, not that he had something against women, because he also claimed that : "women hold up half the sky." and that the idea that women should submit to men is a feudal/ capitalist idea and is therefore wrong... i really dont know haha.