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They Love Battle Array, Not Silks And Satins

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores several interwoven lines of inquiry: the disarticulation of hong from hongzhuang that occurred with the shifting association of the color red (hong) from traditional femininity to socialist revolution; the rise of a militaristic aesthetic as the embodiment of class revolution; the critique of bourgeois self-interest promoted in the phrase; and the gendered nature of a Maoist utopian future. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) writings on history and subjectivity conceived of revolution as a gendered process of human self-realization at the collective and individual levels. In the early 1960s women recognized as the "real red detachment of women" or representatives of "They love battle array, not silks and satins" embodied a form of agency rooted in a collective identity, mass action, and "the people". Materials using the phrase "They love battle array, not silks and satins" regularly internationalized the links between female militia and successful socialist revolution.

Keywords: Chinese Communist Party (CCP) writings; hongzhuang; socialist revolution; traditional femininity



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