The Gender Of Memory Analysis

1266 Words 6 Pages
Beginning in 1949, Gail Hershatter frames the Chinese Revolution through the lens of the instrumental but often forgotten major players of the transformed society, rural women. The Gender of Memory disaggregates the public remembrance of 1949 to the modern period through the lens of intersectional identities in rural China. This is done primarily the implication of rural existence, poverty, womanhood, parenthood, and the shifting societal values under the rule of the Party-state. The transition from the end of the pastoral and "feudal" way of life is markedly altered by identity with the ushering in of the 1950s and Party politics. The gendered aspects of society contributed to only one facet of women’s experiences during this time period. …show more content…
The rule of the Party-state signaled a transformation to a more secure public space for women but the liberation of “women [was] an almost incidental byproduct of a wider revolutionary process” according to Mao (Hershatter, 185). Accordingly, the transfiguration of the place of women in society was far less egalitarian than promised by the Women 's Federation and Party-state itself. The agricultural labor practiced by women was accompanied by "a largely unremarked exodus from farming of men that profoundly shaped women 's working lives [with worsened and uncompensated]...labor performed inside domestic space" which remained unsocialized until the failure of the Great Leap Forward (Hershatter, 64). Rural women not only took on child care, household work and pregnancy, they also were spurred to work in collective field work by economic and political necessity. Women were forced into field labor for work points that took gender into account as a "salient category" and resulted in two to four less points per day allotted to women for equal field labor (Hershatter, 143). The labor models interviewed by Hershatter personified the Party-state 's ideal rural woman and were publicized to normalize the rearrangement of gendered labor. The women assisted in feminizing …show more content…
‘Speaking Bitterness’ was encouraged by the Party during the land reform movement in order to cite the revolution and implementation of Party rule as the penultimate positive turning point for China. Following the implementation of the Party-state, women looked back on 'pitiful ' society before the revolution and the 'feudal ' existence they experienced specifically as women. 'Feudal ' as a term is consistently utilized to describe specifically the lives of women and the struggles undergone due to gender. The "narrative of emancipatory progress" recorded with the use of 'pitiful ' and 'feudal ' in regards to pre 1949 life is a direct example of Party-state politics influencing the experience of peasants and women

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