The five cartoon panels printed on this page are taken from “Red Guard Romance” (written and drawn by Jay Kinney) and appeared in Young Lust No. 5. Most of us read the comic and thought it funny, if not somewhat preposterous. However, proving again that being more radical than reality itself is always a difficult proposition, we ran across the accompanying article by Ross H. Munro in the Oct. 12, 1977 Toronto Globe and Mail.
Munro, the Globe and Mail’s Peking correspondent, was recently ordered out of China by the ruling bureaucracy because of his articles about the lack of human rights in that country.
Red Guard Romance
1. THE BOUNDLESS REVOLUTIONARY ENTHUSIASM INSPIRES US ALL, BUT ON THE WAY LI HUENG AND I GET LOST IN A DARK ALLEY!
Cartoon panel shows a crowd of people running toward a building, shouting “Capitalist roaders, here we come!” One young man grabs the arm of a young woman, slowing her.
2. IT IS MUCH CONFUSION!
Cartoon panel shows the young man with his arms around the young woman, while exclaiming “OOOF!”
The woman responds, “HU WAH! THIS IS SO SUDDEN!”
3. WE FORGET ALL ABOUT THE TASK WE ARE TO DO…
Cartoon panel shows the young man and the young woman without clothes, illuminated by a bright light beam. From the side, a voice shouts, “PLEASE TO HALT YOUR ACTIONS!”
4. NEXT DAY AT COMRADELY “CRITICISM-SELF-CRITICISM SESSION”…”
Cartoon panel shows an official berating the two young people in front of a large group of other young people, saying “IT IS PETTY-BOURGEOIS INDIVIDUALISM TO ENGAGE IN PROCREATION WITHOUT PRIOR COLLECTIVE ACKNOWLEDGMENT, COMRADES!”
5. AND SO…
Cartoon panel shows the young man and young woman speaking to the official, saying :WE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST RE-EDUCATION IN MAO TSE-TUNG THOUGHT TO CORRECT OUR REVISIONIST ACTIONS!”
The official replies with a smile, “REQUEST GRANTED!”
PEKING—In the summer of 1973, a young man named Chang accompanied his girl friend to an out-of-the-way place in their factory where they proceeded to make love. Unfortunately, some fellow workers happened upon them in the middle of their lovemaking.
The couple’s activity not being publicly acceptable behavior, particularly not during working hours, the leadership of the Sian Western Electrical Factory, where they worked, proceeded to take disciplinary action. The factory first decided that this was an internal matter which shouldn’t be taken to the outside authorities. Instead, the two young people would be subjected to criticism for their “bourgeois lifestyle.”
Unfortunately for young Chang, his girlfriend’s father was an important official who came to Sian when he heard the news. Once there, he succeeded in pressuring his dishonored daughter into changing her story and charging her boy friend with rape.
So the outside authorities took charge of the case and Chang appeared in court. Chang apparently wasn’t too happy with this turn of events because the court officials declared that he had a “bad attitude” toward his crime. This bad attitude, the court declared, justified a 20-year sentence.
The court itself raised serious questions about the entire affair by sentencing the victim of the rape to three years of education-through-labor in some sort of detention centre. She was convicted of having a bad lifestyle.
Any romantic attachment that goes the distance, outside the marriage bed, is actually a statutory offense, worth six months in jail for the over-eager young man…—Women in Modern China, Helen Snow
Communist Youth and Youth’s Daily, another official publication of the (Chinese) League of Young Communists, discuss the matter of birth control at great length and advise their readers to marry as late as possible, if they absolutely have to reject celibacy…
—Le Monde, Sept. 18, 1963
In Shanghai, members of the Revolutionary Committee demand mercilessly that they be asked more and more questions. “How would you deal with a case of rape?” causes slight consternation, however. “Rape does not exist in China,” comes the inevitable reply. “Maybe not, but tell me how would you handle a rape case if such an unimaginable event should ever occur?” This causes the members to retire to a corner of the room, where a heated debate goes on for five minutes or so. Then, proudly and with complete certainty, the leader announces: “Should a rape be committed, we should arrange a marriage.”
—Far Eastern Economic Review, Cheng Huan, Sept. 16, 1972