The history of the world is never complete without the presence of very powerful women who influenced the political landscape of their own society and country. From queens and princesses who ruled without fear to the same monarchial personalities who defied the authority, morals and social order so that they can fight for what they truly believe, there are many women from the western world who re-shaped the erstwhile patriarchal and male-influenced political history. In Asia where one of the prevalent characteristics of culture is the strong presence of conservatism among women and the marginalized role of women in politics and the political life of the country, there are also many women who surprised their countrymen and the world by showing their true power, strength and might in the arena of politics. Some were deeply loved because they sympathized with the woman politician who appears less corrupt and less evil as its male counterparts.
While some find women in politics distasteful, especially women who became notorious for the bad things that they did to their countrymen. One of these particular types of women is Jiang Qing. This paper will talk about the crimes of Jiang Qing and how these crimes eventually led to the collective feeling of hate among many Chinese individuals directed at Jiang Qing in the reckoning of the deeds that she did in the past.Public hateOne of the reasons why Jiang Qing was hated by the Chinese people is because of her role and participation in the undertaking of tasks that resulted to the death and suffering of many Chinese individuals. Jiang Qing was as much a wife to political figure Mao Zedong as she was herself a political figure. It was singled out because of the impact she has on the events that happened in the very recent Chinese history that was characterized by the presence of acts that killed or injured many Chinese individuals. Ross Terrill (1999), who wrote the book Madame Mao which focuses on the life and struggles of Jiang Qing, chronicled a statement in one of the hearings to which Jiang Qing was involved coming from another Chinese individual, a statement which can be considered as embodying and symbolizing the collective feelings of Chinese individuals towards Jiang Qing.
It says; “You and your kind committed countless crimes of all kinds,’ Liao said to Jiang Qing. ‘They are more numerous than the hairs on a human head.’ The writer paused to wipe tears from his spectacles. ‘The people of Beijing hate you from their bones’ (Terill, 1999, p.
340).” The feeling of hate against Jiang Qing seemed to be something that is not just socially shared. It seems that the extent of the evilness of her crimes spawned the feelings among the post-Jiang Qing era to make efforts to tell the future generation of Chinese individuals about the crimes of Jiang Qing. China will never forget Jiang Qing and her deeds, her name and her memory forever held in the state of disgust and ill-feelings among those who hated her. Officials inform other people about Jiang Qing and her crimes. They remind others about this aspect of the previous Chinese history through books written about Jiang Qing as well as theater plays that feature Jiang Qing as the most undesirable antagonist during one of the most difficult times of China politically.
“Officials proclaimed themselves pleased with the recounting of the most notorious crimes committed by Jiang Qing and her followers (Chen, 2002, p. 220).” If there are national heroes found in different countries so that these persons and their acts of patriotism and nationalism are never forgotten by their countrymen, Jiang Qing is close to necessitating the need to name the national criminal which the country officials hates and loathes. Many other books were written that attest to the feeling of hate that people have towards Jiang Qing. In the book China’s Cultural Revolution, there is a paragraph there that directly expresses disgust and in a straightforward manner talks about feelings akin to hate towards Jiang Qing. “I really hate Jiang Qing’s guts.
She’s done things that make me genuinely dissatisfied and that I just cannot understand (Schoenhals, 1996, p. 174).”Jiang Qing versus MaoThe most intriguing part is the revelation about how even Jiang Qing’s husband and the leader of China, Mao Zedong, was also feeling negative things towards Jiang Qing largely because of her actions, the same actions to which the anger of the public is deeply rooted in.
In a book written by Khoon Choy Lee (2005), it narrates about the actions of Jiang Qing, particularly the secretive actions of Jiang Qing that is characterized by the assassination and liquidation of significant members of the Communist Party. “Wang was brought to the attention that Jiang Qing was making use of his name to liquidate comrades. Mao told him that although Jiang Qing was his wife, it did not mean that he was in favor of doing the things Jiang Qing was doing (Lee, 2005, p. 316).” The confession of the ill feelings of Mao towards Jiang Qing went on to the extent that it seems that politics and political ambition has broken the sanctity and effect of the state of marriage between Mao and Jiang Qing. “As Mao often disclosed to Wang his thoughts about the Gang of Four, Wang realized that Mao had begun to suspect the motives of his wife and the gang. Wang was able to distance himself from Jiang Qing and Lin Biao when he discovered their ambition to destroy Mao. After the death of Lin Biao, Wang began to realize that Mao was angry with Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four (Lee, 2005, p.
316).”Portraying Jiang QingHistory was not the only means by which the Chinese people speak about their indignation about the actions of Jiang Qing. And it is not the only means by which the evil and cruel personality of Jiang Qing is presented and validated as a reason why the Chinese people hated her so much. The performing arts, one of the important aspects of the Chinese culture, were also being used by some to express their hate against Jiang Qing and to establish and tell to the world why they feel as they do. Theater arts performances and plays that depict Jiang Qing showed the brutal and merciless actions that Jiang Qing undertook, while at the same time portraying Jiang Qing through a personality that is filled with different negative characteristics.“Recent history was viewed as a bitter sea of misery under a mad reign by the Gang of Four, headed by a proud, vicious woman.
It was thus exhilarating for many to see Jiang Qing presented onstage as a malicious, pretentious, cruel, arrogant, bossy, moody and suspicious woman (Chen, 2002, p. 220).” Even those who portray Jiang Qing themselves are aware of their hatred for this particular political personality. They would like to express their own personal sentiment versus the woman by making sure that the people notice the evil characteristics that they knowingly incorporated in the character even without direction from the play’s director, like the case of Weng Ru, one of the many different actresses in China who played the role of Mao’s very political and brutal wife. “She wanted to show the real Jiang – namely, ‘a rotten movie start, a