The New York Times was lambasted on Tuesday for a tweet that downplayed the "flaws" of communism and argued how it benefited Chinese women.
The tweet linked to an op-ed from Chinese freelancer Helen Gao arguing that many Chinese women believed their lot was improved by the revolution. "The Communists did many terrible things," she quotes grandmother as saying. "But they made women’s lives much better."
For all its flaws, the Communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big https://t.co/Fci82iAPxM
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) September 26, 2017
The story was part of the "Red Century" series, in which the Times celebrated the 100-year anniversary by posting opinion piece on the legacy of communism. Some of the pieces have been critical of communism's legacy, but the Times has also published bizarre defenses of the totalitarian regimes.
Gao notes that the women's gains were mostly illusory and women were still forced into domestic roles, but argues that at least they had hope. "For all its flaws, the Communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big," she concluded.
Outraged Twitter users pointed out that the "flaws" of Communism were enormous. Experts estimate that Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China's "Great Leap Forward," a 1958 to 1962 economic and social campaign, led to the deaths of 65 million people as a result of starvation, forced labor, and state-sanctioned murder.
"flaws" = approximately 100,000,000 killed by communism last century, half of them in China https://t.co/QhXDcuVKmk
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) September 26, 2017
They were raped, tortured, starved, kidnapped & beaten but at least communism gave them their dreams https://t.co/KUSJbA7FGg
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) September 26, 2017
Maoism always put gender equality first. Of the 45 million big dreamers killed in the Great Leap Forward, half were women https://t.co/9qAK6mqZfj
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— Michael C Moynihan (@mcmoynihan) September 26, 2017
What a disgusting bastardization of the truth of what Maoism gave women in China. Judicial rape. Forced abortion. Murder. Worthy of Duranty. https://t.co/woEu2Ya8Jg
— Marion Smith (@smithmarion) September 26, 2017
For all its flaws, the Nazi revolution fomented imaginative memoirs by Jewish adolescent girls. https://t.co/XsB2ENP0hw
— Ilya Shapiro (@ishapiro) September 26, 2017
"The gulag system wasn't perfect, but it taught Russians the value of a strong work ethic." https://t.co/ycg9zrsG56
— Ian Tuttle (@iptuttle) September 26, 2017
For all its flaws, the Khmer Rouge taught Cambodians it was ok to challenge elites. https://t.co/RfzwqmCDCU
— Eli Lake (@EliLake) September 26, 2017
Tell that to my Chinese-born wife, who barely survived the one-child policy just as the law came into effect. https://t.co/2s03IhcRLT
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) September 26, 2017
And die young, preferably in the womb https://t.co/iiCWyV0v38
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 26, 2017