Originally penned by Mao Zedong in 1961 as an inscription on a photograph of female militia, “Bu ai hongzhuang, ai wuzhuang” 不爱红妆爱武 装 (“They love their battle array, not silks and satins”) for many sums up a presumed erasure of femininity in favor of a universalized masculine subject position within socialist China. This article reconsiders the discursive work done by militarized female bodies—physically and representationally—focusing on alternative international and internationalist futures following the Sino-Soviet split of 1960. The article critically engages state-to-state relations and internationally circulating PRC-produced cultural material that articulated feminist ideals as part of Afro-Asian-Latin American solidarity. This article returns to well-known texts of Maoist China to rethink state-produced Chinese feminism as a Cold War framework and gendered globality. It shifts the analytic from Cold War dichotomies that legitimate what most scholars misrepresent as an insular Chinese socialist female subjectivity of the 1960s to focus on the complex global dimensions of Cold War socialist feminism.

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