To the Editor:
Chi An, the heroine of Steven W. Mosher’s A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy, is not a monster, according to reviewer William McGurn [Books in Review, October 1993]. “Rather, she is an ordinary human being whose own survival, like the survival of those around her, depended on her deadening the normal impulse to empathy and decency.” That was true of the Chi An who enforced China’s one-child policy after the death of Chairman Mao. She was indeed a “participant-turned-victim,” as Mr. McGurn describes her.
But what about the Chi An who “reports the rush of pride she felt when she slapped the president of her college during a public ‘struggle session’”? When Chairman Mao was alive, his supporters did not deaden their impulses; they enjoyed every minute of their violence. It would not be unjust to call Chi An a participant-turned-monster, bearing in mind that monsters can be victims, too.
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