Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden during a virtual campaign fundraiser on Monday echoed a famous quote made famous by Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong.
“We’ve got to get real economic relief into women’s hands now,” Biden said, while speaking about the impact on women from the coronavirus pandemic and the economic toll, according to a pool report of the fundraiser event.
He then referenced an “old Chinese proverb” about women saying, “women hold up half the sky.”
The saying “women hold up half the sky,” however, is not an “old Chinese proverb” but a famed political slogan made by Mao when proclaiming gender equality and the vital importance of women in his quest to build a Chinese Communist State. However, the rhetoric from Mao was not an emphasis on gender equality that is widely interpreted by feminists, but on the focus on “sameness” of gender where women and men were equal in physical strength. Under Mao’s Communist China, women were mobilized to the labor force to work side by side with their male counterparts in his nation-building efforts. However, gender equality persisted with men earning more than women for doing the same labor work, having more socioeconomic resources and opportunity while women were largely prevented from holding political positions.
Biden participated in a small high-donor campaign fundraiser with 14 wealthy donors that were hosted by former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett along with Goldman Insurance CEO John Goldman and his wife, Marcia. During a Q&A session, Biden was asked by former Ambassador Denise Bauer, head of Women for Biden, about the financial turmoil amid the coronavirus pandemic impacting women.
The former Vice President reportedly responded that he agrees with the term “she-cession” to describe the “disproportionate burden in homeschooling and taking care of elderly or sick family members,” and noted the crisis is “hitting industries dominated by women.”
“Unless you take advantage of half or more of your brain power, you are never going to be in the position where you’re going to be able to compete internationally,” Biden said. “Women. Women. Women.”
The Republican National Committee seized on Biden’s remark, saying the former Vice President is in “the pocket of China.”
“Biden cites quote made famous by Mao Zedong during fundraiser,” RNC rapid response director Steve Guest said. “REMINDER: Joe Biden is in the pocket of China.”
“Chairman Mao would approve,” added Trump 2020 campaign’s director of communications Tim Murtaugh.
This isn’t the first time Biden has quoted the former Chinese dictator who is known as one of the biggest mass murderers in history. He repeatedly uttered this quote during his tenure as vice president. In 2015, Biden tweeted the quote in recognition of International Women’s Day. He also was reported saying this quote again during a speech in 2017 and again in 2018 when visiting Temple University.