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‘Love–Marriage–Sex’ in the People’s Liberation Army


Gender diversity was defended by feminine cadres of the Maoist movement in the name of ‘martial feminism’, claiming equal access to war for men and women. They also promoted a right to love, which challenged matrimonial customs. At the same time, however, they shared the concerns of their male comrades about the potentially deleterious effects of romance and sexuality on political commitment. To address the problem of ‘physical relations’ within the People’s Liberation Army, the Maoist thus developed a ‘scientific method’ and a repressive apparatus aimed at punishing ‘deviant’ practices. This chapter focuses on this hetero-normative ‘scientific method’, summed up by the Maoist formula ‘love-marriage-sex’. Drawing upon printed material and interviews, it argues that the Maoist army can be described as a ‘greedy institution’, although its ambition to frame and tame the libidinal impulses of its members was often frustrated by the idiosyncratic responses of the latter to party guidelines.
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hal-03393098 , version 1 (21-10-2021)



Laurent Gayer. ‘Love–Marriage–Sex’ in the People’s Liberation Army. Revolution in Nepal: An Anthropological and Historical Approach to the People's War, Oxford University Press, pp.333 - 366, 2013, 9780198089384. ⟨hal-03393098⟩
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