Sunday, April 7, 2013

Questionable Fact: Fu Ping's Actual Factory Job

The Original Story: 
In Bend, Not Break, Fu Ping described in substantial detail on how she worked in factories to build radios, speedometers, as well as being an electrician, all when she was 10-15 years old. We have already debunked that part of the story which she had partially retracted.

The last time she mentioned her factory work, the Cultural Revolution was coming to an end. On Page 147:
From age fifteen to eighteen, I worked on and off at a factory that made car parts.
and in 1976, she was working in a (probably the same) factory, P225:
I notified my factory boss that I was heading off for two weeks, and he gave his approval.
To underscore it, the official book trailer on Amazon contained brief images of her factory worker ID:

The sensational narration in the trailer states:
For the next ten years, she fought hunger and abuse, serving her country as a child soldier and factory worker.
The Debunking:
The narration in the book trailer is certainly bending the truth as we already knew that she was never a child soldier or factory worker for that entire "ten years."

But the factory id (assuming that it is genuine) does prove that she had indeed been a factory worker in her grown up years, possibly after the high school graduation around 1976. This also matches with the photo on the id.

Before the national college entrance exam was reinstated in 1977, all high school graduates were supposed to be sent down to countryside for reeducation through labor. Only very lucky few were able to stay in the city and work in factories. According to Fang Zhouzi, a childhood friend of Fu Ping's indicated that the policy changed slightly when Fu Ping graduated and her parents were able to work out some magic with local authorities and helped her to obtain a factory job.

Even with the policy change, factory jobs were extremely prestige to young people at the time. The fact that Fu Ping's parents could make such an arrangement indicated that her family had substantial influence and power. That is a far cry from what Fu Ping claimed as a family that was under suppression and suffered throughout the entire Cultural Revolution.

Did she actually suffer during Cultural Revolution years?

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