Song Bin Militant was a fabricated person who came about shortly after a young woman had a fateful meeting with Mao Zedong. At the height of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Mao had invited several members of the Red Guard to meet with him. Among them was a young lady by the name of Song Bin Bin. With the cameras of China’s state-controlled media rolling, she approached him, introduced herself, and offered him one of the Red Guard’s armbands, which he gladly accepted. After she placed it around his arm, he asked her if the Bin in her name meant “elegant and refined,” which she confirmed. Mao then responded by saying something to the tune of, “It’s better to be militant than elegant and refined.” Never did Song Bin Bin think that such a comment would change her life.

Shortly after her fateful meeting with Mao Zedong, Song Bin Bin found an article written in a party newspaper by a Song Bin Militant. The article, which Song Bin Bin claimed was written by someone else, espoused the Red Guard line of revolution and destruction of the Four Olds. Later on, many women claiming the title of Song Bin Militant would wreak havoc by destroying shrines and harassing teachers. As a result, the image of Song Bin Militant followed Song Bin Bin wherever she went, granting her an unwanted celebrity status.

After the Cultural Revolution waned and the Red Guard fell out of favor with Mao, Song Bin Bin’s life became even worse. She was both reviled and feared by all who met her or heard of her. When she moved to a farming commune with the hopes of escaping the ghost of Song Bin Militant as well as helping farmers, her unwanted reputation followed her. Many of the villagers were afraid of her and wild rumors circulated about her through the commune. Only by working hard and displaying a calm, nonviolent nature was she able to prove to them that she was Song Bin Bin, not Song Bin Militant.

Song Bin Bin currently lives in the United States of America under an assumed name. She regrets having ever asked Mao Zedong if he wanted the armband, saying that her father wished for her to grow up to be a refined young lady, only to have her name be associated with everything that was negative and violent about the Cultural Revolution.

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