Postcard

08.28.19

Thwarted at Home, Can China’s Feminists Rebuild a Movement Abroad?

Shen Lu & Mengwen Cao
A small number of China’s feminist movement’s influential thinkers and organizers have relocated overseas, in search of an environment more hospitable to their activism. Today, though their numbers are relatively small, they have succeeded in...

Viewpoint

03.28.19

Finding a Voice

Lü Pin from Logic
When I started writing this article, Feminist Voices had been deleted for six months and ten days. Yes, I have been keeping track of the time: ten days, fifteen days, thirty days, sixty days, three months, six months. . . The first week after it...

‘It’s Hopeless But You Persist’: An Interview with Jiang Xue

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
The forty-five-year-old investigative journalist Jiang Xue is one of the most influential members of a group of journalists who came of age in the early 2000s, taking advantage of new—if temporary—freedoms created by the Internet to investigate...

China Professor Accused in #MeToo Campaign Is Sacked

BBC
A Chinese university has fired a professor accused of sexual misconduct, after a former student named him in a #MeToo campaign.

China’s Women Break Silence on Harassment as #MeToo Becomes #WoYeShi

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Beijing’s strict social control mean few have risked speaking out about misogyny but campaigners are beginning to make their voices heard.

Books

11.30.17

Finding Women in the State

Wang Zheng
Finding Women in the State is a provocative hidden history of socialist state feminists maneuvering behind the scenes at the core of the Chinese Communist Party. These women worked to advance gender and class equality in the early People’s Republic and fought to transform sexist norms and practices, all while facing fierce opposition from a male-dominated Chinese Communist Party leadership, from the local level to the central level. Wang Zheng extends this investigation to the cultural realm, showing how feminists within China’s film industry were working to actively create new cinematic heroines, and how they continued a New Culture anti-patriarchy heritage in socialist film production. This book illuminates not only the different visions of revolutionary transformation but also the dense entanglements among those in the top echelon of the Party. Wang discusses the causes for failure of China’s socialist revolution and raises fundamental questions about male dominance in social movements that aim to pursue social justice and equality. This is the first book engendering the People’s Republic of China high politics and has important theoretical and methodological implications for scholars and students working in gender studies as well as China studies. —University of California Press{chop}

China Lifts Travel Ban on Feminist Activist

Emily Feng
Financial Times
A Chinese feminist activist who was banned from leaving mainland China for a decade has been given back her travel documents and allowed to travel. Wu Rongrong will fly to Hong Kong on Sunday, where she will begin a post-graduate degree in law.

China 'Feminist Five' Activist Handed 10-Year Travel Ban

Yuan Yang and Emily Feng
Financial Times
One of China’s “Feminist Five” group of women who were arrested for campaigning against sexual harassment has been barred from leaving the country for a decade, in the latest example of Beijing’s ever-tightening grip on civil society.

Sinica Podcast

08.01.17

Joan Kaufman on Foreign Nonprofits and Academia in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Joan Kaufman is a fascinating figure: Her long and storied career in China started in the early 1980s, when she was what she calls a “cappuccino-and-croissant socialist from Berkeley.” Today, she is the director for academics at the Schwarzman...

China and the Legend of Ivanka

Jiayang Fan
New Yorker
That such a vexed figure may serve as the role model for Chinese women who are just beginning to grapple with their identity in a society that has historically been hostile to their empowerment seems like a regression.

I Went to Jail for Handing out Feminist Stickers in China

Li Maizi
Guardian
The backlash is painful, but it coexists with progress as women activists manage—slowly—to bring about a change in attitudes

Trump’s Feminist Critics Gagged by Chinese Internet Giant Weibo

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Chinese feminists have hit out at their country’s answer to Twitter after it gagged one of their movement’s most visible social media accounts in an apparent bid to stifle criticism of U.S. president Donald Trump.

Fighting on Behalf of China’s Women—From the United States

Luo Siling
New York Times
Among hundreds of thousands of women who took to the streets for the Women’s March on Washington were Lu Pin and more than 20 other Chinese feminists who live in the United States and belong to the Chinese Feminism Collective

There Are Echoes of China in Today’s America

Maura Cunningham
Time
We are troubled by how often lately we experience a strange sort of China-related déjà vu when following events in the U.S.

Media

01.28.17

China’s Feminists Go to Washington

Kim Wall
Zhang Ling was dressed like a revolutionary from the Spanish Civil War. With a long braid emerging from a scarlet beret and clad in trousers a color she described as “communist red,” Zhang had driven her Honda from her home in upstate New York the...

For Chinese Women, a Surname is Her Name

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Keeping a surname is not an expression of marital equality, but of powerful patriarchal values. A married woman continued to be identified by her father’s lineage.

Feminism With Chinese Characteristics

David Volodzko
Diplomat
China is making progress on women’s issues, but anyone trying to publicize remaining issues faces a serious backlash.

Xi Turns Back the Clock on Women’s Rights in China

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Although it is unthinkable today, two decades ago 30,000 women from around the world converged outside Beijing to promote a host of social and political causes.

Media

06.26.15

A Chinese Feminist, Made in America

Nancy Tang
In August 2010, two weeks after turning 18, I traveled about 6,700 miles from Beijing, China to attend Amherst, a liberal-arts college in Massachusetts in the northeastern United States. I packed a copy of Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw’s...

Chinese Feminist Wants to be the Country’s First Openly Lesbian Lawyer

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Li Tingting is determined that police harrassment will not stop her.

A Bittersweet Reprieve for Chinese Woman Who Killed Abusive Husband

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The verdict left lawyers and activists doubtful of the Chinese legal system’s ability to protect women. 

China Releases 5 Women’s Rights Activists Detained for Weeks

Edward Wong
New York Times
Police released five female activists detained after campaigning against sexual harassment on public transport.

Conversation

03.18.15

Dark Days for Women in China?

Rebecca E. Karl, Leta Hong Fincher & more
With China’s recent criminal detention of five feminist activists, gender inequality in China is back in the spotlight. What does a crackdown on Chinese women fighting for equal representation say about the current state of the nation’s political...

China’s Feminists Stand up Against ‘Misogynistic’ TV Gala

Simon Denyer and Xu Yangjingjing
Washington Post
The most widely watched television show on earth was peppered with jokes at the expense of women.

Books

03.05.14

Sporting Gender

Yunxiang Gao
When China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics—and amazed international observers with both its pageantry and gold-medal count—it made a very public statement about the country’s surge to global power. Yet, China has a much longer history of using sport to communicate a political message. Sporting Gender is the first book to explore the rise to fame of female athletes in China during its national crisis of 1931-45 brought on by the Japanese invasion. By re-mapping lives and careers of individual female athletes, administrators, and film actors within a wartime context, Gao shows how these women coped with the conflicting demands of nationalist causes, unwanted male attention, and modern fame. While addressing the themes of state control, media influence, fashion, and changes in gender roles, she argues that the athletic female form helped to create a new ideal of modern womanhood in China at time when women’s emancipation and national needs went hand in hand. This book brings vividly to life the histories of these athletes and demonstrates how intertwined they were with the aims of the state and the needs of society. —University of British Columbia Press{chop}  

Books

11.06.13

The Birth of Chinese Feminism

Edited by Lydia H. Liu, Rebecca E. Karl, Dorothy Y. Ko
He-Yin Zhen (ca. 1884-ca.1920) was a theorist who figured centrally in the birth of Chinese feminism. Unlike her contemporaries, she was concerned less with China’s fate as a nation and more with the relationship among patriarchy, imperialism, capitalism, and gender subjugation as global historical problems. This volume, the first translation and study of He-Yin’s work in English, critically reconstructs early twentieth-century Chinese feminist thought in a transnational context by juxtaposing He-Yin Zhen’s writing against works by two better-known male interlocutors of her time.The editors begin with a detailed analysis of He-Yin Zhen’s life and thought. They then present annotated translations of six of her major essays, as well as two foundational tracts by her male contemporaries, Jin Tianhe (1874-1947) and Liang Qichao (1873–1929), to which He-Yin’s work responds and with which it engages. Jin, a poet and educator, and Liang, a philosopher and journalist, understood feminism as a paternalistic cause that liberals like themselves should defend. He-Yin presents an alternative conception that draws upon anarchism and other radical trends. Ahead of her time, He-Yin Zhen complicates conventional accounts of feminism and China’s history, offering original perspectives on sex, gender, labor, and power that remain relevant today.  —Columbia University Press{chop}

For China, a New Kind of Feminism

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
Sheryl Sandberg’s brand of self-strengthening feminism has made its way to China, receiving mixed, but generally positive, reactions among various audiences.

Media

07.15.13

A Rite of Passage to Nowhere

Ying Zhu & Frances Hisgen
Tiny Times, a Chinese feature film set in contemporary Shanghai, made headline news on its opening day in late June by knocking the Hollywood blockbuster Man of Steel from its perch atop the domestic box-office and breaking the opening-day record...

Women in China Leadership Fewer Than Under Mao

Michael Forsythe and Penny Peng
Bloomberg
The chart of the day shows the falling percentage of women in the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee, a group of about 200 members that includes all seven men on the nation’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing...

Culture

09.24.12

Wrapped Up: An Interview with Lin Tianmiao

Sun Yunfan
Lin Tianmiao was born in Taiyuan, Shanxi in 1961 to an artistic family. Her father was a traditional painter and her mother a dancer. In the 1980s, she married video artist Wang Gongxin, moved to New York, and became a textile designer. It wasn’t...

The Bottom of the Well

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
Do Chinese women, as the Communist Party has held for decades, “hold up half the sky?” Or, like the frog at the bottom of a well in a famous Daoist legend, do they see only a little blue patch? Why is it that tens of millions of them are said to be...