Tag Archives: gender

“When Delia Davin, the pioneer of Chinese women’s studies,…



“When Delia Davin, the pioneer of Chinese women’s studies, arrived in Beijing in 1963, aged 19, there were still camels carrying coal and wooden ploughs in the fields outside the city. Davin, who has died of cancer aged 72, quickly established a rapport with her students at the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, whom she found to be ‘very serious about their work, but [to] have a gaiety which saves them from being priggish’. She taught them Irish songs as well as English grammar, and one of them recited ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ to console her, the student said, for not being in England on Shakespeare’s birthday.”

For more on Davin’s work as a pioneering scholar in the intersecting fields of Women’s Studies and East Asian Studies, see her obituary, composed by John Gittings and quoted above, in The Guardian (16 October 2016) as well as an appreciation posted by scholar Gail Hershatter at H-Net (16 October 2016).

““The system makes so much sense when you think about the…



““The system makes so much sense when you think about the overall ways in which family systems have to navigate between sexual desire, stability, domesticity and claims for children…”

- Judith Stacey, Professor of Sociology (NYU), quoted in Amy Qin, “‘Kingdom of Daughters’ in China Draws Tourists to its Matrilineal Society,” NYT (25 Oct 2015)

Image: Adam Dean / The New York Times        

“As the summer warms up, bringing with it sleeveless tops, Xiao…



“As the summer warms up, bringing with it sleeveless tops, Xiao Meili, a women’s rights advocate, is collecting photos of women’s armpits. Her goal: to challenge a growing belief in China that a woman must have hair-free armpits to be attractive.“

On May 26 she began a contest on the Sina Weibo messaging site for the best photo of a woman’s unshaven armpit, and she appealed to women to post pictures online under the Chinese hashtag “women’s underarm hair contest.”…

“Men have more freedom in terms of what to do with their bodies,” Ms. Xiao said in a telephone interview. “I’m not calling on everybody to grow underarm hair. I’m just saying if some people don’t want to shave, the rest of us should not think their underarm hair is disgusting, unhygienic, uncivil or not feminine enough.”

For more, see Vanessa Piao and Didi Kirsten Tatlow, “In Women’s Rights Battle, a Call to Underarms,” The New York Times (9 June 2015)

Image: Xiao Meili

“‘China has no feminists’ is an online post that ignited much…



“‘China has no feminists’ is an online post that ignited much debate on China’s social media. Since the arrest of the so-called Feminist Five, feminism and the role of women in today’s society are recurring topics on China’s social media platforms. Is there no Chinese Feminism?”

For an exploration of the question, see Manya Koetse, Is There No Chinese Feminism?” at What’s On Weibo? (19 May 2015)

Detention of Five Chinese Feminist Activists at the Juncture of…



Detention of Five Chinese Feminist Activists at the Juncture of Beijing+20 – An Interview with Gender Scholar Wang Zheng

“You must know the global picture of women to understand the international response to the detention of the five feminists in China.”

Interview with Wang Zheng at China Change (11 April 2015)

Image credit: @LetaHong

“The young Chinese feminists shaved their heads to protest…



“The young Chinese feminists shaved their heads to protest inequality in higher education and stormed men’s restrooms to highlight the indignities women face in their prolonged waits at public toilets.To publicize domestic violence, two prominent activists, Li Tingting and Wei Tingting, put on white wedding gowns, splashed them with red paint and marched through one of the capital’s most popular tourist districts chanting, “Yes to love, no to violence.”Media-savvy, fearless and well-connected to feminists outside China, the young activists over the last three years have taken their righteous indignation to the streets, pioneering a brand of guerrilla theater familiar in the West but largely unheard-of in this authoritarian nation.Now five of them — core members of China’s new feminist movement — sit in jail, accused of provoking social instability.“

For more on the story, see Andrew Jacobs, “Taking Feminist Battle to China’s Streets, and Landing in Jail,” New York Times (5 April 2015)

Image: Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

“It took four decades and her life savings, but in June Han…



"It took four decades and her life savings, but in June Han Meimei at last held the piece of paper she wanted in her hand. After a lifetime of abuse, she was penniless and alone, but free of her violent husband.

'The happiest thing in my life was getting my divorce certificate,' said the 69-year-old from China’s northern Hebei province.

Women’s rights advocates hope future victims will not have to wait so long to live in safety; Chinese authorities recently issued the first draft law on domestic violence.”

For more, see Tania Branigan, “First Women to Benefit from New Chinese Laws on Domestic Violence,” The Guardian (31 Dec 2014)

Image credit: Michael Reynolds / EPA

“The 22-year old woman recalls facing the man whom she…



The 22-year old woman recalls facing the man whom she says raped her. They were inside the Gunpo police department on the outskirts of Seoul in 2012 and the alleged attacker asked for forgiveness.

Despite the man’s confession, the woman says a police officer tried dissuading her from pressing charges. ‘He would only spend six months in jail,’ she says the officer told her. ‘He was drunk and won’t do it again. It would be easier if you just took money from him,’ the officer allegedly said.”

For more, see Jason Strother, South Korea Struggles to Confront Stigma of Sexual Assaults - Advocates and Government Officials Say Victims Face Pressure to Drop Charges,” The Wall Street Journal (25 October 2013)

Image: Associated Press