I was born in China. It is in China I must be reborn as a woman. Jin Xing was the first transgender person to undergo sex reassignment surgery in China with government approval, and the first whose sex change was officially recognized by the Chinese government. As a boy, Jin had an affinity for dancing and soon [...]
LGBTQ+ in China: a quick introduction
In China, the LGBTQ+ community face severe discrimination. Many LGBTQ+ people's families and communities refuse to accept their sexuality or gender identity, and therefore find themselves in compromising situations like 'fake' marriages to fulfil their filial duty. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until 2001, and some private Chinese clinics still offer 'electroshock' gay conversion therapy. [...]
Words and Women: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In the face of the proposition that feminism has become too mainstream, that feminist activism has become an empty marketing tool, Adichie responds: This idea of feminism as a party to which only a select few people get to come: this is why so many women, particularly women of colour, feel alienated from mainstream western academic [...]
Ovaries: Putting Reproductive Health on the Line at Work
I’ve vowed to myself that my body is my public, political sphere as well as my private, personal sphere. It’s my mannequin on which to display my beliefs, my vehicle in the fight for gender rights, my pathway to strength and to weakness. I’m not afraid to bare the truth to the world. What doesn’t help is feeling that the system is pitted against me because I speak a different language, because I am a foreigner, and because I am a woman.
Embracing Labels: Small Steps Toward a Big Goal
Guest Post | Alexandra Sieh Looking up from my book, I scanned the crowded subway car, eager for some good people-watching. But as a new group of folks clambered on, I cringed at some of the actions and attitudes I saw. Boyfriends pushing (excuse me, “guiding”) their girlfriend onto the train, or speaking to them [...]
Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw on Developing her own Fashion Brand in Burma (Interview: part 2)
Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw can be found at the British Embassy, working for the Department for International Development (DFID) in Yangon from 9-5, and leading her own dressmaking start-up, Virya Couture, on 39th Street every evening, juggling two completely different careers but pursuing one dream. Pyone spans sectors while securing rights for her fellow women [...]
China’s International Women’s Day in Pictures
A quick rundown of how International Women's Day looked from the perspective of women in China - in pictures. Chinese news outlet Global Times provided a timely reminder of International Men's Day | image from: twitter Global Times, a daily newspaper owned and published by the state-affiliated People's Daily, decided International Women's Day (known as [...]
Words and Women: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 24th and incumbent President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became Africa's first elected female head of state in 2005, and was re-elected in 2011. In June 2016, [...]
Sexuality, Contraception and Challenging the Patriarchy: Lijia Zhang on her debut novel Lotus (Interview: part 2)
Inspired by her grandmother’s deathbed confession of being sold to a brothel, Lijia Zhang injects her cutting social criticism into her first novel, Lotus. The book delves deep into the sex industry in contemporary Shenzhen, following a young migrant woman, Lotus, who is eager to escape her life as a prostitute.
Protesting on International Women’s Day? History is on Your Side
International Women's Day began as a day of women's protest in Europe and the United States. Celebrating this socialist holiday largely died out in the US, while communists in China have been commemorating Women's Day annually since 1922. The tables have turned this year. Women in the US are striking today, while working women in China are enjoying a half-day off work.