Contrary to (mainly western) feminist paradigms, for Chinese women the advent of birth control is not automatically synonymous with “freedom”. Within the collective cultural memory, family planning holds the cultural weight of painful state control, as legislation to reduce family sizes in the early Maoist period was enforced through forceful means.
Tag: Women of China
Closer Look: Xiaolu Guo
“You know it’s illegal to possess two passports as a Chinese citizen?” I saw her take out a large pair of scissors and decisively cut the corner off my Chinese passport. She then threw it back out at me. It landed before me on the counter, disfigured and invalid. Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese filmmaker [...]
Hedonism, Reproductive Health, and Fighting Repatriation: Lijia Zhang on her Debut Novel Lotus (Interview: Part 3)
They refuse to use femidoms because they are too big to swallow. In a raid, sex workers will swallow any condoms they have on their person, because condoms (used or unused) will be used as hard evidence by the police.
Closer Look: Jin Xing, China’s first transgender woman
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
I say ‘gender equality’; you say ‘women in power!’
There are a bunch of ways to measure gender equality. While some believe that giving women the right to vote solved that problem long ago, women are still a long way from equal representation in politics. Why's equal representation important? Women politicians are far more likely to hold women's best interests at heart. Without women's participation in [...]