In the last decade, the PRC has seen a growing number of social controversies, grassroots campaigns, and cultural phenomena related to gender and women’s rights. While this new wave of “gender awakening” is a decade-long process, the detention of the Feminist Five in 2015 marked a watershed moment in Chinese gender politics. Since then, on the one hand, the state has tightened its grip on political activism, and activists find it harder and harder, if not impossible, to explicitly carry the label of “feminism” to organize campaigns. On the other hand, we have seen the continuation of Internet based, decentralized, and spontaneous activism around issues about women’s rights and gender inequality, and some are even “mainstreamed” and co-opted by government and corporate power. This talk offers an overview of the state of gender politics in China by focusing on the rise of “made-in-China” feminism, that is, Chinese women’s actions and cries that do not necessarily self-label as “feminism” in a political sense. It then analyzes these phenomena in the broader context of China’s widening class inequalities and simmering crisis of social reproduction.
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Date: Saturday, February 6, 2021
Time: 2 p.m. CET/Europe – 9 p.m. CST/China – 8 a.m. EDT/U.S.
Topic: Gender Awakening, Care Crisis, and “Made-in-China”-Feminism
Speaker: Yige DONG
Moderators: Jule Müller + Ralf Ruckus
Reading list for the event’s Q&A:
Does China Have a Feminist Movement from the Left? (Yige DONG)
The Making of ‘Made-in-China-Feminism’ (Angela Xiao WU + Yige DONG)
What is Made-in-China-Feminism(s)? Gender discontent and class friction in post-socialist China (Angela Xiao WU + Yige DONG)
The speaker: Yige DONG is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Gender & Sexuality Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. She obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include feminist political economy, labor, gender relations, and contentious politics. Beside academic writing, she has published essays and given talks on labor, gender issues, and Chinese feminism on various public platforms. She is on the editorial board of the Made in China Journal.
For other events, please, see the “China and the Left”-series page.