China’s Feminist Awakening

By XIAO MEILI

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/opinion/xiao-meili-chinas-feminist-awakening.html?_r=1

BEIJING — I didn’t think much of it when the police took away five of my friends and fellow feminist activists in early March for planning a protest against sexual harassment on public transportation in Beijing. Similar arrests had happened to all of us before, and we were always let go after a few hours of interrogation. But when my friends didn’t come home that evening or the following day, I realized it was different this time. Given that I had planned and participated in many activities with them, I worried that I could be the next target and be forced to provide “evidence” against my friends. So, I fled Beijing and went into hiding.

The arrests sparked nationwide online protests and petitions by young people, especially university students. We hadn’t expected that the international community would also react so strongly: Human rights organizations and Western leaders, such as Hillary Clinton, voiced their condemnation. The domestic and international pressure led to my friends’ release after a month of detention. Of course, it didn’t help that the police also failed to gather any concrete criminal evidence against them.

I’ve since returned to Beijing, but this incident prompted me to examine my own activism and question whether I have made the right choices. When I was growing up in the 1990s in Sichuan Province, I found many cultural traditions and practices puzzling. At home, I addressed my mothers’ parents as “waipo” and “waigong,” or “outside grandma” and “outside grandpa,” because I was told that my father’s family mattered more. In school, my teachers held higher academic expectations for boys than they did for girls because they believed boys were smarter than girls.

While applying for college, many universities openly excluded girls from majors such as marine engineering and geological exploration, and lowered admissions standards for boys who chose to study foreign languages and broadcast journalism, which historically attract girls. I constantly saw want ads that either excluded women or specified that women applicants needed to be tall and attractive.

Many took this entrenched discrimination for granted, but I didn’t. As a sophomore in college, I became interested in feminism and began reading Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” and other famous feminist works. I enjoyed watching foreign movies that depicted women championing social justice and gender equality. Like a nearsighted person with new glasses, I began to see clearly, and many of the things that puzzled me growing up were explained by feminism.

In the fall of 2011, I met Li Tingting, one of the arrested activists. Ms. Li, who had campaigned for women’s issues for several years, introduced me to a circle of like-minded women and a whole new world of activism.

My friends, most of whom were born in the 1980s and ’90s, and I have had a good education and we could easily find “nice” and “stable” jobs. Our parents have always exhorted us to live normal lives and not to poke our noses into things that don’t concern us. But instead of pursuing lucrative corporate positions, getting married and having children, we choose to become full-time women’s rights campaigners.

In China today, women face widespread discrimination at work; many companies refuse to even hire women. Sexual harassment is commonplace. Domestic violence is pervasive. According to a 2013 multi-country study conducted by the United Nations, more than 50 percent of Chinese men have physically or sexually abused their partners.

Some friends advise us to advance our cause by “quietly” lobbying the government or by pushing for changes within the system by becoming government employees. But in a country where the government still exerts tight control over ideology, those inside the system rarely find the courage to speak up.

Many women before us have taken the accommodationist route, but little has changed. Strong public pressure is necessary. We cannot afford to go about our campaign quietly.

Since public protests and demonstrations are banned, we rely on a unique platform — performance art — to challenge social conditions. We’ve taken our message to the streets and subways and fought for a safe public space for women.

The first public performance project I took part in targeted rampant domestic violence. Donning bridal gowns splattered with fake blood, we marched down a crowded Beijing shopping street, carrying signs that read “Love is not an excuse for violence” and urged residents to be vigilant against domestic abuse. Through the “Occupy Men’s Toilet” campaign, we called attention to a more mundane issue: the unfair ratio of male to female toilet stalls in public places. In another action, we shaved our heads to protest discrimination in college admissions.

And last year, I trekked more than 1,200 miles, crossing 55 cities to raise awareness about the high rates of child sex-abuse in China’s schools. The government, rather than fixing the system and punishing the perpetrators, simply blames the victims.

Our presence on the streets and in the media appears to be influencing decision-making. In recent years, several universities abolished their discriminatory admission policies. Beijing is said to be building new toilets for women, and some universities are converting toilets to increase the ratio for women. The top legislature is considering a domestic violence law.

Our actions have irked some chauvinists, who have threatened and harassed us on social media. The police have warned us against the evil influence of “hostile forces” in the West and began monitoring our phones and email.

The arrest of my five friends, which occurred in the days before International Women’s Day, showed that the government has become scared of a group of young women because of our ability to mobilize a large network of supporters. They were incarcerated on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” even though the event was still in the planning stage and our past activities were carried out peacefully. The police punished my friends to intimidate other social and political activists.

In the near future, even though we may have to adjust our strategies to cope with this tough environment, we’ll never give up. We hope the international community will not either.

Feminism was never a taboo topic in China because our messages were consistent with those of the government, which calls itself an advocate of women’s rights. But all that changed with the arrest of what the media dubbed the “Feminist Five.” In an unexpected way, the police helped create more public interest in feminism in China.

———-

See Ya!

Hey everyone! I’m going back to China during summer break and since we cannot log on to the wordpress in China so I guess I’ll see you guys this September!

My flight is in 12 hours and it will last for at least 18 hours!! Okay good luck to me and hope you all have a sweeeeeeet summer!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment! Bye!

Where to start? Where to end?

From my recent research about feminism in China, I see some limits under China’s economic, political and social modernization. Some feminists say that there are less feminists in China because China’s traditional culture tells women to be virtuous, gentle and soft. It is an important reason, but we are in modern society now, there must be some more important limits except the “tradition” — China’s political law and economic system.

As I mentioned before, the law in China says that if the forst child of a couple who live in the countryside is a girl, then they can have have another child. However we all know China’s “planned parenthood” or “birth control” limits that every couple can only have one child no matter the child is a boy or a girl (unless the child is disable). For couples in urban area, it is unfair. Also, why they can have the second child if the first one is a girl, not a boy? Or both? Is is a discrimination to girls?

Socialists tell us 64% Chinese are peasantry, the grain produced by them is feeding the whole China’s people. the government allowed parents in countryside have two babies because there is a lot of farm work in countryside, and if a couple only has a daughter, the daughter probably cannot finish the manual work. A boy will be needed in their family to lighten the girl’s burden. It is true but we ignored one problem — in general, a girl cannot be stronger than a boy. However the basic distribution method among the world is, more pay for more work, less pay for less work. This rule is disadvantageous for women. The characteristic of women is careful, considerate, care about details. There is no way that women can work as much as men. I think if we are pursuing the real equality between men and women, the first thing we want to do is to change the way they are distributed. More work doesn’t mean better work, why we cannot change the distribution method as “more pay for better work”?

There are more girls challenging the traditional Chinese women’s figure. Manly girls, leftover ladies, and green tea bitches are some example. Manly girls tell us girls are not weak, we can do things independently and survive better than men. Leftover ladies tell us age is not important for women, it changes your beauty but inside you are still the proud girl who never gives up. Marriage is about happiness, not about age. Green tea bitches show us they are the master of their vagina and they have sex based on their own opinion, not men’s. Although in some Chinese’s eyes these girls are being criticized, but these adorable ladies actually changing the feminism in China.

China now is the America about 15 years ago. We can see the feminism’s future in China, it is rising.

Feminism in China: Risky, But Rising

http://msmagazine.com/blog/2014/08/25/feminism-in-china-risky-but-rising/

vachina

This summer I taught a course on American education policy at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China, with 55 undergraduates, mostly women, who were smart, inquisitive and surprisingly bold.  Despite the lack of support for women’s rights in the country, several of them identified as feminists, and many chanced government backlash by writing about wanting more rights in education, marriage and employment in the course’s online discussion board and on social media sites such as Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter.

During my three weeks there, I found that under China’s economic, political and social modernization, the most profound change may be the burgeoning number of feminists. While feminism as a widespread and cohesive political movement has yet to arrive in China, young college women are getting out their messages of gender equality on the Web. For example, last year at the prestigious Beijing Foreign Studies University, 17 female students  promoted an upcoming performance of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues by holding up signs that read “My Vagina Says: I Want Freedom” and postedphotographs of themselves with the signs on Chinese social media.

In 2013, after the Women’s Legal Research and Service Center revealed widespread gender discrimination in college entrances that left women who scored much higher than men on the gaokao (the all-important national college admissions test) out of the top institutions,  some young women shaved their heads in protest and posted their photographs on social media platforms.

Twenty-something college students are also getting offline and staging protests in public areas. This past spring, just before I arrived in China, six topless women stood on a roadside in Guangzhou displaying signs that called for female equality. Similarly, activists occupied men’s toilets in a Guangzhou park to demand more public toilet stalls for women.

It’s not just college women who are risking taking action. Urban pockets of Chinese women are following Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s mantra of “leaning in” or, in the Chinese translation, “taking one step forward.” Following the release of the Chinese version of Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, “lean-in circles” have sprung up in Beijing and other large cities with well-educated, ambitious, striving women. One young woman in my summer course explained how there were a handful of these circles in Xi’an, mostly comprised of students and young professional women. She didn’t think that they were doing anything that would be censored by the government, but one can never be sure, she warned.

All of this is remarkable because gender discrimination seems to be increasing in China since economic reforms began in the late 1970s. Alicia Leung, a researcher on the women’s movement in China, argues that gains made by women in China are limited by the patriarchy. As shown in the2009 work of Lily Harper Hinton [pdf], then a postgraduate researcher at Victoria University of Wellington, women’s wages in China have lost ground to men’s. Their rights to marital property were reduced in 2011, leaving most of China’s assets in the hands of men. Only two women serve on the Politburo, and the party’s central committee of 200 officials now has less than 5 percent women, a figure lower than during Mao’s reign.

The feminism of Chinese women is also remarkable because being a feminist in China is risky. Women’s rights activists are pressured, harassed and punished by the government, especially if their activism involves collective action, public protests or is seen by the ruling Communist Party as threatening social stability. The Party often shuts down group demonstrations and places strict enforcements on the Internet.

Clearly, isolated protests by college and urban women and growing global recognition of Chinese women’s activists do not necessarily equate to the rise of women’s status in China.  Significant improvements in that status will require changes in attitudes that are deeply embedded in the country’s culture and history. But the young women I taught are ready for that challenge. They reason that time and the Internet are in their favor. Because things are changing so quickly in China, and globalization has already placed China in the world’s view, they believe that a large-scale wave of feminism is inevitable in their lifetimes.  Of course, they hope it is sooner rather than later.

As the international community remains highly attuned to the economic and political rise of China, we should also watch and cheer for feminists who are pushing against the country’s entrenched gender inequalities and misogynist leanings. And let’s help them by publicly opposing the Chinese government’s restriction of online communications, because that is their lifeline for activism. The students in my upcoming fall courses in Arizona will freely debate issues about social inequities, including gender discrimination, online. Shouldn’t Chinese students have the same right?

Top: Chinese versions of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues have been performed in the country for more than 10 years.

Jill Koyama, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in educational policy studies and practice at the University of Arizona. She is a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project. She is coeditor of U.S. Education in a World of Migration: Implications for Policy and Practice.

Where are China’s feminists?

Employment rates and wages for women are dropping

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/opinions/where-are-chinas-feminists

On a chilly January evening, three women sat in a restaurant in Beijing’s posh Sanlitun neighbourhood, lost in thought as they gazed at their half-finished plates of organic pasta. Fashionably dressed and in their midtwenties, Allison, Yolanda and Maggie are the organisers of “Lean In Beijing,” a women’s professional development group named after the best-selling self-help book by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and one of the world’s most influential feminist voices.

In her book Sandberg urges women to pursue their careers rather than allowing themselves to fall victim to gender biases in the workplace or at home. Her message has found a passionate audience in the US and abroad. There are now over 14,000 “Lean In Circles” around the world, where women meet to keep one another focused on their professional goals.

The Beijing circle, which was founded last summer, received a big boost in September, when Sandberg visited the city to promote the Chinese version of her book, and more than 800 fans flocked to hear her speech at Peking University. Just a few months later, however, the organisers are worried that the energy is already faltering.

“We have circles in several universities in Beijing,” said Allison. “But the problem is, no one is willing to lead them.”

“If I were them, I would not want to lead either,” Yolanda said. “They [the students] are thinking: ‘I have so much on my plate already. I don’t know who you are, and you expect me to lead a group?’ ”

Feminism as a coherent civil and political movement has never arrived in China. Among the majority of Chinese women, even white-collar professionals who face the kind of career challenges Sandberg addresses, her message of female selfempowerment can sound distant, even out of touch. There are a number of native factors, such as China’s cultural tradition, its corporate environment, and a weak civil society, that make it difficult for feminism to take hold here.

There is little question that Chinese women would benefit from such a movement. A study in 2010 showed that China’s urban employment rate for working-age women stood at 60.8 per cent, down from 77.4 percent 20 years earlier. Women’s wages as a proportion of men’s also dropped from 84 to 74 percent between 1995 and 2007.

The reasons for this shift are complex, but one crucial factor is rising wage levels for middle class jobs, which make it easier for a family to live on a single breadwinner’s income. The result is that there is less immediate need for both the husband and wife to work, and so more women have opted out of the workforce, since they are still expected to do the majority of the housework and childcare at home.

As Communist ideology recedes in present- day China, traditional gender roles have regained sway. “The whole of society is telling you, why do you need to be so successful as a woman?” said Yolanda, who works in a hospitality company. “In China, feminists are seen as weirdoes.”

Rigid corporate culture allows little room for change, especially inside China’s stateowned sectors, which attract the top graduates. “I can’t negotiate my salary, it’s decided by my hours,” said Allison about her job at a state bank. “My boss doesn’t encourage us to take initiative. It’s better to take orders.” This image of women as passive and subservient is reinforced in state-owned newspapers and television. Instead of encouraging women to pursue their career, Chinese media throws around words such as “left-over” women, stigmatising educated women who are in their late twenties and still single. “Left-over women should pay attention to their own shortcomings,” reads an article in a provincial Chinese newspaper. “Successful men and women need to conform to the standards of good husbands and wives.”

Many Chinese women, internalising social expectations, decide early on that they would prefer a less intense domestic lifestyle to the cut-throat competition in the professional world.

“In China, many tell themselves: ‘Well, [Lean In] is not the kind of life I want anyway,’” said Maggie, the third organiser at the Lean In meeting. Allison agrees. “We want to spread the idea of Lean In to those who are ready for it,” she said. “If they are not, it’s very difficult to force it onto them.”

Still, there exists a cohort of women who have achieved dazzling professional success, especially in business. China has “more self-made female business billionaires than any other country in the world,” according to Newsweek. These individuals range from real estate moguls to restaurateurs. Though they may not view themselves as self-styled feminists, as many western female business leaders such as Sandberg do, they have nonetheless overcome China’s societal and institutional obstacles to become symbols of hope for aspirational women.

The Lean In leaders are still optimistic about the future. “I believe feminism is an unstoppable trend in the long run,” said Allison. And her confidence recently received a further boost. In early January, a 23-yearold woman won an out of court settlement after she filed what is believed to be China’s first gender discrimination lawsuit. A recent university graduate from Shanxi province, Cao Ju was turned down from a job at a private tutoring firm only because, as she was told by the firm, “the position requires a man.”

Instead of accepting the injustice, as many other female job seekers have done, Cao decided to find a lawyer. “I believe I am qualified for the job,” Cao told a Chinese newspaper. “I am female, and that should never be a problem.”

China’s ‘Green Tea Girls’ – love them or hate them

 SINGAPORE SHOWBIZ, AUG. 26, 2013

https://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/blogs/singapore-showbiz/china-green-tea-girls-love-them-hate-them-092113546.html

She has the innocent face of an angel, complete with a creamy complexion, beautiful silky long hair and perfect skin. But under that unambitious and pure looking facade lies a climber of the social ladder and a gold digging monster whose main goal is to snag a rich boyfriend or husband.

In China, this woman is known as a 绿茶婊 (lu cha biao) or Green Tea B*tch — a derogatory term that has been spreading like wildfire on Chinese social networking site Weibo, as well as online news portals.

The term first appeared online when angry netizens read about “sex parties” in Sanya, Hainan — attended by rich, second-generation young men driving super cars and gold-digging “models”.

Shanghai Daily reported allegations about a party where the “models” were paid US$97,000 for participating in three-night sex parties where over 2,000 condoms were used per party.

The male participants? Allegedly members of China’s Sports Car Club, super rich young men who own at least a Porsche Carrera 911 and who can fork out an RMB10,000 membership fee a year, or half the annual income of an urban resident in China.

The scandal sparked off the term “Green Tea B*tches”, typified by the girl-like, innocent looks favoured by these models.

Contradicting characteristics

According to netizens, additional attributes of these Green Tea ladies are that they work hard to appear like they have virtually no make-up on to convey an “untouched” look and like to pose with sad or vulnerable expressions which encourage protective feelings in unsuspecting men.

“The Green Tea B*tch loves to adopt a wide-eyed look, and will stare at other people, especially men, with doe-eyed expressions. Next to men, she will appear bubbly and lively but if she is with women, she will be sullen and bored,” reads a popular “Green Tea List” circulating on Weibo.com.

“She needs to be really artful with her makeup skills, so despite her wearing a lot of foundation, men will somehow say she looks barefaced and natural,” states another bizarre “list” that has received over 1,000 likes.

“Pretending to be simple and pretty to the point of hypocrisy,” another China netizen said, summing up the Green Tea B*tch.

Beijing-born model Sun Jing Ya, 25, is one of those who have been branded with the term.

Her Baidu profile lists her hobbies as “shopping, listening to music, and travelling to Paris” while her favourite brands are Chanel, Dior and luxury skincare brand La Prairie.

Sun says her friends see her as a “romantic, positive, carefree and active” person.

While her skimpy barely-there outfits and dreamy posts, which muse on the meaning of life may have gotten the men intrigued, Sun has been the target of hate campaigns online. Netizens are saying that she is with a man who has a had a sex change, and most recently, as being HIV-positive.

Despite all the vitriol and hate directed towards the Green Tea Girls, China’s netizens can’t get enough of them — on Instagram, many have upwards of 60,000 followers who frequently make rude comments on their self-taken sexy-kitten photos but still feverishly follow their lives with morbid interest.

Variants of Green Tea Girls

The term has spawned off a whole new sub-culture of slang used to describe different women.

The “Coffee B*tch” is used to describe high-end office ladies who like to speak in a mix of English and Chinese and love taking photos of themselves enjoying the high life.

The “Black Tea B*tch” on the other hand, is a rougher version of her Green Tea counterparts, applying thick eye make-up, and openly smoking and drinking while wearing revealing clothes.

Finally, the “Milk Tea B*tch” is typified by a woman who talks in a child-like lisp and affects a generous and giving nature to everyone around her with the aim of attracting men who will shower attention and gifts on her.

Do you think these women exist in Singapore’s culture or do you know someone like them?

China’s ‘leftover women’, unmarried at 27 By Mary Kay Magistad

 PRI’s The World, Beijing, 21 February 2013
Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21320560

Over 27? Unmarried? Female? In China, you could be labelled a “leftover woman” by the state – but some professional Chinese women these days are happy being single.

Huang Yuanyuan is working late at her job in a Beijing radio newsroom. She’s also stressing out about the fact that the next day, she’ll turn 29.

“Scary. I’m one year older,” she says. “I’m nervous.”

Why?

“Because I’m still single. I have no boyfriend. I’m under big pressure to get married.”

Huang is a confident, personable young woman with a good salary, her own apartment, an MA from one of China’s top universities, and a wealth of friends.

Still, she knows that these days, single, urban, educated women like her in China are called “sheng nu” or “leftover women” – and it stings.

She feels pressure from her friends and her family, and the message gets hammered in by China’s state-run media too.

Even the website of the government’s supposedly feminist All-China Women’s Federation featured articles about “leftover women” – until enough women complained.

State-run media started using the term “sheng nu” in 2007. That same year the government warned that China’s gender imbalance – caused by selective abortions because of the one-child policy – was a serious problem.

National Bureau of Statistics data shows there are now about 20 million more men under 30 than women under 30.

“Ever since 2007, the state media have aggressively disseminated this term in surveys, and news reports, and columns, and cartoons and pictures, basically stigmatising educated women over the age of 27 or 30 who are still single,” says Leta Hong-Fincher, an American doing a sociology PhD at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Census figures for China show that around one in five women aged 25-29 is unmarried.

The proportion of unmarried men that age is higher – over a third. But that doesn’t mean they will easily match up, since Chinese men tend to “marry down”, both in terms of age and educational attainment.

“There is an opinion that A-quality guys will find B-quality women, B-quality guys will find C-quality women, and C-quality men will find D-quality women,” says Huang Yuanyuan. “The people left are A-quality women and D-quality men. So if you are a leftover woman, you are A-quality.”

But it’s the “A-quality” of intelligent and educated women that the government most wants to procreate, according to Leta Hong-Fincher. She cites a statement on population put out by the State Council – China’s cabinet – in 2007.

“It said China faced unprecedented population pressures, and that the overall quality of the population is too low, so the country has to upgrade the quality of the population.”

Some local governments in China have taken to organising matchmaking events, where educated young women can meet eligible bachelors.

The goal is not only to improve the gene pool, believes Fincher, but to get as many men paired off and tied down in marriage as possible – to reduce, as far as possible, the army of restless, single men who could cause social havoc.

But the tendency to look down on women of a certain age who aren’t married isn’t exclusively an attitude promoted by the government.

Chen (not her real name), who works for an investment consulting company, knows this all too well.

She’s single and enjoying life in Beijing, far away from parents in a conservative southern city who, she says, are ashamed that they have an unmarried 38-year-old daughter.

“They don’t want to take me with them to gatherings, because they don’t want others to know they have a daughter so old but still not married,” she says.

“They’re afraid their friends and neighbours will regard me as abnormal. And my parents would also feel they were totally losing face, when their friends all have grandkids already.”

Chen’s parents have tried setting her up on blind dates. At one point her father threatened to disown her if she wasn’t married before the end of the year.

Now they say if she’s not going to find a man, she should come back home and live with them.

Chen knows what she wants – someone who is “honest and responsible”, and good company, or no-one at all.

20140328073619849

Meanwhile, the state-run media keep up a barrage of messages aimed at just this sort of “picky” educated woman.

“Pretty girls do not need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family. But girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult,” reads an excerpt from an article titled, Leftover Women Do Not Deserve Our Sympathy, posted on the website of the All-China Federation of Women in March 2011.

It continues: “These girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realise that as women age, they are worth less and less. So by the time they get their MA or PhD, they are already old – like yellowed pearls.”

Ouch.

The All-China Federation of Women used to have more than 15 articles on its website on the subject of “leftover women” – offering tips on how to stand out from a crowd, matchmaking advice, and even a psychological analysis of why a woman would want to marry late.

In the last few months, it has dropped the term from its website, and now refers to “old” unmarried women (which it classes as over 27, or sometimes over 30), but the expression remains widely used elsewhere.

“It’s caught on like a fad, but it belittles older, unmarried women – so the media should stop using this term, and should instead respect women’s human rights,” says Fan Aiguo, secretary general of the China Association of Marriage and Family Studies, an independent group that is part of the All-China Federation of Women.

If it sounds odd to call women “leftover” at 27 or 30, China has a long tradition of women marrying young. But the age of marriage has been rising, as it often does in places where women become more educated.

xinsrc_5520107280818343277537

In 1950, the average age for urban Chinese women to marry for the first time was just under 20. By the 1980s it was 25, and now it’s… about 27.

A 29-year-old marketing executive, who uses the English name Elissa, says being single at her age isn’t half bad.

“Living alone, I can do whatever I like. I can hang out with my good friends whenever I like,” she says. “I love my job, and I can do a lot of stuff all by myself – like reading, like going to theatres.

“I have many single friends around me, so we can spend a lot of time together.”

Sure, she says, during a hurried lunch break, her parents would like her to find someone, and she has gone on a few blind dates, for their sake. But, she says, they’ve been a “disaster”.

“I didn’t do these things because I wanted to, but because my parents wanted it, and I wanted them to stop worrying. But I don’t believe in the blind dates. How can you get to know a person in this way?”

Elissa says she’d love to meet the right man, but it will happen when it happens. Meanwhile, life is good – and she has to get back to work.

Mary Kay Magistad is the East Asia correspondent for The World – a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH

“Manly Girl” Nv Han Zi 女汉子 (nǚ hàn zi)

Nv Han Zi 女汉子 (nǚ hàn zi)
November 29, 2013
Editor: Leo Yin
Link: http://www.womenofchina.cn/womenofchina/html1/culture/hot_words/16/7688-1.htm

Nv han zi is a slang term that literally means ‘manly woman’. It refers to Chinese women who think and act like men.

Nv han zi is a popular term that many Chinese young ladies now proudly label themselves with. In contrast to the traditional Chinese female image of submissiveness and gentleness, a nv han zi is proud of the fact that she can take care of herself without a man.

The rise of nv han zi in China is no accident. Unlike in rural areas where boys are still favored over girls or during patriarchal times when women were told to follow the orders of their fathers, husbands and sons, China’s urban young women were mostly born into one-child homes and raised as ‘little empresses.’ They do not need to grow up being soft and submissive. Quite the opposite, they are in tough competition with their male counterparts in all areas of life, from play to work.

From high-salaried women who pay their own mortgage to those who run after the bus in high heels on their way to the office, it is evident that a greater number of women, especially in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, are taking control of their lives and solving problems on their own – without the help of men.

(Women of China)

u=1426296115,3238087516&fm=11&gp=0

u=167873918,2419588732&fm=21&gp=0

460

u=2765138900,2261334239&fm=21&gp=0a_219619729  u=1004032023,2058001507&fm=21&gp=0

u=1179555159,2399541728&fm=11&gp=0

re_52d8905515ad1