‘Like a movement’: Beijing exhibition aims to keep #MeToo alive in China
In a darkened room, pieces of paper with pencils stabbed through the middle tell the stories of sexual abuse and harassment. On the floor, speakers play a loop of monologues from victims. In another corner, a giant mosaic spells the English word “Resist.” These are installations at an exhibit named “Her Story – Eliminating Gender Violence 2020,” an exhibition launched by feminism activists in Beijing that ran between November 25 and December 1.  The display followed their #MeToo exhibit last year that was displayed in five locations across China, said one of the curators, who only wants to be referred to as Jing. China’s #MeToo movement started in 2018, when Luo Xixi, a Beihang University gr
China's working moms still being held back
Motherhood is still a barrier to Chinese women in the workplace, a survey has warned.  Researchers questioned more than 8,000 professional women, and found that almost half (48%) took at least a year off work after giving birth with one in five becoming stay-at-home moms for several years.  "I never thought one day I would become a full-time mom, but it actually happened," said one woman, who was looking to get back to work after spending three years at home.  A third of the mothers admitted that their priorities had changed after giving birth, but just under 40% said they had little choice but to stay at home because the fathers were too busy at work.  Chinese women are legally entitled to
Empowering Chinese women one monologue at a time
A new TV series in China has struck a chord with contemporary female audiences for its ability to critique women’s social issues with subtlety and precision.  The show, titled Hear Her, features 8 monologues, each headlined by a different famous actress, who delivers a commentary on subjects such as beauty standards, domestic violence and a family’s preference for sons, among other topics. In the first episode, released on November 17, actress Qi Xi acts as a woman with little confidence and spends more than two hours applying makeup every day. In the scene, Qi was preparing herself to go to a school reunion, to show off in front of classmates who used to bully her, only to find out that sh
China’s female comedians turning patriarchy into punchlines
When Chinese female stand-up comedian Yang Li asked on stage, “Why are men so mediocre but still so confident?” some people were amused, while others were hostile. “This is the funniest sentence of this year,” one person said on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “If some men can share a bit of their confidence with me, I won’t feel inferior and anxious about my trivial shortcomings.” Chu Yin, a male law professor in Beijing, fired back: “A man doesn’t need to be special to be confident in front of you.” He continued: “A man may be average, but you are likely ugly without make-up.” It was not the first time Yang’s comments had caused a buzz online. With a style described as delivering the
School principal sparks debate about becoming housewife
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. Girls’ school principal told housewife alumni to “get out” The principal of the first publicly funded girls' high school in China has triggered a heated debate on the internet by saying she is against her students becoming housewives, and that she despises them for relying on their husbands.  Zhang Guimei, the school principal of Huaping Senior High School for Girls in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, has been praised by Chinese state media in the past as an educator well-known for her contribution to changi
College students push back on period shaming and a three-child policy gets panned
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. Sanitary pads for everyone College students across China have taken it upon themselves to set up public dispensers to supply free sanitary pads. The goals of those dispensers, often a box or a bag hanging on the wall near the restrooms, is to normalize menstruation and ease the embarrassment for students who did not have hygiene products.  Many people recalled childhood memories of trying to hide sanitary products when getting one for themselves or borrowing from others.  “One of my former colleagues wouldn’t dare to ca
Menstruation is holding back girls in parts of China. These teens try to help
When the fundraising campaign started last week, 17-year-old high school student Joyce Peng thought the target might have been too ambitious. The plan was to raise 90,000 yuan ($13,100) for sanitary products for girls in a remote, mountainous part of southwest China. Joyce and her friends, part of a feminist club called Stand TogetHer in Chengdu, Sichuan province, launched the online charity campaign. Their doubts were quickly erased. In just over a day, the group raised just under 125,000 yuan ($18,240) to help 700 impoverished girls at a primary school in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, one of the poorest parts of the country, access sanitary products. “I’m very excited and so happy,”
Game developer’s sexual comments spark gender debate
A series of vulgar remarks from the founder of a Chinese gaming company has ignited a debate about the persistent mistreatment of female gamers and sparked calls for a boycott. On the day his company released a trailer for a much-anticipated new game, Feng Ji said it had attracted so many job applicants that he had been “licked so much that [he] could no longer get erected.” In another post about the trailer, Feng said, “Now I feel pressure in my pants!" The trailer for the game, called Black Myth: Wukong, generated buzz in the gaming community with breathtaking animations. Feng’s posts may jeopardize the commercial success of the game, which has no release date yet. The comments sparked a
Deaths of wives prompt outrage over violence against women
A series of cases in which husbands reportedly killed their wives in China have prompted online outrage over persistent domestic violence and the lack of legal protection for women. Domestic violence has been a persistent problem in China, and a new generation of feminists are pushing back against what they say is structural gender inequality that leads to women’s vulnerability to spousal violence.  More women are reporting domestic violence incidents and expressing outrage over a new law that mandates a 30-day cooling-off period for couples seeking a divorce. They argue that the rule would make it harder for women to escape abusive marriages.  The recent string of murders has only galvanize
Alleged sexual abuse of teen girl prompts calls to raise age of consent
In a case that has thrown a spotlight on China’s age of consent laws, a businessman has denied accusations that he assaulted a 14-year-old girl and described the relationship as romantic. The alleged victim, who is now 18, told Chinese media outlets South Reviews and Thepaper.cn in April that the man, who adopted her in 2015, sexually assaulted her over the course of more than three years. She said the assault first took place when she was 14 years old. Lawyers say the businessman, Bao Yuming, may be able to defend himself by asserting the alleged sex was consensual. The case is being investigated by police in the eastern city of Yantai, where Bao lives.  In a response to South Reviews, Bao