Issue 1: Chinese Feminism Beyond Borders

September 3, 2017


Our first issue explores Chinese feminism beyond borders. We are interested in how feminist activists from China engage ideas from feminist movements abroad, promote their work to international audiences, and get involved in and show solidairty with feminist movements around the world. 


We asked our contributors to share their thoughts on what it means for Chinese feminists to do feminist work beyond their national borders, and how this global engagement shapes feminism and feminist activism in China.


In part one, Harriet Evans traces out the development of feminism in modern China, as well as some of the similarities and differences across different generations of feminists. She argues that the empowering potential of transnational feminist alliances marks a new phase in the history of Chinese feminism.


Part two, written by Li Maizi, examines the changing landscape of feminist activism in China. She describes how the detention of the Feminist Five on the eve of International Women's Day in 2015 represented a turning point for feminist activism in China, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities it created.


The third part of the issue comes from Sharon Wesoky, and reflects on change and continuity in Chinese feminism from the Mao-era to the present. She argues that feminist activists working to identify and dismantle sources of gender inequality in China today navigate a complicated relationship between the Party-state and "the transnational".


In part four, Dilnur Reyhan describes how Wechat groups provided an important space for Uyghur women from the diaspora and within the PRC to come together and discuss a wide range of social issues, including women's rights. However, as Reyhan notes, heavy state censorship of Uyghur cyberspace in recent years has made these connections more difficult to maintain.


In the final part of this issue, Dian Dian shares their own personal experiences of being a queer feminist in the United States. They reflect on how they came to feminism through their mother, their encounters with U.S.-originated ideas about gender and sexuality, and how terminology and theory travels across different contexts. 










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