Talk about disappointing. Two years ago, when Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature for Frog, Westerners and Chinese were shocked and elated. The Chinese were ecstatic that a Chinese writer won the honor at all (he’s the only Chinese writer who lives in China to have ever won the prize) and Westerners were amazed that the book was “about the one-child policy and forced abortions.” Unfortunately for people who can’t read Chinese, that description was a bit of a misnomer. After waiting two years for the official English translation of Frog, I can tell you that there is …
My husband and I are gamers. It’s how we met. We have also both worked in the gaming industry here in China. So we have been following GamerGate pretty much since the beginning. If you don’t know what GamerGate is, lucky you, but keep reading to find out all about it. I wrote about it for the Shenzhen Daily last week. Long and short of it, a small group of misogynist gamers have been threatening to rape and murder any woman who critiques, develops, or even mentions video games. They even released the personal information of Felica Day, the Darling of …
I’ve been casually following the debates surrounding the topic of mothers breastfeeding in public in the U.S. I say casually because it isn’t something that affects me personally, but is a frequent topic on websites that center around women and feminism, so I read the stories but don’t generally get worked up about it. But I just read a story over on Bustle that really hit a nerve. I have never been to that site before, so I don’t know if it typically publishes this kind of garbage or if it is a fluke. The title asked “Are breastfeeding curtain …
There was a disturbing story today about how a man’s rapist was basically given a get-out-of-jail-free card on a technicality. That technicality? The fact that male-on-male rape is not considered a crime in China. Rape is one of the most common crimes in China, but it is also one of the most under-reported. China also has some of the weakest rape laws in the world, and the penalties (only 3-10 years in prison, if that) are pitiful. China does not report statistics on rape, so we have no idea just how many rapes happen every year, but even if the government …
Mara Hvistendhal’s book Unnatural Selection – Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men was quite eye opening for me. Several months ago, American-based websites and blogs that write about feminist and AAPI issues were livid over lawmakers trying to pass legislation against sex-selective abortions in America. Most decried the laws as racist, claiming there was no evidence that Asian-Americans participate in sex-selective abortions. However, that is untrue. According to the 2000 United States census, Asian-American female birthrates in the United States for second children are the exact same as in China, 117 boys for every 100 …
My surname is not my husband’s surname. My surname is not the surname I was born with. My surname I took from my first husband. I kept it after the divorce because by that time the name was mine. I went to university as Amanda Roberts. All of my years of hard work were under that name. All of my scholarship was under that name. All of my professors, professional contacts, and friends knew me by that name. My degrees are in that name. Like Tina Turner, who kept her husband’s surname after her divorce, I embraced the name as …
(It was after I started writing this that I realised just how long this post was, so I decided to break it up into two parts. Today’s post focuses on women in the show Penny Dreadful;  tomorrow’s post will focus on people of color, specifically Chinese characters, in the show.) I know a lot of people were excited about the new show Penny Dreadful. Based on the classic horror dime novels of the Victorian era, Penny Dreadfuls (or Dime Novels as we called them in States) are seen as the predecessors of today’s Steampunk genre and other books, tv shows, and …
I just read an article in the Shenzhen Daily that has me fuming. A 16-year old girl gave birth to twins on Sunday. Her 20-year old boyfriend is denying paternity and avoiding her calls, refusing to take responsibility for the children. Already, there are two problems with this story. 1) The man is not being arrested and charged with rape. Even though people in China are not considered adults until they are 18, they are considered sexually mature at 14. This is one of the reasons why China has a huge problem with teachers having sexual relations with students. Girls …
  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See is about many things: a girl growing up in rural China in the 19th century; foot binding; nushu; arranged marriages; friendship; a woman’s place in the world; refection; regret. To try and sum-up what the book is about would not do it justice; to talk about it in depth would give the plot away. See manages to talk about all these things with depth, accuracy, and care. I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. First of all, the subject of foot binding I have always found fascinating. The practice was …
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