An ad by cosmetics company SK-II recently went viral in China. The ad tackles the topic of “leftover women,” women in China who are not married by age 25. Watch the ad below. The ad has had millions of views and has sparked debate and discussion around the country. Some people believe the ad is empowering. Some think it is pandering. Personally, I think the ad is daring not only because it empowers women, but because it directly undermines the Chinese government. The derogatory term “leftover women” (剩女; shèngnǚ;) was coined over a decade ago by the All-China Women’s Association, …
On Sunday, China passed its first law prohibiting domestic violence and offering protection for victims of domestic abuse. It might be hard to believe, but before Sunday, there was no law prohibiting domestic violence in China. As far as authorities were concerned, a husband beating his wife was not breaking the law. Women who did seek help were often told to go back home to their abusers. Thanks to several high-profile cases in recent years of horrific instances of spousal and child abuse and the work of women’s rights groups, a new law is now in effect. But what does …
Over 30 years ago, a young woman named Adi in her early 20s was in a tragic accident that left her with the mind of an infant. Even though she had the body of an adult, she couldn’t care for herself or even express herself to those around her. One day, a ‘barefoot’ doctor came to her village. This man had minimal medical training, but because doctors were so rare in the Chinese countryside, the villagers accepted his help. This man claimed he could help heal Adi. Her parents trusted him. Over time, the man began to claim that he …
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 …
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 …
What the Vagina say? According to female students from Beijing Foreign Studies University, many things. To promote their upcoming performance of The Vagina Monologues (which EVERYONE should see!), the girls took pictures of themselves holding signs with phrases like “my vagina says: I can be sexy, but you can’t harass me,” and “my vagina says, “someone can enter if I say so.” Rock on, ladies! Of course, in typical misogynist fashion, many internet users have completely missed the point and have decided these girls are all sluts in need of public shaming. But unlike the sea of cowardly internet trolls out there, …
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