Betraying Big Brother

目前不高兴重新写日志了,直接贴发在 Goodreads 上的评论。实际上我还有更多想法的。另外,写一遍中文的日志可能也是有意义的。目前先犯懒一下。

Does the CCP actively use the oppression of women as their tool for clinging to power and enforcing authoritarian rule? Fincher says yes. I was skeptical. Surely women are not important enough to them to be treated as enemy? But after reading the book my opinions are turned and I am conviced by the author.

The first and thrid chapters focuses on the Feminist Five. You just can’t believe what these women went through for crime such as giving out anti sexual harassment stickers. As someone who was detained (for about 5 hours) and questioned by the police for having a Twitter account, I feel their pain, humiliation and fear accurately. And I know my danger is far, far less than what they faced.

But why does the Chinese Communist Party target feminist activists? Chapters 2 and 4 describes the recent feminist awakening in China. One important idea pointed out by Lü Pin, founder of the Feminist Voices, is that –

“Most [exiled or jailed] Chinese human rights activists don’t have a large community of supporters to begin with, so they are basically independent, isolated activists and they lose their ability to mobilize people inside China,” she adds. “The feminist movement is different because we are a large community and there is a huge demand for our message.”

Chapter 5 provides a historical view of women’s role in the drastic social changes of the 19th and 20th century China. In a nutshell, on both sides of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party (CCP), feminism is a useful force in instigating social change. But male revolutionaries can hardly be expected to genuinely care for the rights of women. One of the examples were that a Kuomintang intellectual is quoted imagining freedom and dignity for the Chinese men, including a wife and children to complete his vision. As for the CCP, women were mobilized at first when power was needed, but after the power is established, earnest discussion of feminism is labelled ‘bourgeois feminism’ (anything ‘bourgeois’ is anti-revolutionary). I have always been surprised by the regime’s outrageous treatment of women in recent years. I couldn’t reconcile it with CCP’s “women hold up half the sky” rhetoric that I grew up with. But this explanation clicks! Feminism has always been only a tool for them.

Chapter 6 connects feminism with other rights movement (mainly worker’s rights). I remember I was surprised and puzzled by the suppression of workers’ rights in the southern provinces a few years ago. And students’ Marxist Societies in some top Beijing universities were disbanded by the authorities. How naive I was to have been surprised! China’s feminist activists cross links with worker’s movements, and that is viewed as a threat to the Communist Party.

By Chapter 7, I am convinced that patriachy is inseparable to the CCP’s authoritarian rule. By instinct or by actively studying history, the CCP is upholding the patriachy to cling to power. Why was I surprised by the CCP’s advocating of Confucious family views in recent years? (Confucious traditions were labelled as ‘feudal superstition (封建迷信)’ by the CCP before the 2000s, when the CCP wanted to show their accomplishment in saving China from them.) There is no other explanation than what Fincher pointed out – patriarchal authoritarianism is viewd as critical for the survival of the Communist Party.

In this time of crisis, how should we respond to rising authoritarianism in China and around the world—including the United States? By fighting the patriarchy. Supporting feminist activists and promoting women’s rights are the most effective way to stop the growing, misogynistic assault on democratic freedoms globally.

The above quote is truer than you would initially think!!


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