In the final part of her interview, Lü Pin discusses the Feminist Five case, how the #MeToo movement caught on in China at a time when the feminist movement seemed to be fading, and the eventual shutdown of Feminist Voice. According to Lü Pin, while the feminist movement is facing an uncertain future, the repressive regime is far from claiming victory.
After leaving China Women News, Lü Pin began to work with women intellectuals pioneering women’s rights advocacy in the 1990s and 2000s. In 2009, Lü Pin founded ‘Feminist Voice.’ Its sharp interpretation of women issues through a feminist lens attracted many young educated women. A small NGO called ‘One-yuan Commune’ was established in Beijing that quickly became a springboard for street activism from 2012 to 2015.
Since the 1990s, Lü Pin has been a pioneering advocate for women’s rights in China as well as a prolific writer on gender issues and a mentor to a group of activists known as the “young feminist activists.” In part one of our 3-part interview of her, Lü Pin traces her upbringing, the 1989 movement, her journalism career at China Women’s News, and her recollections of the 1995 World Conference on Women.
Lü Pin, March 11, 2019 “As far as human rights activism is concerned, the outside world tends to focus on short-term incidents, such as when activism comes into direct confrontation with the state. But the outside world cannot keep long-term and sustained attention, which leads to many long-term, internal difficulties being left undiscussed.” On March 6 and 7, 2015, police arrested and criminally detained five young feminist activists because they were planning an action on International Women’s Day to oppose sexual harassment on public transportation. The action never took place. Thirty seven days later, after strong domestic and international appeals, they were released on “bail pending further investigation.” The Feminist Five case was the first public suppression of a women’s rights initiative in the history […]
By Wang Zheng, published: April 13, 2015 It is to my great relief that the authorities have decided to release the five feminists on bail. However, we insist that the police drop all charges against the five rather than treating them as “suspects”, restricting their physical mobility and job opportunity, and deprive them of their freedom and rights as citizens. Our fight for their total freedom continues. In the Chinese context, this is the first time that a group of detained social activists are released all at once. This decision suggests: one, the unprecedented huge mobilization of global feminist and other non-governmental organizations’ support is effective. The massive grassroots based petitions not only pushed their own respective state politicians to respond, it also demonstrated […]
By Yan Wenxin, published: March 25, 2015 Lawyer Yan Wenxin (燕文薪)’s post on Weibo: After trying unsuccessfully for four consecutive work days, I finally met with Li Tingting (aka Maizi) today, March 25th, 2015. Maizi said that she had been anticipating meeting with me the last few days, and she had told the preliminary interrogators (预审员), following this morning’s interrogation, that she was expecting her lawyer and that they’d better not come to summon her again before 3:30 pm today. “If you come before that time,” she told them, “I will not go with you even if you are to carry me off.” Maizi told me that, during the days between my first meeting [on March 12] and this meeting, she was interrogated […]
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