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 […]
Xiao Meili, March 27, 2018 January 2018 was a special month for the Chinese feminist movement. On January 1, Luo Xixi (罗茜茜) released an open letter –– using her real name –– in which she accused her former PhD advisor, Chen Xiaowu (陈小武), of sexually harassing female students. It was as if she had lit a spark that ignited a powerful and dynamic wave of anti-sexual harassment on Chinese social media, and its impact far exceeded the expectations of many, including Luo herself. Students from nearly 80 universities sent joint letters to their university presidents, urging their alma maters to establish a sexual harassment prevention mechanism. More than 9,000 people took part. It’s said that this is the largest student movement in China […]
By China Change, published: March 6, 2016 Just before International Women’s Day on March 8, the Feminist Five activists in China, as well as their defense counsel, have been spoken to and put under pressure by police, according to friends and lawyers of the activists, communicating via social media. On March 3, Internal Security police, the branch of the Public Security Bureau focused on internal political threats, sought out the defense lawyers of the feminist activists. They said that they knew that five lawyers had sent a legal opinion to the authorities recommending that the case against the the Feminist Five be withdrawn. Security police asked them which lawyer was in charge of that letter, what their motive was, and to which governmental departments […]
Published: May 6, 2015 Below are excerpts of the letters they posted following their release on April 13, 2015. Wei Tingting (韦婷婷), April 17, 2015 Since the first day home, I have been constantly trying to make up for what I missed during the detention, reading your articles, tracking your chats, browsing through various reports from various venues, and then allowing tears to flow. I am moved and excited each day by your spirit, bravery and love, so much so that I can hardly sleep at the night. Having too much to say and too much to write about, I do not know how to start, overwhelmed by waves of feelings. On the way back, I got to know the various voices of […]
By Wu Rongrong, published: April 27, 2015 Wu Rongrong (武嵘嵘), though released along with the four other feminist activists on April 13, was subjected to grueling, humiliating interrogations on April 23rd and 24th. Don’t let the CCP machine destroy the very best of China. – The Editor Fate and chance made me a social worker and a feminist: gentle and timid in appearance, but a staunch defender of women’s rights. After four years of college social work studies and volunteer experience, I set off on a path of social advocacy At college, I majored in social work. I fell in love with the ideas, values and curriculum of that major, its concern for society’s most vulnerable groups and its quest for fairness and […]
By Beijing Yirenping Center, April 14, 2015 On April 14, Hong Lei, the Spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), stated publicly that our organization, Beijing Yirenping Center (BYC), “has allegedly violated the law, and will be punished.” Our organization’s response is as follows: 1. We welcome MOFA in its open discussion on BYC, as this is an improvement upon the break-in raid into our office, in the early hours of March 24. 2. BYC will take the accusation from MOFA seriously. We will hire legal counsel to respond in accordance with China’s laws, as well as pursue the March 24 office raid. 3. Since BYC’s founding in 2006, we have been the target of rigorous “solicitude” from various departments and levels of […]
Published: April 11, 2015 “You must know the global picture of women to understand the international response to the detention of the five feminists in China.” Professor Wang Zheng (王政), of the University of Michigan, is a scholar whose research focuses on the modern and contemporary history of Chinese women and gender, and Chinese feminism in the era of globalization. Since 1993, Professor Wang has been working with Chinese domestic feminist scholars to promote feminist scholarship and establish courses in women studies and gender studies. She has also participated in the feminist movement itself in China over the years. On April 3rd, Professor Wang gave a speech at Brookings Institute in Washington, DC, about the recent arrest of the five Chinese feminists (starts around 48:00). […]
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