Episode

6/20 Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China w/ Leta Hong Fincher

June 20, 2019

Good Thursday morning, joining Sam on today’s Majority Report is journalist and scholar Leta Hong Fincher to discuss her book,  Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in ChinaThrough interviews with feminists and other leading Chinese activists, Hong Fincher illuminates the difficulties they face and their “joy of betraying Big Brother.” Hong Fincher explains the long arch of the Chinese feminist movement in China over the last half century. Underlying the birth of the feminist movement in China was the growth of the economy alongside growing wealth inequality between men and women while moving from a planned economy to a market economy especially in housing. Changes in housing law shut women out of home ownership during one of the biggest gain in personal wealth in the history of China and the world. Beyond housing, gender discrimination in the job market and university admissions run rampant–Chinese women have to score higher on tests for college and companies can openly state “women need not apply.” So how did Chinese women mobilize with the country’s extensive censorship and surveillance? According to Hong Fincher, activists have been incredibly resourceful using individual accounts across China’s social media platforms even while they’re constantly being shut down.  For example, when “#metoo” was shut down, activists used emojis and Chinese characters that sounded like the English words, “me too.” Hong Fincher goes on to explain the Feminist Five, their jailing in 2015, and how their imprisonment activated a larger feminist movement across China. Considering the Chinese government’s ability to silence dissidents or imprison others (the Chinese Uyghurs) Hong Fincher explains the reason why the Feminist movement has not been imprisoned en masse is because it consists mostly of mostly educated, urban Han Chinese women, half of the country’s population. Sam and Hong Fincher end their conversation considering what the feminist movement means for the China’s now 2-child policy and the population concerns of the country.

And in the Fun Half: Trump is glad Iran did not shoot down a manned drone and threatens Iran, hawks say Iran is working with Al Qaeda now, According to Meghan McCain she has the hardest job on TV, Ilhan Omar explains what radical love means, What the Fuck Chuck Todd lives up to his name, the Bernie Sanders email list and grassroots growth in America, how to talk about reparations for black Americans, plus your calls and IMs!

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