China’s All-China Women’s Federation was founded in 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party. Its aim? To “protect women’s rights and interests.”According to its Wikipedia page, the group is now an NGO and “has become one of the major vehicles for the development of feminism in mainland China” (Wikipedia notes there is a “citation needed” there).
However, the way it goes about that is strange. In an op-ed for the New York Times, Leta Hong Fincher, an American doctoral student at Tsinghua University’s Department of Sociology evaluates some of the advice the Federation has published on its website.
In particular, the Federation has spent a lot of time doling out advice on how not to become a “leftover woman”— a term the group coined in 2007 to describe unmarried women over the age of 27. For example:
Pretty girls don’t need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family, but girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult. These kinds of girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realise that as women age, they are worth less and less, so by the time they get their M.A. or Ph.D., they are already old, like yellowed pearls.
Here’s another fascinating tidbit:
When you find out that he is having an affair, you may be in a towering rage, but you must know that if you make a fuss, you are denying the man “face” … No man is capable of spending a lifetime being loyal to an outmoded wife who never changes … Try changing your hairstyle or your fashion. Women must constantly change for the better.
Yes, there are many, many more examples. Read Hong Fischer’s full evaluation of the All-China Women’s Federation’s advice over at the New York Times >
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