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F.5.b.iv.1. China

'International Slut’ activist Li Maizi is one of China’s loudest feminist voices, Broadly, 21/03/2017,

Explores the struggles and campaigns on anti-sexual harassment and gender equality led by Li Maizi in China - where she was arrested for more than a month as part of the Feminist Five – and the UK, where she came visiting on the occasion of the Million Women Rise demonstration in London.

See also

Cahill, Petra ; Liu, Dawn, Chinese feminists push #MeToo movement amid censorship, NBCNews, 03/05/2018,

The authors also attribute the outspokenness of young women activists to the one-child policy enforced in China in 1979.  They argue that parents could devote more financial resources to their only children, enabling them to become more independent and educated, and therefore able to recognise and fight against sexism'.

See also

Feng, Jiayun, Chinese university instructors sign anti-sexual harassment manifesto (Full translation), SupChina, 22/01/2018,

In response to the climate set worldwide by #MeToo, this article reports on an anti-sexual harassment manifesto written by professor Xu Kaibin, following the case involving Chen Xiaowu, a former professor at Beihang University, who was stripped of all teaching duties after sexual harassment allegations from a former student. The manifesto was signed by more than 50 academics across more than 30 Universities in China.

Haynes, Suyin, Author Leta Hong Fincher shows why the world should pay attention to China’s feminists, Time, 14/11/2018,

Writer and academic Leta Hong Fincher discusses the feminist movement in China in connection with the development of #MeToo in the USA. She also discusses the impact of the arrest in 2015 of the Feminist Five on the struggle for Chinese women’s equality and the patriarchal authoritarianism’ of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, noting similarities with other world leaders.

HongFincher, Leta, Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China, London, Verso, 2018, pp. 240

Story of the 'Feminist Five' who were jailed in 2015 for a protest against sexual harassment, and the art and activism of their supporters.  The book also examines the official gender equality policy of the Communist Party since 1949, and the recent suppression of dissidence and bans on foreign support for NGOs.

See also ‘Talking policy: Leta Hong Fincher on feminism in China’, World Policy, 2 June 2017:

Leta Hong discusses her book Leftover Women: The Resurgence of gender Inequality in China and the development of feminism in China from the post- socialist era up to today.

To read the first-hand account on the arrest of one activist of the ‘Feminist Five’ and other initiatives to free them, see this comprehensive article

See also and

Liao, Shannon, China’s feminist movement braves a government crackdown on #MeToo, The Verge, 09/02/2018,

Provides insights on aspects of Chinese culture that remain deeply patriarchal in a way that mixes Communist, capitalist, and Confucian values. It also provides links to organised feminist initiatives in China; reports on sexual harassment and gender discrimination; and sheds light on positive initiatives by the government to protect women alongside grave episodes of censorship on the occasion of worldwide #MeToo mobilisation and other forms of feminist street protests and art performances.

Liao, Shannon, #MeToo makes its way to China, but will the government censor it?, The Verge, 11/01/2018,

Gives background to one of the catalysts for the development of #MeToo in China - translated as “我也是” or #WoYeShi -, namely a social media post by academic Luo Xixi in December 2017, in which she accused her former doctoral professor Chen Xiaowu of unwanted sexual advances.

See also

Pin, Lü, Will China have its #MeToo movement?, Amnesty International, 24/11/2017,

Although sexual harassment and its consequences for women and society at large are not acknowledged in Chinese society, in June 2017 anti-harassment ads appeared in subway stations across Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen – in campaigns funded either by corporations or by the government-backed All-China Women’s Federation. This report from Amnesty International discusses the development of feminist struggles in China since the arrest of the ‘Feminist Five’ in 2015, with a particular focus on to the development of feminist activism from 2017 onwards.

For a very detailed report on the development of the #MeToo movement in China by the same author, see also

For an understanding on Feminist Five's activist, Li Maizi, see also  

Yu, Zhongli, A new wave of feminism: China’s #MeToo. First in the West, now in the East, Policy Forum, 17/01/2019,

Zhongly Yu explores four eras during which feminism evolved in China. The first wave was characterised by the May Fourth Movement from 1915 until 1921 – a political, social, and cultural revolution; the second wave that spanned from 1949 to the late 1970s, was government-led, with state policies mobilising rural and urban women in the public sphere as important builders of society; a third wave, beginning in the 1980s and ending in the 1990s, was led by female academics, and was characterised by the concept of ‘female essence’ and a concern for achieving harmony between women and men; the fourth, more recent wave is led by young feminist activists and focuses on gender equality and male sexual misconduct. 

Zeng, Jing, #MeToo as Connective Action: A Study of the Anti-Sexual Violence and Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign on Chinese Social Media in 2018, Journalism Practice, Vol. 14, issue 2, 2020, pp. 171-190

This study of China’s #MeToo draws upon the theory of connective actions to investigate how digital technologies influence the way in which feminist activism takes place. The author analysed over 36,000 online articles related to the campaign, and found 48 cases of sexual violence and harassment allegations. Time series analysis show that China's #MeToo campaign first emerged within educational institutions before gradually spreading to other sectors of society. Studying the ten most controversial cases, this paper identifies a series of counter-censorship strategies. The study of how the #MeToo movement in China evolved within an authoritarian context shows how connective actions traverse various platforms and cultural contexts. Methodologically, this study demonstrates how both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used to study connective actions on social media in China.

Zhang, Jinman, The Sensitive Period, Big Vs, and the Diaspora: A Brief Account of #MeToo in China, SMSociety '19: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society, pp. 224-232, 2019

The author examines the context surrounding the #MeToo movement in China, how hashtags were used to circumvent censorship, and the role that Chinese diasporic communities played in the process. The results demonstrate the practice of disguised collective action, and the choices made by different actors in attempting to circumvent censorship.