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2021 Feature, Small Newsroom finalist

Preserving the Erased Decade of the Chinese Feminist Movement

About the Project

“In China, the continued presence of misogyny and social stigma, intensified authoritarian controls over every aspect of the people’s lives, as well as government censorship that silences the most active and outspoken, these things set hard limits on how creative and critical the feminist movement can be, and divide the women’s rights community.

The feminist movement in China has become cut off from its own history. The new generation of online activists know nothing of events that took place just 10 years ago. When a coherent narrative and historical context is lost, it’s much harder to pass on the experiences of the predecessors, to reflect on the past, and hold a vision for the future.

Yet activists remain the movement’s only hope of a breakthrough. So we are retelling the stories of the feminist movement, laying bare its ideas and ideals, in the hope of empowering the future agents of change.

For the first time, 歪脑|WHYNOT connected Chinese feminists around the world, weaving the broken threads of the movement together across time and space. So feminists and people will see how big the community has grown, and learn about its long and proud history.

So they know that they are not alone.

As the leading feminist Lü Pin puts it: “Feminism is an unwelcome awakening in an era of totalitarian power.”

This group of young activists have put body, heart and soul into their advocacy for Chinese women and other marginalized groups. In return, they have gotten hardship, displacement and misunderstanding.

We feel fortunate to tell their stories.

Special thanks to the Contributing Editor Mimi Yana, who brought all the most prominent and active Chinese feminists together to contribute to this special report.

Other key members of production include: Min Mitchell, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER; Alex Zhang, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF; Rosa Ng, EDITOR; Andy Wang and Valeria Chen, VIDEO PRODUCER; Esther Niu, STAFF WRITER; Chris Wong, ART DIRECTOR; Quai Chan, ILLUSTRATOR; Regina Li and Tian Yuan, WEB DESIGNER.”