Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Women and Power

First of all I came across Alexandra Kollontai (U.S.S.R) and Ding Ling (P.R.C) - prominent feminist figures during the Communist Era. As many of us have observed, despite proclaiming equal right for women and encouraging them taking part in the labour market, there were few female cabinent members in the former Communist governments, let alone real dominant leaders. Women politicians were more often helped to cultivate the image of women's participation in politics ONLY in symbolic forms. The most notible case here is Song Qingling, who was always there in the most ritualistic celebrations, standing for not only her dead Nationalist Party founder Sun Yat-sen, but also as an idol for all those women who were called to devote their labour repetitvely in the fields they assigned to. Alexandra Kollontai and Ding Ling's roles were different to Song's. The very reason they were marginalised or even penalised from the central power circuit was their persistance in talking and proposing equal status of women in material and cultural terms rather than the symbolic.

Wikipedia sites of them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Kollontai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ding_Ling

Why did women got expelled when they seriously talked about power? By asking this question, I saw my second case - Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma). An explantory case, though not in all sense adequate. As the daughter of the most influencial personna for Burma's indepence from Britain, Ann San Suu Kyi was arrested and kept in detention since when she returned to Burma for political struggles and gained massive support from Burmese people and international community(call it Democratic or not) . She was elected by votes in the first open election in Burma, but later refused to be handed over the power by the military leaders. And she is still under the detention roofs despite suffering from Diarrhea. Why is that? Coercive power, that she doesn't have. Besides a devoted Buddhist, she also followed Gadhi's non-violent method for political contention. Albeit slightly different purposes, nearly all the feminists have adopted such method to claim more power. An extreme case will be the modern Chinese feminist think-tank He Zheng. Not satisfied with the muppet feministic voices during Republican China era, He Zheng contended that as long as power was formed and supported by coercive means, there would never be a real equality between men and women. She observed that the military forces were (and of course are still) dominated by men. She also further suggested that military roles were designed and cultivated to cater men's physical and mental features. Men, in turn, were always socialised and educated to be more suitable for that system. The advice He Zheng gave was quite anarchical and hard to implement - subvert the then (and current) political power system based on succession of coercive power control. In addition, her observation was not conclusive either. Take the instance of some Burmese states again, the Kachin state for example, women were forced to serve in the army starting from age 13. They, nevertheless, do not have absolute right to choose their marriage. Historically speaking, the Burmese women had a greater share of power than the rest of the world till the military took over in the 1960s. But even before that, there were cultural and religious institutes kept them more or less subordinate of men. The point I want to make here, however, is to emphasis that coercive power does play a big part in this round of power struggle between men and women. We, as feminists, should not neglect such element just because we have not worked out a practical framework to tackle it.

Let me attach a picture of Ann San Suu Kyi. She is really pretty. Looked like Zhu Yin (朱茵). :D

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Chinese feminist website

http://www.feminism.cn/

This is a big database established by feminists in China. It's got heaps of interesting stuff.

You can access some information including:

NGOs working towards improve women's condition in China or based in China, and relavant jobs
Contacts to Chinese feminist academics
Database of published Chinese (academic) literature on gender studies
News
History
Laws and Regulations

:)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Constructive break from revision

From the following link you can find those notorious theories' videos online and maybe in a more appreciatable form given the speakers personal charisma. :) (Including new theories in cybercultures and Foucault, hoho)

http://www.pactac.net/pactacweb/web-content/video44.html

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Finally, the punters not the prostitutes!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,,1760817,00.html

The British police has launched a new crackdown targetting at the men who have sex with protitutes. They will be charged as rape if they had sex with a trafficked protitutes. And those who go to escort services in flats with especially foreign women will be asked if the women are doing this out of their free will. This is a positive move from one end to the other end of this business, in my opinion. However, there are yet a lot to do except putting down regulations out of blue. For example, how will such new rules affect the protitutes? We always know there if there is a rule there is a way to deal with it. ..

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

An interesting animation to share

don't know if it is particular interesting in feminists' eyes

http://fcmx.net/vec/get.swf?i=003702

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Women and writing, and how to celebrate International Women's Day?

International Women's Day is approaching, we should celebrate!

I'm going to the public discussion and workshop held in Spit-Lit Festival (check it out here http://www.alternativearts.co.uk/events/programme%5Foutline/). It is a festival tagged as 'Celebrating women's writing'.

Anyone interested?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Feminist sex workers

Check this blog out - http://feministsexworkers.blogspot.com/

It gives you some idea of this alternative bunch of feminist. Quite interesting!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shall we have a little discussion here before Chairman Ma comes to LSE?

I've been reading about him on Wikipedia, and I've already got some questions in my mind - wondering if one of you gals can answer my questions? Otherwise I will forward them directly to chairman Ma!!!

Before asking the questions, let's see a quote from Wiki:

基本政治主张


  1. 以“三民主義現代化”為黨的中心思想,重振黨德、黨魂,據以號召人心,喚起民眾,共同奮鬥,爭取2008年重新執政。
  2. 捍衛中華民國,反對台獨與中共的「一國兩制」。以中華民國憲法與「九二共識」為基礎,在對等、尊嚴的前提下,促進兩岸和平與交流。以「連胡會五項共同願景」做為兩岸關係發展方向,結束兩岸敵對狀態,簽署和平協議,建立共同市場。
  3. 依法處理黨產,處理後之所得,優先作為安置離退黨工之用。推動政黨法,維護政黨公平競爭。
  4. 黨必須是選舉機器,但不能只是選舉機器,還應凸顯本黨的理想性與使命感。
    積極推動泛藍整合,爭取各項選舉勝選。
  5. 成立國民黨青年團,讓青年團總團長兼任黨副主席;成立「土豆志工團」,招募大量志工。
    在監督執政黨方面,議會與街頭路線交互運用,做到「謀定而後動,能發也能收」。

Ok, concerning the second proposition, as usual: obviously Ma is trying to find the thirdway to solve the Taiwan strait tension i.e. Taiwan's way out, which is, as much as I can see, to keep the status quo. Am I getting it right? But still the proposition per se is quite self-contradictory: how can Taiwan being neither independent nor as a part of the PRC? I don't get it......

The other ones are actually looking ok. So can anyone answer my question?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

When was your first porn - a question to put forward to pornography consumers

When did you watch your first porn?

Despite the problem of accessibility, over 80% of the guys I know and I read about watched their first porn before the legally permitted age. If there is a quantitative research done on this and reveal a result likewise, shall we start to question the censorship system we have now?

According to my limited knowledge, the popular censorship in the world now - standardised by the western cernsor authorities - always categorise porn materials 18 and above. Does watching porn under that age really do a lot of harms to the cultivation of 'normal' character? If so, does it mean that we are living in a world full of lunatics now?

Of course there is another explanation: to keep hardcore materials as top secrets that only adults have the key is to make sex a more sacred activity (or in the other end: a stigmatised activity), so that even if kids get to see such materials, they are gonna be self-censored and feeling guilty about it. The argument is: 1st, they might deliberately do if for the sake that it is forbidden and consequently feeling only excitement instead of guiltiness; 2nd, since the nature of sex and how we gonna deal with the activity of sex is uncertain, is it neccessary to stigmatise or make it sacred? Can I further argue that all such censorships are based on a system of morality that is, in consequence of a series of social and philosophical reforms, not feasible to glue the contemporary social fabrication anymore?

Whether the quantitative data is absent or not, it will still be interesting to see what sort of role pornography plays in the cultivation of perspection towards sex and even identities (gender identity for sure: there are a lot of space to debate on this topic) through interviews: is it a challenge so as to be described as a milestone of life, or is it just another must-dos that to balance out the restrictive and rebellious teenage life?

To be continued....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

women in the west wing

Ok..I want to say sth first cuz I 'm afraid I would forget it later...bad memory,u all know that:(

yesterday i saw one episode of The West Wing, a popular american prime time drama. The chief press secretary (sorry forgot her name right now,but she is really a powerful woman in the west wing). She got threatened those days, and CIA sent an agent to guard her. There was obviously sth between them, u know...and when the agent asked her to say sth nice, she said,"i like you taller than me, that makes me more feminine".

there's really a problem in this conversation. The powerful woman in the west wing, a politically successful female, also needs to be femine, in other words, she probably always feels that she is not feminine enough because her political position, I remembered Peng had talked about it with me before, a similar situation, that if a woman wanted to get some success in career in old-days China, several decades ago, they just appeared non-feminine. However, the same circumstance seems to exist in today's US as well, probably to some extent the whole world.

I don't know if i have expressed clearly enough, but i really want to raise this problem for us to discuss. Please forgive my poor english~~

heihei, c u all soon

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Launching

Congratulations to the fantastic idea of launching a blog written by East-Asian women about the global media context and with a feminist emphasis!

Members we've got so far are (following the order of registering time):

Peng, Zou (also known as Penguina) -

I constantly experience a personal identity crisis, and I guess that's why I like to stay in the field of academia in search for some explanations. I like discussions about subjectivity, everyday life, use of new media (e.g. video games and blogs), media and nationalism, and diaspora cultures. I love talking about porn!

Xu Wang- (also known as Joanne,and here as X.WANG)

It is always my dream to contribute to the studies of East-Asian Feminism, esp from a media aspect, cuz in the media content, there's always a negative stereotype towards Asian women. We are the group which is really marginalized, and the women who are silent for thousands of years.I'm interested in 'what women really want', East-Asian women grow up in the social background of Confucianism, which probably lock them in their domestic life. Are we really want this? To be a perfect housewife in a subordinate position?Or just appear subordinate but get the real power through this special way?I hope we can find out that later.

Ya-ling, Chiu (aka MademoiselleGisele or YaYa)

I'm pretty interested in how female images are displayed thru contemporary popular media, advertising in particular. Not only examine their transformation but also their influence and impact toward both genders. Last year, i've done a research on the representations of female body and femininity in 21st century perfume adverts, which was quite inspiring in some ways. Topics related to 'gender inequality', 'social construction of identity', 'cultural representation' and 'consumer psychology' r also under my interests. I firmly believe that my devotion to this area would help me discover more about myself as well, which is definitely...exciting!

Hsu Jui-ling - (Ling )

I have never thought that one day I would be a member of such a SERIOUS group 'East-Asian Feminist Media Studies', somehow it could help me to identify myself as a 'feminist' or a 'elite' (ha ha), as these two words contain too much responsibilities the ways in which the labels are attached on and the positions are located. But anyway, I would like to perform as a good feminist here and try not to be clumsy in my daily life, as it let me looks not feminist at all !

Tou Jia-yan



The idea so far is to use this blog as:

1. A site to jot down our statistic revision study group activity notes
2. Support each other with dissertation ideas
3. Recommending each other news of the field
(please feel free to add things you want to do here)

Anyone who drop by here and feel interested to join us, please don't hesitate and contact any of the contributors on the list!