Four years after the #MeToo movement rocked global halls of power, one of its most politically consequential cases to date unfolded in China, that of global tennis star Peng Shuai. The government worked hard to silence the case, but its actions hit a raw nerve for Chinese women. While the patriarchal nature of Chinese society is well known, Ms. Peng’s case exposed how much China’s all-male rulers depend on the subjugation of women to ensure the Communist Party’s longevity. Despite the prominent role of feminism in China’s revolutionary history, women are severely underrepresented in national politics and gender inequality in China is worsening. What is the future of women’s rights in China?
Leta Hong Fincher is a journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and many other outlets. Fluent in Mandarin, she is the first American to receive a Ph.D. from Tsinghua University’s Department of Sociology in Beijing and is currently a Research Associate at Columbia University. Leta’s latest book, Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China (2018) was named by the New York Public Library as one of its “essential reads on feminism.”
Part of our Winter 2022 lecture series, “Engaging Global Inequality.”