On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for 37 days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out on their behalf, and activists inundating social media with #FreetheFive messages. But the Feminist Five are only symbols of a much larger feminist movement of university students, civil rights lawyers, labor activists, performance artists and online warriors that is prompting an unprecedented awakening among China’s urban, educated women. Journalist and scholar Leta Hong Fincher argues that the popular, broad-based movement poses a unique threat to China’s authoritarian regime today.
Leta has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Dissent Magazine, Ms. Magazine, BBC, CNN and others. She is the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for television feature reporting. Fluent in Mandarin, Leta is the first American to receive a Ph.D. from Tsinghua University’s Department of Sociology in Beijing. She has a master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Harvard University. She has often been quoted by news organizations such as BBC, CNN, Washington Post, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, TIME and The Economist on the subject of women and feminism in China. Named by the Telegraph as an “awesome woman to follow on Twitter,” Leta was a Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University and recently moved to New York.
The “Harvard on China” podcast is hosted and produced by James Evans at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.
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