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  » Issue contents  2020-10-08 Rewriting “the personal is political”: young women’s digital activism and new feminist politics in China
Rewriting “the personal is political”: young women’s digital activism and new feminist politics in China 
HOU Lixian                                                                                                                
      
ABSTRACT
This article engages the global controversies of digital feminism within the recent scholarship and offers a situated and critical analysis of Chinese young women’s digital feminism. Based on the ethnographic online observation of young women’s activism in social media from 2012 to 2018 and in-depth interviews with feminist activists, my analysis takes the two landmark online campaigns in Weibo as case studies: Naked Chest against Domestic Violence and #MituInChina, and elaborates on how such digital activism converged in and diverged from the development of Chinese feminism from the 1950s to 2000s and rewrote the politics of “the personal is political” in these three aspects: (1) establishing gendered and political subjectivity via different ways of consciousness raising; (2) further politicizing women’s private matters for provoking public discussions and pressuring the government for policy changes; (3) forming new coalitions for public activism. The article further exposes the drawbacks of such digital activism: (1) the precarity of digital platforms; (2) the problems of politicizing personal issues in social media. This paper aims to delineate a comprehensive and complex picture of Chinese young women’s online activism and thus contributes to a fuller understanding of digital feminism in Asia.

    
KEYWORDS: Chinese young women; digital activism; new feminist politics; “the personal is political”; drawbacks
   
  
Notes on contributor
 
Hou Lixian is currently a lecturer in School of Foreign Studies at South China Agricultural University. She obtained her PhD in cultural studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in December 2016. Her research explores how young feminist and queer activists have engaged different digital platforms and developed new feminist and queer politics to fight against sexism and homophobia in China. 
 
    

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Vol 21.3

21.3 visual essay

Vol 1-10

Vol 11-20

Vol 21-

Vol 10-15 visual essay

Vol 16-20 visual essay

Vol 21- visual essay

IACS Society

Consortium of IACS Institutions

Related Publications

IACS Conferences

A Chronology