Feminism Moves East

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In a development still unusual in most Asian countries, the Christian Science Monitor reports that the leaders of recent antigovernment protest in Hong Kong are stereotype-busting women.

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  1. Hmm, well, it must be noted that much in the way of social protest has always been done by women. In Tasrist rural Russia, for example, the women would do much of the protest against the local powerholders because it was safer for them to do it than the men; also because they tended be the population that the authorities were least likely to jail due to their domestic commitments. The same has been true in Latin America when protests occur against the right or left wing thugocracies that exist there. And China has a tradition of rural protest prosecuted by women as well.

  2. women have an uncanny knack of getting what they want when they want. They hold a certain **survival** power over men.

  3. Look at abolition and temperance. It was precisely because women were confined in subordinate domestic roles that they were able to have such on impact, owing to their supposed moral standing as protectors of the family.

  4. And it all ties in nicely with a trend in culture to think of women as morally and spiritually pure and innocent, which has taken on various forms and masks throughout the ages – from chivalry to fears of being easy marks for The Devil, to certain sects of feminism which are generally responsible for the whole “women are not objects”, and an accompanying religious belief that women, or at least lesbians, do not objectify each other as men do. What precisely is wrong with being an “object”, or what precisely being an object means, or whether or not it would be ok to be a subject instead, shall be left as an excercise for the reader.

    That and perhaps it is simply because women are/were viewed simply as less threatening or influential/powerful, so going after them would just cause more of a stir than the effort is really worth. Probably all these factors coalesce into the cause for such historic events.

    …that, and it seems often that men instinctively like the idea of giving women whatever they ask for, on the idea that maybe then they will have sex with them. It’s a bit folksy for a theory, but it does have it’s own sort of charm.

  5. The idea that women are more moral than men is relatively recent in wester civ. Look at temtpresses in classical mythology. In medieval Christianity, women were considered evil, dirty, and dangerous, and any expression of female power was considered witchcraft (except at the level of royalty, who always played by different rules). Women as agents of morality came about with industrialization and the urbanization of culture, when their confinement in the domestic sphere was equated with avoiding the pollution of the public/econimic sphere.

    In other words, the subordination of women on the grounds of their moral inferiority gave way to the subordination of women on the grounds of their moral purity around the 19th century. The efforts of some women to use this alleged superiority to carve out a position of power in the public sphere (by promising to purify and domesticate it) was the beginning of feminism. Uncle Tom’s Cabin explicitly attacked slavery on the grounds that it impeded public morality and the welfare of the family.

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