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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The handmaid’s tale in China

8 November 2023

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In several of my blogs, I have predicted that China will become an example of Margaret Atwood‘s “futuristic dystopian novel” The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). Two recent Axios articles (below) illustrate my prediction.

The reason for my prediction was (and still is) simple: over the years, the few Chinese women in government positions were removed and were replaced by Chinese men. If men will govern over women, nothing good can be expected; regardless of the country (eg, China, Poland, USA).

The reason is (again) simple: men are too much focused on Power. Also see my related blogs Love, Knowledge & Power, a f/m perspective (2022), Do men really love women? (2023), Friendship, a f/m perspective (2022), and Calculating women vs opportunistic men (2022).

I do not expect that Chinese women will be interested in the opinions of Chinese men. Example: the 1979 Chinese one-child policy was created by men, and then retracted by those men in 2015. Why should Chinese women pay the price for the stupidity of decisions by Chinese men??

I expect that Chinese male politicians will – sooner or later – come up with new policies, like mandatory marriage and childbirth. That would be on top of already existing practices, like:

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


Chinese women pressured to go home (Axios)

By: Matt Phillips and Emily Peck
Date: 3 November 2023

“We should actively foster a new type of marriage and childbearing culture.”

— Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking at the closing meeting of the National Women’s Congress in Beijing on Monday.

China’s leaders are putting more pressure on women to curb their ambitions, and return to their traditional roles inside the home, Axios’ Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Rebecca Falconer report.

Why it matters: In addition to an economic slump, China is also facing a long-term demographic crisis, which would constrain its economic potential over the long term.

Zoom out: In its early decades, the Chinese Communist Party bolstered its revolutionary credentials by emphasizing women’s equality both inside and outside the home.

  • But the party’s top ranks have long been male-dominated, and in recent years Beijing has cracked down on Chinese feminists and the country’s own #MeToo movement.
  • At this year’s women’s Congress, officials “downplayed gender equality,” the New York Times reports.

Be smart: “Sending women back to the home and out of the work force is also convenient at a time when China faces its biggest economic challenge in four decades,” the NYT reports.

  • Policymakers see domestic labor by women as a possible way “to improve a social welfare system that is severely underdeveloped and unable to support a rapidly aging population.”

Source: 5. Chinese women pressured to go home


Xi says women should “create a new trend of family” in China (Axios)

By: Rebecca Falconer
Date: 31 October 2023

China’s leader Xi Jinping this week called on women in the country to “create a new trend of family” to help curb an aging population amid a record drop in the birth rate, according to state media.

What he’s saying: “Doing a good job in women’s work is not only related to women’s own development but also related to the harmony of families and society, as well as national development and progress,” Xi said during an event in Beijing on Monday, per state media.

  • “It is necessary to strengthen guidance on young people’s perspectives on marriage, childbearing and family,” Xi added during the discussion with the leadership of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s All-China Women’s Federation, according to Xinhua and other state media.

Thought bubble, via Axios’ Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: As China’s population has begun to decline, raising fears of a looming demographic crisis, China’s leaders are putting pressure on women to curtail their career and educational ambitions and instead return to traditional roles in the home.

  • In its early decades, the Chinese Communist Party bolstered its revolutionary credentials by emphasizing women’s equality both inside and outside the home. But the CCP’s own top ranks have long been male-dominated, and in recent years Beijing has cracked down on Chinese feminists and the country’s own #MeToo movement.

Context: The CPP imposed a repressive one-child policy to slow population growth in 1979, but has in recent years relaxed this and now allows couples to have three children each.

Go deeper: China’s population falls for first time in over 60 years

Source: Xi says women should “create a new trend of family” in China

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