Monday, March 15, 2010

Post Mao feminism: Li Xiaojiang

"The travesty is that these pressures women endured [before] and continue to endure are never seen as social problems; they are construed as merely individual problems. Criticizing society as unfair is to no avail. The balance of justice has never been the moving force in the progress of history. If one is willing to face reality, then one must see that the emergence of women’s problems is actually a means for society to resolve many other social problems that emerged with reform (such as excess labor, labor productivity, and so on). Women have thus been the cornerstone in the development of society’s productive capacity. Historically it has been so; in reality is is so. No wonder authoritative sociological publications are unwilling to print much on women’s issues, for to speak excessively of women’s liberation at this point would be to say that women’s problems are obstructing society’s reform and economic development. This means that Chinese women, who have worked hard all along to recognize their unity with society, cannot but acknowledge that women’s issues in the midst of economic reform have been abandoned by society. There are truly women’s problems, in that they have become sociologically insignificant."

Li Xiaojiang, 'Human progress and women’s liberation', 1983