Thinking of Gender: On the Way to Emancipatory Higher Education in the Globalizing China
This chapter locates the activist rationale that originated the contemporary Chinese feminist movement in the predominantly neoliberal era. This means that despite the ambiguous relationship that the feminist movement holds with neoliberalism—a pervasive economized rationality of governing, its most significant contribution is creating a discursive space where education can slow down to care about, rather than suppress, the ambiguities and contradictions of subjective identities. Signifying what Tani Barlow termed “colonial modernity,” the “women’s problem” has led the envisioning of the accountability of modernist Chinese education throughout the twentieth century. The dominant eugenics and biopolitics that frame the mission of education are now being challenged by critical feminist thoughts that reevaluate the ontological meaning of difference from non-heteronormative perspectives. By bringing up the contestation of the philosophies of gendered difference, the movement provides scholarly and educational inquiry a window to recognize and rethink about the sexualized elements in the desire modern China has to portray and emulate the West. To the present, the contestation’s significance lies in its recognition of human’s vulnerability, which challenges the territorialization of “danger” that makes education both intimidating and susceptible.
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