Chinese Women and Feminism
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The purpose of this chapter is to identify the difference between Chinese feminism and feminism developed in the West, and to emphasise the unique characteristics of Chinese feminism and Chinese feminists’ concerns. I argue that in the context of China, although Marxist theory used to serve the political interest of the Chinese Communist Party government in keeping women’s concerns under state/party control at different historical times, it should also be appreciated as a scientific inquiry and intellectual theory with analytical power since it has the capability for macro, systematic analyses of women’s liberation. Therefore, I suggest that Chinese elites should neither abandon the Marxist theory of women entirely nor accept Western feminist theory immediately. Neither should we treat these two theoretical frameworks as monolithic or static. Any categorical labelling of scholars and their works should be avoided. Rather, in the context of China, Marxist and feminist theory should not be treated as an either-or approach which juxtaposes one against the other in order to develop new gender theories in the field of Chinese Women’s/Gender Studies.