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The Gendered Pandemic in China A Feminist Online Ethnographic Study

The Gendered Pandemic in China A Feminist Online Ethnographic Study

Speaker: ZHAO Feng Chenzi, PhD Candidate, Western University, Canada

Moderator: Laura Meek, Assistant Professor, Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, HKU

Date: Friday, 14 May 2021
Time: 9 – 10:30 AM (GMT +8)
Delivery: via Zoom

Covid-19 has posed various challenges to peoples in different parts of the world. In coping with the pandemic, many nation-states adopt militarized rhetoric and measures that refer to fighting and defending rather than caring and persevering. This paper perceives the Covid-19 pandemic in China as a complex emergency that resembles war. By asking where are women, where is gender, where is feminism, and where is security, this online ethnography examines the lives of women and gendered others during the time of emergency, the institutional and public discourses around the pandemic, and the developments in feminist activisms and awareness. This paper argues that the pandemic disproportionately affects women and gendered others in China. Women’s crucial roles and contributions in sustaining the society during the pandemic are unrecognized. Feminist activism gain momentum and visibility, yet the future of feminism in China remains precarious. State and institutions take a paternalistic attitude that leads to war-like thinking and militarized measures in response to a complex situation that entails deliberation, care, and collaboration. Such an attitude is intrinsically biased towards masculinity and domination, prioritizes state stability and security over the security and livelihood of individuals, disregards the needs of vulnerable groups, and perpetuates their vulnerability.

About the Speaker
ZHAO Feng Chenzi is a feminist, a woman, and a Chinese international PhD candidate in Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies at the Faculty of Education, Western University, Canada. Her research interests include women, globalisation, critical institutional studies, higher education, and social justice.

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