China’s internet censors have been cracking down on feminist groups because they are considered by the government to be extremist because they oppose traditional marriage. A wrong signal, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post, and it will certainly not help the country in solving its demographic problems.
Is the idea of simply not wanting to have any relationship with men extremism? In most parts of the world, the answer should be “no”, but apparently not in China.
In April, Douban, a Chinese social media platform favoured by liberal internet users, shut down several feminist groups that were associated with a brand of feminism known as “6B4T”. Originating in South Korea around 2019, adherents wish to exclude men from their lives and reject the institution of marriage, which they regard as the root of patriarchy.
The “6B” stands for not having romantic or sexual relationships with men; not getting married or having children; not buying misogynistic products; and offering help to other single women. “4T” refers to their rejection of tight-fitting outfits, religions and idols.
Douban claimed the online forums associated with these groups were erased because they “contained extremism and radical political and ideological thoughts”. In a country where women are arrested for protesting against sexual harassment in public transport, such censorship is not a surprise.
Moreover, at a time when China’s population is shrinking, I can imagine the authorities don’t feel overjoyed by some women’s determination not to marry or to procreate. Are these women really radical, though?
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