Papers on Gender

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Room 6

  • Chaired by Astrid Lipinsky
  • Coraline Jortay, “Scripting Gender: Liu Dabai’s Shifting Poems and Gender-Inclusive Pronouns”
  • Hantian Sun, “Conservative Feminism in 1914: A Study on Xiangyan zazhi 香艷雜誌 [Romance Magazine] (1914–1915) in Shanghai”
  • Xuanxuan Tan, “Contestation and Consensus: Relocating ‘Female-led Fandom Cyber-Nationalism’ in the 2019 Online Expedition”

Coraline Jortay, “Scripting Gender: Liu Dabai’s Shifting Poems and Gender-Inclusive Pronouns”

This paper explores the shifts in Liu Dabai’s (劉大白 1880–1932) experiments with gendered pronouns and script. As a forerunner of new poetry, Liu Dabai’s poetry can be divided into two phases: Old Dreams (Jiu meng 舊夢), published in 1923 as part of the Chinese Literary Association series, features poems written between 1919 and 1923 where masculine, feminine, and gender-inclusive pronouns are rendered as ta 他, yi 伊, and qumen 佢們. The same poems, republished a few years later (1928 to 1932) with Kaiming Press were identical—save for the pronouns. The masculine, feminine, and gender inclusive pronouns had become 男也/她/他们 while the rest of the content remained unchanged. Liu Dabai’s 男也 (as one character) constitutes a rare example of an invented masculine third person pronoun featuring the 男 (nan, masculine) as a radical used in literature. This paper explores the historical and literary reasons behind Liu’s shifts between pronouns, linking them to Liu Dabai’s involvement with Chen Wangdao and Shao Lizi, with the women’s movement, and with the notion of “common gender.” Doing so allows us to probe how literature can cross boundaries to shape the history of language, and what was “lost in translation” in translingual practices (Liu 1995), when English notions of “grammatical gender” and “gender” travelled through Japanese textbooks of English, and textbooks of the School of Combined Learning.

Hantian Sun, “Conservative Feminism in 1914: A Study on Xiangyan zazhi 香艷雜誌 Romance Magazine in Shanghai”

Xiangyan zazhi 香艷雜誌 Romance Magazine was a magazine founded by a certain group of feminists focusing on female business in Chinese society in 1914. The editor-in-chief of the journal was Wang Wenru 王文濡 (1867–1935). As a monthly journal, Romance Magazine only published a yearly twelve issues from 1914 to 1915. However, Romance Magazine can reveal a vivid picture of conservative feminists in China.
In Romance Magazine, the editors’ office and many writers focused on “female business,” including promoting female education and working. However, as an opponent to the freedom of marriage and the equality between husband and wife, Romance Magazine represented a very paradox style of feminism. An article eulogizing a good wife studying for the country could be found be next to a column of the monthly news about popular prostitutes in Shanghai. Romance Magazine showed a cooperative attitude toward the traditional ideology of patriarchy.
In this study, by looking into the contrast between different columns, or texts and advertisements in Romance Magazine, this research will discuss the values and problems of these conservative feminists during this transition from pre-modern times to modern society.
In conclusion, this study believes that the advancement of this brand of conservative feminism from 1914 was valuable when most of the modern value has not built in China. However, conservative feminism from the upper classes of traditional society was going to be replaced by new ideas in a short time.

Xuanxuan Tan, “Contestation and Consensus: Relocating ‘Female-led Fandom Cyber-Nationalism’ in the 2019 Online Expedition”

The 2019 Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement facilitates the national sentiment of Chinese young people and the online collective action called 2019 Online Expedition. “Fanquan girls,” female fans who worship idols, have become a new group of female nationalists in China, which are similar to the Little Pink since the 2019 Online Expedition. The study conducts Internet ethnography and semi-structured interviews to relocate the discussion of ‘fandom nationalism’ and ‘female-led cyber- nationalism’ in the investigation of two “bodies” exemplified by “fanquan girls” and a zhong ge ge, an alternative representation of China, in the “hidden transcript” and “public transcript” generated in the Online Expedition. The study argues that the 2019 Online Expedition is a masculinity nationalist online collective action. The “female” and “female-led fandom nationalism” in “fanquan girls” and a zhong ge ge are generated from performativity. “Fanquan girls” construct different visual representations of a zhong ge ge with ambiguous or fluid gender temperaments which challenge the conventional argument about the sable linkage of specific gender temperament and nation. In conclusion, the differences and contestation of females and fandom in the “hidden transcript” and “public transcript” generate space and possibilities for Chinese party-state to produce consensus with contested configurations and facilitate intensive national sentiment. Females not only engage in nationalistic expression as involuntary actors, or as symbolic ammunition for different parties but also as genuine participants.

Event Timeslots (1)

Room 6