The World Academy for the Future of Women Movement began in China in 2009, and then to Nepal, and Bangladesh. They’re looking for facilitators to teach the curriculum.
Women around the world joined #MeToo in to post their stories on social media, including in Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and India. French women called their campaign “Expose Your Pig” (#BalanceTonPorc). It became more controversial when actress Catherine Deneuve and 100 other women published a letter in January of 2018 criticizing the movement for being too Puritan and a witch hunt while supporting male flirting and gallantry. Chinese feminist “silence breakers” who tried to organize their own #MeToo movement with petitions demanding investigation into sexual harassment and Internet logos of fists with painted nails were blocked by government censors who deleted petitions and blocked social media use of phrases like “anti-sexual harassment” or “#MeTooChina. They also demanded more women in high office. “We are angry and shocked,” declared activist Zhang Leilei, age 24.[i] Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin, 30, created a social media platform to report sexual harassment, observing, “We’re not brave enough to stand out as one individual. But together, we can be strong.” One brave individual, Luo Xixi posted an online essay read by more than three million people, describing sexual harassment by her professor at Beihang University. She moved to the US.
Muslim women started #DearSister to express their voices. In Pakistan, the controversial film Verna (2017) tells the story of a teacher who is abducted and raped by the son of a governor. The Central Board of Film Censors banned the film for “maligning state institutions,” but an appellate board lifted the ban due to the #UnbanVerna campaign.
[i] Javier Hernandez and Zoe Mou, “’Me Too,’ Chinese Women Say,” New York Times, January 23, 2018.
Japanese entertainers and fashionistas experiment with gender-bending in their clothes and makeup, including androgynous boy bands.[i] Acrush is a similar group of five young women who dress like boys, intended to replace the South Korean bands that were unofficially banned by Beijing in 2016. A promoter explained, “there are so many androgynous-looking girls these days, we thought they would be more relatable.” [ii]One of the singers said, “My family has always thought that girls should look and act like girls. But for my generation, we think: My life is my own life.”
[i] Jennifer Robertson, “Japan’s Gender-Bending History,” The Conversation, February 28, 2017.
[ii] Amy Qin, “The 5 ‘Handsome Girls’ Trying to be China’s Biggest Boy Band,” New York Times, May 20, 2017.