Archive for January, 2016

China Digital Times and Global Voices

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

China Passes First Domestic Violence Law 

Airpocalypse Strikes Again in China’s Northeast

Young and Restless in China

Monday, January 18th, 2016

The first dynamic I noticed was the gendered differences in Chinese society. One of the first things I noticed was how most of the men the documentary followed aspired for greater economic success whereas the women featured were simply looking for fundamental rights. In the case of Zhanyan, she simply wanted to break tradition to marry someone she loved instead of being forced to marry someone by her family. Yang Haiyan  struggled to balance her family responsibilities as well as the hope to find her mother who was sold into human trafficking when Yang Haiyan was a child. In addition to her mother being sold, the people of her village saw her abduction as a disgrace. And even in the case of Miranda Hong who, despite being educated and successful, still battles the pressures of strict gender roles (questions about having children) and even moved to a city with less job opportunities due to family responsibility. I believe this portrays the strict gender roles in chinese society. These women aren’t too concerned with starting their own businesses or making enough money to move up within the class structure like many of the men featured do, but instead focused their efforts on basic things such as their family responsibilities and their individual freedom and happiness.

The second dynamic I found most interesting was how so many of the people featured in the documentary moved all over the country, from city to city, so frequently. This dynamic was more of a side note to the documentary but I never realized how much young people moved around in China. Some moved from Shanghai to Beijing, others from the countryside to the city, and others from abroad back to China.  Xu Weimin, for example, essentially lives between three cities between his work, his daughters, his parents, and his wife and son. The constant movement of young people speaks to the fast pace and frequent changes happening in modern day China. Young people are forced to chase opportunity – for some it was the promise of prosperity, for others migrant work was the only way to support themselves or their families. The problem with moving around chasing opportunities is that it put many of these young people at odds with their commitment to family responsibilities.

Introduction

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

My name is Megan Connor. I am a Junior History and Women and Gender Studies Major at the University of Mary Washington.

A few of my interests include:

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This image is of the Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, England. It is about a forty minute drive from my grandparent’s house so when I would visit as a child we would drive out and climb up the Tor to take photos and enjoy the view. In addition to its proximity to my family, Glastonbury represents the beginning of my interest in history. Somerset as a whole is full of significant historical sites that I would often visit while staying with family. I loved looking at pictures and reading books about these site which grew into a greater curiosity about English and European history.  Glastonbury also represents my love to travel – almost every year my family and I have had the privilege of being travel to England to visit our extended family.

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I am (and always will be) an animal lover. Pets have always been an important part of my family but none more so than our pugs. In total, my family has three dogs and five cats – our pugs are named Winston and Pippa and we have a golden retriever Ruby (who thinks that she is a pug).

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And finally, this photo represents my interest in women’s studies and feminism. I personally identify as a feminist and that personal philosophy influences my day to day experiences and my historical interests. In addition to being a History major, I am also a Women and Gender Studies major which allows me to  focus on women and the role of gender norms in history and engage in other disciplines that involve women and gender. The idea of gender equality is one that I am passionate about and I love to engage people in discussions as a means to raise awareness and redefine feminism as a positive and powerful movement and identity.

Images:

Richardon, Baz. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset. September 7, 2015. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/AgucNz (accessed January 12, 2016).

National Library of Ireland. Top Dog. 1900. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/arRu4i (accessed, January 12, 2016).

Kcochran06. Feminism. Posted April 15, 2007. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/7405901@N05/463618851/ (accessed January 12, 2016).

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