A Day on the Women’s Rights March

中文 English

Xiao Meili, 24, of the Feminist Youth Action Group, began Meili’s Women’s Rights March from Beijing on September 15, 2013. She and her fellow marchers walked along the National Highway 107, passing through Hebei, Henan, Hubei, and Hunan to Guangzhou. According to Meili, participating in the march was a means of expanding women’s freedom and opening the space for women to thrive. Along the way, the marchers promoted gender equality and advocated for reform for the handling of sexual assault cases. She sent letters of suggestion to county and city governments, education bureaus, and public security bureaus, asking them to make government information available to the public. She also carried out advocacy activities to engage the public and the authorities on gender related issues. I joined her for a day in October 2013, and participated in this women’s rights march as a fellow marcher.

A Divided City

The arrival of high-speed rail has greatly transformed China. I arrive in Hebi, Henan by high-speed train at 9:30 a.m. on October 23. Standing at the magnificent new station, in front of an imposing plaza, I cannot help but feeling deeply moved. The train ride from Beijing to Hebi took a speedy two and a half hours. Covering the same distance, Xiao Meili and her comrades have already been walking for 38 days.

I am to meet Meili at the post office near the old train station. While urban growth has spurred the development of high-speed rail, it has led to the neglect of the old Hebi train station. The plaza in front of it is unexpectedly lifeless. There are just a few travelers scattered about in the waiting room, while rickshaws come by in twos and threes to drum up customers. The hustle and bustle of days past are only dimly evident through the peeling oil paint on the signboards of the surrounding restaurants, which are, for the most part, already out of business.

Next to the post office – which I now see is no longer in operation – I find Meili carrying some documents and looking travel-worn. She is more tanned and thinner than when I last saw her the previous summer, when we organized a workshop for women living with HIV. The abandonment of the post office is just one of the many inconveniences encountered on the Women’s Rights March. Maps simply have not been able to keep up with China’s rapid urban development, which means that Meili and her friends often end up on unexpected and pointless detours.

After the failed attempt to mail her documents, Meili decided to return to the hotel with her companion Fang Xiaoxiong to straighten out their luggage and find an alternative post office on the road. They are staying at a typical family-run inn with old-fashioned decor and narrow staircases. When there are customers, the residence is an inn; when there are no customers, it is simply the owner’s home. I chat with the thirty-something owner. It is her first time encountering the term “feminism.” “I support women’s rights,” she says, “The moment I heard about it, I decided I supported it!” The day before, she was chatting with somebody online, who said that her way of speaking was “aggressive” and “un-ladylike.” To this she responds, “Why do I have to speak like a lady? Exactly how are women supposed to speak?”

During this conversation, Xiao Meili and Fang Xiaoxiong come downstairs. They appear before me armed with masks covering their faces, hats covering their ears, bodies covered with jackets, feet shod with athletic shoes, and carrying massive backpacks. Their were ten marchers in the very beginning but this number has waxed and waned. The past few days, Meili counted among her followers only just Fang Xiaoxiong, an animation director from Beijing who had already walked with her for almost a month and lost 12 kg.

The post office had moved to a luxurious European-style building on the two-way, eight lane Qibin Avenue. To ensure that the requests for government information disclosure are received by the government, Meili and her partners either deliver the messages directly to the relevant departments or send a registered letter. When they see the “Women’s Rights March” sign on Meili and Xiaoxiong’s backs the post office employees’ attitude is cold and indifferent to their mission while the women laborers chatting outside provide a stark contrast: they follow them and warmly invite them for refreshments in their homes.

Sitting at the table, long out of practice of writing characters, I begin the task Meili has assigned me—filling out forms with addresses for the Hebi city government, education bureau, and public security bureau. Two letters for each department. One of the letters to be delivered to the government administration and education bureau is “Suggestions for establishing protocols to prevent and deal with sexual assault on campuses and preventing further harm”. Another to be sent to the Public Security Bureau is “suggestions for responsibly and effectively investigating sexual assault cases and protecting victims, particularly protecting the privacy and dignity of minors.” On the back of the letters, she has attached the signatures of 34 Hebi residents collected that morning.

Meili’s Journey Into the Dust Storm

By the time we finish sending the letters, it is already noon. According to our map app, the next stop, Qi county, is 19.8 kilometers away. If we add in the distance to a hotel, we will have to travel over 20 kilometers. As it takes about an hour to walk 5 kilometers for the average person, a 20-kilometer journey should take about 4 or 5 hours. But this is not the case.

Meili plans to march for six months, walking between 15 and 30 kilometers a day. On the first day, she did not pace herself. On the second day, she was unable to move her legs. They now take ten to fifteen-minute breaks on the road for every one or two hours walked. Moreover, since this is a long journey, they have to carry all their stuff on their backs and therefore, cannot walk as fast as they would normally do. Previously, for a similar action protesting discrimination against people with hepatitis B, activist Lei Chuang walked from Shanghai to Beijing while dragging a suitcase behind him because he had a shoulder injury at the time. He was robbed at knifepoint. While it is safer and more convenient for Meili and her fellow marchers to carry backpacks, it does not make them faster. Therefore, they average only about 3 kilometers per hour.

We turn off of Qibin Avenue to the national highway 107, the main artery of the Women’s Rights March. From Beijing to Guangzhou, it stretches over 2,200 kilometers. As we get on the highway, cargo truck after cargo truck zips past us, kicking up clouds of dust so thick they block the sun. Meili says, “If I were to do it all again, I would definitely, definitely, not choose National Highway 107. For those traveling on foot, the 107 is a hell-hole of dust. Even if you wear a mask, at the end of the day, the insides of your nostrils are still black.” That said, all the roads of China’s north are like this. A few days later, I was back home and washed the coat I wore during the march. A layer of black immediately surfaced on the water. Seeing this, my mother assumed it was the dye running from the cloth.

Another challenge of being on the road is finding restaurants and bathrooms. The marchers often cannot find places to eat. The day before, they were unable to eat until 3 in the afternoon. They occasionally come across small kiosks and vendors full of all kinds of counterfeit and low-quality wares such as Maijie sports drinks, Yili milk, and Master Shuai instant noodles [Translator’s note: These are all counterfeit products with names that either look or sound very similar to the originals: 脉劫 màijié wants to be mistaken for 脉动 màidòng,依利 yīlì as 伊利 yīlì、and 康帅傅 kāng shuàifù as 康师傅 kāng shīfù]. A few days ago, they ate 5 yuan noodles that ended up being fake. Not wanting to waste much, Meili managed to eat half a bowl, while Xiaoxiong had to spit out the bite she took.

Today they are lucky. Four or five kilometers outside of Hebi, they find a small restaurant that looks ok. Because all the support for the march comes from individual donations, Meili and Xiaoxiong often shared a plate of vegetables to save money. Today, however, I foot the bill and we eat to our heart’s content—three dishes and a soup, altogether 60 yuan.

After our meal, they fall asleep at the table. I ask the owner of the restaurant for the bathroom. He points to a narrow alley not quite a meter wide, just enough room for one person to squat. This is one of the goals of the Women’s Rights March: to look out for the discriminatory practices, both big and small, directed at women by public spaces in China. Meili points out that more thought needs to be put into the design of public facilities, such as increasing the number of bathrooms so that women do not have to wait in such long lines and adjusting the height of handrails in buses and subways so that women can use them more easily. But let us leave behind the topic of toilets and march forward. As before, the road and unchanging landscape stretches out before us with no end in sight. The omnipresent dust combines with the smoke from the burning fields, having just been reaped of the fall’s barley harvest. There is nowhere to hide. It is even worse than the smog capital that is Beijing. I have never seen anything like it.

However, in Meili’s eyes, the journey is not so monotonous. Amidst the trash along the highway, we occasionally spot cotton plants, which always puts Meili in high spirits. She takes pictures with her camera and plans to draw a picture. Later, she posts a sketch on her Weibo account [translator’s note: @美丽的女权徒步, which means Meili’s Women’s Rights March] with the note, “Along National Highway 107, you often see small patches of cotton. Little sparrows often fly in groups from the willows into the cotton fields. I had never seen real cotton growing outside before. I didn’t know the plant was so small; the cotton bolls are smaller than eggs. If it weren’t for the dust making them filthy, they would be really cute.”

Xiao Meili’s real name is Xiao Yue. When I first met her in 2012, I asked her about the origin of her internet handle, Xiao Meili. She said that with this name, people can call her “mother”—“beautiful mother,” but I call her “beautiful friend.” [translator’s note: Such terms of endearment are common in online communities.] Therefore, Meili’s Women’s Rights March is also ‘A Beautiful March for Women’s Rights’. Lü Pin, one of the first marchers, said a name like Meili manifests women’s bodily autonomy and sexual independence. [translator’s note: Lü Pin is a prominent feminist activist and head of the Beijing-based Media Monitor for Women Network, an NGO promoting gender equality in media and women’s communication rights] Due to her position within feminist circles, Lü Pin was given credit for the idea of the march. She was quick to correct them, explaining that the Women’s Rights March was all Meili’s idea.

Night falls just as the marchers reach the border of Qi county. They drag their heavy feet along as they dodge the various passenger buses and commercial trucks running red lights. Usually at this time, they still need to walk several more kilometers to find a place to stay in the county town, for reasons of both safety and convenience (mainly, locating a post office the next day). Most importantly, they need to be able to collect signatures the next morning. By the time they find accommodation near the bus station in town, it is already eight at night. After drinking some porridge, Xiaoxiong lies on the bed and immediately falls asleep. Meili says she will wake up in a bit. Surely enough, Xiaoxiong wakes up around ten and does chores with Meili: updating Weibo, washing clothes, and mending the holes in their pants.

County Town Public Participation

It is eight o’clock in the morning on October 24th, a cold and windy day in Qi county. In the two hours before hurrying to the next stop, Zhengzhou, Meili, Xiaoxiong, and I attempt to drum up public participation in the town by collecting signatures from its residents. Meili’s first target is a middle-aged woman eating breakfast with her son. She first talks to the woman about the frequency of sexual assaults on campuses this year and explains that she hopes the government can establish measures to prevent and address the situation. Then she asks the woman to sign her name on the back of the letter. This kind of campaigning, having to repeatedly give explanations and requests, is extremely difficult. The woman responds tersely, “This needs to be addressed by the central government. If they deal with it, I’ll sign.”

The original plan was to deliver the requests and letters of suggestion directly to the county and city governments along the way. Previously, when they arrived in Zhuozhou, Hebei, they attempted to get signatures on the letters of suggestion for the first time and they managed to get nine residents to sign. At the time, Lü Pin, wrote, “For the residents in the middle of their busy days, perhaps it was the first time that encountered the words ‘women rights,’ perhaps it was the first time they had an opportunity for public participation.” This kind of participation teases out “the average person’s fear, indifference, and pessimism, and emboldens them to assume and exhibit responsibility for their autonomy, and allow the prevention and handling of sexual assault to become local movements.”

Lü Pin’s observations are very sharp. Most people feel fear, indifference, or pessimism toward public participation. Meili says the elderly are almost never willing to sign their names. Having lived through the Cultural Revolution, they refuse to participate in any public events. There are also a great number of people who claim to be illiterate when they are asked to put pen to paper. But after persevering, there will inevitably be a breakthrough. To the people who make excuses, Meili says, tell me your name, I will write it for you. On this particular day, Meili does not give up on the Zhengzhou woman who wants to involve the central government. Meili turns to the woman’s elementary-school aged son and begins talking to him instead, asking him about school. The mother is finally moved and agrees to sign. Her son also carefully adds his own name.

It is difficult work, but once you have the first name, you can get a second, and then a third. Meili explains, if she can change people even a tiny bit, the march will be worthwhile.

Afterword: How the Feminist Youth Action Group Connects Policy to the Public

Xiao Meili’s Women’s Rights March will continue for six months. As one of several performance art-centered actions by young feminists in recent years, it has attracted the attention of the media and public at large. However, some are concerned that such actions do not actually result in changes at the level of policy. It is also hard so see how they can, in the short term, realistically address problems such as domestic violence and sexual harassment, two of the myriad of problems that currently affect Chinese women. At the end of November, I took this question to Guangzhou based Ke Qianting, associate professor of gender studies at Sun Yat-sen University. She believes that in order to effect change at both the political and personal level, the number of feminist activists must not only increase, but also involve the general public, establishment insiders, and social organizations.

Ke points out that although student feminist activists have staged advocacy actions in various parts of the country, their numbers are still very small compared to the rest of society. In order to spark more extensive change in society’s values, increasing the numbers and diversity of the participants is needed. To make more noise and carry out more actions, the present Feminist Youth Action Group (青年女权行动派) [the women’s rights group that Xiao Meili is a representative of] is not nearly enough.

But in today’s China, if one wants to influence policy, apart from skillfully using the media to exert pressure through public opinion, making information available to the public, and other such methods, what’s more important is to be in contact with internal channels in order to influence members of bodies that have legislative power, such as the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference representatives. We must change their minds through advocacy, because among the government’s current developmental priorities, topics concerning gender are not considered pressing or important. Although difficult, it is essential that more people persist in trying to establish interaction with the government within the framework of the system. Feminists commanding the relevant resources and skills should make this the focus of their work.

As for solving the difficulties that women face in their personal lives, more social organizations [Editor’s note: the term ‘social organization’ (社会组织)is commonly used to refer to NGOs in China] should be established at the local level. Currently, the number of local governments contracting out social services is enormous. For example, many neighborhoods in Guangzhou have comprehensive family services centers that have annual budgets in the millions. Nevertheless, they are unable to solve the domestic violence problems in their respective localities. Responding to individual cases is not necessarily the goal of feminist advocacy groups, as they work with small staff and limited funding. They often have a budget of just a few tens of thousands of yuan; they can be considered successful if they manage to spark some public reflection, discussion, and participation. Individual cases can only be addressed by an organization serving the community, such as a comprehensive family services center working to promote family harmony. However the majority of them are not able to solve the problem of domestic violence because they do not reflect on deeply entrenched gender inequality; in such an environment where there is a lack of gender consciousness, it is difficult for effective working strategies and methods to appear. For this reason, local-level social organizations still need to repeatedly, without end, raise consciousness through gender-training so that gender is given due consideration within the thinking underlying organizations and social work. Only then can they properly respond to the needs of society.

肖美丽,24岁,青年女权行动派,于2013年9月15日自北京开始“美丽的女权徒步”。她和陪走者们,沿107国道穿越河北、河南、湖北和湖南,直至抵达广东广州。在肖美丽看来,女性参与长期徒步活动,是拓展女性自由、打开女性生存空间的方式之一;此外,她们还沿途宣传性别平等、反对针对女性与女童的性侵害,向途径县市的政府、教育局和公安局提交建议信,要求政府信息公开,形成对民众和政府的女权倡导。2013年10月,笔者借出差之机,以陪走者的身份,用24小时参与了本次女权徒步。

分裂的城市

高铁的兴起,极大改变了中国。10月23日9点30分,当我乘坐高铁到达河南鹤壁,站在鹤壁高铁站高端大气、建筑雄伟的广场前时,忍不住感慨:自北京至鹤壁,高铁刚驶过的两个半小时,女权徒步的发起人肖美丽和她的同伴们已经走了38天。

和美丽约在老火车站附近的邮局见面。她用地图APP查询到附近有家邮局,于是头天晚上就投宿在火车站广场斜对面的一家私人旅馆中。

城市发展兴起了高铁,却破败了旧火车站。广场意料之外的冷清,候车室里旅客稀稀落落,三三两两的人力三轮车招揽着客人。只有从周边那些大多已经关门的饭馆门口油漆剥落的招牌上,还能依稀看出往日的热闹。

在废弃的邮局见到抱着一摞资料的美丽,她一身风尘仆仆,与去年夏天一起组织艾滋女性工作坊时相比,黑了许多,也更瘦了,虽然她原本就不足50公斤。邮局的废弃或搬迁,是美丽和她的伙伴们一路上遇到的麻烦之一。城市发展太快,地图却未能及时更新,常常要白走许多冤枉路。

时间已经不早,扑了空的美丽决定回旅馆和陪走者房小熊一起整理行囊,到路上再找邮局。她们住在一家典型的家庭客栈,装修陈旧,楼梯狭窄,有客时是宾馆,无客时便只是老板自己的家。我和三十多岁的老板娘聊天,头一次听说“女权”这个词的她说:“我支持女权,看到这个词我就支持!”她前一天和网友聊天时,网友说她说话“冲”、“不像个女人”,她说:“凭什么我说话要像个女人,女人应该怎么说话?”

说话间,肖美丽和房小熊下了楼。她们口罩蒙脸,帽子遮到耳后,身穿冲锋衣、脚蹬运动鞋,背着硕大的双肩背包,全部武装的出现在我面前。参与陪走的小伙伴最开始有10人,后来时而减少,时而增加。这几天,只有来自北京的动画导演房小熊一人陪走,她已经坚持近一个月,据说瘦了12斤。

搬迁后的邮局在双向八车道的淇滨大道上,是一座气派豪华的欧式大楼。为了确保申请信息公开的信件被政府接收,美丽她们要么到相关部门直接递送、要么找邮局寄挂号信。邮局的工作人员态度冷淡,与之形成鲜明对比的是邮局外坐着聊天、做手工的妇女们,有人看到美丽和小熊身后挂的“女权徒步”牌子,特意追出来,热情的招呼她们去家里喝水。

站在桌边,早已对写字生疏的我进行着美丽分配的任务——一笔一划在信封上填写鹤壁市政府、教育局、公安局的地址,每个部门两封,其中递交给政府、教育局的是《关于建立防治校园性侵机制防止二次伤害的建议》,给公安局的则是《关于负责任地查处性侵害案件、特别是对未成年人性侵害案件、并切实有效地保护受害者特别是未成年受害者的隐私和人格尊严的建议》。信后,还附有她们早上征集到的34位鹤壁市民的签名。

灰霾与美丽并存的徒步路

寄完信,已近中午。地图APP显示离下一站——淇县19.8公里,如果算上到县城里找宾馆的距离,则超过20公里。对于普通人来说,步行一小时5公里属正常速度,20公里还不4、5个小时就走完了?其实不然。

这次徒步计划持续半年,每天少则15公里,多则约30公里。头一天走快了透支体力,第二天就会抬不起腿。因此,每走一两个小时,她们都会在路边休息10-15分钟。此外,因为是长期徒步,所有的行李都得背在身上,负重行走更不能跟一般的散步相比。此前,“乙肝斗士”雷闯因为肩膀有伤,从上海徒步至北京宣传反乙肝歧视时,一路拖着箱子,还曾遭遇持刀抢劫。相比而言,背包在遭遇危险的时候方便一些,但速度不会更快,她们每小时约走三公里。

拐出淇滨大道,就是107国道——这是女权徒步的主干道,从北京到广州超过2200公里。刚一上国道,一辆接一辆的大卡车就从身边呼啸而过,扬起蔽日的灰尘。美丽说:“如果让我重新设计一下路线,我绝对、绝对不会再选择107国道了。107对于徒步者而言简直就是灰尘的地狱,就算一直戴着口罩,晚上鼻孔里也是黑乎乎的。”但其实,中国北方的每条国道都是如此。几天后,我回到家,把徒步这天所穿的外衣丢进洗衣机里,立即泛起一层黑色水晕,我母亲看到,还以为衣服掉了色。

徒步路上的另一麻烦是找饭馆和卫生间。徒步小分队经常找不到饭馆,前一天走到下午三点才吃上饭。偶尔出现的一些乡镇小卖部,充斥着各种山寨牌子的假冒伪劣商品,比如脉劫饮料、依利牛奶、康帅傅方便面。她们前几天就吃到了5元一碗的假方便面,美丽怕浪费,强忍着吃了半碗,小熊吃了一口就吐了出来。

这一天还算幸运,从鹤壁市区走出四五公里,就在市郊发现了一家还算齐整的小饭馆。由于徒步所有费用都来自个人捐款,为了省钱,美丽和小熊常常两人吃一份油麦菜。这一天我请客,我们尽情点了三菜一汤,60元。

吃完饭,她们趴在桌子上睡着了。我问老板厕所在哪里,老板指了指饭馆外侧的墙根。我看到不足一米宽的房屋夹道,只容一人蹲下。若是蹲在其中,一眼望到107国道。自然,路上的人若是顿住脚,也能看到如厕者。

这也是此番女权徒步的目的之一,寻找中国公共空间对女性的“不友好”。美丽提出,国内的许多公共设施都应该更加考虑到女性的需求,比如增设女性厕位,减少女性如厕排队时间;调整公交和地铁上扶手的高度,以更加适合女性身高等。而在国道上,徒步参与者切身体验到男性随意在路边大小便时,女性却往往只能忍着,直到发现厕所。

放弃了如厕的念头,继续前行。前方依然是一眼望不到头的公路,两侧的景色一成不变,漫天扬起的灰尘夹杂着秋收季节焚烧麦秸的烟味,让人无处遁形,比起雾都北京有过之而无不及,却从未出现在都市人的视野中。

然而在美丽眼中,旅途却并非这么单调无聊。国道边遍地的垃圾中,偶尔种着些棉花,美丽总是欢喜雀跃,用相机拍下棉花的样子,打算把它画下来。后来她在新浪微博(@美丽的女权徒步上以漫画的形式记录道:“107国道旁边经常有一小片一小片的棉花,小麻雀经常成群结队地从柳树上飞进棉花田里。以前都没有见过活生生的棉花,原来棉花这么小,棉球还没有鸡蛋大。如果不是被灰尘搞得脏兮兮,它们一定更可爱。”

肖美丽的本名其实是肖月。2012年刚认识她时,曾问起她网名的由来。美丽说,这样大家就会叫她妈妈——“美丽的妈妈”;而我,则是“美丽的朋友”;至于这次女权徒步,就会被叫做“美丽的女权徒步”。最初的陪走者吕频则说——以“美丽”命名,既想彰显女性身体与性的自主,也希望赞美美丽自2011年成为青年女权行动派后从不缺席女权行动还始终低调保持朴实品质的心意。因此,在徒步之初,每当人们由于吕频在女权界的声名而将徒步归功于她时,吕频总要强调纠正,这是“美丽”的女权徒步。

天黑的时候,徒步者们刚刚走到淇县县城边界,拖着沉重的双腿左右闪躲闯红灯打横拐弯冲过来的各种客货车。通常这个时候,她们还要再走几公里,到县城里找住宿,为了安全,也为了找邮局方便,更重要的是第二天早上征集签名方便。在县城汽车站附近住下时,已是晚上八点。喝了些粥,小熊躺在床上就睡着了,美丽说她一会儿就会起来。果然,晚上十点多她起了床,和美丽一样,发微博,洗衣服、缝破了的裤子。

县城里的公共参与

10月24日早上8点,淇县大风降温。赶赴下一个目的地郑州之前的两个小时,我和美丽、小熊一起体验了在县城里推动公共参与的尝试——征集市民签名。

伴着一条巷子里的穿堂风吃完早餐,肖美丽和房小熊从身边的食客与老板着手,开始征集签名。美丽的第一个游说对象,是位带儿子吃早餐的中年女士。她先告诉那位女士今年校园性侵害事件频发,希望政府能建立相关防治措施,随后请女士在信后的联署人栏上签名。这场游说很艰难,面对反复的解释和请求,回应只有一句:“这事要中央来管,中央管我就签。”

女权徒步原本只计划向沿途县市相关部门提交建议信和信息公开申请。走到河北涿州时,她们第一次尝试请市民在防治性侵建议信上签名,征集到9人签名。当时的参与者吕频写道,“对生活在县城中的民众来说,或许有些人是第一次念出‘女权’两个字,或许有些人是第一次获得公共参与的机会。”而这种参与试探出“普通人的恐惧、冷漠、悲观,也让他们脱敏,展现出自主的担当,让防治性侵害建议成为本地化的行动。”

吕频的观察非常敏锐,大部分民众对公共参与是恐惧、冷漠、悲观的。美丽说,基本上没有老人愿意签字,他们经历了文革,不愿意再参与任何公共事件;还有很多人推说自己不识字,不愿意落笔。

但坚持下去总有突破,面对推脱的人们,美丽总是说,告诉我你的名字,我替你签。这一天,面对一张口就推到“中央”的母亲,美丽并未放弃,她转而和正上小学的孩子聊天,和他聊起学校的情况……母亲终于被打动,同意签名,孩子也工工整整地在建议信后写下了自己的名字。

虽然艰难,但征集到第一个,就会有第二个、第三个……肖美丽说,哪怕对人们的改变只有一点点,这个徒步也因此变得非常有趣和有意义。

后记:青年女权行动如何连接政策与大众

肖美丽的女权徒步将持续半年,作为近一两年兴起的以行为艺术为主的青年女权行动之一,在媒体报道和公众关注之余,也常常有人疑惑,这些行动能够引起社会关注,却很难推动政策层面的改变,短期内也难以看到它们能够切实解决家庭暴力、性骚扰等女性面对的具体问题。11月底,笔者带着这一问题到广州拜访中山大学性别学者柯倩婷副教授,后者认为,要解决这两个问题,不仅需要女权行动队伍的进一步扩大,也需要推动更多的公众、体制内人士和社会组织与女权行动相呼应。

柯倩婷指出,虽然近一两年以女大学生为主的倡导行动在各地相继出现,但倡导群体与如此庞大的公众相比,仍然太少。要推动广泛的民众观念改变,需要更多更广泛的参与者,促成发出更多的声音、开展更多的行动,目前青年女权行动派的队伍还远远不够。

而在当前的中国,要影响政策,除了善用媒体形成舆论压力、通过信息公开等方式进行外围施压之外,更需要通过内部渠道接触、影响有能力推动立法的群体,如人大代表、政协委员,通过倡导改变这些人的观念。事实上,在当前政府的发展议题排序中,性别议题并不是紧迫的、重要的问题。但虽然艰难,也需要更多人持续在体制框架内与政府打交道,这应当是有相关资源和能力的女权主义者的工作方向。

至于解决女性在具体生活中遇到的困境,还应寄希望于更多的基层社会组织。当前各地政府购买民间服务数额巨大,如广州的许多街道都有家庭综合服务中心,其年度预算常常多达百万,却仍然很难解决辖区内的家庭暴力问题。服务于具体的问题并非女权倡导行动的工作目标,她们人数有限、资金有限,一年往往只有几万元预算,能够促成公众思考、讨论和参与,已是成功。只有在社区提供服务、旨在促进家庭和谐的家庭综合服务中心这样的机构,才真正有能力回应个案,而它们中的大多数虽然之所以不能解决家暴问题,在于没有反思这个社会深层次存在的性别问题,在缺乏社会性别观念的情况下,其工作策略和方式难以发挥作用。因此需要反复的、不断的社会性别培训,使其将性别观念内生在组织和社工的理念之中,才能真正回应社会的需求。

CDB's Deputy Editor

Translated by Sandy Xu

Reviewed by CDB Staff

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