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I think the general consensus is that the Communist movement (50s and 60s) actually did a lot for gender equality, given that that was one of the explicit precepts of the new society. China was coming from way, way behind, though, so even if a huge amount of progress was made, it ain't no UC Berkeley. But observing other "psuedo-Confucian" societies like Korea or Japan, it often seems like China's actually comparatively relaxed about gender.

Years of living in China left me with the impression that women themselves have come a long way: there are a lot of "tough women" in China, and many of them are very independent minded. Sure, there's also a lot of anxiety about being 26 and unmarried (the horror!), but at this point that anxiety comes as much or more from family pressure, the women themselves are often very "modern-minded".

The men, on the other hand, are mostly still in the stone age. The goal of life is to amass money and power, and one of the first things you do when you've got that is get a mistress. Having pretty young things in the office is a must. One of the main perks of authority is that you can screw who you like. The typical university environment, for example, is absolutely disgusting, the male professors are shooting fish in a barrel.

And because political and social power is held by men, the government comes down hard on feminism. I always had a hard time getting my head around the way feminism is treated like a political sin, and is censored as such.

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