Chinese feminists are up in arms after Weibo’s decision to gag one of their popular accounts for unspecified reasons that they believe has something to do with Donald Trump.
On Monday, the account “Feminist Voices” was handed a 30-day ban on new posts by Sina Weibo, often referred to as China’s answer to Twitter, for allegedly violating Chinese law with their recent publications.
While Sina Weibo failed to state what laws were violated and by what posts, the account’s administrators believe they have a pretty good idea. “We suspect it has something to do with a post that criticized (Donald) Trump,” Xiong Jing, one of the account’s editors, told CNN.
Just six days before the group posted a Chinese translation of a Guardian article in which US-based feminists urged activists to launch an international strike on March 8th (International Women’s Day) to protest against male violence and support reproductive rights. The academics particularly singled out President Trump for his “aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies,” calling for a new “militant feminist struggle” in response.
One of China’s most prominent feminist activists, Li Maizi, told the Guardian that Chinese authorities were sending a warning to China’s feminist movement in an attempt to silence future protests. “It is part of a public opinion war and a battle for influence in China,” she said.
Many activists have refused to be silenced, and are taking to other social media networks to protest against Weibo’s silencing of “Feminist Voices” calling for an end to the ban.
Last month, as millions of protesters around the world took part in the Woman’s March, Chinese feminists stayed inside. In the past, China has cracked down hard on the growing feminist movement inside China. In 2015, five young Chinese women’s activists were detained for more than a month after planning peaceful protests on International Women’s Day across multiple cities in an attempt to combat sexual harassment in public.
One of those activists, Zheng Churan, nicknamed “Big Rabbit,” sent an open letter to Trump Tower in December, detailing how Trump’s “straight-man cancer behavior” that had been swiftly swept under the rug after his electoral college victory will not be forgotten, warning him that “Feminists are watching.”
Of course, Chinese authorities are watching as well.
[Images via Free Chinese Feminists]
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