C: Alessia Pierdomenico / shuttestock.com

China censors feminists online after birth & marriage rates drop

Photo Credit: UN Women (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Chinese Communist Party has begun a heavy online crackdown of feminists online after recent indications that the country’s birth and marriage rate have dropped significantly.

“In recent days, more than a dozen accounts used by feminists were deleted from the Weibo social-media platform as well as cultural-discussion site Douban.com,” reported the Wallstreet Journal.

Weibo and Douban.com are major Chinese social media sites, both of which are subject to heavy surveillance, monitoring and censorship by the Communist Party.

One Chinese feminist activist whose Weibo account was suspended was reportedly critical of the way homeakers are viewed, and said that housewives are often treated as unpaid labor.

“What are they afraid of?”, wrote one Weebo user.

“Are they afraid of more women waking up? Are they panicking when seeing the fertility rates and marriage rates?”

Weibo released a recent statement saying that it removed several accounts recently that were “related to illegal or hurtful information.”

While China’s ten-year census data was due to be released earlier this month, it has not yet been processed by the Chinese National Statistics Bureau, which many suspect to be due to a fall in marriage and birth rates. The Chinese government in recent years has strongly urged people to get married and have children young, apparently to little avail.

Previously, under Communist dictators like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, women were encouraged into the workforce and to have as few children as possible, with famous strategies such as the one-child policy being implemented.

The Chinese government additionally caused a stir last year after they declared that China’s men had become too “feminine”, and said that many of China’s young males had become “weak, timid, and self-abasing”.

The Chinese Education ministry put this down to Chinese men having too much influence from female teachers, their mothers and their grandmothers.

As a result, the State has launched new programs for attempting to instill masculine values and more rigorous sports and physical education at schools from a younger age.

China is known to have a patriarchal culture, with an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of female babies being aborted every year compared to males because so many families would prefer to have a son than a daughter, in what has been dubbed a “gendercide”.

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