Holding Up the Entire Sky


When Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party took control of the country in 1949, they promised to change everything. Communism would eliminate “feudalism,” a term particularly identified with the plight of women, who were imagined to live housebound, male-dominated lives. In the New China, Mao and his cadre announced, a new age of gender […]

How Chinese Women Dismantled the Master’s House with the Housewife’s Tools


Home economics has nearly vanished from U.S. curricula, and we tend to remember it as a course in stereotypically feminine arts–perfecting pot roast recipes, learning to sew a basic A-line skirt. But earlier in the 20th century, countries around the world invested the discipline with far more pressing responsibilities. Domestic skills, in the eyes of […]