The Faulty Logic of China’s Most Radical Experiment

On Oct. 29, 2015, the Chinese government announced that it was moving away from the one-child policy it had enacted more than 35 years before. After nearly four decades of mandatory sterilizations, forced abortions, skewed sex ratios, abandoned children and fines for those who violated the family-planning regulations, the policy had worked—too well. China might […]

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 […]

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