Sunday, 8 March 2015

China's Vision of Women's Day

Huang Leilei's original illustration to mark International Women's Day
Today is International Women's Day and some websites in China decided to mark the day with some doodles.

One 23-year-old artist by the name of Huang Leilei wrote on her Weibo post that she was commissioned by a prestigious Chinese technology company to create a doodle for Women's Day.

The theme was "Be the person you'd like to be" and so she came up with an illustration featuring smiling women in various professions like police, doctor, astronaut, chef and basketball player.

Youku's mobile doodle version...
Huang worked on a team with mostly women and work was progressing well until at the last minute the bosses decided to scrap the idea completely.

So this is what appeared today -- a young woman sitting in a chair drinking tea.

While the Edinburgh-based artist and graduate of Peking University didn't explicitly say which company it was, the description matches the doodle on the video-sharing website Youku.

This mobile version says on the right: "May the world be gentle with you".

Probably not surprising was that Huang's post was shared 15,000 times in eight hours. Netizens were quick to condemn the doodle, with one saying, "The boss probably doesn't know today is International Women's Day, not international mistress day." Another commented: "Our country doesn't need creative women, it just needs pretty dolls to put in cages."

Baidu's doodle has a girl revolving in a music box
Search engine Baidu has a figurine girl revolving on top of a music box surrounded by jewellery, lipstick and a hand mirror...

We in Hong Kong are lucky that Google Hong Kong is progressive because its doodle is similar to Huang's original idea, which probably pains her even more...

Google Hong Kong's doodle for Women's Day
This just clearly illustrates how China -- Chinese men -- view women. While Mao may have said that "women hold up half the sky", he too treated them like toys to play with and discard, according to his doctor's memoir, The Private Life of Chairman Mao...

When will women achieve equality in China?


  1. So the HK google site looks better but I doubt there's equality for the sexes even there ;)

    This blog degenerated into a China-bashing site milking cheap sensationalism and asking loaded questions without offering any answers or original thought...Disappointing.

    Your blog demonstrates two of the classic HKer stereotypes: 1) a propensity to look down on mainlanders as aliens and the "other" and giving cheap shots out whenever possible 2) bemoaning the current state of affairs in HK without proposing any ideas with currency.

    As a writer on the ground, you could be delivering so much more to the world than this drivel.

    1. HI Anonymous -- thanks for your comments, but if you don't like what you're reading on this blog then perhaps you shouldn't be reading it! Or if you think you have more interesting things to say perhaps you can start your own blog.

  2. Dear me that sounds spiteful...I liked your umbrella protest reports but I stand by my criticism of what your blog has turned into, and yes I'll be taking my readership elsewhere, cheers ;)