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Betraying Big Brother by @LetaHong.

The horrors that people go through for just a glimmer of hope. The laughter that can still be found amongst the terror.

It's a great book. Let's dig in:
1. The first focus of this book is on the Feminist Five who were arrested and imprisoned in 2015. Dr. Hong Fincher excels here in putting their stories at the forefront of this book, carefully weaving their experiences with the wider national & international context of the time.
2. The second chapter is a brilliant entry (even by itself) for underlining the importance of the internet in enabling both new feminist activism in the grassroots, as well as enabling the CCP to further crush dissent through complex methods of censorship.
3. The third and fourth chapters of this book are tough. They are, like the rest of the book, very well-written, but they outline just how horrific the physical and psychological violence can be against women in China.
4. 'Jingwei Fills The Sea' summarises feminist activism beginning in the late Qing and provides useful context for those unfamiliar with modern China's history and how the nascent activist forces in the early Republic were often rather hollow when it came to womens' rights.
5. The latter chapters summarise the work of lawyers to fight back against state pressure on women and the state's needs for more children. Despite some advances (such as the Domestic Violence law in 2015/6), China's lack of rule of law undermines a lot of this 'progress'.
What I have mentioned so far is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the remarkable amount of detail in this book, so I can only urge you to read this book if you want to know more.
One of the greatest achievements of Dr. Hong Fincher's book is raising the voices of women who have faced violence from the state, from romantic partners, and from their own parents. To put their story at the forefront shows a real understanding of what's at stake.
The nasty tactics taken by the Party to discipline against social activism, such as threatening families/children, should underline just how serious the stakes can be for anyone who speaks out.
This book ultimately succeeds for three key reasons: It is uncompromising in highlighting the vicious oppression of citizens' voices. It is meticulous in its composition, providing context wherever possible, always leaving an avenue open for further reading. And third,
...it gave me hope through the laughter that can still be found in the absurdity of it all:
To better understand China, to better understand internet censorship, this is a necessary read.

A fantastic book, a true call to arms for feminists around the globe to understand the challenges all women, all queer people, all minorities face.

Addendum: With regard to the Foreign Affairs review, I have little to add except this: It is common academic practice to declare your own relationships and interests. If you fail to do so, it compromises the whole piece.
Dr. Hong Fincher has strong views on feminism and the CCP, and rightly so when you read of just how violently the state mistreats the Feminist Five. If you worry about the silencing of Chinese voices due to increasing hysteria, then I sympathise, but this book is on your side.
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