What is “Rural Feminism”? A computer-assisted analysis of popular antifeminist discourses in Chinese social media

Wei Yang, Jingxuan Guo, Inge Arteel

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Along with the popularization of feminism in Chinese social media, an antifeminist wave has become increasingly prominent since 2014, marked most notably by the stigmatization buzzword “rural feminism.” We collected 2,104 texts regarding “rural feminism” on Zhihu (the Chinese Quora) and applied approaches of computer-assisted discourse studies (i.e., topic modeling, collocation, and concordance analyses) as lenses to help us understand the connections and patterns within these fragmented social media texts, to uncover hidden antifeminist strategies. The findings reveal that popular antifeminism adopts strategies that we defined as “double embrace” and “double rejection” to minimize the realistic threat of feminism to men’s vested interests. These deliberate strategies hint at and further exacerbate the complex interplay between current Chinese antifeminism and feminism. On this basis, we argue that the previous framework of understanding this relationship as a simple dichotomy no longer applies and that we need to reconceptualize the current challenges and threats to Chinese feminism in the context of the specific history and reality of Chinese society and the rich interactions between antifeminism and misogyny, neoliberalism, postfeminism, and various versions of feminism active in China.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftSocial media + Society
Volume9
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
DOI's
StatusPublished - 1 apr 2023

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Chinese feminism; straight man cancer; corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS); topic modelling; toxic masculinity

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