“Who run the world?….GIRLS!”

Most of you probably get the Beyonce reference in my blog post title, if not, all that needs to be said in order to make sense is that it is also the lyric in a song about progressive women being at the center of civilization. Moving forward, my blog this week focuses on a recent interview in Women of China with Sun Ping, Exec.Director at Renmin University Opera Center on the Chinese woman’s innately dominant role in Chinese public diplomacy. Although (according to Hofstede), China consists of a predominantly “masculine” culture with large power distances in societal hierarchies, Sun Ping’s sentiments help to reframe these sweeping cultural generalizations and unveil the contributions Chinese women provide in both the social and political infrastructure of the country. In a collectivist society like China’s, the importance of family and honor for one’s family takes immense precedence in their culture. Sun Ping places women at the core of this basic societal foundation: “If woman can endeavor in promoting morality and civilization of family, serious incidents will reduce in the society because a woman’s role is IRREPLACEABLE.” I believe the female tendency to have polychronic time orientation as well as greater realistic empathy have time and again shown how these predisposition can aid relationships building cross-culturally.  Sun Ping’s interview concluded with her emphasis on making family as well as work, equally important priorities. The family unit social structure, high levels of collectivism and power distance, have been weaknesses in creating cultural synergy with cultures beyond China’s borders. However, the Chinese government as well as its many fine academic institutions are making large advances towards public diplomacy education AND implementation.

It was as recent as last week that Renmin University began a research institute on public diplomacy that brings together the university’s Schools of Communication, International Studies, Journalism, and the Peking Opera. This development reflects the country’s growing interest in enhancing not only their national image, but international diplomatic literacy as well. Sun Ping reiterates this growing interest and importance, but additionally, her emphasis on gender roles, I believe, is reminiscent of the continuity of strong cultural values which once kept women subservient to now be seen as a unique advantage.

Article link: http://www.womenofchina.cn/html/womenofchina/report/170878-1.htm

 

5 thoughts on ““Who run the world?….GIRLS!””

  1. Feminism, sexuality, gay, bisexual and lesbian, these are all words that in today’s media are becoming increasingly common to hear, same in China. Although just a few years ago hearing these words might have shocked some and angered many, they are becoming a part of today’s norm. People in China now are increasingly broadening their views on these marginalization groups and the possibilities open to them. Being bisexual, gay, or lesbian is slowly becoming accepted. Figures can be seen as representations in the media became really popular in China as well, such as Jennifer Lopez with sexuality, Lady Gaga as the representative of feminist and queer image, the popular music icon Madonna, with her constant image changes, parodies of blonde bombshells such as Marilyn Monroe, her assertion of female power and sexuality, and her appropriation from queer culture, essentially been described as the frontier of the “virtual embodiment”.

    In addition to that, today’s Chinese pop culture also promotes the ideology of girl power to some extent. Here’s one of the latest examples. Music video “That Girl” by Angela Chang

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6htyfxPkYDU

  2. It is interesting to look into the roles women play around the world, especially in areas plagued with unrest. Your statement regarding how female “predispositions can aid relationship building cross-culturally” reminded me of a recent article I read. Most women in Syria struggle to have a voice in the male-dominated government and politics. But when provided the proper resources, their impact can be great. The State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) has been helping equip Syrian women with the knowledge and skills to speak out for their country. Women-owned radio stations, magazines, and blogs have begun to sprout up after help from the CSO. Many have been able to spread the current news in Syria, as well as to feel more comfortable and confident speaking out.

    It’s easy to forget the importance of women’s roles in times of need. Syrian women are now assuming non-traditional roles as their husbands and sons are targeted by violence. Their duties and voices should not be muffled or ignored. “It is in the global community’s own interest to ensure Syrian women’s continuing role and influence in dialog and problem-solving at both the local and national levels.” Although the Syrian in the articles and the Chinese women in your blogpost face different challenges, they are both now being seen as an “unique advantage” to their respective situations.

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