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News: For China, A New Kind of Feminism

The New York Times published an article today following Sheryl Sandberg’s visit about the development of Lean In Circles in China, led by Lean In Beijing. Our Lean In Team is quoted in the article:

BEIJING — If you want to Lean In in Chinese, you “Take One Step Forward.” That’s how the title of Sheryl Sandberg’s contemporary feminist manifesto, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” has been translated here.

And you do it with gusto, judging from the reactions of about a thousand students and businesspeople at two events in Beijing last week where Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, promoted the new Chinese version of her book.

“People were hungry for it,” Allison Ye, co-founder of a “Lean In circle” in Beijing — a small group of peers who meet to talk about the book’s message — said of the response to Ms. Sandberg’s main point: overcome your internal barriers to success and get to the deal table.

The enthusiasm suggests an intriguing possibility: As the Chinese government strikes anew against freedom of speech, detaining even mild-mannered democracy activists, civil society advocates and popular public opinion leaders, might there be a feminist revolution in China before there is a democratic one?

In recent weeks, Lean In circles have set up in half a dozen universities in the capital, including Tsinghua University, Peking University and the Communication University of China, members said in interviews.

“I feel like this is a new stage for us,” said Ms. Ye, 27, who works for a Chinese company. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I feel that despite the cultural differences between America and China, the method is universal. I feel it’s true that you can take responsibility for yourself, it’s a good thing, and then you can change your situation.”


Click here to view the English article from the NYTimes site, or click here for the PDF version.

There is also a Chinese version of the article. Click here to view the article in Chinese.



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