Rate this book

Leftover Women: The Resurgence Of Gender Inequality In China (2014)

by Leta Hong Fincher(Favorite Author)
4 of 5 Votes: 1
1780329210 (ISBN13: 9781780329215)
Zed Books
review 1: An important book. Offering a close look at the real estate boom and how property rights are practiced, Leta Hong Fincher offers a comprehensive overview of the ways women's rights are undermined today in post-socialist China. It's hard to read without feeling overwhelmed by outrage by the constant discrimination women face. Hong Fincher clearly documents how the forces of the market economy, the authoritarian state, and old-fashioned patriarchy converge to undermine women's autonomy, support male power, and maintain compulsory heterosexuality. She clearly shows the institutional nature of women's oppression, such as in the lack of protections from abuse and in the case of divorce. I appreciated that her discussion touched on the lives of lesbians and gay men, in addition ... moreto heterosexuals. Her prose is very readable, and the inclusion of ample real-life examples and direct quotes adds to the urgent and persuasive nature of the narrative. Her writing does, at times, feels slightly repetitive; some sentences that offer glimpses into future chapters crop up later with very similar wording. Overall, it was an excellent read that I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in women's rights.NOTE: I received a free advance reader's copy of the book through Goodreads' First Reads program.
review 2: This is a fascinating look at the difference between reality and social control efforts in modern China.In point of fact, in China there are no "leftover women"; the stats show (depending on area), anything from 110 men to 100 women on up. In some rural districts, as described in this book, unmarried men outnumber unmarried women at over 2:1!One would think, then, that society and the political machine would realize that women are a relatively scarce and valuable resource, especially since both promote marriage as essential for society. You'd be wrong.The "leftover women" campaigns are essentially designed to make women feel insecure bout their prospects, and so accept suitors and compromises that are completely opposed to their own self-interests. Let's not try to make men treat women well! Let's just get women to accept increasingly shoddy treatment!Domestic violence is clearly a problem in China, but it's not illegal. If a guy beat up someone on the street, he could be prosecuted; when he beats up his wife, it's OK- except that if she seeks help, SHE will be shamed and often attacked by society at large.It doesn't help that even though many women enter a marriage with assets similar to their spouse's- they don't get to keep them. She will put her saving into the down payment on a house or apartment; as will he, and often relatives of both spouses. However, the deed will be ONLY in his name- which legally means it's all his, even when she's paying half or more of the mortgage. The "leftover women" campaigns tell women that they're lucky to have a man at all, so should not complain about anything. And even if they do- there's usually less than no help.I am deeply interested in the social status and positions of women around the world, and this was an excellent summary of the situation in modern China. It's a bit dry, but has interviews and anecdotes that illustrate and illuminate many of the points, and the footnotes are impressive- I'll be reading more from them.I am also interested in the ways in which media propaganda- often "counter-factual" (i.e. bald-faced lies)- are used to manipulate people in general. Here's an excellent, detailed example.Note: I got an ARC of this book through LibraryThing. less
Reviews (see all)
Interesting and troubling, but I did not like reading it.
So angry. A table flipping inducing book.
A lot of facts, little insight.
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)