Leta Hong Fincher Lecture: “Leftover Women”

Please join us for a lecture by Leta Hong Fincher on her new book Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China on Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the Center for the Arts Lecture Hall (Building 1P. Room 119) at 2:30pm.

Journalist Hong Fincher, PhD from Tsinghua University will describe a state-sponsored backlash against economically independent single women in urban China, and the growing wealth gap that it enforces. Drawing on secondary sources, statistics, and original research (grounded in interviews, an examination of state media, and publications from state organizations), the author spotlights a state-generated propaganda campaign to stigmatize “leftover” women—those as young as 26 who have not yet married. While part of a larger agenda to promote demographic goals and social stability, notes Hong Fincher, this caricature of women who supposedly prefer career over family speaks to their relative gains and hides efforts to reverse those gains through strategies such as hiring discrimination. Because the vast majority of family homes are owned in the husband’s name, married women have a disproportionately small claim on China’s booming housing market. Traditional gender roles and inadequate legal protections combine, moreover, to leave women vulnerable to domestic violence. However, the author highlights historical precedents and exceptions to this authoritarian patriarchal rule, as well as examples of resistance.

This event is sponsored by the Modern China Program; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Student Government; the Office of Student Affairs; and the Department of Media Culture.