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03/03/2005 Archived Entry: "Email on Hillary at Beijing conference"
I received a fascinating email from a correspondent in response to my latest FOX News/ifeminists.net column "The UN is the Wrong Forum for Women's Rights" which, BTW, I was pleased to see picked up by Yahoo News.
He writes, I was in Chendu, China working on a project when the Beijing conference [the 1995 UN Women's Conference that produced the radical feminist Beijing Platform] took place. Americans never got to see what really happened there. In addition to the speech Hillary [Clinton] gave that was aired stateside, she gave another one that was aired only in China. She gave it in "Chinalish" -- spoken very slowly so Chinese women could understand her. She said horrendous things about men that she would never say here. I have never heard any politician talk like this before.
The purpose of her talk was to scare the daylights out of Chinese women so they would buy into the myths that feminism engenders about men. The response of Chinese women was most interesting. Chinese women did not like Hillary's demeanor, and simply could not believe what she was saying (the lack of buy-in was partially captured by the American media, but not fully analyzed).
I had my camcorder taping Hillary's talk right off the TV, but my camcorder got stolen in the airport in Singapore when I was returning. What a huge loss. I would have loved to put that out where folks could see what Hillary really thinks about men. We should try to get a copy of it, perhaps somebody in China taped it? If you have connections, work them.
In my work (and study of the culture), I found that Chinese women truly value marriage -- it is still a survival mechanism over there. They appreciate what men do. And chinese families are far more egalitarian than we think they are. Women carry loads of cement right next to men, and men raise kids right next to women.
The Chinese government has avoided pushing far-flung social ideas. In fact, it bends over backwards to point out how insane things have become in America. If you ask the common folk on the street, they are fascinated by America, but consider it to be socially insane. China communized business, but it still refuses to communize the family as we have done. If us westerners were as open minded as we pretend to be, we could learn something from them. If marriage truly became culturally important in America, it would drive a burgeoning economy with tremendous decreases in the drag that family socialism inflicts on productivity and GNP. In fact, it could make us tremendously competitive in the world market.