High School Pupils in Nanjing Launch Feminist Literary Magazine

High School Pupils in Nanjing Launch Feminist Literary Magazine
Vicky Xia, Angela Chen, Nina Shangguan, Lucy Zhu, Pearl Li, Gabrielle Zhu and Selina Sun (pictured from left to right), together with Regina Ma and Miranda Lin, comprise the editorial team of Dawn Magazine.

“Dawn” is the first appearance of light in the morning, the beginning of a new day, a perfect allusion to the rise of feminism in China.

As feminist movements spread across the globe, so the notion in China has gained more attention than ever. However, it remains a concept still not widely perceived. Biased views with respect to the female gender are still deeply rooted in the minds of many.

Therefore, as somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel, today marks the official launch of the website initiative for Dawn Magazine, that seeks writers as magazine contributors from schools all over China and beyond.

Founded by Angela Chen, a Grade 11 student from Nanjing International School, Dawn Magazine is a feminist literary magazine. When Chen visited Nanjing Foreign Language School British Columbia Academy (NFLSBCA) to recruit members for her magazine idea, she described her goal as to advocate for the inclusion of Chinese young female voices in the literary world, hoping to provide a platform for such.

Chen had touched a raw nerve, as now, the bulk of writers and editors comprise year 10 and 11 students enrolled the NFLSBCA program, who have passion for feminism. “We welcome all kinds of ideas about feminism, as we each have a different interpretation of what ‘feminism’ means”, said Chen, who has reached out to Chinese high schools and international schools all over China and elsewhere, in the magazine’s search for contributors, aged 14-18.

“We simply hope that through this magazine, through modelling the kind of appreciation and curiosity for creative expression and articulation that young women in China are capable of, we can shine a light on the courage, intelligence and resilience of Chinese young women”, Chen continued.

With feminism in China obscured for centuries by the darkness and shadows of patriarchy, perhaps now the sun is finally rising, with the new magazine that aims to pay tribute to all Chinese young women and the lineage of Chinese female writers that served as inspiration.

Dawn Magazine’s editorial team points out that the development of feminism in China does not have to be radical or groundbreaking; it can be subtle but pervasive, like the spring shower in the work by prominent Chinese poet, Du Fu (杜甫).

That said, it remains undeniable that the talent, passion, fierce intelligence and the sheer courage of so many Chinese female students in China deserve a place in this world. After all, as Maya Angelou, American civil rights activist, once said, “When a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all the women in the world”.