Jun 18, 2016
Shu-Chun Li - Autobiographies by Dang-Wai movement Women
My topic focuses on autobiographies written by Yang Zujun(楊祖珺) and Qiu Ruisui (邱瑞穗), female participants in Taiwan’s Dang-Wai movement or “non-Party” opposition to the Guomindang. They wrote their autobiographies in 1990s to recall their political experiences. In their memoirs, they criticized democratic deficiencies of the Dang-wai movement, criticizing the inadequacy of the overall process of democratic modernization. In global democracy evelopment, political issues are usually regarded as more important than gender issues or women’s emancipation, which are treated as secondary issues to be dealt with after political democracy is achieved. Yang and Qiu not only criticized Guomindang power but also the patriarchy of the anti-Guomindang democracy movement that they personally experienced. In the 1990s, Yang and Qiu got divorced from their husbands. Before their divorces, Yang and Qiu supported their husbands’ participation in the Dang-wai movement, and, given the importance of their husbands in the movement, could not express different views. However, they could speak out for themselves after their divorces, and in the 1990s diverse voices could be accepted. Yang and Qiu criticized their own previously “wifely selves” from the viewpoint of their new “today’s selves,” as their memoirs negotiated the complexities of their gender and political roles. Divorce thus led to a stronger sense of self-identity. Their autobiographies reveal their support for the dream of political democracy of the Dang-wai movement; at the same time, however, they criticize the democratic deficiencies of the movement itself from the 1970s. These autobiographies thus produce complex anti-Guomindang and anti-patriarchy discourses.
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Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3