朋友别哭,我陪你不孤独——女权五姐妹之一 武嵘嵘

机缘巧合下我变成一个社会工作者,一个女权主义者。一个看起来胆小温和却很坚定的维护妇女权利的人。

四年的大学社会工作学践,我奔走在群体呼吁的路上

我的本科专业是社会工作,这个专业理念和价值观让我痴迷,启蒙课程是关心社会弱势群体,追求公平和正义。我的母校中华女子学院到处贴着各位妇女英雄为了追求女性的权利所进行的不懈努力。我在大学期间的时间,大部分除了理论的学习,就是在北京的很多公益组织里帮忙学习。其中在中国少年儿童新闻出版总社知心姐姐热线进行了将近两年的志愿者活动,同一时间在美新路基金会大朋友项目持续了近四年的志愿服务,直到我搬到了杭州居住。还有很多其它不点名的NGO 进行了一天到半个月的志愿服务。

大四下半年,一个开书店的朋友对我的经历感觉不可思议,在当时和同学合租上下铺住在清华大学600元一月不到8平米的民房里,依然积极参加各种社会活动。然而我却觉得我没有那么多想要的,能利用所学做点有价值的事情是最开心的。

那几年,不仅仅是志愿服务,也帮助很多弱势群体呼吁她们应有的权利。在当时一个女大学生因为感染了艾滋而被学校要求退学,我紧急在我们的学校,让我的室友找她们的朋友,我自己再找更多的朋友,述说这个女孩子的不幸遭遇,希望社会关注她们正当的学习的权利。这样的事情做了好多次。

当我努力追求学习上的成绩时,因为有时候申请学校奖学金、助学金,需要村里开证明。村里的官员经常乘机让我帮忙做家务或者性骚扰一下,在那种环境下我却没法替幼小的自己呼吁或者声援,因为马上就会有一堆谎言蜚语让人出不了门。

2005年过年我没有回老家留在北京打工,我被一个以雇佣为名义的人拉上车到了顺义,一路上我能感受到作为一个单薄的女性面对块头很大及有其它资源的男性的无助,我当时凭着自己的智慧找到救兵来帮忙。我的几个女性朋友均在找工作或兼职过程中遇到过骚扰,十八、九岁的我们想到的仅仅是买个水果刀防身。

当然我关心公益,除了因为我的专业原因外,还是因为一次美丽的误会。在当时上大学我检查出是健康的乙肝带菌者,从吕梁山小山村里长大的我从来没听说过,当时我去中日医院检查,医生说,你放心28岁不会发病。我当时以为我只有10年的寿命,所以从那时候开始就养成了努力过好每一天的习惯,努力让每一天都有意义。

什么挺以及什么呼吁反性骚扰— —抗争不息的勇气和决心

我小时候生活在一个严重重男轻女的环境里,我目睹了很多村里的优秀的女孩子,为了兄弟的未来很小就放弃了自己的学习去打工。我的邻居好友家里有四个孩子,她出去打工才13岁,在一个鞭炮厂发生爆炸的时候她全身大面积烧伤,最后与一个很老的男人结婚。作为一个穷人家的女孩子,我努力追求上学不仅遇到了经济上的重重压力,也遇到很多人的友好劝退。

2009年身为服务员的邓玉骄因遭遇性骚扰拿水果刀捅伤官员事发,想到自己及很多女同学朋友的经历,我和我的学妹开展了“谁都可以成为一个邓玉娇”挺邓玉娇的行为艺术。虽然事情过了6年,我在关押时间多次被审问该行为艺术是否有幕后什么,我都把以上的事情讲给他们说。我不知道我的描述是否让他们、尤其是家里有女孩的人有一点点恻隐之心,我不是什么幕后大佬,也不想骚乱社会秩序,只是想呼吁一点对面临困境的女性多些关注,以及公共措施对骚扰者多一些管控。

朋友哭— —我陪你不孤独

三八贴贴贴防性骚扰宣传活动是我和一些女权同伴进去“旅游“的直接原因,事实上我们都分别于3月6已经答应各地警察不搞这个活动,并上交了我们印刷好的资料。想想原本的初衷— —希望社会大众一起来反性骚扰,伸出有爱的手关注被骚扰的女性。我一次次自责,自责让我的其他女权同伴也进了看守所。想想她们也正和我一起不得自由,我的自责会更深。不知道她们是不是也会向我一样被政治犯对待,一想到这些我便懊恼不堪。我每次想到,好担心她们会恨我。

当时她们几个比我早一天进去,很多不了解情况的人都问我为什么不躲起来。其实当时这种念头我只闪过一刹那便放弃了。我告诉我的没有进去的小伙伴,我回杭州和对方解释清楚,我天真地想,如果控制了我,一些和活动关系不大的朋友就便能回来。我天真地想,陪伴比躲起来可能更让小伙伴有安全感,我毅然决然地上了飞杭州的飞机。

晚上我会和大兔在同一层被审,两次听到她在哭,我都好担心她是不是遇到了一个很坏的审问的人,我好担心她是不是压力太大或者太受苦。那个时候,我就停下来用力听着她们房间的动静,一天天我在祈祷,希望我的小伙伴们不绝望,希望她们不要感觉孤单。偶尔相遇,我都希望我能和她们表达我就在那,很坚定地,一起受苦的我并不觉得日子有多难过。

我的以苦为乐的看守所意生活

[美容美发篇]38天里,我有19天是在公安医院度过的,面色蜡黄的我用了19天把自己打造成一个红润的靓丽的脸。奥秘就是吃不完的大米粥,我搅拌搅拌,(当然搅拌的时候想想可爱的儿子,他的口头禅就是搅拌搅拌巧克力。)敷脸和全身纯绿色大米浆,不仅仅去黄而且头发还有柔顺。尽管医院没有郁美净也没有好的洗头膏,但是我还是白白净净地出来啦。

[空调太热改衣篇]刚去的之后,空调温度太高了,我只好发挥创意,用牙齿把衣服袖子上的线拆掉了,衣服穿起来很时髦呢,可惜后来被没收了没办法作为留念。但大家一定不能学习这个办法,有的看守所是禁止改衣服的。

[原地跑步健康篇]这是最好最好的治疗痛苦和失落的良方。当然如果手一直举着向上跑还可以治疗颈椎问题和风湿问题,真的很有效。

[背诵古诗惬意篇]以前没有好好放松背诵的古诗,“大江东去浪淘尽”的壮丽蓬勃,李白将进酒的豪迈乐观,再别康桥的轻柔美好。一切一切,我都觉得都会没有过不去的。

还有很多,很多,以后自会有人接力….

瞧,日子很美,爱你们,让我感觉有力量,温暖的人。让我有勇气述说这一趟。我相信,苦难过去,就是彩虹。

 

Wu Rongrong: How I Became a Women’s Rights Advocate

By Wu Rongrong, published: April 27, 2015

http://chinachange.org/2015/04/27/wu-rongrong-how-i-became-a-womens-rights-advocate/

 

Wu Rongrong (武嵘嵘), though released along with the four other feminist activists on April 13, was subjected to grueling, humiliating interrogations on April 23rd and 24th. Don’t let the CCP machine destroy the very best of China. – The Editor

 

Fate and chance made me a social worker and a feminist: gentle and timid in appearance, but a staunch defender of women’s rights.

After four years of college social work studies and volunteer experience, I set off on a path of social advocacy

At college, I majored in social work. I fell in love with the ideas, values and curriculum of that major, its concern for society’s most vulnerable groups and its quest for fairness and justice. My Alma mater, China Women’s University (中华女子学院), was papered with images of heroic women who had been tireless campaigners for women’s rights. During my college years, apart from studying the book, I spent a lot of time volunteering at various public interest NGOs. I spent nearly two years as a volunteer at the China Children’s Press and Publication Group’s “Heart-to-Heart Hotline,” and nearly four years as a volunteer at the New Path Foundation’s Big Brother/Big Sister Program, where I served until I moved back to Hangzhou. In addition, I did a variety of volunteer work for other NGOs, pitching in for periods of days or weeks.

In the second half of my senior year at college, a friend who had opened up a bookstore couldn’t believe that I managed to be so actively involved in various kinds of social work while I was still bunking with roommates in a tiny, less than 8-meter-square, 600-yuan-per-month [then about $75 US dollars] apartment near Tsinghua University. But my material needs were few, and I realized that what made me happiest was using what I’d learned to do something of value to society.

In addition to my volunteer work during those years, I also did some personal advocacy, speaking up for the legitimate rights of many disadvantaged people. For example, when I heard about a female student who had been infected with HIV and was being pressured by her college to drop out, I took action at my own college—telling my friends, classmates and roommates to tell their friends and classmates about the young woman’s predicament, in the hope of drawing societal attention to the fact that she and other HIV-positive individuals have a legitimate right to an education. I was involved in many such efforts.

As a young student striving for academic success, I applied for scholarships and grants that required me to obtain certain certifications from officials of my home village. These officials frequently took advantage of the situation to sexually harass me or make me clean their houses for free. As a young student in that sort of environment, I had no advocate or supporter to turn to. Had I tried to speak up for myself, it would have resulted in humiliating gossip and innuendo and made me unable to show my face in the village.

In 2005, instead of returning to my hometown for Chinese New Year, I decided to stay in Beijing and find work. When I found myself in a car headed for Shunyi [a district in the far northeastern corner of Beijing] with a man who had posed as an employer to lure me there, I began to understand just how helpless I was—a weak and feeble woman versus a large and powerful man. Fortunately, thanks to some quick thinking on my part, I managed to call for reinforcements and get away. Like me, all of my female friends encountered harassment when looking for full-time or part-time work. As eighteen- or nineteen-year-old girls, all we could think of was buying a fruit knife for self-defense.

I am interested in public service, not only because of my vocation, but also because of a beautiful misunderstanding. While in college, en I entered university, a physical exam revealed that I was a “healthy carrier” of hepatitis B. Growing up in a small mountain village in Luliangshan (山西吕梁山), I had never heard of such a thing, but the doctor at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital [in Beijing] told me not to worry, I could be 28 years old before I got sick. I took this to mean that I had only 10 more years to live, so from then on, I made a habit of trying to live each day to the fullest, and make sure each day was meaningful.

Why I stood up for Deng Yujiao () and spoke out against sexual harassment— courage and conviction in the struggle for women’s rights

As a child, I grew up in an extremely patriarchal environment where girls were regarded worthless. Too many times, I witnessed promising young girls from our village forced to abandon their studies and go to work to support their brothers’ educations. My close friend and neighbor, who was one of four children, was only thirteen years old when she left school and started working. After a large portion of her body was burned in an explosion of a fireworks factory, she eventually got married to a very elderly man. As the daughter of a poor family, my quest for an education was hampered not only by severe economic hardship, but also by well-meaning people who tried to dissuade me from continuing my education.

In 2009, when a young sauna employee named Deng Yujiao used a fruit knife to stab to death a government official who had been sexually harassing her, it made me think of the harassment that many of my female classmates and I had experienced. To show our support for Deng Yujiao, a younger female classmate and I put on a work of performance art called “Deng Yujiao could be any one of us.” Although that was over six years ago, during my recent detention the interrogators asked me about that performance repeatedly, and kept demanding to know who or what was behind it. I told them exactly what I’ve described above, and while I don’t know if my explanation elicited any compassion from them, I hope that it did, at least from those with daughters of their own at home. I’m not some mastermind conspirator working behind the scenes to disturb the social order; I just want to call attention to the plight of women facing sexual harassment, and call for more public measures to punish and deter perpetrators.

Don’t cry, friends—you’re not alone

The reason my fellow feminists and I were detained was because of our planned campaign [to distribute stickers with anti-sexual harassment slogans] on March 8, International Women’s Day. But in fact, by March 6, we had already made separate promises to local police not to go forward with the event, and had even submitted our stickers and printed materials to the authorities. The original intention was simply to bring the community together to oppose sexual harassment, and to extend loving support to women who had experienced sexual harassment. Time and again, I’ve blamed myself…blamed myself for getting my fellow feminists detained. I wonder if they, like me, are being treated as political prisoners. Just thinking about it makes me even more upset. Every time I think about it, I worry that they’ll hate me for it.

Several of my fellow feminists were detained a day before I was. Some people, not understanding the situation, asked why I didn’t try to hide. The thought did occur to me, but only for a moment, and then I pushed it aside. I told some of my younger friends, the ones who hadn’t been detained, that I was going to go back to Hangzhou to explain the situation [to the authorities]. I naively thought that if [the authorities] had me in hand, other friends with minimal involvement in the campaign would be released. I naively thought that keeping my friends company would make them safer than if I went into hiding, so I made up my mind and boarded a flight to Hangzhou.

Big Rabbit [Zheng Churan’s nickname] and I were interrogated separately but on the same floor in the evenings. Twice I heard her crying. I worried whether she had a vicious interrogator, or whether she was under too much pressure or suffering too much.  At the time, I stopped and strained to hear what was happening in her room. Every day I prayed that my younger friends wouldn’t lose hope, that they wouldn’t feel alone. Sometimes we saw each other, and I wished I could tell them I’m here, I’m staying strong, and just knowing that we’re not suffering alone makes it easier to bear.

Making the best of a bad situation: my creative life in detention

My beauty regime: Of the 38 days in detention, I spent 19 days in a public security bureau hospital. 19 days, that’s all it took to transform my usual sallow complexion into a beautiful rosy glow. The secret was the leftover congee [rice gruel], which I would stir and stir (of course, as I stirred, I thought of my adorable little son, whose current pet phrase is “stir, stir the chocolate”). When applied to the face and body, the pale green gruel not only rids one’s skin of sallowness, it also keeps one’s hair soft and supple. Although the hospital had no “Yumeijing” brand beauty products or good shampoo, still I managed to emerge snow white and squeaky clean.

DIY fashion to beat the heat: During my first days in the detention center, the indoor temperature was kept too high, so I had to get creative by ripping out the stitching of my shirt with my teeth and removing the sleeves. It was a very fashionable look, but unfortunately the shirt was later confiscated, so I was unable to keep it as a souvenir. However, I would not recommend that others try the same, as some detention centers prohibit detainees from altering their uniforms.

Staying in shape by running in place: This is the very best medicine for curing pain and loss. Naturally, when running in place, keeping the arms elevated the entire time is an effective treatment for both neck pain and rheumatism.

The simple pleasures of reciting classical poetry: Before, I was never really able to relax and enjoy reciting classical poetry by heart—majestic lines like [Su Shi’s] “Eastward flows the Yangtze River, washing away all traces…”, or the bold optimism of Li Bai’s “Bringing in the Wine”, or the gentle beauty of [Xu Zhimo’s] “Taking Leave of Cambridge Again.” With such enjoyment, I would feel there wasn’t anything too difficult to get through.

There’s more, so much more. Later, someone will pick up where I left off.

You see, life is beautiful, I love you all, you who give me strength and warmth. You also give me the courage to describe my experience. I believe that, at the end of all this suffering, there will be a rainbow.

(Original title: Don’t Cry, Friends—You’re Not Alone)

 

———-

Related:

Chinese Officers Harshly Interrogated Women’s Rights Activist, Husband Says, the New York Times, April 28, 2015.

Chinese feminist: Long hours of interrogations after release, AP, April 25, 2015.

Detention of Five Chinese Feminist Activists at the Juncture of Beijing+20 – An Interview with Gender Scholar Wang Zheng, April 12, 2015.

 

(Translated by Cindy Carter)

Chinese original (the Chinese was posted in a friend group as a set of jpegs; China Change transcribed them for easy reading.)

 

 

 

 

 

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