While the topics of #MeToo and the
Joining Auburn’s feminist movement that began in the mid-80s in the homes of
Gaetano first found her love for feminism and anthropology as an undergraduate abroad at Duke University. While abroad, Gaetano was introduced first hand to
While abroad in China, Gaetano sought to obtain qualitative data through interviewing women from a variety of backgrounds.
“I interviewed women workers about gender equality and they would always repeat the standard line of Chairman Mao: ‘men and women are equal’ because that is the Communist ideology. They learned it and would repeat verbatim without really asking, ‘is it really true?’” said Gaetano. “On the surface, there was incredible progress because men’s occupations were wide open and women were filling them. You had female welders and female bus drivers; occupations that had not been women’s jobs. But as you dive a little deeper you find they are still responsible for raising kids, putting dinner on the table, and they aren’t treated equally necessarily in social interactions or even in pay”.
Not only did Gaetano get to learn what life was like an Urban educated woman in China but also gained inspiration to focus on what life is like for those of ‘rural’ background in Chinese society. This when she struck upon her research topic for her dissertation for her
Her findings are fascinating and distant to the world of an Auburn student. For example, rural men have the hardest time marrying because they are the ‘least desired’. Yet, women in rural areas have an easier time finding rural men because of negativity towards what is deemed an ‘Urban’ woman.
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“Men look at these urban women as
Gaetano also found that attitudes towards women began to change again with the introduction of China’s former
“There was this phenomenon of really educating your child and if your child is a daughter, so be it. Convince her to do well in schools and have the best in life, but it becomes a Catch-22 for these women because suddenly their years of study and laboring through the glass ceiling to achieve status in the
Highly educated single women in the cities have found an outlet for their frustration through feminist causes such as the ones we use here in the United States such as the #MeToo movement. It is difficult for women in China to get around the censors put in place; simply adding #MeToo sets off the
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