By: Daniel Otero
What’s great about her or even cool? China had a glorious woman in history. A personality in her own right, a woman before her time! She was a sexy human being, living the glamorous life, fashionable, a feminist, activist, anti-slavery, revolutionary, triad member and martial artistist from Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province. So many things and you can call this lady the near perfect gal! Like the English would say, ‘Tough old girl even participated in the triads!’ Yes, she joined the triads to overthrow the Qing government. Qiu Jin (1875 – 1907) was a controversial personality in her own right, and talk about women having difficulties in the western world. Imagine living in her time and place, the end of imperial China! Later, she became a martyr in her short and troubled life.
In today’s standard, a woman to my heart: smart, beautiful and well educated. When visiting the town of Shaoxing, there is a statue honouring her right in the center; with a museum, where her ancestral home was located.
She was only 31 years old when she was executed and sadly, she stood for the right cause during a very convulsive time of change in China.
What’s extraordinary was her level of education; a student of Chinese and Japanese ideas. Maybe she could’ve brought two-angry countries closer together for peace in this difficult period!
A female who was comfortable in her ‘own skin’, and right into fashion; dressing with a kimono, qipao, to western male suits and female styled dresses. What an extraordinary lady! Sometimes needed for our troubled times!
Few ladies have been noted as greatly throughout the history of China. Amongst those have been Mulan, Dowager Cixi and Qiu Jin.
In every positive way, Ms. Qiu is what woman need in China and across the world. An advocate on woman’s rights and independence… She wasn’t weak or apathetic like those people in the writing’s of Lu Xun—when facing the realities of China. Or for those whom live in a narcissistic world and only for themselves, this lady gave of herself entirely and wholly—a thread setter and example.
What would her life have become after the 1911 Revolution, fall of the Emperor and the establishment of Sun Yat-sen’s government? We’ll never know and that will remain a mystery. One thing is certain—presently, women like her are needed more than ever!
Thinking that, this is one of the countries [not counting the overpopulation] with the highest female-suicide rates in the world! Her life could set an example or be a lesson for so many weak and often low-spirited females.
Qiu Jin did believe that women could be gorgeous, clever and confident in their equality to men. This is something needed in a country where females think of themselves lesser than males. Or still, with the cultural customs of males being treated like the ‘Little Emperors’!
But slowly things are changing and it doesn’t mean we don’t need more women like, Qiu Jin. Females are ‘hitting the books’ and progressing more and more in the workplace. This means that China can become a grander land, open in spirit and mind! Women need to know and understand they can progress in a country where the disparity is ’20 to 1’, males over females. Things are becoming better and it would’ve made Qiu Jin proud! Feminism not in her lifetime and it later came to fruition 100 years later!
To become a better person it’s not only amazing to a woman’s life. It’s a thing to have social consciousness and start with things that make our world a better place to live. ‘If we want to make the world a better place, we should start with ourselves!’ (Mahatma Gandhi).
Once learning about Qiu Jin, you can watch a movie about her life. Her life was portrayed by the beautiful actress, Huang Yi in 2011, “The Woman Knight in the Mirror Lake”. Begin here with these little lessons in positive-social changes and maybe, it will lead to an equal world. Could it be, only but a dream? (Utopia, St. Thomas More).
Reference and photo courtesy: blog.eteacherchinese.com