Celebrate International Women’s Day with a look at the suffragette sisters of old Shanghai! Early Republican Shanghai was a feminist powerhouse – the passion of the Shanghai activists inspired and frightened in equal measure. Stories of the Shanghai suffragettes traveled more than a thousand kilometers, to reach the ears of the capital. But while Shanghai had embraced the development that came with gunboat diplomacy in the 19th century, much more conservative Beijing had actively resisted these impulses.
Only later, inspired by Shanghai, did a strong feminist voice emerge in Beijing. Newspapers were filled with stories from Shanghai, and new commodities like cigarette packages and perfume featured images of fashionable women that shaped a new idea of what it meant to be a woman. A door had been kicked open, and a breeze of fresh ideas entered from the radical sisters of Shanghai.
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