In this paper I describe the work of a Chinese female writer who tackles the subject of reproductive freedom in a rather bold and unconventional way, by questioning traditional and political Chinese views on reproduction and motherhood and narrating both physical and psychological abuses perpetrated on women from a strong female perspective. In her latest trilogy The Womb (Zigong 子宫, 2019), Sheng Keyi (b. 1973) describes the life and marriage of three generations of women in contemporary China, touching upon all kinds of issues such as sexual abstinence, contraception, birth control surgery and pregnancy. Their whole existence is regulated by the use and abuse of their body and the way both family tradition and state policy on reproduction affect their lives, with different consequences and problems depending on whether they live in an urban or rural context. The Womb has been defined an “investigation novel on women’s reproduction” (Lu 2019), a novel which “reveals the physical and spiritual injuries inflicted on women by birth control surgery” (Ma 2019, 121). What is most interesting in this novel is the way the author unfolds a counter-history of female reproduction within the macro-history of the country. As I will show in my paper, Sheng Keyi’s cold and graphic descriptions reveal an uncommon sensitivity and a compelling use of literature as a tool for empowering women – in particular voiceless peasants –, fostering their agency in reproductive matters.
Pesaro, Nicoletta (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Titolo:||“Men control our vaginas; the state controls our wombs”. Sheng Keyi’s Novel The Womb (Zigong) and the representation of the female reproductive body|
|Rivista:||DEP. DEPORTATE, ESULI, PROFUGHE|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |