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Professor's Academic Women Post Backfires
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2017-10-27-
Title: Professor's Academic Women Post Backfires
Source: Global Times
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Keyword: Professor, academic women, post

A recent comment by a Chinese university professor asserting that academia is not for women has stirred a great controversy on Chinese social media, as experts call for more attention to ensuring women's right to education and a role in academia.

Feng Gang, the professor in question, is a sociologist at Zhejiang University who defended himself by saying that he "will never apologize" for his speech even if he "lived 10 lifetimes," in an interview with the media site "meirirenwu," which posted the comment on Wednesday.

The actual cause of the incident was a Sina Weibo tweet that Feng put out four years ago, which was dug up recently, leading to the controversy among Netizens, with some calling Feng a sexist.

Feng said in his Sina Weibo account in October 2013 that "According to past experiences, fewer than 10 percent of female students go on to do research after graduation, and hardly any of them focus on academic work in postgraduate courses." He added that "most women in postgraduate studies are just here to get a diploma and prepare for a job."

Currently, in China, women account for more of the undergraduate students, but the ratio changes gradually at the postgraduate and PhD level, Luo Ruixue, a member of the Women Awakening Network, a women's rights group, told the Global Times.

"It's because of the reality women face in their role of having a child," Luo said, noting that society needs to give women enough support for them to raise their children and more opportunities to achieve more in academia.

"It's not professional to say this for a sociology professor like Feng, who has so much influence and so many resources in academia," Luo commented. Society made this reality, which we need to change, she said.

Feng's Weibo account was blocked for some unknown reason as of press time. 

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