Abstract

Among all the factors that triggered Chinese feminist movements during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the introduction of Western feminism played an important role. While the Western influence on early Chinese feminism has been widely acknowledged, the problems that arose due to historical and cultural differences have yet to be more thoroughly discussed. This article will explore how Pearl Buck's first novel East Wind, West Wind problematizes Western feminism in a cross-cultural context, and how the novel criticizes the misunderstanding of Western feminism by Chinese male intellectuals. In addition, while acknowledging Pearl Buck's feminist concerns regarding the liberation of Chinese women and the representation of feminist ideals within her text, I argue that Buck gives voice to a few women at the cost of other women's silence. I argue that feminism is a complicated process that can never be translated through a single voice. The purpose of the article is to highlight the challenges of being bridges, and to call more attention to cultural differences and historical contexts in feminist practice so that the bridging function of feminism can be more effective across cultures.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 39-56
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-10
Open Access
No
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