“I could hear my bones cracking” she says matter-of-factly. “I lost all feeling. That was the end of them.”
This is Ni Yulan describing her questioning by the police. This is what policing looks like in a society where there are no gendered double standards in the way police treat suspects.
So. The police broke her feet and kneecaps. She is confined to a wheelchair as a result.
Ni Yulan is a lawyer who got involved with fighting semi-legal land grabs in her neighborhood in Beijing. This is a very live issue in China these days. On top of that China is passing through a change of leadership equivalent to a presidential election. This happens about once every ten years these days and this time around the hot issue is political reform and individual rights, such as the right not to have your joints broken when talking to the police or to have your land taken without any kind of due process or equitable compensation. Ni Yulan has been in this struggle for over ten years now, but this was an especially inopportune time to stick her head above the parapet.
Well at least they treat men and women alike under questioning. When’s the last time you heard of the police in the US shooting an unarmed woman or beating her into a coma because she was “resisting arrest” or tasing her into shit-soaked submission or something else along those lines?
I think about Ni Yulan and people like her when I hear about the trials and tribulations of women’s suffrage activists in the UK and the US. Some were jailed, some were even force fed. Oh, how awful! How they suffered! This includes that White Feather ghoul Pankhurst.
Force fed. I wonder how they would have stood up to re-education on a baseline of 400 calories a day. Maybe they would have emerged as something better than social parasites in bustles and yards and yards of silk.
Meanwhile their men were dying in utter misery in the trenches of WWI, their rich social equals in even greater percentages than their working class soldiers. What brave warriors those suffragettes were.
….not fit to carry the slop jars of someone like Ni Yulan.