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Sexism and mockery confronting a Chinese astronaut

About a week ago, 3 Chinese astronauts arrived at the Chinese space station known as the Tiangong “Heavenly Palace” to continue its construction in a six-month mission that is standard for Beijing.

Among the three astronauts is a woman, the Air Force Colonel, Wang Yaping, who is the second Chinese female astronaut, and the first woman from her country to go on a mission in outer space twice, but this did not satisfy her, but rather sparked a new chronic debate about discrimination suffered by women. On the social, economic and political level, according to the American newspaper ” New York Times “.

According to the newspaper, although the founder of the communist regime in China, Mao Zedong, was quoted by one of his favorite sayings: “Women carry half the sky,” that phrase claiming to strive for complete equality between the sexes did not find a great resonance on the ground.

The Politburo of the Communist Party of China, the country’s ruling political body, currently consists of 25 members, including only one woman, Sun Chunlan, while discrimination is still rampant in all workplaces, for example, women are appointed based on their external appearance in many Jobs before they are dismissed or demoted due to pregnancy and childbirth.

The fledgling “MeToo” movement in China faced opposition in the courts and state censors on the Internet, while a female Tokyo Olympic gold-medal athlete was bullied and harassed on social media platforms because of her “manly appearance”.

“A great power like China gives women the opportunity to go into space…but on the other hand it still sends a message to society that women remain No matter what she does, a woman must fulfill the traditional roles that have been entrusted to her.”

Following the success of 41-year-old Wang Yaping, discussions erupted online as to whether women and men are fit to perform the same physical tasks, including strenuous swimming in outer space, which the Chinese astronaut who has a Chinese astronaut is expected to do soon. A five-year-old girl.

One user wrote on Weiyou, the Chinese alternative to Twitter: “Most girls can’t do hard work or exhausting work, so women should respect this characteristic of their gender.”

shampoo problem

Others suggested that he would answer, Wang Yaping, that she cut her hair before setting off the mission, sarcastically wondering what difficulties she would encounter when she washed it during her six-month period in the “Heavenly Palace”. 

In a letter published by state media, Colonel Wang expressed her pride in her accomplishments, and before that she said in television statements that she hoped the mission aboard the Tiangong space station, “more successful because of it,” pointing to the obstacles she had to overcome to reach this point. stage.

She added, “Being an astronaut is not a job, but a profession that I deeply adore… This passion is enough for me to overcome all difficulties and barriers, even if the price is my life.” 

In contrast, some online commentators have criticized focusing on Wang’s appearance, makeup and menstrual periods, rather than talking about her accomplishments.

Accordingly, one of the media wrote, “It is as if a woman cannot live her life without cosmetics and skin care… This has already blurred the essence of Wang Yaping as a person who has achieved many championships.”

It is worth noting that this is the fifth out of 11 manned and unmanned missions scheduled for the construction of the Chinese space station, which is supposed to be completed by the end of 2022. 

The “Heavenly Palace” station will be similar in size to the former Soviet Mir station (1986-2001), and its age has been set at least 10 years, according to AFP.

The new crew includes two men: Zhai Zhigang, 55, the first Chinese to go into space in 2008, and Wei Guangfu, 41, who is participating for the first time in a space flight.

   They will collaborate with Wang Yaping, who will participate in a new manned mission, eight years after she made a similar flight in 2013, becoming the second Chinese woman to go into space.

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