Before continuing the topic from last week about the feminist vocabulary, we want to offer some side notes about using Weibo to observe online discussions. When using Weibo, try to avoid the extremely popular influencers that have millions of followers (粉丝 fěn sī，a loanword from “fans”). Those are often what we call “marketing accounts” (营销号 yíng xiāo hào). They tend to be run by a team with a clear commercial objective. And they tend to avoid contentious topics that may cause trouble with content regulators. The most nutritious accounts are often those that have a moderate amount of followers but a large number of comments. When you find an influencer that you are interested in, you can go through their following list and search for more similar-minded people.
The key group that leads the debate on gender topics is what we call 女权主义者 (nǚ quán zhǔ yì zhě, feminists). Here is a very useful trick of translating different ideological groups: -ism should be translated as 主义 (zhǔ yì) while -ist should be translated as 主义者 (zhǔ yì zhě) as 者 is really a formal way of saying “person”. Other such examples include conservatism (保守主义 bǎo shǒu zhǔ yì) and conservatives (保守主义者 bǎo shǒu zhǔ yì zhě), idealism (理想主义 lǐ xiǎng zhǔ yì) and idealists (理想主义者 lǐ xiǎng zhǔ yì zhě). Any social science topics, whether it’s environment, economic growth, or healthcare, involves a lot of “主义” and their respective “主义者”.
Two other most discussed gender topics we did not introduce last time are domestic violence and sexual harassment. Even with subtle differences, these topics mirror many debates you can see in Western countries.
The debate on domestic violence 家庭暴力 (jiā tíng bào lì) is still at an earlier stage, as law enforcement (执法机关，zhí fǎ jī guān) in China still rarely intervenes in family issues. So how much the police should be involved and how to penalize the perpetrator are subject to intense debate. One of the biggest difficulties in solving domestic violence in developing countries is the lack of enough shelters to temporarily shield the victims from perpetrators. The government normally lacks the financial resources or political wills to invest in such shelters. Long-term solutions such as divorce are also easier said than done because it takes an efficient and impartial judicial system to ensure the fair division of property and child custody.
It’d be helpful to remember the Chinese expression of two important legal concepts, 民事案件（mín shì àn jiàn, civil case）and 刑事案件 (shì àn jiàn, criminal case) . As you probably know that civil cases normally do not involve police actions unless one side of the litigation fails to follow the court order after litigation. One thing people have been constantly debating is whether domestic violence should be more frequently prosecuted as criminal offense.
As one of the most debated issues in years, sexual harassment (性骚扰 xìng sāo rǎo, or 性侵犯 xìng qīn fàn) is another topic you want to be able to discuss not only in English, but also in Chinese. There is no directly translation for the word “consent”, but there is an adverb “自愿 (zì yuàn)” that means “with consent” or “voluntarily”. Consequently, “非自愿” means “without consent” or “against one’s will”. What constitutes consent has always been subject to controversy. Even in America, we can hear debate about whether suggestive clothes and behavior should be blamed as they can be misunderstood as sexual consent. In China, the similar kind of victim (受害者 shòu hài zhě) blaming is more common due to a long cultural habit that is unfriendly to women’s sexual expression. Feminists, therefore, often task themselves with promoting free expression of women’s sexual need, which is condition for clearly defining consent.
Again, it is very hard to learn using Chinese on these more subtle topics just by reading language text books, as those books normally stay on the most casual and common vocabularies. Expanding your reading materials is essential to learning, let alone taking the AP Chinese exam.