because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Qiu Jin

Despite being a wife and mother of two in China in the late 1800's, Qui Jin -- called "The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake" -- was known for being into martial arts and wearing European-style men's clothing.  At nearly thirty years of age, she heard the call to leave her family behind and take her adventurous spirit on the road to Japan, where she joined revolutionary movements to overthrow the current government in the land of her birth.

As if that wasn't bad enough, in 1904, Qui Jin began publishing a radical journal in which she encouraged other women to resist their patriarchal family socialization and become independent through education and training to establish themselves as professionals.  Within a couple of years, she had honed her skills as an orator to speak boldly and publicly against the continued oppression of women, while running a "sports school" that was actually turning out trained revolutionaries.

When arrested in 1907 for her revolutionary activities, Qui Jin admitted nothing -- even under torture.  So when she was beheaded shortly thereafter, her comrades immediately hailed her as a hero and a martyr for the cause.   One of her poems holds the line, "Don't tell me women are not the stuff of heroes."  At least not in-your-face women, huh?


  1. fantastic. what an inspiration! must read some more about her.

    1. I agree, Marcus. Thanks for letting me know you stopped by.