On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for 37 days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out on their behalf, and activists inundating social media with #FreetheFive messages. But the Feminist Five are only symbols of a much larger feminist movement of university students, civil rights lawyers, labor activists, performance artists and online warriors that is prompting an unprecedented awakening among China’s urban, educated women.
Feminism and the demand to be taken seriously is an equal challenge across Asia. At the heart of the Comfort Women discussion is women's rights and the need to reverse centuries of accepted abuse against women. Deniers are talking about themselves and their fear of losing control. The false narratives are used to prop up a disintegrating patriarchy.