Chinese Feminism: Vocab Everyone Should Know

Vocabulary your professor won’t teach you

Instructors and textbooks tasked with teaching you Chinese have a big task to conquer. With hundreds of sentence structure patterns, thousand of characters, and millions of words, some things understandably slip through the cracks. While topics like introducing yourself or navigating an airport obviously take precedent for beginners, over time topics like stomach ailments or “brand-name fever” (I’m looking at you Crossing Cultural Boundaries: The Routledge Advanced Chinese Multimedia Course) feel pretty arbitrary. If you’ve ever wanted to utilize the language of feminism in Chinese and felt like you couldn’t, then this is the guide for you – it’s shocking how simple it is to pick up these Chinese feminism vocab terms.

The vocabulary of feminism

With just a few building block terms / characters – the majority of which you likely already know – you can form a ton words related to feminism. We’ve picked 10 building block terms and 6 key terms to build up to; however, the set of 10 building block words can combine to make lots of other words. Sisterly love, for example, isn’t a term that we cover below, but it is a simple combination of sisterhood and love (two terms that we do cover). Without further ado, here are MSG’s essential Chinese feminism vocab terms:

Building blocks for Chinese feminist vocab


女 = (nǚ) woman; girl
权 = (quán) power
主义 = (zhǔyì) doctrine; ism
团队 = (tuánduì) team
协作 = (xiézuò) cooperation
结 = (jié) knot; together
姐妹 = (jiěmèi) sisters
情谊 = (qíngyì) feelings of friendship
自 = (zì) self
爱 = (ài) love

Putting the pieces together


女 + 权 = 女权 = (nǚquán) girl power
女权 + 主义 = 女权主义 = (nǚquán zhǔyì) feminism
团 + 结 = 团结 = (tuánjié) solidarity
团队 + 协作 = 团队协作 = (tuánduì xiézuò) teamwork
团 + 结 = 团结 = (tuánjié) solidatiry
姐妹 + 情谊 = 姐妹情谊 = (jiěmèi qíngyì) sisterhood
自 + 爱 = 自爱 = (zìài) self love

Let us know in the comments below if you’d like more out-of-the-textbooks vocabulary lessons. If you liked this post please make sure to share itpin it, or tweet it!

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