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Five Women Speak: Wei Tingting: “To My Little Companions – Thank You Letter from Waiting” (Excerpt)

April 20, 2015

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

Chinese original

. . . Since the day I was released, I have been catching up on reading your articles and posts, and various media reports, and began weeping a lot. There’s a lot I want to say but have been too overwhelmed by emotions to get it out. I wept when I saw all the international support and statements; I wept when I learned that popo cried when she was hanging my laundry to dry; I wept when I learned that Xiao Tie prepared a poster of Esther Eng1 for me; I wept when I read the articles from my two social groups. I was touched when I saw the photos of support, and I particularly liked the one with two half-naked girls. I was touched when people said that we feminist activists are vital, unstoppable, and unyielding. I was even more unable to stop crying when I saw you were walking with our photos in all these cities—actions so naughty, resolute, lovable, and heartwarming. And when Lawyer Wang visited me and told me that because we were deprived of our freedom, there were people who wore masks of our faces in different places, and had photos taken of them, I cried non-stop.

S said the people outside suffered as much as those in jail, which almost made me cry. Just a few hours ago, Huang Ye said she was frightened after reading my posts, and said she wanted to find me some psychological help. Many friends called to ask how I was doing after I had been released, too. The list of friends who invited me to a meal to calm my nerves has already become very big. What touched me even more are the supportive statements by friends from my university and the articles written for me by the fellow students. Isn’t that the cause and the objective of what we do: raise awareness about gender equality among more people so that they become part of creating the change? Seeing our faces being exposed in different countries, friends from All Out generously offering to help with whatever we need, friends wanting to give me new mobile phones and computers because mine has been confiscated—all these fill me with love, hope, and courage, and encourage me to go on with my path with even more determination.

At first I was frustrated and thought that it would be the end of our feminist activist group. Yet, the actions of each of you began another era of magnificent, resolute, and indomitable feminist activism. As Sile said: “whether the movement is sustainable depends on the young comrades. Facing difficulties, the young comrades didn’t scatter but overcame their fears to take action. I can feel even without seeing them that we are closely and profoundly linked together. What luck and blessings have made this close connection possible. I love you more than ever before. . . .”

This past Wednesday, I listened and hummed to Maizi’s “Tough Women’s Song” all day. The song kept reminding me of the duet we had in prison. It was the morning of April 1 when the warden was taking me to meet with my lawyer. By that time I was already very worried about Maizi. Every time she was brought for interrogation, she would pass by my cell. My cell mate would shout—as I couldn’t see because I am so near-sighted—“the person in your case is passing by again.” So I knew she had been interrogated much more frequently than I had. My cellmate had a strong impression of Maizi because she always had the look of a ruffian when she was passing by. Maizi is a warrior type of a person. She was the one I worried about the most: can a person as tough as that get broken? Then I worried about Rongrong and Wang Man too. They always made me think of Cao Shunli. . . .


1. Esther Eng (1914-1970) was a Chinese-American film director, and the first female director to direct Chinese-language films in the United States.

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