Just Like You
We want to let all the women out there know that the challenges they face in life, whether good or bad, are not only unique to them but. You would be surprised by how many women are #JustLikeYou.
This week, we are featuring CC, the founder of "Vagina Talk" at Donghua University Campus. CC shares how she got into feminism and how she views masturbation as a way to empower herself.
Give us a little intro into Chen Chen and what occupies your day to day?
My name is ChenChen, you can also call me CC. I’m from Ningbo, Zhejiang. I enjoy watching movies, reading books and browsing BiliBili haha. I love communicating with people, it pushed me into volunteering at art festivals and events and now into my internship at a youth culture media brand. I am doing now what I aspired to do when I was 18 years old: conduct interviews and write, feel “others”, observe this era and immerse myself into the everyday person. I am also in a 2-year relationship with a gentle boy who understands me very well.
Who are your role models?
I think I've always been looking for female role models since middle school, also in fields that are dominated by men. In middle school I loved reading Sanmao, then Wang Anyi; I was also intrigued by the singer Deserts Chang and the journalist Chai Jing. I would go for stories of imperial concubines and prostitutes when reading history books. I think overall I always expect different views and perspectives from women in different fields.
We have heard you are organising the "Vagina Project" at your university. What triggered you into organising this and how have the events been?
I have always felt challenged with the current attitudes toward sexual health in universities: there is a lack of sexual education, birth control knowledge, and students who don’t know how to love their bodies. I think university girls are so commonly anxious about their bodies that I seldom see any girl completely in acceptance of herself. There are so many girls who don’t even know their anatomy down there, where to locate their vagina, what the shape of a clitoris is, how to manage reproductive hygiene and what to do about gynaecological diseases.
Last October I saw an event invitation for the Vagina Reading Event held by @维罗妮卡是一只小蓝山雀 and her friend. I joined with my friend GuoMao and that night was my first time experiencing a physical close connection within a female community. Everyone there was sincere, polite, and open. The words “period”, “orgasm”, “moaning” and “masturbation” were so naturally expressed. Physical needs, doubts about one’s sexuality, and also an appreciation for sexual pleasure were topics we comfortably discussed. It was a safe environment and despite different girls coming together from different departments in the college, layers in society, and schools of thought, that night everyone was equal. It was such a liberation to, for once, not talk about school, professors, and textbook theories.
I realised I wanted more girls to experience this liberating feeling, and that is how I started the Vagina Talks. I have been anxious about organising the event as it’s a topic not everyone feels comfortable with. However, after our first successful session I noticed that participants from other universities organised similar events which has given me the motivation to keep on doing this project. I really hope to bring more awareness to girls out there to take more care of themselves, gain confidence and self-awareness.
What are your thoughts on masturbation?
It is an amazing pressure outlet and the truest form of self-care.
My sexual consciousness came very late. I had no interest in boys and others thought I was lesbian. When I entered university I had a sex life before I knew how to pleasure myself: my boyfriend taught me about sex. One quote of his has stuck with me forever: “Don’t think of me having sex with you, you are having sex with me too”. He was also the one who urged me to masturbate and only then I experienced an orgasm. Since then I have had many in our relationship, but it is only after he urged me to pleasure myself first, that I am able to.
By knowing myself and how to pleasure myself, I feel less of a clinginess to my boyfriend to fulfil my needs. I can do it myself and that gives a feeling of empowerment. I have been telling girls all around me about the feeling of freedom masturbation can give. It is a unique life experience for anyone: it makes you feel excited and full of energy.
I think the concepts of sex and masturbation shouldn’t be shameful. They have taught me so much. I feel more confident and accept myself and my body fully. I even have sex with the lights on nowadays ;).
When was the first time you got in touch with feminism and how have you developed it over time?
I’m not sure. My family never favoured boys above girls and I cannot recall any moments in school where this happened either. I did develop an interest for female role models at a young age, in retrospect that might just have been my earliest feminist consciousness.
After I entered university, I held a de-gender perspective: I simply regarded everyone in life as a “human”. After some research and past relationships, my interest in feminism spiked. I joined a female reading group and that accelerated my interest in the concept of feminism. My friend GouMao also provided me with new insights and we have fiercely debated on the topics of feminism. She held a very strong opinion that the perspective I had regarding gender (by not seeing gender and seeing everyone as ‘human’) was the “illiterate” approach to fighting for gender equality. “I was comfortable and settled for this mindset because I had so little knowledge about feminism”. GouMao’s insights motivated me to deep dive more into this topic.
One book that really influenced my way of thinking is “Misogyny”. It theorises that everyone in a misogynic society is a misogynist, including women. I found this way of misogynistic thinking and behaviour in myself: I didn’t know my body well enough, I felt ashamed about sex, I wouldn’t say words like “vagina” and “clitoris” aloud. I wouldn’t compliment myself on self-growth. To quote Taylor Swift from her documentary: “I’m conscious of getting away from the misogyny in my head”. I think the biggest takeaway here is that you develop full consciousness in order to understand.
Do your parents know your perspective on feminism and have you told them about the Vagina Project?
They don’t. I’m not very close with my parents, but they give me freedom. I have come to the conclusion that none of the female family members I have, are truly happy. It’s like they have sacrificed their lives to the responsibility of being a lifelong mother. Since I couldn’t find a role model in these female family members at a young age in life, I decided to not have children and get married.
I once held the belief that my mother had changed her opinions on marriage and children as she loved tv-shows with strong-minded and independent women. She even uttered that she also “would not want to sacrifice anymore and be more comfortable”. But I think it’s hard to get rid of old feelings and routines because she still insists on me getting married and having children to achieve the traditional way of happiness and wholeness in life. I personally think that not having children is also a life experience and I do not need them to complete my life.
My parents are also afraid I will end up lonely without the company of children. But my point of view is that everyone is wandering this earth alone. You should not have children to solve for loneliness, that is something you find within. I enjoy solitude and have come to realise that I can’t force my parents to understand me. However, I can show them I am happy being the person I am, and I think happiness is what counts the most for them.
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About The Oh Collective 噢欢乐
The Oh Collective wants to inspire all women to be confident and happy with their intimate selves by recognising their physical needs and their own definition of "pleasure." We believe you don't need to be ashamed or shy to explore your body. We are here to provide our sisters with safe and reliable products, a trusted community and content that offers 100% good vibes only!