So today we move on to, in a way, the most important subject when we're talking about modernity and modernization, that is to say gender and gender equality. We've talked about economics. We've talked about science. Today, gender. Our guide will be Xiaofei Kang康笑菲, who is professor at George Washington University in the United States and the chapter is called "Women and the Religious Question in Modern China." Insofar as the contemporary paradigm shift can be summarized in terms of science or nationalism vs. religion, it is also in very large degree Confucianism vs. Buddhism, popular religion, and Christianity, patriarchy vs. gender equality, male vs. female. It's a time of oppositions, anti or pro: Confucianism, superstition, religion, materialism, nationalism. On the basis of who is against what one can almost predict what they will be for, and vice versa. So, as long as leftists, for example, were anti-Confucian, they were likely also to be anti-patriarchy and pro-gender equality. On the other hand, their Marxism also made them anti-feminist and anti-religious, as we will see, with the result that they could not make use of anti-patriarchal religious ideologies and, once in power, subscribed every bit as much as the Kuomintang to what Feixiao Kang calls the "public patriarchy." The public patriarchy, in which nation-building, the party-state, and the personality cult all took precedence over female liberation. Like the KMT therefore, the CCP—the Communist Party— opted for "wise mothers and good wives" or, worse, "Iron Girls." We've said that modernity is about secularization. "Drawing on the Western experiences," says Xiaofei Kang, "of modernization, the 20th century Chinese state and educated elite committed themselves to a secularization process that aimed to separate religion from Chinese social, economic, and political life and to replace religion with nationalism." The new religion. "Religion was (therefore) redefined as personal beliefs and philosophical pursuits. (And) Buddhism and Daoism and Confucianism, (the traditional <i>sanjiao</i>, or three teachings,) were uprooted from local life and reinvented into national religious institutions based on (what she calls the) ‘Christian-secular normative model'." That is to say the West with the Christian church on the one hand, and the secular domain of politics and government on the other hand. So for that you have to have not just the government which embodies the secular ideal, but you have to also have national institutions of the kind that Christianity represented. "Intrinsic elements of Chinese religious practices and rituals (as a result), such as incense burning, paper (money) offerings, communal worship, ghost pacification, demon exorcism, fortune-telling and spirit possession, were all denounced as ‘superstition' and hence a hindrance to modernity." As a summary of the paradigm shift, what we've just read from Xiaofei Kang's essay, it would be hard to find, hard to do better: all religions are pushed out of public into private space, and nationalism is put in their place. From the gender point of view, the problem with this construction of modernity was that it identified women with religion and superstition and thereby undercut the religious foundations —we'll talk more about that—of gender equality. In its crudest form, this identification concerned elderly peasant women and superstition. For example, "Jiang Kanghu 江亢虎 (1883-1954), the founder of the Chinese Socialist party and a champion of women's education," considered the Buddhism of Chinese women to be "nothing more than a motley collection of superstitious practices such as burning incense, upholding vegetarianism, chanting sutras and incantations, and dabbling in divination." Of course, this is not at all looking at what these activities might represent to the people involved. They're "othered". They're put into a category, labeled, and then their practices rejected. These same "gendered conceptions of superstition were further played out in the Nanjing government's anti-superstition campaigns." I quote: "As Rebecca Nedostup shows, the party-state posed itself as the sole arbiter of religion and directly linked women's liberation to the elimination of superstition and rural ignorance, both (considered) hallmarks of ‘traditional Chinese women.' The anti-superstitious rhetoric targeted particularly the category of ‘<i>sangu liupo</i> 三姑六婆—the three aunties and six grannies'." What did that include? That included "Buddhist and Daoist nuns, female fortunetellers, shamanistic healers, matchmakers (<i>meiren</i> 媒人), procuresses, herbalists and midwives, who had long suffered from Confucian elite contempt in late imperial times and from missionary criticism since the 19th century." I add here that an article written by Angela Leung, whom we've already read from the early period and we'll be talking about again when we get to charity, she writes about the exact same category, the <i>sangu liupo</i>, in the Yuan dynasty already being singled out for negative critique by the <i>ruy</i>i 儒醫, that is to say the Confucian doctors. So here we see how what looks like something very modern—the attack on superstition and particularly the attack on illiterate women's superstition— in fact goes way back. So they "urge (that) young people to persuade their superstitious mothers to turn to medical doctors rather than deities when they got sick." This call instantly goes all the way back to Sima Qian 司馬遷 in the 2nd century BC. "Echoing the missionary medical practices, the party-state cadres believed that once women were saved from ‘superstitious' practices, they would be able to realize their potential through proper training in ‘medicine, nursing, and pharmaceutical preparation due to their refined sensibilities, gentility, and tact'." That the deepest cultural roots of these gendered anti-superstition campaigns are to be found in Confucianism is key to understanding how often determinedly anti-Confucian modernizers could in the end form a new gendered elite that would explicitly seek a return to Confucianism. I'm talking about the present, 2017.