‘Women Only’ Languages


Yesterday my friend Kathleen had a surprise for me. Somehow she managed to get her hands on a hard copy of Opzij, the Dutch magazine that published my article on women’s languages in Asia. It was so much fun to see in print the results of a topic that I researched intensively for the past couple of months and… being able to browse through the actual magazine here in Hong Kong was awesome:)!

The article is about Nu Shu a Chinese language that was only spoken and written by women in a time when girls were not allowed to receive any education. This language was the only way in which they could express themselves and contribute to culture, history and society. It helped them escape illiteracy.

Opzij began in 1972 as a radical feminist magazine, but turned soon into a more mainstream/moderate newsmagazine for women. It’s content: women’s perspective on culture, politics, society and lifestyle. The perfect platform for an article on women’s languages. I just love how Asian women took faith in their own hands an created these beautiful monuments of resistance.


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