Traveling alone on foot is still a new concept in China. While some women like the adventurous idea, they worry about sexual harassment on the road. That’s why Chinese feminist activist Xiao Meili started her new project: Beautiful Feminist Walk- A Protest Against Sexual Abuse to Promote Women’s Freedom.
Xiao, the lead actor in the Chinese version of the “Vagina Monologues”, is walking all the way from Beijing to the southern city of Guangzhou – a distance of about 2,000 kilometers – to protest against sexual harassment and child abuse. She has already spent four months on the road and along the way has been collecting signatures, staging performances and handing out information to local governments. She has been sharing her experience on her blog with photos, writing and drawings.
Born in 1989 in China’s Sichuan province, Xiao has done many feminist projects to promote sexual equality and freedom. On Valentine’s Day in 2012, she was one of the three women who dressed up in blood-splattered wedding gowns in protest of domestic violence. She once occupied a men’s toilet to protest China's toilet inequity, calling for the government to provide more public toilet stalls for women (according to a Time magazine report, men take 30 seconds to use the bathroom on average, while women take 90 seconds). In August 2013, she shaved her head in protest of the discrimination against women students in university enrollment.
Xiao is currently making a living by teaching drawing and selling vintage things through online shop Taobao. She calls for donations on her Taobao page to support her journey. She also asks that women in local cities to walk with her, or provide a sofa for her to stay the night.
Check out the video below to see Xiao in action: