Storytelling in Sistersong and the Voices of Feminism Project
Telling stories to change the world : global voices on the power of narrative to build community and make social justice claims
In the fall of 1996, at the offices of Rural Women Knowing All, Xie Lihua, editor of Rural Women magazine, received a manuscript submission from a reader named Wang Lixia. Wang Lixia told one tragic story, a single case of the circumstances that give rise to a suicide rate in China double the rate in the United States. This one tragic story also presses the reader to consider why China is the only country in the world where more women kill themselves than men. In general, the magazine imagines and promotes a warm, companionable relationship between readers, journalists, and editors. It often features articles seeking to diminish the distance, both geographical and experiential, between its urban editorial office and its rural subscribers. Rural Women also makes connections between stories and activism; it uses stories as a way of raising consciousness and pleading for transformation in the condition of China's rural women.