After being criticized for not including pictures of any women in a collection of images depicting key historical moments in the history of the Communist Party, the Communist Youth League of China, the official party organization for Chinese youths, has published an article warning that "extreme feminism" cannot and should not be tolerated.
According to the SCMP, the League said that "extreme feminism has become a malignant tumour on the internet" and that the criticisms had been an "online violence against the editors".
"Extreme feminism has become more rampant and its toxicity is fierce," it wrote. "It’s urgent for all internet users to remove this tumour and let the online sphere regain a clean environment."
For context, here are some examples of what these "extreme feminist" critics said, per the SCMP.
One person wrote that all of the people involved in the photos were men.
"How do you avoid using pictures of those women heroes who made contributions to the country?" wrote a person on Weibo.
Another person asked: "Aren’t women entitled to be included in these pictures?"
However, as the SCMP pointed out, while two of the pictures feature mostly men, four of the images feature large crowds, or people wearing COVID hazmat suits, making it impossible to tell their genders. The League wrote on Weibo that the critics were "triggering public outrage" and that people online had engaged in "gender confrontation" to attract attention.
And in a sign that China could be headed toward another crackdown on feminism, a local party mouthpiece in Beijing declared that it's time to "discipline" so-called "fake feminists".
Beijing Evening News, the mouthpiece of the Beijing municipal government, published a commentary on Weibo that said it was time to discipline “fake feminists” who waved sticks to attack other people.
"Advocating for the equality between men and women does not mean yelling slogans and encouraging extremism, nor creating confrontations and dividing the society," the newspaper said.
The issue dates back to April 2, when the organization published a social media post that featured six images from some of China's most famous moments in its history under the Communist Party, including the Red Army’s Long March, Chinese soldiers crossing the Yalu River during the Korean war and constructing the Red Flag Canal in the 1960s.