Lorna S. Wei

PhD Candidate, National University of Singapore

Lorna S. Wei was an English major in the Department of Foreign Languages at Harbin Engineering University (HEU) from 2009 to 2013 under the supervision of Associate Professor Mao Yansheng and obtained her Bachelor of Arts from HEU in 2013. Her BA thesis “A Study on Identity Crisis in ‘Araby’ from the Perspective of Iconicity” received the HEU Excellent Thesis award. She joined the Institute of Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Peking University in 2013, and obtained her Master of Arts in 2016. Her MA thesis was titled “A Gender Study of Interactional Strategies in Marital Conflict Talk” and was directed by Professor Hu Zhuanglin.

TV series Nothing but Thirty (《三十而已》) revolves around the lives of three females living in Shanghai. (Internet)

Portrayal of women in Chinese dramas getting more westernised?

Hit Chinese television series Nothing but Thirty has struck a chord with scores of working women in China, says young academic Lorna Wei. Unlike one-dimensional portrayals of women in previous dramas, this one seeks to give women in China a voice as she copes with trials in work and in love. If this is art imitating life, it seems that Chinese society is becoming more like any other modern, in fact, westernised, society we see today. Only entrenched attitudes about their roles in society can keep women back as they seek a better future for themselves.
A woman wearing a face mask walks in the Central Business District in Beijing on 14 April 2020. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China's grassroots civil servant and her story battling the Covid-19 pandemic

China's grassroots civil servants have been sandwiched between their demanding supervisors and the people, while braving the elements standing guard outside different communities and organisations throughout winter and spring during the pandemic. Young Chinese academic Lorna Wei tells the story of one of these non-medical frontline workers amid the tough fight as she salutes the numerous nameless heroes among them.
A couple wearing face masks cuddles along a park at the Yangtze river in Wuhan, Hubei, on 12 April 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Death of a Peking University girl: Virginity matters in modern China

Baoli, a student at Peking University, committed suicide because of her boyfriend and died this early April. Young academic Lorna Wei examines the case and bemoans the sad situation of both men and women holding parochial attitudes in China towards a woman’s virginity. In extreme cases, the vulnerable may fall prey to grave self-harm, even death.
Why should we shave the heads of female medical staff? (Weibo)

How women are used as a propaganda tool in the Covid-19 epidemic

A nurse who just had a miscarriage was praised for returning to the medical front line; the word “period” (menstruation) was omitted from broadcast subtitles and in newspaper reports; while nurses sat in tears as their heads were shaved. Closet feminist Lorna Wei can’t help but blow her cover with recent portrayals of women in the media glorifying gender stereotypes. She seconds the view that women need respect, not empty praise. 
Wuhan skyscrapers are wrapped in motivational slogans to rally the people together in the fight against the 2019-nCoV. (Xinhua)

Just back from China, Lorna Wei says "May the force be with us"

Graduate student Lorna Wei returned to her hometown in Hebei province for the Chinese New Year holidays, only to land in the eye of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus storm. She shares her personal experience, from the inside.
My family reunion dinner at Fengnan, Tangshan, Hebei Province. (Photo: Lorna Wei)

[Chinese New Year Special] Food changes, and so does the world

There was a time when “fatty” and “oily” were signs of prosperity. Young academic Lorna Wei reminisces that gone are the days of fighting over the last meatball as the post-80s and post-90s generation Chinese become more wealthy. But with material abundance comes emptiness. Is it harder to be happy? The realities of Chinese life hit home as the Spring Festival draws near.
One Child Nation documentary poster. (One Child Nation/Facebook)

A Chinese woman's status and the one-child policy

Lorna Wei notes that gender-skewed policies such as the one-child policy have far-reaching consequences and often produce unexpected outcomes. Social issues will persist if we continue to ignore the warning signs given by those who bear the brunt of such policies.
30 couples tie the knot on 11 November 2019 at Guangzhou, wearing traditional Chinese wedding gowns. The picture shows the groom unveiling his bride. (CNS)

No bride price, no marriage in China

The practice of commoditising marriage through a “bride price” to be paid by the Chinese groom has grown to incredible proportions in recent years, especially in the rural areas of China. Untenable financial burdens aside, this practice is not doing women’s push for gender equality any favours.