Graphic Designer        ayang01@risd.edu        347.596.5466
Mark

How can design be used to create a manifesto and disseminate information and educate the public?


“Nu” Female Portrayal in Language 
Editorial & Manifesto, Spring 2019

Taping into my Chinese Heritage, I became interested in the written language of chinese characters, particularly ones with the character for female embedded in them. I started collecting them into a dictionary format. Words such as ‘mother’ and ‘sister’ included the female radical, but so did many other words that stereotyped women. Among the harshest, a word made purely of three female radicals together was given the meaning of ‘rape’ and ‘evil.’ It was a cuss word that was so crude many people who knew of it shuddered at the sight of the character.


 
The word for female






With this project, I seeked educate others and reclaim this word as one of community and positivity.

I chose to post my work publicly among the school community. Within a few days, I started recieving many responses. Some, critical of exposing, or casting China in a negative light, wanting the word that was created in the past to stay in the past as its usage had dwindled. Others defended my stance in calling out languages, not only of Chinese (as it is used as an example), for inherent gender biases.

Ultimately, we can’t reach real gender equality without considering the language that we use; language is informed by culture and vice versa. There is much nuance to the topic, and I’m looking to exploring it further. I’m happy that it sparked many conversations.