The crescendo of the suffrage movement in the United States coincided with the 1911 Chinese Revolution, toppling the Qing Dynasty and establishing the Republic of China. The creation of the Republic made way for the de jure expansion of voting rights to women, although in practice the franchise was restricted by province and by locality. Nevertheless, the idea that women in the newly democratic China could vote provided a powerful impetus for suffragists in the United States. Mabel Lee personified this idea, and helped leverage the (perceived) rights of Chinese women to advocate for the extension of the franchise in the United States. She worked extensively in New York City as a high school and college student on women’s suffrage, as well as issues of more direct concern to the Chinese-American community.
With respect to the Hong Kong-BLM parallel, I’d like to recommend the work of Dr. Sharon Yam, who has written extensively about the tricky relationship between protests over the last summer in the United States and Hong Kong. I’d also like to take the opportunity to say that more of you should give the podcast a listen; Erik in particular is doing some very good interviews on some fabulously interesting topics. Producing the podcast is enjoyable but also tends to be labor intensive, so feel free to drop a nickel in the jar if you like what you hear.