The CLR James Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1/2, Fall 2022

Xiangning Xu
Pages 109-127

The Patriarchal Subject, Paradigm of Family and Woman Trafficking in China

Instigated by the incident of the chained woman in Feng County, Jiang Su Province, this paper offers a phenomenological argument on the workhorses legitimizing and sustaining women trafficking in China. Specifically, I leverage the Imperial Man and the Paradigm of War by Nelson Maldonado-Torres and construct a pair of paralleled concepts: the Patriarchal Man and the Paradigm of Family. In analyzing the social media coverage of the chained woman and government responses, I argue that the Patriarchal Man and the Paradigm of Family create and perpetuate a common understanding that enables and normalizes women trafficking within a broader circuit. This circuit includes both state actors such as government officials and local actors who are not directly involved in trafficking, in addition to the traffickers, buyers and sellers. To combat women trafficking, we need law reforms as well as a phenomenological reduction of the Patriarchal man. I suggest three potential ways for the phenomenological reduction.