The “feminist 5” as they are now being referred to gained national and international attention after their scheduling and organization to protest sexual harassment on public transportation in the country of China. Their detainment for such protest outraged many people and brought forth comments from many groups and notable figures, such as US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Undoubtedly, this can be primarily designated as a feminist movement by feminist activists prone to equal rights for women. Although Chinese authorities gave little response and vague explanation as to the actions surrounding the women’s detainment, they have undoubtedly undertaken a great deal of controversial response and encountered a great deal of unexpected criticism.
There are several conceptual perceptions that a Conflict Theorist may take in relation to the subject matter revolving around this particular issue with the Feminist 5. The social conflict theory is essentially based similarly upon the Marxist social theory where the idea that groups or persons within social classes throughout society possess a differential of material and nonmaterial resources that allow for power over the lesser possessing social class group or individual.
In the particular instance of the Feminist 5, the perception point from a conflict theorist would suggest that not only are men in general the culprit, as the sexual harassment the women seek to protest is generally coming from men, which is a sense of oppression over women. The opposition the women face is also most likely in general derived from men, which is another example of a conflict theorists perception of oppression. Secondly, in the concepts of a conflict theorists perception, the laws surrounding the movement toward detaining and continually harassing the women in their organizing and deploying of protests against such oppression over women would fall into the conflict theorist ideals that a dominant gender or organized power uses their authority and position to dominate a gender or class into subordination – therefore maintaining power and privilege within that society.