Jan 09 2006

Beijing Women’s Prison: A Cakewalk

This strikes me as quite the load:

Life in the women’s prison, in most people’s eyes, is some what mysterious, or even, horrible. But in inmate’s own eyes, life is simple and calm in prison. Some even find fun and hope there.

When they’re not being coddled by friendly jailers, inmates are arranging flowers and learning wood sculpture. And going yachting and taking tea with the Queen.


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  1. Liz

    “Life is simple and calm in prison.” Hmmm. Maybe it’s the the only way these women can get any of that elusive “me time.”

  2. Steph

    At least they’re not making it sound like one of those women’s prison movies.

  3. Sylvanite

    Sometimes I confess I do think about all the reading I’d get done if I was sent to prison. ;)

  4. Sharoni

    There is that simple thought, if only I were in a prison or an asylum I could get a lot of reading done and I wouldn’t have to deal with taking care of anyone but me . . . and the coddling part – I especially like that.

  5. Ron Sullivan

    Housemate we used to have spent some time in prison in Iran. She said it was all rather sociable, and while there (I think for a year or less, before fellow Americans got her sprung) she learned from other inmates to knit, type in Farsi, and wax her legs.

    On balance, however, she’d rather not have.

    What’s that line from the elegantly, rather gently contemptuous poem of Carolyn Forche’s about the twnety-year-old poet? Something about “… you were to end up in prison and so write your prison poems.”

  6. piny

    “‘even’ horrible”? Okay, then.

    There are already boot-camp fitness programs and strippercize aerobics classes. Will there be a women’s prison spa?

  7. Princess of Cybermob

    I have no idea if the description of this prison is fake, it could be. But I do know that the prison movies I’ve seen (all American btw) show something very different from what I experienced at (European) prison. Yeah, the food was horrible but there was no violence at all. And I’ve not heard there is any sexual violence in the men’s prisons either. Maybe the movies are right about prisons in US, but elsewhere, I wouldn’t be so sure.

  8. Nia

    I think the key to the whole thing is in the beginning of the article. There is one women’s prison in China, with roughly one thousand prisoners. Do we have to believe that? Only a thousand women have been punished for a crime out of a population of more than a thousand million? Either Chinese women are the best law-abiding citizens of the world or the whole article is a pack of lies.

    If there is any truth to it, I see that the underlining current is the old “a good life for a man is struggle, success, struggle. A good life for a woman is safety”.

  9. spygeek

    No, it said that this was the prison for Beijing, not the whole country.

    Who knows, maybe it is something like that, but I doubt it’s that nice. The article does that most of the inmates in this prison were charged with financial crimes, so maybe it’s a description of what we in the US would call white collar jail.

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