While women dressing as men can be found in dozens upon dozens of kung fu films, none are as significant as “The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake”.
The film tells the story of iconic feminist, writer and revolutionary, Qiu Jin and while most kung fu films have women dressing as men as a way to mask their true identity, Qiu Jin wore suits as a way of rebelling against the patriarchy. Although, there has been many discussions surrounding whether she was actually genderqueer…
The film exaggerates the tale in an attempt to cram in fight scenes here and there, but Qiu Jin was a martial artist. It’s just unknown whether she used her skills when fighting for her many causes.
She was later arrested for secretly teaching revolutionaries and heavily influencing an uprising against the Qing Dynasty.
She was publicly beheaded at the age of 31 and has since gone down in history as an icon of Chinese feminism.