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Yard, Mollylocked

(6 July 1912–20 Sept. 2005)
  • Katherine Turk

Extract

Yard, Molly (6 July 1912–20 Sept. 2005), political activist and feminist leader, was born Mary Alexander Yard in Shanghai, China. She was the third of four daughters of Methodist missionaries James M. and Mabel Yard. Although she later claimed to have been “born a feminist,” Yard’s activist career was shaped by the particular restrictions and relative freedoms she encountered as a girl raised in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan Province. A family friend gave Molly’s parents a decorative brass bowl after her birth that was meant to console them for bearing another daughter. As a child, Yard witnessed the pain of other girls’ bound feet. She recalled, “I grew up with that whole devaluation of myself because I was female. It's outrageous, and it stays with you all your life.” But Yard also found that girls in China had opportunities to participate in organized sports that did not exist in the United States....

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