The CCP's commitment to gender equality since 1921 has produced vast gains in employment and education for countless women while overlooking established gender hierarchies in family life. Long-term research in Beijing reveals that crossing class, sectoral and generational differences, there is an apparent paradox between women's increasing access to education and employment and their abiding attachment to ideas and practices associated with their roles as wives, mothers and daughters-in-law. A reconfigured “patchy” form of patriarchy is sustained by a dominant discourse of gender difference that naturalizes women's association with the domestic sphere. Unprecedented engagements with international feminism after 1995 introduced new approaches to gender equality. Recently, young feminists from diverse backgrounds have launched public protests targeting expectations of women in marriage and family life, marking a contestation of previous articulations of gender equality. Online platforms are flooded with exchanges about women's empowerment in a market environment that grants them considerable leverage to manage their marital and domestic relationships. The focus of this new generation of feminists on social reproduction signifies a radical departure from the classical Marxist principles underpinning earlier approaches to women's emancipation. Nevertheless, a “patchy patriarchy” continues to characterize widely held gender assumptions and expectations, spanning class and sectoral difference.