Kang Tongbi (Kang Tung Pih) 康同璧, circa 1905.
The daughter of a Chinese intellectual, Tongbi was the first Asian student at Barnard. After the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Tongbi returned to China and became involved in feminist causes. Unlike many other women of her class, Tongbi’s feet had never been bound as her parents objected to the practice. In Shanghai, Tongbi co-founded a Tianzuhui (Natural Feet Society) with a female doctor. Tongbi also edited Nüxuebao (Women’s Education), one of the first women’s journals in China, and published a biography of her father Kang Youwei. In the 1920s, she helped organize the Shanghai Women’s Association, which petitioned the Nationalist government in Nanjing for a new constitution under the slogan, “Down with the warlords and up with equality between men and women.”.