Josephine Ho is Chiar Professor and Coordinator of the Center for the Study of Sexualities, National Central University, Chungli, Taiwan. A native of Taiwan, Josephine Ho has been intensely involved in the burgeoning counter-cultural movements since her return to Taiwan in 1988 after receiving two doctorates from US universities. As perhaps the best-known feminist scholar in Taiwan, she later founded the Center for the Study of Sexualities at National Central University in 1995, widely-recognized for both its activism and its intellectual stamina. Josephine Ho has written extensively and provocatively on many cutting-edge issues in the Taiwanese context, spearheading sex-positive views on female sexuality, gender/sexuality education, queer studies, sex work studies, transgenderism, body modification, and in recent years, gender/sexuality deployment under global governance. She has written and edited more than 15 volumes of Taiwanese gender/sexuality research, which have greatly enhanced and challenged Taiwanese academic research into marginal gender/sexualities.
Considered the single most formidable theoretician/activist for Taiwan’s sex rights movement, and the “godmother of the Taiwanese queer movement,” Josephine Ho’s continuous and articulate efforts on marginal issues have made her the number one “public enemy” for conservative Christians in Taiwan who have been trying to silence her sexual dissidence. Her academic website was forced out of the academic net space in 2001 because of its sex-positive stance on teenage sexuality.In 2003, a dozen of conservative Christian NGOs banded together and brought charges of spreading obscenities against Josephine Ho and her massive sexuality studies internet databank, in particular for including two hyperlinks that lead to zoophilia websites.
With the support of students, scholars, activist groups, along with a wide-spread international petition drive plus her own articulate self-defense in court, Josephine Ho won the court case first in the district court and then again in the high court in 2004, thus successfully defending the freedom of speech and information on sexual matters. Though best-known for her work in gender/sexuality related issues and movement, Josephine Ho has not been absent from local organization/mobilization for the anti-war movement, anti-globalization movement, anti-nuclear-plant movement, and the most recent anti-social-exclusion movement. For her tireless effort in resisting bigotry and prejudice, and her work on human rights and sex rights, she was selected as one among the thousand women from all over the world who were collectively nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.