Gender discrimination in job ads in China

Source: Human Rights Watch (4/23/18)
“Only Men Need Apply”: Gender Discrimination in Job Advertisements in China

© 2018 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch

Four decades of rapid economic growth in China have created unprecedented economic opportunities for women, but gender discrimination in employment remains widespread.

By some key measures, the problem is getting worse: a smaller proportion of women are working. Only 63 percent of the female labor force worked in 2017, down from 65.5 percent ten years earlier. The gender gap in labor force participation has also grown. While the women’s labor force participation rate was 83 percent in 2007, it had dropped to 81 percent of the male rate by 2017. The pay gap in urban areas has also increased. And according to a report by the World Economic Forum, China’s gender parity ranking in 2017 fell for the ninth consecutive year, leaving China in 100th place out of the 144 countries surveyed (in 2008 China had ranked 57th). Continue reading

Beida student silenced over rape claim petition

Source: The Guardian (4/24/18)
Student says Peking university trying to silence her over rape claim petition
Young activist publishes letter alleging harassment over role in movement calling for more accountability over campus sex assaults
By Lily Kuo

Peking University

Peking University Photograph: Sipa Press / Rex Features

A student activist calling for transparency over an alleged rape at China’s top university has accused the university of trying to silence her.

Earlier this month, former classmates of a literature student at Peking University (PKU) who killed herself in 1998 came forward to say she had been raped by her professor, Shen Yang, who denies the allegation. PKU and two other universities subsequently cut ties with Shen and a group of current PKU students petitioned the school to hand over all documents related to the case. Continue reading

A migrant worker’s struggle

BBC Capital (4/17/18)
‘I hadn’t been home for three years’: One migrant’s struggle
China is home to nearly 300 million migrant workers who must leave the countryside for difficult, dangerous jobs in the big city.

Guo Jie, a migrant worker in Shanghai, makes a living by loading enormous stacks of polystyrene foam boxes on her bike, pedalling around Shanghai to re-sell them to wholesalers.

Unwieldly, dangerous and by her own admission a bit scary, it’s a job that proves a challenge to navigate busy roads. It also hints at the struggles the nearly 300 million rural migrant workers face in China. As their country undergoes rapid development, many people from rural communities must leave home behind to look for jobs in the city, where there are more opportunities. Continue reading

China’s changing sex lives

Source: Sixth Tone (4/17/18)
More Open, More Anxious: China’s Changing Sex Lives
Young people are having sex earlier and earlier, but performance anxiety is on the rise.
By Pan Suiming

[Pan Suiming is a professor emeritus and the honorary director of the Institute for Research on Sexuality and Gender at Renmin University of China in Beijing. This article is part of a series on gender and sexuality in China. Previous articles can be found here.]

Many people think of China as a sexually repressed society. While this is true to some extent, the results of four nationwide surveys I led between 2000 and 2015 show that young Chinese people are becoming increasingly open about sex.

During those 15 years, the average age at which Chinese people reported having their first sexual encounter trended steadily downward. In 2000, sexually active men under age 30 lost their virginity at 22.6 years old on average. For women in the same group, the average was 21.7 years old. By 2015, these ages had dropped to 19.5 for men and 20.4 for women. These figures are highly significant: In just 15 years, men had their first sexual encounter a full three years earlier, and the age for women dropped by nearly a year and a half. Continue reading

First gay-ish film widely released

Source: Sixth Tone (4/16/18)
First Gay-ish Film Widely Released in China
Despite suspected cuts from media regulators, advocates see ‘Looking for Rohmer’ as an important step toward LGBT acceptance.
By Qian Zhecheng

A promotional poster for the recently released film ‘Looking for Rohmer.’

Gay cinemagoers in China are finding “Looking for Rohmer” a bit of a letdown.

Long heralded on Chinese social media as the first gay-themed film to be approved for nationwide release, “Looking for Rohmer” — also known by its prerelease title, “Seek McCartney” — premiered on Friday to mixed reviews. When Sixth Tone’s reporter attended a Shanghai screening on Friday evening, the only three other viewers in the theater were all gay men.

After the final credits, a 35-year-old consultant told Sixth Tone that “Looking for Rohmer” was more arthouse film than “gay film.” He declined to give his name for fear of publicly revealing his sexuality. Continue reading

Weibo reverses gay content ban (1)

Source: Sup China (4/16/18)
Weibo revokes ban on homosexual content after uproar
By Jiayun Feng, Jeremy Goldkorn

A rare piece of good news for freedom of expression in China: Sina Weibo, confronting a colossal backlash from the public following its ban on homosexual content issued last Friday, announced today that it had reversed the decision, limiting the cleanup campaign to only pornographic and violent comics and games.

“We won’t target gay content anymore in this cleanup of games and anime,” the Weibo administration announced (in Chinese) on April 16, a mere three days after the initial ban was issued. “Instead, we’ll focus on content with pornographic and violent themes. Thank you for your discussions and suggestions.”

The reversal constituted a rare case in the history of Weibo, one of the biggest and most popular social media platforms in China: It is highly unusual to lift censorship of a certain topic in direct response to user feedback. The decision also marked an unprecedented triumph for the gay community in China. Continue reading

Weibo reverses gay content ban

Source: NYT (4/16/18)
Chinese Social Media Site Reverses Gay Content Ban After Uproar

A conference booth last year for Sina Weibo, which had said Friday that it would reduce gay content as part of a campaign to remove pornographic and violent material from its site. CreditJason Lee/Reuters

BEIJING — Bowing to intense pressure from millions of internet users, a Chinese social media site said on Monday that it would scrap plans to censor cartoons and video games with gay themes.

The site, Sina Weibo, had announced on Friday that it would target gay content as part of a campaign to remove pornographic and violent material from its site.

But its efforts were almost immediately criticized as discriminatory and repressive, spawning an outpouring of #Iamgay hashtags and slogans like “gays aren’t scary.” Continue reading

Neihan duanzi shuttered for vulgarity (1,2)

“段友” are honking their horns and reciting a (vulgar) “secret code” to each other in public:


On Twitter, some journalists have noted that these videos of honking and protest could be spliced from before the Neihan Duanzi shutdown:

However, the proliferation of these videos, even if anachronistic/unrelated to Duanzi’s demise, come from real and current support for the late joke platform and for fellow duanyou:

Anne Henochowicz 何安妮 @annemhdc Continue reading

Sinicizing China’s great oral epics

Source: Altaic Storytelling (4/12/18)
Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics
By Bruce Humes

A large-scale, colourful rendition of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (玛纳斯史诗) was staged March 22-23 in Beijing’s ultra-modern Poly Theater. This performance came just two days after the newly anointed President Xi Jinping, speaking at the People’s Congress, cited two of the three great oral epics of non-Han peoples, Manas and the Tibetan-language King Gesar. While he mangled the title of the latter (Xi Jinpingian Sager), their mere mention shows their importance in the Party’s current multiethnic-is-good narrative.

This centuries-old trilogy in verse recounts the exploits of the legendary hero Manas and his son and grandson in their struggle to resist external enemies — primarily the Oirat Mongols and the Khitan —and unite the Kyrgyz people. Along with heroic tales such as Dede Korkut and the Epic of KöroğluManas  is considered one of the great Turkic epic poems. Continue reading

Food courier wins poetry competition (1)

This is an oddly superficial treatment from the SCMP of a potentially interesting story.

I would like to know who Mr. Lei’s favorite poets are; whether this delivery-man is familiar with Iron Moon, and what he thinks of it; whether his manner of expressing himself has been influenced by all the poetry he has absorbed; and whether his love of poetry owes anything to the influence of a particular teacher who crossed his path during his (presumably brief) schooling.

When he recites poetry, is it with feeling and apparent understanding (as I surmise), or has he merely found a picturesque way to work out an obsessive-compulsive disorder?

I’d also like to know why the fellow with all the academic literary credentials could not match Mr. Lei’s mastery. Is it because over the last couple of decades, the study of literature in China has emphasized theoretical discussion of texts to the neglect of actual familiarity with them?

A. E. Clark <>

20-year-old rape case a rallying cry

Source: NYT (4/9/18)
China’s #MeToo: How a 20-Year-Old Rape Case Became a Rallying Cry
查看简体中文版  |查看繁體中文版

Gao Yan, a young woman whose suicide two decades ago has ignited a debate about sexual harassment in China.

BEIJING — She was a promising young student of Chinese literature with sterling grades and an industrious work ethic. But in 1998, during her sophomore year at one of China’s most prestigious universities, Gao Yan was raped by a professor, her friends and relatives say, and soon after she killed herself.

Now, on the 20th anniversary of her death, Ms. Gao’s story has become a rallying cry for China’s fledgling #MeToo movement, inspiring calls for the government to do more to prevent sexual assault and harassment. Continue reading

Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory

Welcome to Orwell 2.0 — already in place. –posted by Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: Foreign Policy (4/3/18))
Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory
The party’s massive experiment in ranking and monitoring Chinese citizens has already started.

Top and above: Roncheng’s “civilized families” are displayed on public noticeboards like these. (Simina Mistreanu)

RONGCHENG, CHINA — Rongcheng was built for the future. Its broad streets and suburban communities were constructed with an eye to future expansion, as the city sprawls on the eastern tip of China’s Shandong province overlooking the Yellow Sea. Colorful billboards depicting swans bank on the birds — one of the city’s tourist attractions — returning there every winter to escape the Siberian cold.

In an attempt to ease bureaucracy, the city hall, a glass building that resembles a flying saucer, has been fashioned as a one-stop shop for most permits. Instead of driving from one office to another to get their paperwork in order, residents simply cross the gleaming corridors to talk to officials seated at desks in the open-space area. Continue reading

Graduate student suicide

Source: Sup China (4/5/18)
Graduate Student’s Suicide Raises Questions About The Professor-Student Power Dynamic On Chinese Campuses

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The suicide of a graduate student at the Wuhan University of Technology’s School of Automation two weeks ago has sparked a discussion online about the relationship between mentors and mentees at Chinese universities.

Tao Chongyuan 陶崇园, a graduate student at Wuhan University of Technology’s School of Automation, jumped off the sixth floor of his dormitory building on March 26, reportedly after being mentally abused by his supervisor, Professor Wang Pan 王攀.

Tao’s sister, a doctor at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), wrote on her Weibo account that her brother was coerced into assisting Wang with his personal affairs; under the request of Wang, Tao went to Wang’s apartment at night to prepare meals for him and do his laundry. Continue reading