Contrary to (mainly western) feminist paradigms, for Chinese women the advent of birth control is not automatically synonymous with “freedom”. Within the collective cultural memory, family planning holds the cultural weight of painful state control, as legislation to reduce family sizes in the early Maoist period was enforced through forceful means.
A woman’s perceived value is tied up in her fertility and her physical appearance. The biological clock has supposedly ruled women’s lives for generations. In many industries, a woman’s sex appeal can equate to her recognition and success. So how does the notion of a “sell-by date” affect real women’s lives? For generations, the average woman has lived her entire life with the overpowering idea that one day, her eggs will suddenly run out and she’ll be immediately infertile. Thankfully, the biological clock is a myth.
They refuse to use femidoms because they are too big to swallow. In a raid, sex workers will swallow any condoms they have on their person, because condoms (used or unused) will be used as hard evidence by the police.
I was born in China. It is in China I must be reborn as a woman. Jin Xing was the first transgender person to undergo sex reassignment surgery in China with government approval, and the first whose sex change was officially recognized by the Chinese government. As a boy, Jin had an affinity for dancing and soon [...]
In China, the LGBTQ+ community face severe discrimination. Many LGBTQ+ people's families and communities refuse to accept their sexuality or gender identity, and therefore find themselves in compromising situations like 'fake' marriages to fulfil their filial duty. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until 2001, and some private Chinese clinics still offer 'electroshock' gay conversion therapy. [...]
Inspired by her grandmother’s deathbed confession of being sold to a brothel, Lijia Zhang injects her cutting social criticism into her first novel, Lotus. The book delves deep into the sex industry in contemporary Shenzhen, following a young migrant woman, Lotus, who is eager to escape her life as a prostitute.
If I got pregnant or had children before I got married? I would get shame, and my parents wouldn’t call me their daughter.
I was willing to be different, willing to try new things, and wanting to expand my world and life experience. My situation in life has changed, but fundamentally I haven’t changed.
Sexist Faux Pas at a Beijing Bar A woman takes the Beijing subway to work every day. One day her doctor tells her she is pregnant. "That's impossible," she says. "I've only been on the subway." When this joke was told to a friend and me at a party, the punch line hung in the air. The [...]