Monday, December 22, 2014

What Would Mao Think?

Bobbie sent this along from Foreign Policy.com:

Over the past 30 years, Chinese society has undergone an evolution in traditional morality perhaps as rapid and unsettling as its economic boom. Yet sexual orientation and gender identity have retained a strong aura of cultural taboo. Same-sex marriage remains illegal, and many LGBT individuals enter into traditional marriages in order to assuage social and family expectations. But even that is changing, as LGBT communities haveflourished in China’s sprawling metropolitan centers such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing. Now a widely published scholar and well-known proponent of same-sex marriage has revealed her own relationship with a transgender man, a revelation that has taken Chinese social media by storm.
Li Yinhe, a public intellectual with a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh who writes frequently on sexuality, revealed Dec. 18 on the Sina blogging platform that she is in a relationship with a transgender man whom she does not name, and that they have lived together for the past 17 years, starting in mid-1997.* The revelation was all the more unexpected given Li’s prior marriage to the renowned male novelist Wang Xiaobo; many in China had continued to view Wang’s untimely death of a heart attack in April 1997 as a romantic tragedy that left Li an ever-grieving widow. Li’s Dec. 18 revelation has already been viewed over 600,000 times, garnered over 7,000 comments, and has been widely republished in mainstream news outlets including Tencent and QQ. Li also posted the blog to her one million followers on Weibo, China’s massive microblogging platform; within 24 hours, it had been shared more than 33,000 times with more than 10,000 comments.
The shear size of China's population alone means when it makes a statement-it makes a big splash. If you are of age though, you will remember the Marxist Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung . Furthermore you may remember how cool it was (in the non establishment sort of way) to carry and/or have a copy of Mao's Little Red Book.  Even if you never read it.

So, when I read stories such as this, I know the world has come a long way. The article is quite complex and has a few corrections. Go here for more.





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A Life in Gender Flux