Friday, February 27, 2015

News and commentaries, 15-02-27

“Salt theory” (盐论) sounds the same as “speech” (言论)
The writer Zhai Zhenming is a professor at Sun Yat-sen University’s Department of Philosophy

Zhai mainly praised Secretary General Han Zhen of Beijing Foreign Studies University’s Party Committee. Secretary General Han published an article on “Being the avant-garde to lead social values” in Beijing Daily and it was reposted on People’s Daily

His direct quotes on “salt theory”:
For ideology education work, soft infiltration is better than hard penetration. Equal dialogue is better than condescending lectures. To strengthen the ideology education of socialist core values we must change the discourse system. We can’t always rely on the top-down approach. Socialist core values should be like an ingredient, or like salt. It should be mixed into all kinds of dishes, so it will be healthy for everyone when they eat it. If you ask teachers and students to eat salt directly, the result won't be good anymore.  

Popular sexist intellectuals
(“Straight man cancer”, according to The Nanfang, refers to a fictional non-curable disease that straight men can get. Patients infected with this disease usually show symptoms such as having terrible fashion sense, feeling good about themselves and holding disrespect to women. The term is now more often being used in man of male chauvinism)

(Xue’s note: This article came out in mid-January but I didn’t read it until today because I didn’t know what “straight man cancer” was until yesterday.)

Famous and prolific writer Zhou Guoping (he mostly writes essays of philosophy - one of ZX’s favorite authors from her mid teens to mid-twenties) wrote some stuff on his Weibo account and got seriously attacked by Netizens. He wrote: “Women are closer to nature than men, which is why women are so precious. Men could have a thousand ambitions and believe they could have many complicated missions beyond nature. Women only have one very ambition, which is to love, to give birth to and to take care of children - this is the most important task in their life. For a woman, as long as she follows her true nature, no matter when she is madly in love, or happily doing housework, or attentively nurturing her baby, she is truly beautiful.”


After being mocked by Netizens, he responded: I am not saying that women should go back home. I applaud emancipation of women and the equality of men and women. If a woman is very talented and accomplished, I would appreciate her much more. However, now matter how talented or accomplished she is, if she is not willing or does not know how to be an affectionate lover, how to be a caring wife or loving mother, her beauty to be is much less attractive.

Writer’s note: among intellectuals who are supposed to respect women most, there are lots of comments that undermine women. Zhou Guoping is not alone. A lot of these comments actually usually appear in classrooms, newspapers, as well as policy proposals.

Some typical intellectuals with “straight man cancer”.
Ambitious “straight man cancer”:
Translator Lin Shaohua, who has translated most of Haruki Murakami’s work into Chinese. He is also a professor of Japanese language at Ocean University of China in Qingdao.
His representative speech: “Some male students asked me how do I find time to translate so many books and articles in my spare time after teaching. My answer is simple: no housework! Male students laugh triumphantly and female students stay silent. I turn to female students and say: pots and woks are fatal tear and wear for men -- they would ruin men’s high aspirations and masculinity. Therefore there are so many feminine men, and so many masculine women.”

Dictating “straight man cancer”:
Writer Han Han
Representative speech: When answering the question of what does he think is the most important quality for women, smart, virtuous or beautiful? Han Han said: “Em, just don’t cheat on me. Cheating on me does not only mean sleeping with other people. It is not allowed for girls to flirt with other people. It is a very high requirement for women not to be flirtatious.”

“Straight man cancer” with concern for the country and the people
Tsinghua Sociology professor Sun Liping
Representative speech: in his Reconstructing Gender Roles, Sun Liping believes: (1), The biggest bottleneck for China is the sheer amount of population, and one of many solutions is to reduce women’s employment. Sun believes this is the most cost-effective and most pragmatic solution. (2) Taking the political system into consideration, there are two ways to reduce women’s employment: one is to make them retire early - but Sun Liping thinks this is a little difficult to implement; the other is to encourage periodical employment.

The self-interested “straight man cancer”
Assistant Professor He Guangshun of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies’ Department of Chinese Culture
Representative speech: “Female students should have ample time to make themselves look beautiful. It would be good if they could catch the second class starting at 10am. From 7am to 9am they should dedicate this time to putting on make-up. And then they could walk into the classroom with grace. Therefore male students would be touched and encouraged by their beauty and they will have more initiatives to strive.”

Retroist “straight man cancer”
Neo-Confucian Qi Yihu, lecturer at Southwest University of Science and Technology’s School of Political Sciences in Mianyang, Sichuan Province
Representative speech: To reconstruct the Confucian family, we need to change this abstract kind of gender equality that dismisses gender differences. We should come back to the system that distinguishes male and female functions in the family. I have an idea: maybe we could have the half-day work system for women. They work outside for half a day, and for the other half of the day they come back home to take care of their parents, husbands and children. Therefore, not only don’t they get cut off completely from society, they would also have time for their family. This really is killing two birds with one stone.

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