Are Chinese sexually conservative? Well, you might get the answer from the Weibo reaction to a recent attention-grabbing activity organized by a group of students at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) which asked a number of girls to finish the sentence “My vagina says”. A heated discussion followed suit as soon as the news was posted on Weibo, where the feminists and the conservatives battled it out on the propriety of the theme.
The Gender Studies group that initiated this activity is a university-based group that aims to promote gender studies, gender equality and anti-discrimination in China. The activity was part of the promotion for the adapted drama performance Vagina Monologues, a Broadway show that used the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality, which was staged in the university on November 7.
My vagina says, “The first time is nothing.” Photo: weibo.com
My vagina says, “I say who gets the in.” Photo: weibo.com
Many people, not knowing the background or the purpose of the activity, took it at its face value. “It’s way out there. I can’t stand it.” said one comment, which is a sentiment shared by many Weibo users who criticized the activity in harsh words. “It is perverted!” exclaimed another. Some people simply lamented the fact that the young people have no “moral bottom line” nowadays.
Some comments, on the other hand, are even more provocative. There are many people who suggest to organize a male version of the activity. “Next they should organize an activity ‘My penis says’...” Some, however, took a shot at BFSU, the renowned university famous for its languages education, “Now there is a new language at BFSU: vaginalish.”
The feminists however, cried out the “hope is lost for feminism” in their comments. One wrote, “This is just a reproduction of a Broadway drama that is banned in China. Big deal. Who didn’t come out of their mother’s vagina? Years of twisted sex education has made the Chinese uncomfortable at the sight of the terms for genitalia. How come they don’t feel the same way when they use them as expletives?”
On renren.com, a popular Facebook-like social networking site among the Chinese students where the news has also been spreading, searches of the word “vagina” was blocked on November 8, a day after the topic went viral.
The activity was said to have been approved by the school’s Youth League Committee, an organization for young people run by the Communist Party of China. The Secretary General of the Communist Party of the English Department of the university who revealed this information declined to comment on the activity. The Gender Studies group was unreachable for comments either.
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