How influencers worsen gender relationship in China? | Teen Ink

How influencers worsen gender relationship in China?

August 18, 2023
By Lyon_Chen BRONZE, Shenzhen, Other
Lyon_Chen BRONZE, Shenzhen, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As a 16-year-old straight male in China, I quickly learned that being a feminist wasn't always popular. In fact, feminism has long been a controversial topic in my country. With the rise of the internet, the debate has only intensified.

In the year 2020, stand-up comedian Li Yang, who is known for her roasts against chauvinism, made a comment that had millions of Chinese internet users riled up. During an online talk show, she said, "How can he be so confident when he looks so ordinary?" Some people felt this comment perpetuated harmful stereotypes about men needing to be conventionally attractive to be successful.

Within the same year, popular influencer "Papi Jiang," who has over 20 million followers and is known for being a feminist, faced criticism for naming her child after her husband's first name. Some Chinese internet users felt this was a sign that women are still expected to prioritize their husbands over their own identities.

The addition of influencers and opinion leaders in talks surrounding feminism has added a new dimension to the debate. Worse of all, many are simply using feminism as a way to gain popularity and profit. These influencers who claim to be feminists in China do not understand the true meaning of the movement. Yet, their actions harm the reputation of those who do.

For example, Ayawawa, a relationship influencer whose social media post attracts 100,000 daily views, is known for teaching women how to use feminism power to achieve a dominant position in a romantic relationship. She incites materialismand gives multiple talks on spending man’s money to gain power in a relationship.

The distortion and exploitation of the feminist movement by influencers like Ayawawa adds fuel to the fire of the already contentious debate around feminism in China. Pseudo-feminism doesn’t care about the truth of an opinion or the consequence, but use feminism as a tool for personal gain or to dominate in a relationship.

A popular false feminism quote is "men make the money and women should look pretty like flowers." Several stigmas, such as the “Chinese rural dog” has been invented by Chinese internet user to criticize this pseudo-feminism perspective. However, these stigmas only perpetuate harmful stereotypes and further the divide between genders, rather than promoting true gender equality.

As a feminist, it's disheartening to see these self-proclaimed feminist influencers use the movement for their own gain. True feminism is about dismantling oppressive systems and achieving true equality. We must hold these influencers accountable for their actions and continue to educate others on the true meaning of feminism. Only then can we hope to create a society that is truly equal and just for all genders.

The author's comments:

In recent years in China, feminism has aroused lots of attention from society through a series of actions - from promoting feminism through social media to organizing feminism campaigns. However, the influence of feminism in China didn’t seem so positive due to the frequent occurrence of pseudo-feminism. Over time, I think the pseudo-feminism in China has only worsened the gender relationship as both genders have grown aggressive opinions toward the other. To investigate this problem, I read journals that discussed pseudo-feminism in China and its effect through social media, and I also read some news in recent years about pseudo-feminism and different opinions about it to help my composing process.

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