Bikinis out for the lads – it’s summertime in China!

19 Jul

chinaflagIt’s summertime folks, which can mean only one thing in the People’s Republic of China: the indiscriminate objectification of women. Whoop!

Kicking off this season’s top picks of state-run misogynism is government-run news agency Xinhua with a glorious photo feature from this week entitled Top 10 sexy nudist bathing spots around the world. Quick, someone call the Pulitzer judges…

A snap of “Brighton Nudist Beach” (does this place actually exist??) from what looks like the 80s is among the 10 with the completely superfluous caption: “This beach is officially recognised and belongs to the clothing optional beach”. Err, ok chaps.

Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times, meanwhile, ran an unfathomably long exposé on China’s beauty pageant industry, revealing how corruption and apathy are tragically threatening its very existence.

Yup, keep at it GT, it’s not like there’s any real news to report. And it’s not as if Chinese media reports anything like real news.

With this kind of media coverage deemed completely acceptable it’s perhaps not surprising that much of the Middle Kingdom has rather, um, traditional views when it comes to the fairer sex.

All eyes in recent weeks have been on the case of Li Tianyi, the infamous son of a high-ranking PLA general who is accused of gang raping a woman with four other men after a hard night on the booze.

Whether he gets a fair trial remains to be seen, although the case has gone so high profile now that to be acquitted would make the Party look rather silly, especially given president Xi’s campaign to crack down on official corruption.

One unlikely gent who indirectly jumped to Li’s aid was Tsinghua University law professor Yi Yanyou, who opined on Sina Weibo: “Raping a chaste woman is more harmful than raping a bar girl, a dancing girl, a sanpeinu or a prostitute.”

Ah-huh…

In a later interview with the Wall Street Journal, Yi, who hails from one of China’s most prestigious universities, dug himself into an even deeper ditch with this little gem:

“I’m not saying that Li Tianyi didn’t commit rape, nor that prostitutes could be raped. The same curse words have different impacts on different people. Chaste women and prostitutes have different views on chasteness, so [rape has] a different impact on them.”

It’s not just women who are getting a rough time in China at the moment either. So are male prisoners’ bottoms, according to a new poster put up by the authorities in Inner Mongolia.

It depicts a picture of a sunflower next to a chrysanthemum, with the caption: “Manzhouli court warns township residents to abide by laws, or…”

mongolian prison poster

Now, the authorities are claiming the aim of the poster was to show how prison “takes away one’s best years of his life, like a fading flower”, except the flowers don’t look much different from each other.

They do, however, differ in one telling regard, namely the chrysanthemum has a wider central circular area, especially in comparison to the sunflower, leading naughty netizens to speculate the real, more anal-related reason for the before-and-after prison metaphor.

It hasn’t helped that in Chinese web slang “chrysanthemum”  is apparently often used to mean “anus”.

So there we go. 21st century China? You’re welcome to it…

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