Unlike in English and other languages spoken in Western countries, there is no word for ‘racist’ or ‘racism’ in Chinese. There is a cobbling together of characters to form the following phrasal options:
种族主义者 – which roughly translates to one who righteously serves as lord and master breeder of one’s race/clan. If you plug it into a translator, you get ‘racist’ on the English end. But it is not clear for me whether this has a negative connotation if used to describe someone. Whereas ‘racist’ in Western languages has nothing other than a direct, negative meaning, in Chinese, I would strongly suspect that it doesn’t. Race supremacy is strong in China. It is something to be proud of. They do not like mixing the gene pool, but they often barely tolerate physical proximity to non-Chinese (unless they are sexually assaulting a white female) or mixing outside their cultural circles when they emigrate.
民族主义 – not a single word, but a phrase that refers to the first important principle of the thinking of Dr. Sun Yat Sen (the father of modern communist China). It is kind of like nationalism, but it also can be roughly translated as something like racism – an equation which makes sense in a monoracial, monoculture or country as race and culture are kind of inseparable. Nationalism can exist in multiracial countries, but it isn’t so much race as culture that is being used as the prejudicial segregation or exclusionary criterion.
The lack of a single word to designate ‘racist’ as a negative term also makes sense to me having lived in China for the better part of a decade and learning early on that there isn’t a single shameful or monstrous behaviour or event in Chinese history for which they take responsibility or over which they feel shame/guilt. Seriously, over the years, I’ve had numerous conversations with people of all ages and parts of the country, and there is no shame or guilt for anything. Depravity is swept under the carpet and not talked about, or there is fierce denial. I was once ganged up on by a group of educated Chinese who mansplained and Chinasplained to me that a) the racist-sexist violence I have experienced never happened, and that b) Chinese people aren’t racist – they are shy and curious. Um, yeah…
There is one major exception to the feeling of shame and guilt – it is that which is present in most young people thanks to their parents and that is a crucial part of the brainwashing into the version of mandatory heterosexuality and breeding that you see here today. It is standard procedure to make sure one’s children know that they are a huge burden on their parents. Most young people are wracked with tear-producing guilt (seriously!) about their very existence and know full well that the pound of flesh will be taken when they are older. But that is it. Individuals may have their own specific neuroses, but as a culture, the Chinese have clean hands and consciences. Conversely, though, they are the most impressive faux-victims I’ve ever met (except for men from any and all cultures and ages). In all of the disputes they have with a whole pile of countries, they are the victims. Righto.
It’s mind-boggling to me as a Canadian, to be honest. I’ve had Western shame hammered into me all my life for things I haven’t done, that didn’t happen in my lifetime, that didn’t happen in my country or by my compatriots, and that men from eras past have initiated, maintained, and forced women to participate in via hetero slavery. There is also the shame all women are brainwashed to feel from birth about being female, guilt for being female and having needs, and that lady-shame-and-guilt can often co-mingle with the general Western shame to produce a paralyzing, messy mindfuck of a state. Shame and guilt, for me, are truly second nature and have actually become so psychologically crippling that I’m finally trying to deprogram myself. It’s quite fascinating once you start examining brainwashing mechanisms and how they have turned you into a person who has learned how to negate true, personal victimization experiences because you have been told over and over that everyone absolutely has it worse than you, apparently, and it is your fault somehow, and this manages to diminish your pain and injuries and serious tragedies. It also turns you into a woman who feels she deserves nothing good in life because everything is your fault, and you end up sabotaging opportunities as a way of punishing yourself. Your life ends up being a lot worse than those of so many of the people that supposedly have it worse than you. So, my point is to meet people who don’t have shame and guilt beaten into them for things that have nothing to do with them (and often even for things they are directly responsible for) is truly bizarre.
So, the last two months have been incredibly busy and risky and expensive as I am actively on the look out for somewhere to move and work next year. Somewhere that is not China, and not Asia. I visited four countries to talk to immigrants and local people, find out about job markets, and just get a general ‘vibe’ of the places. It might sound unscientific, but my gut and inbuilt vibe-detector seldom steer me wrong. I can sense, underlying societal misery, nastiness, violence or aggression, happiness, carefreeness, community, civility, etc, etc, usually within a day of being in a place – sometimes within moments. And it is not often that my first impression of a place changes with more experience. Occasionally, there are surprises, but not usually. But I won’t get into that so much here. There really is much more to write about, and some of it will make it into posts. I want to mull on the fact that AGAIN I was assaulted by a Muslim Arab male – luckily, not a rape or an attempted murder like my other experiences (although I could have easily been maimed or killed through his actions – and all of this while his lady-slave looked on apathetically) , but it was still aggressive, racist, sexist, and shit-scary. And I want to talk about it because of course, we are not allowed to talk about Muslim racist-sexist terrorism against white women. We have a serious problem, and nobody wants to address it, name it correctly, and do something about it.
As well, during my time away, I met a few, although not quite enough sadly, excellent people who were thought-provoking. But, it was a hard journey all in all, and although I was dreading to return to China, I actually felt ready to get back to my regular job and have started trying to line up some possible part-time job interviews so I can earn slightly more money, scrimp and save, and get the hell out of here for good.
I got back and what was waiting for me? Well, the brutally hot weather first and foremost. Then there was the aggressive, and sometimes violent, over-crowding conditions on public transit that you only really see in overpopulated places like China or India. But what was it I missed the most?
And I wasn’t disappointed. I got back to my campus where I live. It was 37°C (about 99F), and I was dressed for about 20°C (about 68F). I was exhausted and carrying some moderate-weight gear. I’ve lived at this campus for over 4 years. I am the only white female there. I stand out and not in a good way. I experience a lot of racism every time I step out of my apartment. Neighbours still cringe against the wall if they have to pass me in the stairwell. I cannot go out in anonymity. Ever. So when I got to the gate beside the staff accommodation, all I could think about was stripping down, dumping the gear and guzzling cold water. But no. The guard at the gate wouldn’t let me in. Demanding to know who I was. Yelling. Now, notice that I am a resident there. Frequently, people who DON’T live there enter and walk around our campus, never checked or turned away. Delivery dudes on motorcycles sometimes have to sign in. But generally, if you are Chinese, you are free to do as you please. And none of these Chinese was accosted today either. But I am not Chinese. Not human. I was treated like a criminal instead of a university lecturer, which, although seriously underpaid, still demands some respect in this country.
I ignored that racist fucker – mostly because I was too hot, tired and overburdened to defend myself in the step-and-fetch / dancing monkey way that all Western people are expected to adopt in order to keep the mood light and let the Chinese know they are in charge and can continue to feel superior. I also wasn’t in any mood or state to consider that he could physically attack me and no one would defend me. I just kept moving, and I think it was the fact that he was just not used to that kind of defiance and didn’t know what to do that I got away and headed quickly to my residence without looking back. I don’t know what I’ll have to deal with tomorrow as I go out and come back from a small shopping trip to the market. He might be more prepared to deal with the ‘white devil’ (racial slur used here). I really don’t want to have to deal with violence.
I’ve always found a bit of comfort in writing. When my ESL students ask me how to improve their English vocabulary, I tell them to read and write as much as possible. But there are so many more benefits to writing. You can work through issues or confusion in your mind. It gives you a distracting focus. You can get bottled-up emotion out. I don’t usually tell students this. They don’t seem to care about that stuff.
Anyhow, it is a bad day. I made the mistake of leaving my apartment at 7:30 this morning to go to the market to buy vegetables. Why was this a mistake, you might ask? Seems like a pretty routine, innocuous thing to do. Yeah, it is perhaps. But for me, it is frequently dangerous. Leaving my apartment is anxiety-provoking to me. It often takes some time to psych myself up, and I only go out when it is absolutely necessary.
Do I live in a war zone? Well, in a sense, I’ve come to see it as such. In the traditional sense of the word, it isn’t. But I’m frequently physically assaulted, especially in my own neighbourhood. Sometimes, I’m sexually assaulted. Frequently, intimidated or given the Chinese version of sexual harassment. I’ve requested a transfer to another of our university campuses several times, now, and I am always denied despite declines in my health and increased frequency of assault over the last 4 years.
Today, walking back from the market, I was hit. I was hit, and when I protested, I was tripped, and a few more people joined in to yell at me. Everything was my fault. I hurried back to the safety of my cage (apartment) in hysterics, completely terrorized, clutching my bag of carrots and green beans. I hadn’t cried in several months, despite several assaults having taken place, and my fear and rage and depression had built up and I couldn’t stop for a long time. I have no easily accessible adult people in my life to talk to anymore , so I decided to write.
The worst part of it was that it was a woman who did it. Most of the physical assaults on my body are committed by Chinese women. Men seldom hit me. Men do almost all the sexual stuff to me, and only occasionally hit me – only the last serious sexual assault I experienced was done by a Chinese woman with a lot of power over non-Chinese, and she did it publicly in front of about 100 Chinese people, perhaps to make an example of me. But the violent ones, the ones who knock me over; the ones who see me and deliberately cross the empty road in order to smash into me; the ones who trip me; the ones who call me ‘strange’, who criticize my appearance; who whisper and point and laugh at me; the ones who push me out of the way so they can steal the bus seat I’m lowering myself into – they are all women. It hurts me. Sometimes it is physical hurt in addition to the psychological hurt. But it always hurts. It really hurts because I constantly help Chinese women, even many I don’t know, with all sorts of stuff. I help Chinese women more than Chinese women help Chinese women (relationships between women in a traditional culture is a post for another time) I feel terrified. I feel betrayed. My depression deepens.
The second worst part of it is that every time I am assaulted because of my sex and race, I am reminded that no one will believe me or support me. I am alone in so many senses. I read so many feminists who screech that white women don’t experience racism. It’s an incorrect belief based on a pro-male agenda. White women are gaslighted and shamed and driven off and out of communities if we try to talk about our experiences, and assaults, and rapes, and abuse by non-white women and men. I firmly believe that all women experience racism in addition to misogyny. They often go together. Many people fail to understand that racism is not a dichotomy, not so easy to describe as misogyny. Many people also fail to understand that racism is borne of woman-hate. Without woman hate, you don’t have racism. Further, racism wasn’t created by white people, it was created by men – and much longer ago than people think – before white people even existed in their current manifestation. The first time a tribe encountered another tribe with different skin colouring, culture, beliefs and customs, the males ‘othered’ them so as to protect the cunts and uteri of ‘their’ women. Men determined (still do) who got to use women’s bodies. To keep the bloodlines pure and to keep firm control over women. As time has gone on, and as the world has become more populated and races come into contact with one another on a more regular basis, the original intentions remain true. The manifestations become more varied and complex. But all races are racist, all men seek to protect the cunts of their group, even if they don’t realize that that is what they are doing. That is how it started and how it continues to be fuelled. And owned women have followed the men doing their part to maintain approval and fail to bond with ‘other’ women who actually have more in common with them than any man does. Monocultures are still much more racist than multicultures because the ‘others’ who do exist in them don’t have a voice or legal rights or often don’t exist in the numbers necessary to gain attention. No one is required to take responsibility. And no one is culpable (except the other). In monocultures, the majority is free to do what they wish. And like in my experience today (and every time, for that matter), locals support the violent abuser instead of the victim because it is easier. When people talk about how racist Western countries are, they really have no idea about what goes on anywhere else or even outside their small circles. Many of the loudest dismiss or ignore data from real live people that demand that pet theories be questioned. They often nestle these theories in decades or centuries long gone by and try to use them to explain situations that don’t really exist anymore. These days, nobody in the West gets hit and abused almost every time they go to the shops because of their race. Most people will protect and fight for victims of racism (unless the victims are white). They may experience other constant threats (i.e., living in the middle of gangland, or a domestic abuse situation, or trapped in the prostitution downward spiral), but that is not racism (though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive).
I really want to escape China. I live in a constant state of holding my emotions in check, and bottling up my fear in order to eat and go to my workplace, and wondering whether I’m going to end up dying here because of racist, misogynist brutality. But it is not so easy to leave when you’ve been gone from your home for so long that you have no safety net, no one to help you, no where to go. No family, few friends or connections. Very little money. No job prospects.
Unfortunately, I have to go out again today, and I’m dreading it. I never know what is going to happen to me – only that something will happen.
To be honest, it only took a month of living in Chinese culture to see how racist and sexist and misanthropic they are. It took a year for them to beat the little joie de vivre that I had out of me. On a visit to the West after that first year, everyone who knew me told me I had changed somehow, but they couldn’t figure out how exactly. More serious, for one. I think they chalked it up to ‘maturity’, when really, years later, I realized that constant racist misogyny had killed part of my naivete and good-naturedness. It was actually after a year of living in Chinese culture, back in 2003, that I became a person who cries easily in public and who learned to stop fighting. I became a little broken. Before that, I don’t think I’d cried in public since I was 5 and was beat up by a group of boys while walking home by myself from Kindergarten. But after that year of relentless Chinese beatings, something in me changed for the worse. I think that old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is bullshit. The 8 cumulative years I’ve spent living and working among and with the Chinese have not made me ‘stronger’. They’ve made me depressed, angry, suspicious, jaded, and absofuckinglutely disgusted with their culture. In the years since, I’ve examined the concept of culture, and I don’t understand the reverence all cultures receive (except for ‘western culture’, that is). But that is a post for another time. I have a lot to say about culture.
No, I am recording a few thoughts and experiences from a new semester here in China. I have two jobs still. Both teaching jobs. I make so little money teaching university that I started looking for extra work last year. And so a few times a week, I get up at 5:30 am, commute for 1.5-2 hours, spend all day teaching in 100 °F weather with no air conditioning, and then commute another 1.5-2 hours back to arrive home by 8 pm. It’s exhausting. And on top of that, there is dealing with the Chinese system/bureaucracy, and of course, endless racism and misogyny.
Last week, I walked into a brand new class of students only to be greeted by one of the 19-year-old male students with: “Hello, beautiful girl”. I’m 44, I don’t dress like a whore looking for sexual attention, and I also don’t dress or act like a ‘girl’ (which I’ve been criticized for in the past). I was pissed. In a country where teaching commands more respect than most jobs (unless you are a non-Chinese female), this was a serious offense of disrespect. Western men never get this. And Chinese women don’t get this. But it is common for me. I’m white and female, and thus a sexual object AND a dancing monkey that all foreigners are expected to be. Oglable entertainment. My education and experience count for nothing. I’ve never experienced disrespect like that when I’ve taught university in Western countries. And things in my classrooms can get much worse than that – from male as well as female students. On day one, I try to teach my students that respect is a two-way street. They’ll get it from me, but I expect it from them. Most don’t understand this at all. But, you know, respecting women is touchy, and white women are not really women, but objects. So why should they respect me?
There are two of us foreigners at my second job/college. Me: the white whore. And a black Muslim man from Africa (he tells everyone he is from Canada, even though his passport is not Canadian). English isn’t even his first language. I usually speak French to him. I’m sure we both have our super-special experiences at the hands of uber-racist Chinese. I’ve been curious. There are different stereotypes for different races, but some of the treatment manifests in the same way. I will say that there is no way in hell this dude is ever sexually harassed or sexually assaulted like I am. He is male. He probably gets the racist comments and looks and ostracism and fear reactions that I get. But most Chinese are too afraid of blacks to physically try anything against them. I, on the other hand, am deemed to be more assailable. Women are easier to assault, for one. That is a universal truth. But I will bet you my high salary most Chinese won’t sexually assault a black woman. Black women don’t have the ‘whore’ status attached to them that white women do. Sorry, black chicks. You are not sexualized like we are in most places in the world, despite what you say to the contrary. You are wrong. I’m tired of women of colour trying to tell me what I do and don’t experience.
Anyhow, one day, black dude and I were put in direct competition for most hated/feared object. We both won.
After a long, exhausting day at my college, all staff commuting in my general direction boarded the large coach bus (we have three staff buses going to different places) designated for us. Black dude and I ride the same bus. We were both seated near the back, but not together. The bus filled up. Chinese people seldom sit beside non-Chinese unless they absolutely have to. And they will either spill onto you or cringe away from you, depending on the message they want to send. So, seats disappeared, and we found ourselves still sitting alone. Just before the bus left, a Chinese male professor got on the bus. Keep in mind that every single teaching staff member is educated. Many have masters degrees. A few might have more than that. But education does not equal lack of ignorance. So, all the seats at the front were filled, and Chinese dude slowly walked to the back scanning the seats. He noted that there were only two seats left: the one beside the black dude and the one beside me. He started to panic. He didn’t want to sit beside either of us. I mean seriously: a white whore and a black Muslim? What could be worse? Who would YOU choose?????????
The Chinese fuck didn’t know what to do. He was spinning in circles, his face desperate. I made up my mind that I was not going to accommodate his racism. He was going to have to solve the problem himself. And apparently the black dude came to the same conclusion. We stayed in our seats and forced the racist to choose his course of action.
All of a sudden, a Chinese woman – a colleague (yes, all of these shits are my fucking colleagues) shouted out in Chinese to the man panicking in the aisle. She saw another empty seat a few seats ahead. The man very visibly relaxed in distinct relief, and practically ran towards the front of the bus. Phew!!! He could sit beside a Chinese. No foreign germs for him!
I spoke loudly to the bus at large: “You people are racist!” I know a few people understood me (including one of my colleagues in the English department – actually, the bitch who wants to get pregnant so she doesn’t have to deal with the foreign staff anymore. She is the foreign staff liaison, and she fucking hates us.) Nobody said a word. A few laughed. Chinese people don’t believe they are either racist or sexist. Every single one of them makes up excuses to me if I dare to bring up their racism. They call it ‘curiosity’ and have other euphemisms and explanations. But never prejudice. It is bizarre how much they deny their hate, and instead focus on how victimized they feel (standard Communist propaganda keeps this going). The Chinese are the biggest victims compared to everyone else in the world. It is very much like talking to men about their misogyny. Systemic misogyny, according to men, doesn’t exist. Men are always the biggest victims. They hurt so, so much. As do the Chinese (victims of Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the US – everybody!)
So I had my answer. Black men don’t have it worse than me in China, especially since they are not sexually assaulted.
The bus? Just another day in China for me. At least I had a fucking seat to myself, right?
Stuck in my mind is a moment in time, a fragment of space, from my recent visit to Seattle. In one tiny slice of time and place that spoke volumes about society at large. And it all happened on a street corner in the downtown core, and if one was paying attention, one might spend some time wondering about the nature of racism and misogyny. But most people don’t pay attention, and things go on as they do, in perpetual violence.
I approached a street corner one afternoon. There was a tall, belligerent-looking black dude on the corner. He began shouting at a short, middle-aged Chinese man. I saw exactly what was going on. It was a Chinese tourist. How did I know? Well, said Chinese dude was acting, not like a Westernized Chinese, but like every Chinese dude acts in China when face-to-face with a non-Chinese. He stopped and was staring rudely, mouth open, disgust and horror on his face. It is a look and behaviour that mainland Chinese call “curiosity”. I know the look well because I get it from tens, hundreds, and thousands (depending on how long I am in public) every single time I set foot outside my apartment as a walking, talking white whore living in China. But the black dude couldn’t handle it – this one, lone, ignorant Chinese fucker got under his angry skin. On a level, I get it. I fucking HATE the way Chinese stare at me. In the US and the semi-civilized West, in general, staring is rude. Staring at someone without a hello or some sort of verbal engagement that expresses one’s intentions is immediate cause for suspicion, fear (for women), anger, and if done to a man, can often lead to a physical altercation. But the Chinese make staring into another thing altogether – although they believe in masking emotion, they have no problem expressing naked hatred, horror and disgust on their faces. The Chinese are one of the most racist groups on earth, so this particular Chinese tourist didn’t think twice about engaging in a typical Chinese behaviour used against non-Chinese while in China where he is used to having the upper hand. Welcome to America, though. The black dude, confronted by a racist Chinese, retaliated with his racism. Blacks are also racists, and their brand of racism often manifests in loudness, belligerence and violence. He yelled, “What the fuck you lookin’ at, Chinaman?!? Chinatown is that way!” And he pointed south, which indeed, was where Chinatown was located. The Chinese racist was lucky that the black racist didn’t knock him flat on his ass. I moved on before getting stuck in the action. I just don’t give a shit what men do to each other and I hate it when women get caught in the middle.
But I thought about inviting that black dude to China where he could learn what real racism was. He would see how good his life is in the US. Where his growing power and violence and outrage (at comparatively little) and his privilege over all women are supported by liberal whites and violent, racist movements like Black Lives Matter. I’d like to invite him to China where, like me, he would truly have no voice, where every single person would stare at him, point at him, talk about him in front of him, and ostracize him, and where his life and/or death wouldn’t matter one bit. He wouldn’t make it. If he can’t handle one racist Chinese dude on his home turf, then he wouldn’t make it in a racist country where he is all alone battling shit like this every moment of every day. I know one black dude over here who refuses to take public transit, opting instead for taxis and Ubers. Coward. And no, he doesn’t have it worse than me. He has friends from his own country and religion to support him as a buffer. He is a male. I am alone and a woman and I battle the ‘white whore’ stereotype, and thus I am in more danger than him. But I take public transit. I’m harassed by men constantly, and women treat me like shit. It is racist sexism. It hurts me and scares me deeply. I deal by putting on the emotional armour I have crafted through a lifetime of sexual assault and sexual harassment and through years of Chinese racist misogyny. I put on the armour and the rage wells up in me to keep me moving quickly, and that protects me a little. So black dude? Come on over and learn what real racism is about.
Back to the corner. Shit didn’t end there. I avoided that inter-racial confrontation and moved on to the corner to cross the road. Steps away, I was aware of a landmark strip club selling female flesh. Thousands walk by it every day. Hundreds of men visit every day engaging in what they will loudly proclaim is their right. Their right to objectify female bodies. Their capitalist right to pay desperate women to take their clothes off along with their human dignity. Stripping: something women would never think of doing if men did not exist or if men hadn’t created an economic system that benefits men and puts women in positions where they have to shed their humanity in order to eat or ‘have a better life’. A system where there is no equivalent dehumanizing, disempowering requirement for men. Selling women is a legitimate part of human life. I walk by these places and they fulfill their ultimate purpose: to remind me that I am less. To remind me that I can never be free. To remind me that woman is simply a collection of CUNT, TITS, and ASS. No more, no less. To remind me that men can turn whatever evil desire they have into a sanctioned need and right, no matter whom it hurts or how many it hurts. A male itch must be scratched, no matter the cost.
At the street corner, I and several women were forced to stop and wait for the long light to change to green. At that corner sat a black man. Probably homeless. He had a sign.
Will eat pussy for a place to sleep.
I’d not seen a sign like that before. Western homeless men, unlike homeless men around the world, are becoming more creative in their ploys. It’s a competitive market. In the male economic system, poverty is on the rise. Men, being lazier than women, tend to hang out in public begging. Being homeless is much more dangerous for women, and I suspect that women engage in a number of behaviours in order to avoid being conspicuous public targets. I don’t tend to see homeless women with signs offering weird services or making amusing and direct demands for money (e.g., please donate to my weed habit).
So coming upon a man offering to perform a selfless sexual act upon a woman was strange. I think it was supposed to be funny. It wasn’t. Unlike a woman offering a blow job, men offering a sex act is threatening. That is a hard thing for men (and many brainwashed women) to understand. Men are not victims of sex crimes by women, generally speaking. Women are. Men also define sex and direct the course of sexual activity. There isn’t a single man on earth who offers a carpet munch without taking something in exchange from a woman. Doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as a fair exchange, let alone a selfless act when it comes to male behaviour. The offer of a sex act *just for a place to sleep* doesn’t ring true to me and came across as a promise/threat of other things. A woman offering a blow job for a place to sleep is likely going to get raped, beaten or killed afterwards. The man offering pussy-eating will likely take more than he is offering.
A few of the middle-aged women on the corner chuckled nervously. I was disgusted and afraid. And the fact that he was parked so near to the female flesh-selling strip club just served to hammer home who exactly held the power. Even a homeless man holds power over a non-homeless woman.
It was just a moment in time on a small spot of real estate, but there was generalization in this diorama. It spoke of universal truths. Men and racism; men and misogyny. Who holds the power. What dynamics the world at large is willing to pay attention to. I suspect, among the American population witnessing that scene, that all people would have seen were sympathy-deserving black men in need of understanding and help. But in reality, what was going on was male power play. The complicated racism that exists between men that derives from woman hate (controlling access to the pussy of one’s own race). And the truth that all men hold power over all women regardless of race and economic station.
I discuss the realities of oppression and how it works in an earlier article.
It was Germaine Greer who said, and I paraphrase, that it is women who teach and men who ‘train’. I thought the statement interesting and did a little reflection on what it meant and whether it might be true. Teaching, at least from my perspective as one who has taught on and off for over 21 years, is a symbiotic relationship. The teacher is a guide, whose role and scope depends completely on the student or students under her responsibility. The students depend on the tools, information and guidance given by the teacher and use it to grow and learn. Despite the interdependence, it is also a power relationship. The teacher does indeed have more power than the student(s), and the level and shape of that power depends on the age and sex of the students and the sex of the teacher.
What does it mean that ‘men train’? Well, training is completely rooted in a power imbalance. The trainer shapes (even forces) the mind and behaviour of the trainee into the desired form. The trainer is not expected to learn from the trainee. When I think of male teachers that I’ve had, this sounds familiar, with the often added component that that male ‘teacher’ or trainer takes from the trainee and gives little in return. The training or controlling mentality is natural for men. For the most part, higher education is based on this model. But it is applied differently to male and female teachers.
And indeed, when you look at expectations that institutions and students have for male and female teachers, women are given harsher standards. Women are expected to give, nurture, understand, coddle, and be compassionate as well as be knowledgeable. Oh, and they are very much expected to be fuckable or beautiful to have any kind of legitimacy as a teacher. Age is a weird thing for women. If you are young, you are not taken seriously (especially at a university), but there is a magical, unknown point where you are deemed too old to be taken seriously too. Men are expected to be cold, distant, sometimes charismatic or humourous. Attractive? Not required. Because what does attractiveness have to do with imparting knowledge? None! Age? Ditto. Doesn’t matter. If a dude teacher walks in, lectures at students, doles out punishment, and then leaves, he is doing his duty as a ‘teacher’. Same behaviour from a female teacher, and she gets called a ‘bitch’ (the misogynist equivalent of ‘nigger’ or ‘kike’, except that the latter are verboten and taken seriously as slurs, and can get you into serious trouble if you say them). Personally, I like strict teachers who tailor their instruction to the student(s). I don’t want to be coddled. I don’t want a friend. But I want a flexible teacher who will change the game plan if she sees that something isn’t working and who doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all lessons. I certainly don’t want to have a sexual relationship with a teacher. But males, whether teachers or students, seem to have very blurred lines when it comes to what is acceptable.
And that brings us to the one added component that we often see in male ‘teachers’. There is frequent abuse and sexual abuse of female students. It happens in all countries at all levels of education. All men benefit from rape. Some men rape. All rapists are men. Some teachers are men. Therefore, some male teachers will be rapists, and all males – teachers, students and the general public – will benefit from female terror in the classroom. And the data show this. Many men see rape as a ‘training tool’ or a job perk, and indeed even in these modern times, women have been trained by rape and the fear of rape to fall in line and allow men to continue to wreak havoc on the world and gain unfair advantages in the classroom and workplace. I am against having men in the helping professions, because a) the helping professions (teaching, medicine, law enforcement, etc) are based on power imbalances by definition, and b) men seek out and abuse power relationships by definition. The only way you can minimize abuse in relationships where power abuse is possible is to disallow those who are most likely to abuse that power to have access to it. To do otherwise is to invite heaps of trouble, and we see that this is true every day, everywhere.
All of this is prompted by another real world example of stuff girls and women deal with every single day. Today, I was talking to a former student of mine from about 5 years ago. He asked me if I’d heard the news about our former college. I said I hadn’t. Honestly, I don’t like to think about my former employer. It was a horrible place where I was locked into my staff accommodation at night (photo in this post), and a lot of other horrible stuff happened that badly hurt me physically, psychologically, and financially. It was such a bad place to work that they have to fire all the foreign staff every couple of years in order to bring on a fresh, naive batch to abuse. They cleaned house the year I finished there and relocated for a better job. Anyhow, my student told me that the college made the news recently. Graduation just happened, and a female student returned to the college to receive her diploma. One of her male teachers refused to sign off on her graduation unless she let him rape her. LUCKILY, she complained or told the right person. Shockingly, they took her seriously, and fired that ‘teacher’ (trainer/rapist). Rape is not talked about very much in China, and I’m guessing it is even more poorly reported than it is in ‘free’ countries where women are more vocal, but are still very much unequal and enslaved. As it is, we female students around the world must put up with all sorts of weird male teacher abuse, sexual or otherwise. Myself, the best letter of reference I got as an undergraduate was from a male professor who enjoyed frequently squeezing and pinching my upper arms so hard it left bruises. Did I say anything? No. I needed that letter of reference. And he was my only ally against another male professor who tried to fail me on my senior thesis and who psychologically abused me for two years. Couldn’t say anything about him either – he was an untouchable full tenured professor. And I was dependent on him for my part-time job (I solely supported myself) and my final grade. I guess I should be thankful none of them tried to rape me. It was only physical and psychological abuse. And guess what? No male students had to go through that. I laugh when males try to tell me how hard their lives are… Try living as an object aspiring to be human and see how much fun you have…
So, I wonder about two things.
- How often do male teachers actually rape (forced rape, coerced rape, etc) female students? It is much harder for girls and women to report or rationalize reporting assault when it is committed by someone they know and/or someone with very clear and socially/legally accepted power over them. My guess is that it happens all the time, and it is often reframed by the teacher-rapist, the student-victim, and by society at large as a ‘relationship’, a ‘mistake’ made by the student, a misinterpretation, one of those ‘that’s life’ events that seem to always happen to girls and women, or it just didn’t happen.
- How sensationalized and overblown is female teacher abuse of male students? It is a rare thing indeed and gets more play than any male crime ever would. So rare, they make documentaries on the same few deranged female teachers. Keep in mind two things:
a) women who abuse power should be punished (and yes, women abuse power too – one of my current excellent female students in China is physically KICKED and yelled at by a female professor every time she is forced to meet with her), and
b) women cannot, by definition, be rapists; and males, by definition, cannot be raped. The language has been deliberately confused by liberals in order to downplay what men do constantly to women and to falsely play males as victims. New language should be created by women to accurately define crimes.
Suffice it to say though that virtually all sex crimes are perpetrated by men, and the vast majority of sex crimes are forced on female victims. Given these overwhelming data – you’d be stupid to argue anything else – it is in the best interest of the entire population to keep men out of the helping professions and any professions where abuse of power (male against female) is dangerously possible, and dog help me, oh so very tempting. We (not I) argue that men have brains so they can both control their behaviour and learn from their mistakes. But they don’t. They don’t because they aren’t forced to. And men won’t change unless they are forced to. There is no better nature to appeal to. We’ve been waiting thousands of years for this better nature to magically appear. Keep men away from tempting power abuse situations with females. Female health and safety are more important than hurt male feelings. Any day. One day, I’ll talk more about false positives and why they don’t matter when it comes to female health and safety. For now, for all of you out there saying “Not all men…” or “That’s not fair to men…”, how about the current sitch, where we already operate on these get out of jail free philosophies? We already operate on the “Not all men” principle. It doesn’t work. And what do you say to all of us who have been abused by men in the helping professions? You negate my (your mother’s, your sister’s, your daughter’s, your) right to safety and living free from threats and fear when you give men the benefit of the doubt. That’s not fair to women and girls. It’s not okay to take away from us in order to let men do as they wish.
[This post is part of the Wolves in Women’s Clothing series.]
This may end up being a little long and winding, but I’ll get to my point eventually.
The Chinese see it as a point of pride that they are ready, willing and able to accept any amount of abuse heaped on them, especially if they are doing it in the name of nationalism or some other male-defined in-group/out-group mechanism. I remember a few years ago, I was just about to sit down with an 18-year-old male I was tutoring, when he responded to some pleasantry I’d made with one of the most bizarre non-sequiturs I’ve encountered. With clear glee, superiority, and enormous nationalist and racial pride, said male told me that the Chinese army was superior to any Western army in history. As an example, he told me about the zeal of the army following Communist dictator and personality cult leader, Mao Ze Dong. They went without shoes and food (and in some parts of the country – although no Chinese will tell you this – were so starved they had to resort to cannibalism) to support the communist fight. In contrast, he cited the Italians (not sure which war he was referring to – WWII?), who refused to fight until they received food from their generals. Clearly, the Chinese were and are superior, according to this arrogant, ignorant boy, because they made the cause greater than their human rights. I had no real response to what he said. He was fucking loonie-toons. A product of Chinese and male brainwashing. The Chinese part being the acceptance of any and all human rights abuse all for the sake of a cause, no matter how fucked up that cause might be. The male part was, of course, the military bullshit. Only men truly fetishize devoting one’s life to killing and raping in the name of honour.
Suppressing my hatred for race supremacists, and focusing on the money I was earning, I moved on with the point of our meeting, which was to prepare this douchebag for a formal English examination that would allow him to take his filthy mind and psychotic ideals and ethics to the West to take advantage of our education and economic systems. His family was rich, his father the head of a university. I didn’t ask him how good ole Chairman Mao would have seen his family’s wealth or his father’s membership in academia. Mao didn’t like the educated or the wealthy (unless it was him or his cronies!) Let’s just say ‘re-education’ in the countryside and wealth repossessed by the Communist party would have been on order for this silly boy and his kin.
Mao is gone, but the idea of not challenging abuses and questionable ethics from on high is deeply ingrained in the Chinese mindset. Don’t get me wrong, if a Chinese doesn’t accept you as superior in some way, they won’t accept abuse or even non-abusive requests for action from you. This is why many of my students (especially the males) refuse to do work in my class or even attend, or why many people refuse to answer my questions in Chinese out in public. I am racially inferior. And I am a woman. They don’t have to give me the slightest respect, and they know what’s what. I have no power in China – economic, political, legal, or of the penis-derived variety (see my Oppressor Triangle to understand how this works). But it is fascinating how little challenge there ever is to the system or even to a Chinese boss. This hierarchy is clear, established and unquestioned. And abuse and illogical and unethical systems proliferate and thrive here. Little ever changes unless it comes from on high.
And so we get to the education system, and something the Chinese absolutely hate. For some reason (I think it is a ‘study and conquer your enemy’ situation), the government decided that English should be part of the curriculum here. Not English as a language or a skill, but as busy work. As something to test. Most students spend at least 10 years studying English. Not English as a useful communication tool, but the study of how to pass multiple choice grammar tests. Indeed, most students finish 10 years of English with no speaking ability and very poor writing ability. Even university English majors can often barely produce a grammatically correct sentence. If they study at all, they spend most of their time memorizing vocabulary and cramming for obscure grammar tests. But no practical usage is encouraged by teachers or carried out by students.
Unfortunately, part of this weird language study protocol involves importing foreigners to teach ‘oral communication’. It is the most bizarre job on the planet and if you take your job seriously, it is disappointing and mind-fucking because you are absolutely set up to fail due to the way education works here. Schools can gain more money and prestige if they hire foreign people, but there is no quest for quality or establishing useful curricula. A lot of (male) wingnuts are hired – those looking to fuck local women (especially their students), drink their faces off, and travel. But a minority of us are actually quite educated, experienced, and give a shit about our work and reputations. Most qualified teachers can’t handle it here because the system isn’t set up for real learning. Like everything in China, it’s all about appearances. Surface. No substance.
Because the system is so poorly set up and so few shits are given by the Chinese about quality of learning, foreign staff are thrown into Kafka nightmare-like work situations with no information, no support, and a hell of a lot of hate and racism surrounding them. Some schools may provide a ‘foreign teacher liaison’ – a Chinese employee at the school whose duty it is to control the foreigners, control the information the foreigners have access to, and deal with their inevitable complaints when they are ostracized or have to deal with inefficiency and illogic. It is never a singular or special position. Usually, it is a teacher in the English department and the lowest male or female on the totem pole who is forced to take on this extra role for no extra pay. It is often seen as a form of punishment, so you can imagine the resentment and poor working environment created by the administration. The local teacher has to take on an extra workload and deal with people who are not truly welcome or supported and who immediately find themselves in a bad environment. And the foreign staff is forced to deal solely with a person who resents them, but who is required to deal with them. Typically, the rest of the local staff in the department, despite being teachers of English and who you would think would want to know more about the culture and language they are teaching and usually have never been exposed to themselves, will never, ever speak to or be friendly to the foreign staff. It is a truly bizarre work environment where words like ‘foreign friend’ get batted around, but are not followed up by cooperative or welcoming ‘friendly’ behaviour. The administration creates an environment where only resentment and racism towards foreign people builds up and festers.
I recently took on a part-time job at a private college that is located in the middle of a construction zone, far from the main city and not really close to anything interesting. This means that they have a nearly impossible time finding foreigners willing to sign contracts with them. I mean, seriously, who the hell wants to live in racist isolation with nothing to do when they could work in a large (too-crowded) vibrant city that is not overly far away? Personally, I’m happy to be there as a part-time worker. The pay is the best I’ve ever made anywhere in China or Taiwan. But I will say, I’d never sign a contract with them and live there full-time. It really is in the middle of nowhere and it takes a few hours just to get into the city from there. There is barely a market available for fresh produce, and otherwise, you are stuck eating at the filthy school canteen or at the few dubious restaurants adjacent to the school.
But they found a few suckers to sign on, and ended up getting screwed recently by an American couple – although it was the male of the couple who ran the whole scam and from what I heard, created constant problems from day one. The couple was new to China and signed a contract with the school. Half-way through the contract, they demanded more money (despite having successfully negotiated a higher salary to begin with when they signed on). Reasonably, the school refused a second pay raise after only four months, so the Americans did a runner in the middle of the night with no notice. They even stole the laptop computer they were borrowing from the school, and left the place mid-semester without two full-time teachers. Then the other American they had working for them decided to leave early using some excuse with no one to cover his classes. And then a third American man who agreed to fill in for the remainder of the semester showed up for one day and then quit. WTF, American men??? Along with me, they hired a part-time, black Muslim man from Africa (not a native English speaker), and now he is busy screwing them, cancelling classes right, left and centre during the past month because he has been starving himself in the name of Allah. Even though the Chinese won’t tolerate Christian stuff, like the rest of the world, they are very rationally and reasonably afraid of Muslims, so they have let this guy run roughshod over them. So apparently, I am the only stable and reliable foreign teacher they have. No needy children bullshit. No psycho spouse bullshit. No religious bullshit. And I’ve been in China long enough to know and expect all the abuse one inevitably encounters working for the Chinese, so I don’t throw hissy fits every two minutes when I am treated like shit. Seriously, I’ve worked in worse places. This place is good compared to many schools.
So we get to my foreign teacher liaison. She uses all the right words: “foreign friends” being chief among them. And she is very careful to cloak her many, many complaints about foreigners in neutral language. But she hates us and she hates working with us. She has told me that she has asked the boss many times to release her from this position. The problem is that she is the only teacher without a Masters degree, so she is stuck. She can be fired easily if she complains. There is an over-abundance of English teachers with Masters degrees, and seriously, the Chinese don’t even need to speak English to teach it, so she is completely replaceable. She is in the middle of a Masters, but can’t seem to get it done. It has been a number of years now, with no end in sight. The racism doesn’t seem to be enough motivation to get it done. Poor thing…
Luckily, she has come up with a solution to deal with her racism and laziness. She has decided that she is going to have a second baby. If she can get herself knocked up, then she will be able to argue that she cannot take on the extra burden of dealing with the hateful, goddamn foreigners. She’ll never have to talk to us again, but she can still make money off our language! And!?! She won’t have to finish her Masters degree!!! Being a Chinese mother is a good deal – if you like that kind of biological slavery, that is. Every Chinese woman has one to two grandparents living with her who do all the cooking and cleaning and childcare. The father/husband does nothing, of course. Like in all countries of the world. But the Chinese wife who works outside the home seldom has to do much beyond playing with the kid and some light household duties. If the old folks get sick, that is another story. But as Chinese women tend to breed young, the grandparents tend not to be that old or sick when they move in and take on household duties, thereby lightening the load. Unfortunately, it is usually the mother-in-law that moves in (rather than the woman’s own mother), and more often than not, she tends to be a nagging and nasty abusive piece of work, thanks to Patriarchy and how it fosters hatred between women.
So, after this woman told me about her awesome racist and lazy motivations for having another baby that the world can’t support, she remembered to quote the standard mantra, like a good brainwashed woman: “Oh, and of course, I love children.” Yeah. Sure you do…
I’m betting money that she’ll be knocked up by the time I return to teach in the new semester and she’ll never speak to me again because it won’t be part of her job. ‘Foreign friend’ my ass…
I truly dislike this culture. Years of racism and misogyny and the isolation I’ve had to endure in this country has changed me for the worse. After so many years here, I am not sure if I could reverse the damage to my psyche, but at this point, I’m used to it, I live with it, and I don’t lie anymore about the fact that I’m only here for employment. I’m not interested in travelling in China and I know enough about the culture to know there isn’t much I like about it. I can separate individuals from the culture at large, and I do have a few friends here who are good people, but generally speaking, the culture fosters things I don’t value in humans. It’s cold and brutal, and people have no shame or hesitation about passing it on. They take abuse if it comes from those deemed superior, and they have no qualms about dishing out abuse or disregarding humanity or human rights if they feel they are superior. I don’t function this way – it goes against my nature and my logic – but I have no choice about being included in the mess if I want to stay employed. I certainly know exactly where I sit in the Chinese hierarchy…
Horrifying or Whorifying? It’s all the same when it comes to teaching the Chinese as a female. Add being white on top of that, and you’ve got the deck stacked against you.
I’ve been teaching on and off for the last 21 years, alternating between gigs in research universities and government policy shops (as well as farming, beekeeping, baking, and hotel housekeeping). Teaching is something I do somewhat well, although it exhausts me more than any job in manual labour ever has. At least with farming, you get strong and healthy along with your fatigue. And you work with plants! Teaching makes you tired, flabby, and fat. And you constantly wonder whether laziness and stupidity have lower limits…
In China, there is a special nuther layer as a woman and as a non-Chinese. There is a special skill that I don’t have that apparently cancels out any skill or talent I might have as a teacher. And it is something that doesn’t apply to men. Of course.
I refuse to wear ‘lady-face’ or as I have come more and more frequently to call it – ‘whore-face’ – because that is, very basically, what women’s fashion signifies: whore status. I refuse to wear the trappings of femininity, all those things that mark me as a usable fuck-object there to be consumed by men (and as a white woman in China, to be consumed by Chinese men AND women). I don’t wear pretty dresses, or any dresses, for that matter. I don’t wear heels. I don’t wear make-up. I don’t wear pretty colours. I don’t wear cutesy shit. Everything is functional, isn’t fussy, and serves to make me feel less exposed or less easily rapeable. If I trip and fall, nobody gets a look at my crotch. No one can use a selfie stick and attached cell phone to take photos up my skirt. No one gets a special view through armholes or necklines as to what lies beneath my clothes. White women are seen as whores that love to be abused. People believe that and treat you accordingly. You can’t hurt the willing, right?
So basically, you know, I wear clothes that (mostly) could be found on any average male out there. I look respectable. My clothes are clean and simple. I dress more formally than many of my students, which makes sense given our roles. But apparently, that doesn’t fly here. My only ‘girly’ thing is that I have really long hair. But that is only because in the past I have donated my hair every few years to cancer wig charities. But I have been rethinking this lately, and will be cutting my hair blessedly short this summer. I don’t want to contribute to the sexist, racist notion that white women can’t be bald. Black women can be bald and accepted, even without cancer, so I think white women shouldn’t have to suffer from public derision for not having hair on their heads. So that’s enough with the long-hair-for-donation bullshit. But I will pay for it socially here in reserved, misogynist China where you seldom see a non-old woman with short hair. (Cross into more progressive Hong Kong, and it is a different story.) In combination with my ‘man clothes’, short hair will make things considerably more ‘interesting’. I wish I could lose my considerable and distinctly non-Chinese tittage, the bane of my existence in this country, and have people mistake me for male at first. I’d be harassed A LOT less. And be given a little more respect, perhaps.
But back to lady-face. It is, as a white woman in a very racist, misogynist country, bad enough being in public wearing the no-nonsense shit that I do. I get shit for not being feminine enough, but being feminine would be a bad thing, too. It is difficult for me to imagine how much worse it would be if I exposed cleavage or bared my lightly hairy, unshaved, white legs. (Most Chinese don’t shave, but even many of the men don’t have much leg hair.) I think I would be sexually assaulted and harassed more than I am already. And I would be stared at even more than I am now. I’d be on the receiving end of more sexual behaviour from men and more derision/disgust from men AND women. And I would personally feel more uncomfortable and vulnerable. And that last bit is the difference between tolerating going out in public with PTSD under careful control, versus staying at home unless absolutely unavoidable.
Why do I bring this up? Well, I made an interesting discovery in my Business English class the other day. All female, except for a few males. I had planned to talk about giving ideas and making suggestions in the workplace, based on a chapter in their textbooks. But I opened it up by talking about personal suggestions, and I made the mistake of asking each student to give me a suggestion. I hadn’t anticipated all the misogyny and such a clear indication of where these silly assholes’ priorities were. Instead of interesting or creative ideas, several of the suggestions were:
- I needed to change my clothing style
- I needed to wear dresses
- I needed to wear bright colours
- I needed to wear things that would make me ‘look beautiful’
- More suggestions about wearing ‘girl clothes’
- I should wear different shoes
At one point, when I started to get annoyed by the implications that all anyone cared about was what I looked like and that my job performance clearly rested on this factor alone, I remarked that once boys started wearing dresses, I would too. You know, even if I wanted to dress like a cocksucker, I think about the following. My classroom is not air-conditioned. It went up to 37°C (99°F) last week. I usually spend 7 hours in that classroom, mostly on my feet, animated and interacting with students. I’m drenched in sweat within the first fifteen minutes. It is cooler (or less stifling, perhaps) when I step out of my classroom. I do tend to over-dress, but that is simply because I am uncomfortable with all the ogling I get in China. I also sweat like a pig. I don’t do well in the tropics. But I’m trying to imagine make-up running in rivulets down my face. I’m trying to imagine a typical lacy, polyester Chinese dress (think 1980’s in the West) sticking to my tits and legs, scratching and unbreathable, giving me a rash or hives. I’m trying to imagine my feet sweating and slipping inside high-heeled shoes. And then I imagine myself passing out in a disgusting mess on the floor with my skirt around my waist, my ankle broken, and all the kids making videos and posting it on the Chinese internet. (I would title it “Horrified or Whorified? White Teacher Fail!”)
Do men get any of this shit? No. Of course not. No one comments on what the black Muslim male teacher at my school wears. No one questions what any of the men wear or don’t wear. Anywhere in the world. No one measures a man’s teaching performance or talent by his shoes, fashion sense, or his looks. No one tells men about their bad B.O or the alcohol leaking from their pores when they sweat and breathe on students. Men show up. In whatever condition they wish. They get paid. They get respect. And they go home where their personal whores cook their food, clean their stinky clothes, and suck their dicks or spread their legs (or ass cheeks in the West!). A good life, and one men feel entitled to, but don’t deserve.
It’s bad enough dealing with my male students, but the Chinese lady-cocksuckers are a piece of work too, and they are racist and misogynist in their own special ways that feel like more of a betrayal than you get with men. You expect abuse from men. For me, I’m waiting for bullshit from men before they even open their mouths. But even when you know women will betray you because of your non-conformity, it hurts a lot when they do it. The women are part of the problem, even if they didn’t start it. I don’t let them off the hook as participants in women’s oppression. In their own oppression. In my oppression. There is never an excuse for keeping your brain turned off and reaping the meager benefits at other women’s expense.
After a week of constant misogynist student comments, constant tit-ogling by my friendly neighbourhood construction workers, daily wonderment at how my male students were able to gain entrance into university and college (they are so fucking lazy and stupid, I can’t believe it!), daily racism and misogyny shit sandwiches by all and sundry – especially my neighbours and co-workers of three years, and on top of it all, 35°C (that’s 95°F to you, Yanks) every single day in both my workspace and home (no A/C!!!), the last fucking thing I needed was dealing with a commonplace street assault.
In China, it is perfectly acceptable to abuse your wife or girlfriend on the street in broad daylight. It is not quite as bad as South Korea or Thailand, where you can physical beat the bitch down to the ground with no repercussions (I’ve witnessed this in Thailand and tried to intervene once – a Japanese man stopped me – and a friend of mine lived in Korea and saw it all the time), but the Chinese-style woman-beat-down is an every day occurrence. I have a history of intervening in male abuse of women – moreso in my youth when I was stronger and dumber. No women have ever helped me (quite the opposite, actually), but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to help dumb-ass heterosexual women. I’ve learned, mostly. I don’t bother helping heterosexual women with their problems anymore. I fought for my own fucking freedom, and I continue to pay for my decisions because het women refuse to get on board in solidarity in the name of change and making female life better. Nothing has EVER in the history of the world been gained through waiting patiently – especially when it is waiting for people (men) to overcome their abusive tendencies and dumbassery. If you want freedom, you need to fucking fight for it, sometimes violently, especially if you don’t have money, or power in other areas of your life, or the right connections. So if you’re not going to fight, then you suck it up, and don’t whine about it. You only get to whine if you follow it up with action. So, I generally refuse to be sucked down into another woman’s problems for a number of reasons. Her boyfriend will try to hurt me – that’s a guarantee. She herself will almost always hurt me in response, she will usually choose the cock she is sucking and getting raped by over a friendly sister, and return to him after she uses me, and will end up supporting a system that *sort of* helps her (the cocksucker) and badly hurts me (the rebel). It’s the same philosophy I use in other areas of life, such as with my students. If students are lazy, selfish, and don’t give a shit about anyone (sometimes including themselves), I don’t bother with them. Only the ones who are willing to do the hard work get my support beyond what I am paid to do. My time and energy are fucking precious, so I bet on the winning horses. Blaming the victim? Well, fuck. At what point will we actually ask women to take some fucking responsibility, take some fucking risks? Men are not going to change until we force them to change, impose serious consequences for their actions, control them, kill them, or separate from them. Or some combination. Victimhood is real, but telling women to just accept things, or not to take risks, or not to self-examine is bullshit. Nothing will ever change until women take charge of their lives in serious and aggressive ways. If you need proof, look at the lack of change over the last several thousand years due to pussyfooting around the issue. I’m not an activist, but I don’t sit on my ass and wait for other people to save me while my self-serving, anti-woman actions end up hurting other women. I have some serious burdens that a lot of women don’t have, but I still take responsibility for my impact. And other women are in a better position to make positive change. But they don’t. So what the fuck?
But I couldn’t help it today. I just can’t fucking stand violent men getting away with their privileged bullshit. I came across the standard domestic abuse scenario on my way to the subway station. Two university students outside the gates of my school. The boy, twice the size of his girlfriend and much larger than me as well and less than half my age, had pulled her to the side of the sidewalk and had the ‘spiral fracture grip’ on her forearm that you see with sooooo many domestic abuse situations. He was lambasting her for something – probably he was jealous that she was talking to a friend or she didn’t wear the right skirt or something serious like that. She had assumed the submissive, childlike, head down pose that is recognizable across all cultures as ‘beaten, broken, abused woman’. It must have been the androcidal impulse in me that increases as the weather gets hotter. Men rape more in hot temperatures. I feel the urge to kill rapists much more in the summer. Go figure. But anyhow, I stopped and yelled, “GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF HER!” Didn’t even register to him. He was focused on his bitch. I moved more into his line of vision (I was walking on the road, not the sidewalk), and repeated my command. He turned to me in hatred and yelled, “FUCK YOU!” I yelled ‘fuck you’ back, but it was futile. He is the big man. And Chinese. So he has racism and sexism backing up his claim to power. I am just a white whore. Like an insect. My word means nothing. I have no power as a woman and especially as a white woman – a member of a powerless racial minority with a score of zero on the Oppressor Triangle™. He dismissed me with barely a look and returned to sexually abusing his girlfriend.
I walked on, androcide in my heart. There was nothing I could do. Not even the police would be interested in this kind of stuff. I know this well. I was dismissed before when I reported a black rapist racially profiling me, stalking me and demanding to come to my apartment to fuck (rape) me on our Chinese campus. My teaching liaison refused to contact the police. Rape and sexual assault are not matters for the police. I’ll be writing about China and its annoying mantra/euphemism on ‘harmony’ soon. Point is that women have no voice, no rights in China. But who are we kidding, women have no voice and no rights anywhere. In fact, it is getting worse for us in countries where women are supposedly ‘free’ (according to rapists, I mean men).
I managed to cool down some, gradually, but with racism and misogyny in full force over this past week, I’m having a very serious “I hate China” week and I am fantasizing non-stop of ramming chopsticks into male eye sockets. It brings me a little peace to think about it, but the fact that rapists aren’t dying in reality leaves me unsatisfied and frustrated.
The majority of my students are males, unfortunately. So there is a lot of stupid-ass crap that I am forced to listen to when I teach communication classes. I stand by my years and years of experience teaching in four different countries when I say that males are not as hot shit as they think they are. I also say that I constantly see evidence of males being given an easier time in school because of misogyny. Males use louder voices; larger size; highly disruptive and sometimes intimidating, infantile petulance; and humour or class clown antics to mask incompetence or stupidity, distract, garner attention, curry favour, and ultimately pull in student, teacher (and later employer) support. Most males succeed, not because of superiority on any level, but because of the attention (positive and negative) they demand of everyone around them. These behaviours are rewarded starting in infanthood, and carry on all their lives. Quieter, but superior, female students seldom are rewarded for their competence and have a harder time competing for attention when they are drowned out by their privileged princeling classmates.
And so I’m almost finished lengthy rounds of interviews/examinations with all my students. I’m testing listening and speaking skills. I don’t assign grades for viewpoints or whether I agree with them or not. It’s all about taught skills. I’m a master test administrator and designer. I’m pretty aware of my biases and am well trained in developing tests to measure the skills I’m interested in. But I will say this. There are boys I’d love to fail simply because they are misogynist douchebags. I reason to myself that males have destroyed and continue to destroy girls’ and women’s careers simply because they are female. I have many horrible memories of my experiences as a student with male teachers. The worst experience was as a senior undergraduate and the best in my graduating class. My alcoholic male thesis advisor (for whom I also managed a research lab to support myself financially) tried to fail me because I didn’t ask his unreliable, malicious, drunken ass to write me a letter of recommendation for graduate school. He gave me a grade so close to failing that he prevented me from attending a top tier graduate school because of this academic anomaly. As the head of my department, he was untouchable and all the other profs knew what he had done to me. They wouldn’t risk helping me, other than to write me kick-ass recommendation letter. But the damage was done. Yep! Men destroy women’s careers for no reason other than being female and refusing to suck their cocks.
But of course, I would never abuse my power like that. I’m a woman. I have integrity. And hell, freedom of speech (aka ‘let the rapists speak!’) or something like that.
So I wanted to report a few of the gems I heard during my testing. Out of the mouths of wanna-be rapists. And all of this was on my fucking birthday of all days. Sitting there listening to rapey male entitlement on my fucking birthday. Fucking fuckety fuck!!!
#1 Awesome Comment
One of my more bizarre and asocial males came in and proceeded to fuck up his examination with poor grammar and unimpressive responses to questions. The highlight occurred when I asked him to describe a national problem. He decided to broach the subject of the scarcity of females in his age group (around 20). My favourite question is always ‘why?’ so I asked it. He said that many males will not be able to ‘get a girlfriend’. I hear this ‘get a girlfriend’ all the time from my male students, and it always reminds me of object acquisition – get a car, get a new cell phone, etc. So again, I asked ‘why?’ Why is it a national problem if you can’t ‘get a girlfriend’? Apparently, the problem is not that 40 million girls were killed simply because they are girls. Nope. That is not a problem. The problem is that many boys are going to have to ‘turn gay’. See, if you can’t rape a bitch, then you’re going to have to stick your dick somewhere. Dicks must be serviced. Sorry, I don’t see a problem. I wish all men were gay and would keep their dicks out of women. But I didn’t say that to dude. I hope he finds a nice boy in the future. He doesn’t have the social skills to meet one of the rare girls here.
#2 Awesome Comment
One of my better students whipped out his chivalry on me. No, that is not a euphemism. Chivalry is actually a thing in China. It’s like medieval Europe, except girls are allowed to go to school and wear trousers. But there are all sorts of weird ideas about how to treat a lady which I find repulsive. And of course, chivalry leads to all sorts of gross female behaviour too (e.g., feigned helplessness and treating fellow females like absolute shit). Anyhow, my male student was answering some question I can’t recall now, and he started in about having to protect girls all the time. Why? “Because girls are weak.” Now, normally, when giving examinations, I do my best not to react to what students say other than to ask follow up questions or to ask them to repeat something. But I guess I didn’t react at all to this bullshit. So the male student followed up with “Don’t you think so???” I decided to say, very simply, “Absolutely not. Girls are not weak.” And then I moved on to the next question.
This kind of bullshit thinking is extraordinarily harmful. And it is a common belief in China. It is blatantly untrue. But I hear it all the time. A male Masters student tried to argue recently that males were a better choice for graduate students because women have no stamina or strength and can’t do as much work or survive on less sleep. WTF? Speaking as a chronic insomniac with two masters degrees and a fierce work load, I’d beg to differ. Who are the people who nurse babies, sick children, weak, whiny males, and disabled or old people through the night for years without fail? Um, women. For millennia, who has always had to get up earlier and go to bed later in order to service males who do the ‘important work’? Women. And who is doing better and working longer and harder in school these days? Females. Yeah, so fuck that noise.
I firmly believe that the bullshit fairy tales males tell themselves in order to keep women from succeeding and seeking independence and separatism are a result of the deep and threatening knowledge that males have of their own obsolescence.
Just a short post today to announce that Western trannies have invaded China! Yippee-ki-fucking-yay!!!
Let’s backtrack a bit.
I recently administered some final oral language examinations to two of my classes: some tourism majors. Most of them did okay. The exams weren’t so hard.
One of the questions had to do with using -ed and -ing adjectives correctly (e.g., bored vs boring), which is a common error for Chinese speakers because they use the same word for both in their language. So basically, on the exam, I give them four words and ask them to choose two and give me two good examples that demonstrates correct usage and an understanding of the vocabulary.
One of my students chose the word ‘shocked’ from the list and came up with the following:
“I felt shocked when I visited Guilin and saw a Western man wearing a dress.”
I broke character (objective examiner) and responded with “Really???” I wanted to know if the example was true or just created for the purpose of answering the question. Apparently, it was a true story.
It is possible that the person she saw was just some hippie or queer dude wearing, not a dress, but a man-skirt or a sarong. But she said ‘dress’ which opens up the possibility of a male of a different flavour. While it’s hard for me to imagine a trannie or cross-dresser going to a place as conservative and gender-conforming as China, at the same time, this kind of guy loves the idea of pushing boundaries and being presented with opportunities for confrontation and self-righteous anger expression. Western dudes flock to developing countries and loudly rage at local people for not having their Western male ways catered to. I can imagine a trannie being in heaven here, spewing at everyone for staring at him in horror and fascination.
I will say, the Chinese do have a fascination for the Kathoey – or Thai ‘ladyboys’. Many Chinese want to go to Thailand specifically to see these guys in action. It’s not something they would allow here – at least outside of the entertainment industry – but is considered to be humourous and safely shocking to see this kind of thing in a weird foreign country. For some reason, though, the Western explosion in male trans politics is relatively unheard of in China, and to have one show up here would be rather sensational, and not in a good way. Unlike ladyboys, most Western trannies aren’t pretty or, most importantly, delicate. They would bring a whole different level of weird – of the unacceptable kind.
To preserve the ignorance of Chinese students, I, as an actual Western person, am not allowed to teach the official, curriculum-mandated Western culture classes here in China. Only Chinese people – especially those who have never left China, it seems – are allowed to teach this subject. Imagine in your country, barring your foreign national Chinese staff from teaching Chinese culture to university students, and forcing locals who have never even left the country to teach it instead. Laughable, yes? It’s like me teaching a semester-long class on Afghan culture – a place I’ve never been and know nothing about. I occasionally debate about discussing some of the weirder aspects of Western culture that don’t make it into the highly censored Chinese media outlets. Not sure whether I would do it.
I started my Whores: How the Chinese See White Women collection after one day “standing in the check-out line in my neighbourhood grocery store and coming face-to-face with a white, presumably nude, woman smiling at me on a box of Chinese condoms.” Since then, I’ve written and photographed plenty on this topic. Just the other day, I lamented the loss of communist ‘woman power’ images, which depicted women in respectable roles in which they are clothed and actually doing something positive and commendable. Since communism lost steam and began opening up to the decaying West and its multiracial horde of rapists, the woman-as-power images have all but disappeared, only to be replaced by exploitative, two-dimensional, rape/sex images, especially of white women. Western men have exported their white-woman-as-fuckholes mentality all over the world, and the world has responded with “Hell yeah! We can get behind her, um, that, um… Yeah!”
I am not always fortunate to have a camera with me when I’m out and about, especially if I am just popping out to buy something. I hate to even have a cell phone with me. So I often miss out on really super-fantastic captures of gross displays of racist misogyny, and as it always seems to go with me, if you miss it the first time, you likely won’t run into it again.
But today, I lucked out!!! I finished a long day of final oral language examinations, and I stopped by my local grocery story – the one I wrote about before where ALL the posters lining the three-storey building, EXCEPT the one of the nearly naked white woman, were respectful – to pick up some olive oil. AND!!! as I was standing in line at the cash, I looked up and came face-to-face with the ever-present condom pile (in China, condoms are required to be placed at the check-out counters to remind men to fuck) and saw a new package with a different white woman beckoning me to fuck her. Unlike the woman on the other package I saw, this one wasn’t *possibly* naked, just be-lingeried. The packaging is all Chinese, but this brand as well as the one I talk about below, fall under the parent company Ansell, which is Australian. But I wonder… given that the target market is Chinese, would it not make more sense to put a Chinese ho’ on the packaging…? All marketing is done the way it is done for a reason… We all know this.
By the way, I’m still waiting to see a black woman on one of these ubiquitous mandatory fuckage reminders. I’ve been in China for years, but I’ve yet to see any women other than whites, and occasionally, Chinese, publicly, commercially, sexually exploited for the sake of male pleasure and entitlement. We live in a world where the universal marketing/business symbol of sex and rape is the oh-so-privileged, white whore.
I write these posts to intentionally disturb your ingrained politically correct beliefs and trendy, knee-jerk, liberal responses. No woman is privileged over another. No woman oppresses another. Not even the ‘rich white women’ everyone loves to hate and blame for everything. Every sub-group of women in the world has shit thrown at them by men of all races, and then is further shat upon when women outside the sub-group tell her how good she has it. When you accuse a woman of privilege, you other her. You negate the shit she experiences – shit which you may or may not even be able to fathom – in order to highlight your own crappy life. It is much more productive to join with women against the real oppressors: men. Even men of your sub-group/interest. Personally, I don’t want to see black or Latina or Asian or aboriginal women equally exploited on condom packages. I want to see NO WOMEN on condom packages or sexually exploited in any way whatsoever. Muse on the concept of female solidarity against male exploitation. And then do whatever the fuck you want. Keep pooping on women you can’t / don’t / won’t relate to. It feels almost as good as fantasizing while wearing a Chinese condom, I’ll bet.
Oh, and for shits and giggles, get a load of the name of this other brand of (Australian) condoms sold in China (see below). Note that if you buy the white-woman-whore condoms, you get 24 per pack. These ones only cum in 6 or 10.
Occasionally, I’ll talk about communism with my students. It doesn’t happen often. For one, I think a lot of them aren’t that interested. It ain’t the 1950’s or 1960’s anymore, and none of my students was alive through the scary part of it. As well, it is not necessarily all that safe to talk about it in public, especially if we are critiquing it. There are unspoken rules about what you can criticize and how far you can go. I remember going out for lunch with a university professor in Mao’s home province (Hunan) where I worked about 6 years ago, and he refused to talk about communism at all, and got very, very nervous and quiet. We changed the subject.
Despite what you see in the news about China’s modernizing, things are still, under the surface, very controlled here. Every high school, college and university has a communist student group on campus, and even my PhD students must take a required course in Marxism during their program, even though they have been taking the exact same course almost every year of their student lives. (How often is too often…?) Many students join the communist student group despite having no passion whatsoever for or connection to the ideals, because it is well known that you’ll create a network, gain ‘face’ and have better career prospects if you do so. And interestingly, over the years, I always have at least a few gung-ho communist students who’ll try to talk about that great man, Mao, in class every chance they get – and they remind me strangely of fundamentalist Christians, Jews or Muslims I’ve encountered who can’t shut the fuck up about their beliefs. Fanatics are fanatics no matter what the flavour of kool-aid. It has been suggested more than once by Chinese I know that there may or may not be spies in my classes – a student placed by the communist groups to ‘keep tabs on things’. Who the hell knows…?
But despite the persistence of communism here in China, capitalism has gained momentum, unfortunately. It is a weird world where they exist side by side. I brought this up to one of my masters students recently, and he said with a laugh, “Well, yeah, we need capitalism to pay for the communism.” I thought that was pretty funny. And true.***
Now, personally, I’m not a big fan. But neither am I a capitalist. I don’t think I can subscribe to any political or economic system that men come up with, to be honest. Whatever the ideals, men will ruin it. Men function on domination and hierarchy and hatred of women. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that communism didn’t work. Men can posit ‘equality’ all they want – but they can’t do without their power struggles and rapey nature. Equality is good, men will tell you, as long as they get what they themselves want. Yeah, remember that British fuck I wrote about earlier (here and here)? He loves China and loves communism. We waxes poetic about how much he loves dictatorship and censorship, and how necessary they are – with a straight face, I might add. But if you poke a little, you’ll get what you’re looking for. As long as HE lives outside the restrictions. How’s that saying go? Dictatorship is great, as long as you’re the dictator… That’s how it rolls with men. They’d never make communism work, and to be honest, I find capitalism a much more honest expression of the male ego. A house of cards built out of delusions and promises of freedom, equal opportunity, and abundance. Yeah, that hasn’t worked for most people, and still they cling…
Anyhow, back to the East. There is an historical site not far from where I work that I’ve visited a few times. It’s a place I’d take any visitor as there is a lot of cool stuff to see and watch: architecture, traditional performances, traditional food, etc. Outside an old (Mao-communist era) film house, there is a write up on the wall about posters. [See the shots I snapped below.] China was really into politically-motivated posters during this time. There were the occasional advertisments of goods and services, despite being much less on offer than now. Quite a bit of the write-up talked about women and the perception of women during this era. And I will say one positive thing about old Communist China. Women weren’t anywhere near as exploited as they are in capitalist times or in places running on capitalism. As you can read in the attached photos below, when women appeared in posters and advertisements, they weren’t sold as sex. They were humans with a new vital role to play in society. They were workers, students, soldiers. Robust, hard-working and energetic. Not whorish objects – things – to be consumed by men. They were clothed like rest of the humans (men) in the posters. Dressed for respect. [I actually like communist fashion, I have to admit. Keyword: comfortable.] They didn’t look helpless. They were role models to be looked up to by men and women alike. I have no doubt that women were still abused by men off-stage. You can’t have a world with men in it where women aren’t abused. Not possible. Men would never go for that in a million years. Dicks must stay hard, right!?! But at least, under Mao, the rape and destruction of women weren’t glorified in public as entertainment and marketing tools, as they are in the putrid West, and sadly, as they are fast becoming in modern China (with the whorification of white women leading the way here – thanks capitalism!!!)
So why the fuck can’t we keep this good part of communism – the publicly accepted, respected, human side of women – and throw out the fanaticism, propaganda, demand to conform, and punishment for intellectualism? Can we not develop a freedom-based system where women are independent, powerful, respected, and separate from male definitions of sexuality? No. Not in my opinion. As long as males are alive, dictatorship of one sort (capitalism, liberalism, etc) or another (communism) will always exist, with women under the male boot.
*** You might be reading and thinking, ‘Those crazy communists.” or “Those crazy Chinese.” But you know, the West is just as fucked up, but in a different way, and in some ways, I prefer the weirdness of capito-communist China. The West is experiencing its own psychotic break from reality with the whole trannie movement. Women are being silenced, censored, no-platformed, erased as biological beings, and literally abused, and even raped and killed, by a tiny, powerful group of dangerous, delusional men who have scared politicians, the media, and the government shitless. How is this any more frightening than the censoring of the Chinese government? At least, the Chinese censor men and women alike. The West hates women with a regressive passion not seen since… when? Decades ago? A century ago? I’m too embarrassed to bring up trans bullshit and identity politics with my Chinese students. They’d laugh their asses off. Seriously.
Humiliation and shaming are important tools in the arsenal that men are handed at birth to be used mostly against girls and women. One of the fastest ways to get females to comply or to desist is to take a behaviour that has been forced on them and to make them feel dirty and evil for doing it. A super-nova mindfuck if there ever was one.
There are few countries more adept at passive-aggressive fuckery than China. It is an accepted practice in all environments to psychologically destroy people. Public shaming and humiliation – and the key part in a hive-mind culture is the PUBLIC part of this – is a well-loved tactic. When I lived in the Chinese countryside several years ago, I remember walking past one of the community bulletin boards. A communist leader had posted some photos that were part of the official government record and they told the story of several public humiliations. I wish I’d photographed the photos at the time – I wish I’d done that with a lot of the shit I saw in what I consider to be ‘real China’, the countryside, the China that most of the world never, ever sees – it seemed very medieval to me. In a nutshell, in each photo was depicted a person who was clearly some kind of criminal. A sign had been hung around their neck and they were stood in front of the community who all looked on. Public humiliation and shaming. Arrest wasn’t enough of a punishment. The people had to be made an example publicly. It is an extraordinarily effective form of punishment.
And it is commonly used on women.
In a recent post, Radical Witch pointed out astutely that in no country do cops take the harm and subjugation of women seriously. In fact, they often support it and participate in it. They are mostly men, working in an aggressive, power-driven field. They have everything to gain by destroying women. China is no different.
Some photos have come out demonstrating how the police treat prostitutes in China.
Prostitution is illegal in China. But like all males in the world, Chinese men love it, want it, use it, and publicly denigrate the fact that it exists, and more importantly, the women who become trapped in it. And prostitution is rampant. The government calls it illegal, but all officials use prostitutes during their meetings and official visits. And then, every once in a while, something like what is depicted in the photos above happens. Only men win here.
Several years ago, I was taking some Chinese classes, and I was talking to one British dude who worked as a chemist and a manager in a toxic chemical plant in Southern China. He was in charge of meeting with Chinese government officials in order to do health and safety checks. As he recalled one event, the officials showed up, completely hand-waved the inspections away, and waited for him to provide the food, drink and prostitutes. This is very, very standard for China. Revelry and debauchery on the public dime (rmb) and then signatures on crucial documents that are supposed to make sure workers have safe environments and that the environment is safe from human dealings.
So here is my question. Why the fuck don’t we start publicly humiliating men for the shit they do to women? And I mean serious public humiliation. As it is, public knowledge of a politician sending a dick pic or getting caught with prostitutes does nothing to stop him from further success – especially if he is religious. But let’s parade him naked in public. Let’s measure his dick on camera and make comments about its inadequacy. Let’s pose him in a degrading pose he forced upon the prostitutes he used and laugh at him. I mean seriously, if this stuff is acceptable and effective against women who have done nothing wrong other than try to survive in a world that hates them, I’m willing to try it on men – cops, politicians, CEOs, and hell, regular guys! – to stop their actual crimes. We’ll see how much longer they continue raping and murdering and torturing and threatening if there are actual, serious consequences for their actions.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Except in this case, it would be justified and reasonable. And fuck it, I love social experiments.
This is a companion piece to that snore-fest of a misogynist classic, Scent of a Woman, starring tired old typecast actor, Al Pacino.
Soooo, let’s pretend I’m blind. All my other senses are heightened. I’m not going to go so far as to say I can identify individuals, unlike the Pacino-pornhound, but I will say this: no matter where I go in the world, my nose knows when I’ve entered or passed a place where men go. And by ‘go’, I’m not just talking location, but also the euphemism.
Yep. I mean urine.
Male urine is one of the worst smells in the world, up there with male jizz and dead bodies/rotting meat. (I’d rather smell poop or farts than those other three, actually.) But you don’t need to be blind or bolstered by heightened olfactory powers to know when males are lurking and leaking. First, they piss everywhere! Not just in washrooms, but in public. On my most recent trip to the US, the very first smell to greet me when I alit from the public transport from the airport was male urine. And the first thought to go through my mind as I choked and tried to breathe was first ‘Welcome to America!’ but I quickly revised it to ‘Same smell, different country’. Interestingly, that smell was the last one I experienced before I boarded public transportation in China on my way to the US. Only my location had changed. The smell was the same. I realized that male wee is the great globalizer. McDonald’s or Walmart may peddle the globalizing shit, but male bodies, literally, produce the globalizing piss. And while all serve to make you feel a sense of familiarity no matter where you are, the urine does so more than anything else because olfactory memory, especially paired with fear and disgust, tends to be one of the most powerful mind-fucks. That scent alone will remind you who is in charge (men), who is destroying the world (men), and of whom you need to be afraid (men).
There are reminders of this power in the form of piss and pissing everywhere you go. One example from my world: I was walking down a busy street in China two days ago in broad daylight, and a dude ahead of me stepped off the sidewalk, unzipped his fly and let loose right then and there under the trees lining the walk. No shame. Just pure, unadulterated male privilege. The privilege to be completely safe while uncovered. The privilege to go unquestioned while exposing genitals. The privilege to filth up common space with human waste. Imagine a woman doing that. Wouldn’t happen. She’d end up raped, beaten, shamed and/or arrested. Children, as well, are given a free pass, especially if they are male. Chinese mothers teach their boys from a young age that they don’t need to learn to control their urges. Male urges must be given precedence over everything else, including public health and safety. I don’t wish to see cock in public EVER, yet I see little-boy dick absolutely everywhere I go in China, even in ‘civilized’ places. Little-boy dick pissing on the sidewalk, on trees, in the street from the curb. Who the fuck wants to be reminded of their masters’ presence on a constant basis?
But let’s get to the toilets. Even in countries where males are sort of required to limit their urination to designated areas (like that is possible…), these places often stink much more than women’s toilets. Part of it might be the spray factor. This need to stand and spray isn’t human, but rather, pure, unthinking animal. Men really should sit down to pee. Basic logic. But given the world we live in, men don’t have to think about their grossness and entitlement because either a woman is cleaning up after them or they just live in their own filth without noticing. I can’t imagine ever again sharing a residential space, including a bathroom, with a male.
In China and other places without a strict cleanliness mentality or understanding of basic hygiene, and with out-of-control populations (meaning high volume male urinating), and with poor plumbing systems, the bathrooms are absolutely disgusting. I even find the women’s bathrooms in China horrific. They stink. Part of the problem is cleaning mentality. People very much believe that if someone is employed to clean, then they can be as filthy and inconsiderate as they want. They leave urine, blood and shit everywhere – for someone else to clean up. But unfortunately, the cleaners seldom know how to clean properly or care about cleaning properly. Another part of the problem is the design of squat toilets. Unlike with the Western sit-down toilet, the squatter bowls are open and shallow. Unless you can force your piss stream to a trickle or position yourself directly over the small hole at the very end of the long and very shallow bowl, urine bounces off the porcelain and sprays absolutely everywhere. Gross.
But the male toilets in China? #$%@! Unlike the women’s, I can smell them from 100 feet away. Directly passing by them is an eye-watering, brain-cell-killing, throat burning, lung-emptying experience. My swearing reflex, much like a gag-reflex, is triggered every time. When I taught high school in the Chinese countryside several years ago, my poor American colleague’s classroom was situated right beside one of the male toilets. Her room was permanently tainted by the smell of wee. Male wee. It must have gotten into the wood of the students’ desks. So, even with the door closed during a low-urination time of day, it was suffocating. I felt so bad for her. I was luckier with my classroom placement.
Now, I got curious. Not that curious – not all-day research curious – just a little. Male stench can’t just be a plumbing or cleaning or entitlement problem, right? There has got to be a difference in male and female urine. I can’t deny what my nose, throat, eyes, and lungs constantly tell me. I read that there are differences in male cat urine (felinine protein for marking territory) and male mouse urine ((methylthio)methanethiol which attracts females), for example. Scientific inquiry (or lack thereof) indicates that there is nothing that really explains why male and female urine might smell differently. The implication is that it must be all in one’s head (and, goddammit, one’s throat and nose…), of course. Individually, urine smell can be affected by dehydration, types of food eaten, and disease conditions. After a cursory look, there is no conclusion that excreted hormones account for male stench. Who knows what is true? Either there is no difference (hard to believe), or men are abusing science to prove they are not gross, or the science hasn’t been done because it is more important to fund studies trying to prove women are natural, abusable fuckholes. I found one poorly written pop-sciencey/interpretation article written by an unintelligent, male-identified woman trying to imply a link (where no link exists) between mice and humans. Sorry lady, women are not fucking ‘turned on’ by the smell of male wee. Quite the opposite… Quite the opposite indeed… The smell of men inspires violent urges in me, actually.
Regardless of whether there is a difference in urine – really, that is not the point here, and I don’t really care – there is still a conclusion to be made. Men stink, and they need to pee in designated places, sit down while they do it, and clean the fuck up after themselves – especially if they are using residential bathrooms or dual-sex/unisex bathrooms where women are forced to use the same facilities. And this is yet another reason to keep male trannies out of the women’s toilets, btw. And their man-pee stench will give them away as dudes even if the bad wig and smirking entitlement don’t. Aside from the fear/intimidation, safety and violence issues, and usurping women’s status and rights issues, trannie men stink, too, and they should put their stinky male urine where it belongs – THE MEN’S ROOM.
Requiring men to self-regulate is not a human rights abuse. It is a tempering of ages-old privilege and infringement upon the rights of women.
I had a rather delightful day on Saturday. I mentioned in a previous post that I was invited to a little grass roots English club. Out of this encounter, I’ve acquired some new mentees. It’s a mixed sex group. I’m quite pleased to have young women present, and I’ve likely mentioned in at least one past post that as a survival mechanism, I de-sex the male students so that I can bear to be around them. In other words, I go out with a group of young women and young students (males). Any outings I have with groups such as these are generally pleasant. If it were unbearable, I wouldn’t do it. I go places I may not have been before, I learn about local culture and history, try new food and new restaurants, and if I’m very lucky, I can give the young women a chance to talk about anything they want. It is my frequent impression that they are not really allowed to voice their deepest concerns or fears. I exist outside their cultural paradigm, and I think that makes me less threatening in a sense.
On Saturday, a group of five students (two females and three students) and I arranged to visit two culturally important venues in our city. It was actually a heap of fun and ended with a glorious meal at a restaurant with Dongbei cuisine. But at one point, the two young women began talking about marriage, which immediately put me on edge. I frequently have to deal with incredulous reactions to being unmarried and child-free. I am on the receiving end of concern, surprise, disapproval, and very, very, very occasionally jealousy. Mostly, it is annoying. I’ve spent my life being told how abnormal I am, that there is something ‘wrong’ with me, and there is always this valuation/appraisal of my human status no matter what culture I live in. Only women deal with this. Even if a man is questioned on his status, which he frequently isn’t, there is no value judgment made of him. Marital and parenthood status does not affect men. With women, you can be denied employment because you are assumed to be defective or lacking an important human quality that magically affects your ability to do work.
But I’m pretty much used to the disdain and questioning. I used to try to justify myself. I don’t do that anymore. Sometimes, I’m downright honest about the whole mess that is female slavery. By the time I’m sixty, I’ll be right salty!
One thing that makes me very sad in places like China is that women have no choice whatsoever about their slavery. Western women have much more choice when it comes to their fates. I get why and how Western women buy into the heterosexuality mandate and why they still cave under the social pressure (which is real, but seldom a life or death situation) to sell their vaginas, uteri, and physical, emotional and psychological energy to men who may not even be the highest bidders. But at the same time, it is bizarre to me and fucks me off to no end. The threat of punishment keeps the majority of women cowering and doing their duty. Those of us who have disobeyed have suffered and will suffer in old age for these important defiances.We help our enslaved sisters when they inevitably suffer at the hands of their Nigels, but we don’t get help in return when we are alone, old, injured or unable to support ourselves. Sigh.
But while I feel fortunate in some ways (economically poor, but somewhat psychologically free) for not being forcefully enslaved, despite my lower status among women and the recipient of punishment no matter where I live, most women in the world really have no choice at all. In China, I’ve never met a single woman who has managed to escape forced marriage and forced motherhood. But I have met a handful of girls who say they don’t want that life for themselves. And I get strong impressions from each of them that they are lesbians or completely sexually naive or asexual. These women, I have great sympathy for. Non-compliance is a much more serious issue here.
On Saturday, one of the young women told me repeatedly in amazement and with some envy that I was so independent. She couldn’t believe my father didn’t push me into anything (I permanently left my mother’s control when I was 20, and the pressure hadn’t started from her at that point in my life). The young woman quietly told me that she didn’t want to get married at all. Interestingly and with insight and sadness, she told me that she wished she did want it. This young woman knows what is in store for her. She knows how difficult something can be when you are forced into doing something you don’t want to do. I’m not sure if she articulates the concept of rape to herself, but she definitely has dreams of freedom, independence and choice. She said she hopes she will change her mind when she gets older. Right now, she is about 19.
It hurts me to hear young women talk about this and that girls of this young age are worrying deeply about this issue. The male students, on the other hand, have nothing to worry about. Marriage was built for them. Marriage benefits men in many ways and it doesn’t negatively affect any aspect of their lives. I’ve never heard a young male talk about marriage or children in anything but a flippant, carefree, positive way, in fact.
The males in our group tried to find out what the conversation was about. I summed it up for them. Marriage was designed by men for men. And it is not good for women. They seemed shocked. Like I said above, they don’t think about this stuff. Life is easy for them. They are the oppressors. One of them concluded that each person is entitled to their own opinion. Sure. Opinions. But I know more about women’s history than they do, so I am coming from a place of facts and reality, as well as my experience as a member of the oppressed, as the basis of my very informed opinion.
These conversations with women are difficult because I can’t do anything concrete to help them. I want for them to have freedom from males and the freedom to do whatever they want with their lives. I’d like to see a worldwide system change away from Patriarchy and female enslavement. I want to see the institution of family and marriage demolished. I wish women to be economically independent so that they don’t need men at all and they can concentrate on healthy, lifelong female relationships. But I know there is nothing at all I can do for them except listen to them, let them know they are heard, and that I care about their experiences and stories.
There are so many reasons to hate capitalism, but at the top of the list is the requisite and abundant abuse of women. The abuse happens in several ways. One of them is through advertisements. As China has become more capitalist, the objectification of women has gotten worse. Woman-hate has always been there, as it is and has been in all cultures. It just manifests in different ways depending on politics, social system, economy, national history, etc. Capitalism, which is completely dependent on the abuse of women (and would collapse without it), offers men several new ways to hurt women. Using their images in abusive ways is just one.
As I’ve posted before (specifically here), China, like many places, sees white women as the ultimate whores. White female bodies are used to sell all sorts of products in China, but are especially useful for sex- and female-targeted (aren’t they the same? woman=sex) products.
The dismay felt today occurred when I walked past my local, 3-storey department and grocery store. A few times a year, they change the massive 2-storey-tall advertisements. And I noticed something. One of these ads is not like the others. Let’s see if you notice too. I present to you the current set of ads lining the outer walls of the largest shopping centre in my area.
Did you catch it? Did you notice which one was different? In case you can’t figure it out, let me help. There are two fully clothed, white dudes. Yeah, their styles are kind of effeminate, but that is actually quite normal for straight men in China. Chinese women will probably find these dudes attractive, I think. Then there are two white boy-children. Fully clothed with the ‘too cool for school’ look on their faces. Chinese people will find them acceptable. Then we’ve got a Chinese adult male. Slick, respectably dressed. This dude will command respect. And to be honest, I’d actually wear that outfit. Then we’ve got a young Chinese woman. Fully clothed (hard to see, but there is a tan-coloured shirt under all the red outerwear). She’s young and a cool up-and-comer. Timid, but part of China’s future.
And then we’ve got the White Whore. Dressed in clothes that are the very symbol of female slavery, humiliation, degradation, and inhumanity. Dressed in next to nothing in a culture where uncovered women are only seen as garbage to be used by men. This is part of the dual message that comes through in the advertising. “This is Woman – specifically White Woman – and she should be used, but not respected.”
All over the world, including China, white women are the object of choice for advertising lingerie, wedding rings, condoms, and other woman-as-sex-object items. I face these images of what are essentially representations of ME every single day, and it always occurs to me how much these images and their evil messages are internalized by everyone around me. We know these marketing devices work, otherwise we wouldn’t have advertisements at all. People have degrees in this shit from business schools. Marketing sends messages. So when I encounter people after they are daily bombarded with the ‘white woman as whore and nothing else’ message, how am I supposed to garner respect? How am I supposed to be seen as human? All they see when they look at me and other white women is some sex-crazed, fuckable property of white men. It scares the shit out of me, and I fucking hate it.
This is the intertwined racism and misogyny of China.
[This post is part of the White Girl series.]
I frequently get bored. I do a lot of stuff by myself, which is fine. I’ve always been that way. Since I was a kid. But that tendency is exacerbated in China to the point where I am frequently bored out of my skull. While in other places, doing things by myself can be either indoors or outdoors, in China, I spend most of my time indoors simply because going outside – even just outside my building – means facing too much negative attention from racist, misogynist people who don’t see me as quite human.
So getting bored means that sometimes I sign on to do things that may or may not be fun. I had one such opportunity this week. There are a couple of kids who drop in on one of my English classes at my home campus. I like ambitious people who look for chances to self-improve without being forced to do it, so I let them sit in and participate. There aren’t a lot of truly self-motivated people in the world, and I’d hate to put out what fire they may have. Anyhow, one of them announced he was a member of a little grass roots English club on my campus and invited me to attend. I figured I’d check it out. After all the group was small, and the students were not English majors, but young people just interested in improving their oral language skills that they are sadly not offered in their university programs.
I won’t get into what transpired, as that is not the point of this post, except to say that it was a nice meeting, and I was impressed with all of the students. I think I’ll go again in the future because they really are quite keen on learning and practising. And some of them have interesting things to say – I like to know what young people in a growing economy and weird political system think about the world.
What was interesting – or not, depending on your perspective – was a question that came up and the conversation that ensued. People always ask me what I do in my free time or what I’m interested in. I hate this question because I don’t have a lot to say. I don’t do a lot. I read. I write. I go to the market. I cook food that is suitable for a person living alone. I see friends or students occasionally. That’s about it. Boring stuff. But if I can’t hold back, I will tell people that I love bees. By hold back, I mean that if I start talking about bees, I can go on and on and on. I love them. I have worked with bees and I have fallen in love with them, so to speak. They make me happy. And I like to watch them, photograph them, and think about them. I also like to dispel myths about them, alleviate irrational fears of them, and tell people about how they operate. They are very misunderstood creatures.
One thing I really love about them is that they are a female-dominated society. Now, they are not female-dominated in the way that the few matriarchal human societies have been/are. Human matriarchies are good for women, but they are also good for men. Under human matriarchy, everybody actually does well. It’s not based on domination/submission as patriarchies are. The reality is contrary to what men fear – because men think women in charge would behave exactly like men. Total nonsense and indicative of how limited men are in their imaginations and how aware they actually are of how much they abuse us. They can only project, and they know they deserve to be punished for what they have done… No, unlike human matriarchies, bee society is female-dominated in a way that doesn’t benefit male bees (drones). I approve, actually. Not of the hierarchy with queen on top, but of the efficiency and cohesiveness of bee society. Males are essentially USELESS. Only a few are born and their sole purpose is to impregnate the queen. Other than that, they are completely and utterly useless. They can’t even break their way out of their birth cells, unlike the females. The females must liberate the poor little fuckers from their cells. The drones contribute nothing to the hive. They don’t bring back resources. They don’t clean or heat/cool the hive. They don’t even have a stinger with which to defend the hive. After mating, the females do what no human female has the guts to do: they either drive the males from the hive, or kill them immediately. Bee hives depend upon the contributions of every single bee. Non-contributors use badly needed resources. Males are a drain on hive resources from birth. And the girls deal with this problem effectively.
Whoops, see what I mean? Once I start, it is hard for me to stop.
Anyhow, the students asked me about what I was most interested in, and I started in on the bees. I told them all about this female-dominated society. They were fascinated, but what was interesting to me was how the students reacted. It was a half female, half male group. None of the males said anything at all in response to the cold hard reality of bee life for drones. But several of the young women started lamenting on how unfair it was for the males to be killed. Waaah!!! Poor resource-sucking males!!!
And this is why human society is in the poor, go-nowhere, filthy state that it is in. Women constantly stick up for unproductive, abusive, destructive, poisonous, dominant, rapist, parasitical, disgusting men. Most women accept their brainwashing and support the female slave structure instead of taking their rightful place as leaders and creators and protectors and stewards.
Bee society isn’t my ideal society. I do believe there is a place for those who are unable to be in top productivity (i.e., elderly wise women nearing the end of their lives), but that is probably more practical for human culture and not realistic for bees. And the hyper-focus on breeding is not what I would consider a human priority like it appears to be for bees. But removing destructive, abusive, unchanging forces entirely from a culture or society? That I can get on board with. And I think it is something human females need to do if they ever expect to live in peace, safety and happiness in this world.
Because it doesn’t happen a lot, every time I make a new female friend who doesn’t immediately turn out to be a complete raging misogynist, I cheer inside. And often out loud, too. With a happy dance. Female friendship should be cheered. And cherished. Unfortunately, the opposite is true in most corners of the world. Women are trained from birth not to invest in other women. That would undermine patriarchy and threaten their relationships with men.
On the whole, it is really hard to connect with Chinese women. First, I am ‘other’, so engaging with me is seldom something they pursue. They (the women) do violent things me and say mean things to me, oh yes they do. The women are often more aggressive to me than the men, and friendly engagement is rare. This is borne of the divisiveness created by patriarchy that keeps women from bonding. And as I don’t comply with femininity, I am further ‘othered’. With the really young Chinese women, they are usually wrapped up in shopping and beauty products and obsessing about boys and double eyelid surgery (all of which repulses the hell out of me) – and occasionally with studying really, really hard (which I fully support). And come mid-20’s, almost all women are sucked into mandatory nuclear family life. All women, including lesbians, are forced into the drudgery and humiliation of finding a husband, popping out a kid or two, and then enthusiastically embracing the lifetime of slavery that goes with that. It’s not unique to China. All cultures either force or coerce women into the family track through some means. I oppose the family structure because it is designed specifically to isolate and disempower women and to place female friendship and support and the possibility of professional networking at the very bottom of their priority list. It doesn’t work that way for men – quite the opposite actually. Family is a disastrous (male) invention that makes men’s lives easy and destroys the lives of women. But I’ve managed to cultivate a few friendships with Chinese women despite all this. They probably have greater meaning for me than for them, however, given my existence outside the family system and my wish to connect meaningfully with women.
One new friendship is with a lecturer at my university. We crossed paths as we use the same classroom – my class is immediately before hers. She did her Masters degree in Canada, so she has no hesitation about speaking with foreign people, unlike most Chinese who can’t even be bothered to say ‘ni hao’ to me or return my smile (which I gave up on a few years ago). And we have other things in common. We both have backgrounds in statistics and methodology and in addition to our scientific creds, also have degrees in the realm of management.
We got together for lunch yesterday, and even though my new friend told me right off the bat that she is a ‘traditional person’, I really didn’t feel that was entirely true. First off, she has a PhD (more education than her husband) and is currently looking for international opportunities to further her career. That doesn’t sound so traditional to me. Yes, she has several standard heterosexual views that almost all woman hold due to social conditioning, but I find her rather open-minded and reasonably rational for a woman from a very rigid culture in the clutches of dictatorship. I think her international experience really helped broaden her perspective (e.g., she had a gay masters advisor in Canada). And it was really easy to have a discussion on issues while holding sometimes differing views. Honestly, it was the most open face-to-face conversation I’ve had in… years?
I learned a lot of fascinating things during our lunch, but there is one thing I want to talk about in this post. The whole male child obsession.
There is new propaganda out in China about ‘girl children are important, toooooo’. It’s mostly bullshit, but the government is panicking about the backfiring of their population control policy and the disastrous effects it has had years later. And the panicking isn’t due to regrets or fighting misogyny. It is still all focused on male privilege. Let’s spell out what happened clearly.
- China’s population was exploding due to female slavery.
- The government decided to control the explosion by limiting families to one child (with exceptions).
- Like anyone but an idiot might expect, a culture built on woman-hate automatically gravitated towards that single child being a boy.
- Illegal sex determination testing was carried out by all people who could pay for it and many female fetuses were aborted. If people couldn’t afford the testing, they often abandoned or killed female newborns once the nasty surprise was born.
- A few short decades later, and the country is missing 40 million females.
- And note that the crisis is not that females have been killed, but that there now isn’t enough cunt to allocate to all of the males who were allowed to live.
- Boys must have access to pussy! What are we to do!!!!???? Oh no!!!!!
Now, it would be great to shit all over China for the horrors done to girls. But you know what? If you implement this population control policy anywhere in the world, the exact same thing would happen. There is no country in the world where boys aren’t worshipped and girls hated. When push comes to shove, given the choice between breeding a future rape victim or a future rapist, 99.9% of people would choose the rapist. Some of them might delude themselves into thinking they can produce a ‘good one’, but the fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as a good one. There are just entitled ones who ALL benefit from the threat all women live under. A male doesn’t have to rape to benefit from rape. Men (and most women) don’t get this. At all.
Despite being ‘traditional’, my new friend and I got into a good discussion of marriage and male privilege and the whole mandatory breeding thing in China. Women cannot escape from marriage and breeding. It is unthinkable and undoable. Even ‘out’ lesbians, the few that there are, are hounded by the government (in addition to friends and family) to submit and do their duty. Your twat and portable incubator belong to us and all the men in the country!!! And regardless of the deceptive ‘pro-female baby’ campaign, even educated people are still lusting after sons. We discussed a few examples from my friend’s life that made for some depressing food for thought.
In particular, she mentioned one of her closest Chinese friends. Someone she described as at the top of her career, accomplished, smart, talented – a great woman. But of course, she is married. She is also 43 and is now pregnant. This hit me very personally – I am 43 and can’t imagine wanting to be pregnant at this age. Anyhow, this woman had a daughter years before, but her husband is desperate for real human progeny – I mean, a son. So he badgered her. And the threat is that if this intelligent, accomplished woman doesn’t bear this asshole a son, he will leave her. [Me? I say ‘good riddance’. There is no reason for an economically independent woman to stay with a rapist-abuser.] And she relented. Being 43, she has been forced by Husband-Dickface into putting herself at great risk of death and endless physical and psychological complications, disfigurement, and/or permanent injury. Less important, but still worth considering, she is at high risk of having a child with any of a number of problems – which, as the mother, she will be solely responsible for taking care of. But Cock must be satisfied. He has absolutely nothing to lose in this narcissistic frivolity. The bitch must put out, or she will be tossed aside like garbage. I am positive that Cock will pay the money for an illegal sex determination test, and any defects (aka ‘femaleness’) detected will be aborted toot sweet.
My lunch companion then entered into the standard het-female spiel about her special Nigel (I need a Chinese equivalent for a special snowflake, can-do-no-wrong male partner – I may use the the popular name, Ming – 明 – ‘not my Ming’). She said that her husband wants another child, but she is 38, and she said she didn’t want to have another because she is getting too old, and um, she is an accomplished woman moving up in her career. He has given in. So of course, he is the Best Husband on Earth™. But I asked her, do you have a son or daughter? Wait for it… She has a son! Ding ding ding!!! If she had a daughter, her super special Nigel/Ming probably wouldn’t have let her get off so easily.
But she chooses to see his giving in as some superior quality, rather than only relenting because he already has what he wants – a son. And this kind of rationalizing preserves the hetero marriage paradigm, not just in this case but all over the world. Women need to find examples, even the tiniest shred, of positive male behaviour in order to justify their slavery. And cookies (in the West) and dumplings (in the East) are prepared and showered upon husbands and boyfriends for not hurting them. That day. That moment. This is the trap all heterosexual women fall into and it is what will keep het relationships (and male privilege, including forcing women to produce sons) safe until the end of time. Turning the whole ‘he could do x, y, z to me, but he chooses not to’ into ‘he’s a perfect male specimen’ is a defense mechanism. Is that not creepy or scary to you? The implication always is with men that they are choosing not to do something to you AT THAT MOMENT, but it could change at any time. The threat of what could be done with impunity is what keeps all women in line.
But I get it. I don’t like it, and personally, I made my life infinitely more difficult by NOT supporting heteronormative slavery through not getting married and breeding. But not all women have the fight in them needed to resist, or in the case of rigid cultures like China, the mindset to rebel. But, separate from my personal life choices, I like this woman just as I like all my enslaved female friends. We don’t have to agree on how to survive in this world.
So, I ended that conversation with an emphasis on the importance of female friendships and support. That might be a topic for another post as I gained some insight into debunking a stereotype that Western women have of non-Western women (specifically the myth that the latter have stronger female bonds because they are family- and group-think-oriented).
Since I was old enough to really take notice, I realized there is just no equivalent to the ‘old Boys’ Club’ for girls and women. Through my own struggles both in school and in my professional life, and through observing the struggles of other females around me, I noticed that the absence of this system had and still has much deeper and more significant implications and repercussions than we may realize. Male dominance ensures complex safety nets for men and boys only. And female success in life is fairly random – there is seldom anyone looking out for girls and women and so much talent and intelligence and creativity are lost. Such a shame.
One might argue that playing to the Boyz (i.e., complying and going along) is good for women’s careers. Perhaps on the surface, for individual women, it might seem that way. But if you take a closer look, compliant women aren’t reaping the benefits that the boys do. They still aren’t included in the ‘important’ stuff. Their climbs to the top are limited and controlled by men. And further, they are constrained by the yes-girl role they’ve opted (yes opted – compliant vs non-compliant, those are the options) to take on in order to get the crumbs they are given. Like in a lovey-dovey, standard hetero relationship, once compliant, women can’t suddenly start standing up for themselves. They’ll find out exactly how much they are considered ‘equal’ by the male(s). ‘Acceptance’ and ‘love’ are conditional for women whether in relationships or in professional lives.
Not having a ‘Club’, girls and women lose out in the following ways. There is a dearth of role models, mentors, supports and go-to people. Their (female) peers are set up as the opposition, rather than teammates, and girls often struggle on their own. Their learning and earning opportunities are severely limited. Information access is random, patchy, and unreliable. Achievement requires more time and effort and is much less acknowledged or rewarded. Less able, intelligent and talented, but more connected and supported, people (males) always seem to have a leg up in all situations. There are fewer socially and psychologically healthy outlets available. In short, girls and women are seldom supported and nurtured in the same way that males are, and thus, have a much less chance of achieving intellectual and professional success.
While I’ve always been a bit of a social outcast and always struggled to find a group I felt comfortable joining, I somehow managed to see the value in at least trying to start women’s networking groups. They don’t always last long. It’s hard to be a one-woman organizer on a long-term basis for something that most women don’t seek out in the same way or find important. I’ve found that a lot of women just don’t seem all that comfortable in all-woman professional settings. I found this fascinating, but sad. On a strictly informal level, getting together is easy/easier for most women. But, disappointingly, I found these gatherings always seemed to devolve into talking about babies and children, which I had zero interest in. Why did women always reduce themselves to that? Yes, it is important to SOME women, but why does it have to be the default topic/focus? Why couldn’t a group of women come together regularly and talk intellectually or professionally on a casual basis (i.e., not a conference)? Still I tried. And these outings were fun. Don’t get me wrong, there was bonding. Having social connections is needed and awesome. We managed that. But that networking synergy that men seem to gravitate to and create naturally? It wasn’t there. I never felt that I was making connections with women that would extend beyond enjoying food or a laugh. And that is what women, still to this day, are missing on the scale that men have it. Where are the women’s professional networks? I know some exist, but they are not natural and pervasive and informal. They are usually extremely constructed and intentional. Partly, it is because women are so new to the workforce, and partly, many women see themselves as secondary earners in hetero relationships. Partly, it might be that women don’t see other women as allies because of how men have pitted us against one another. Whatever it is, it needs to change. We need an old Girls’ Club, and we need it now.
Anyhow, having entered my 40’s, and now being around young people all the time (when I’m with people, that is), I worry about my female students. Traditional China is even harder for young women than in Western countries. There are huge pressures from most families to achieve, but not ‘too much’. And of course, women earn much less, are herded into lower pay and respect jobs, are 100% required to marry and breed at a young age, and will often be excluded from jobs on the basis of their looks. Some of the things my young students tell me are heartbreaking. A few of my English translation majors told me that despite wanting to become interpreters, they know they won’t be able to get a job because only ‘beautiful’ girls are hired. Skills or ability, who cares? Fuckability is much more important in securing a job as a woman. Just like in the West. Another of my former female writing students told me today that her options upon graduating (in a year) will be limited because the jobs available to women are low-paying and difficult.
I have made it my mission to act as mentor to any and all of my female students. I may not be able to hire them myself, but I will always write them excellent letters of reference. For jobs where English skills are required, a letter from a native speaker of English who is also a university instructor can go a long way, and I was happy to find out recently that one of my students successfully got a part-time job over this past holiday thanks, in part, to my letter. Yeah! She has a new round of applications going out for summer jobs in foreign countries soon, and I’ll be contributing to that.
I also act as a confidence-builder and supportive counter to their parents’ conservatism. Many young women have ambitious ideas, but fearful, traditional parents will easily crush their dreams and prevent them from thinking further about their potential. With some parents, however, they can actually be convinced to allow their daughters to try out something if the girls just push a little harder. I try to give these young women the confidence to push. And push again. I mean, hell, if an entire life can be changed for the better based on the strength of an argument and a show of passion, I will try to make sure it happens. I know one young woman whom I taught in high school about 6 years ago who is turning out to be very ambitious. Her mother wants her married like yesterday (she is only 22!!!). But dad is on the fence and therefore malleable. My young protégée likes to bounce ideas off me. I support her dreams, and then her dreams become more concrete, she becomes more confident, and the dreams get a little bigger. She came to me last year with this idea that she wanted to have her own business as a buyer for foreign businesspeople who come to China looking to import goods to their countries. She has been working freelance in this line of work and is slowly building a client base, and it occurred to her that she might want to travel to Kenya to meet with several potential clients. Hell, I wasn’t even dreaming that big when I was 22, and my parents didn’t give a flying fuck what I did with my life! So, we discussed the idea of finding a like-minded female travel and business partner to make the idea more palatable to her parents. Long story short, she ended up going to Africa over Chinese New Year this year, and she even extended her stay. I’m waiting to meet up with her and hear about the adventure. Yeah, again!
But these are just small and isolated things I can support. And I certainly don’t take credit for these young women’s achievements. But the bit that I’m doing reinforces to me the need for professional female networking and mentoring. This needs to be happening on a wider and more automatic basis for women. Women need networks for idea exchange, confidence-building, opportunity discovery and crafting, and professional collaboration. And until this becomes a more natural part of women’s lives, the professional world will be dominated by men, who by and large, are not the most talented out there and who are getting jobs because they are men and they are naturally and well connected.
Yeah, this is a rant. Not light, and not short. Warning given. Proceed at your own risk 😉
I don’t drink that much. Alcohol has long been associated with abuse, fear, and rape for me, so I stay well away from drunk men, drinking with men I don’t know or trust (which is, at this point, every single one of them), and places where people drink. In my experience, you severely raise the risk that not only will something bad happen to you, but also that you won’t have a leg of credibility to stand on when (not if) something happens to you. This is women’s reality. Alcohol provides men with an excuse for their criminal behaviour, and takes away from women everything including the slightest shred of believability or humanity.
I almost completely limit my alcohol consumption to the occasional bottle of foreign red wine (decent alcohol is very expensive in China), and I’m such a light weight that it can last me for 3 days. And it does the trick, it dulls my depression and makes me forget the worst parts of living in China. Temporarily.
But in the last few years, there is one other time that I have a few drinks, and that is the two or three times a year that I go out socially with this piece of shit, 61-year-old, white, British, male misogynist whom I’ve tolerated because a) he is a rare atheist, and b) he is a colleague and unfortunately, one of my few ‘allies’ (wrong word) where I work. I’ve described this douchebag before.
I was much less enraged three years ago when I first met DB (douchebag). I tolerated his mansplainy narcissism. And this is a topic for another post, but even though every country’s males have their own unique brand of misogyny, there is something I absolutely fucking hate about British men. I’m not sure if it is my perspective as a women from the “New World”, but I find men from “Old World” countries (Western or Eastern) have a very deep-seated, centuries-old, traditional misogyny that you don’t see in places like Canada, New Zealand, Australia or even the US. It’s not specifically religious. It’s something else. A colonizer mentality. And there is some left over colonial, British Empire attitude that sits in the DNA of British men – the men who raped, conquered and held hostage half the world and left destruction in their wake. The somewhat subdued, historic pomposity of British men is, in many ways, more obnoxious than the loud, superhero, dumb jock, ‘we’re number one!’ ignorance of modern American men. It’s hard to explain. And I will say that I don’t see any of that in comparing the women of both worlds, except perhaps in how they rationalize their slavery. But of course, women don’t colonize. They don’t attack, invade, rape, pillage, kidnap, infect, kill, or any of that, in the name of discovery, conquering, ‘civilizing’, taming, nationalism, or claiming one’s birthright or cockright. I like British women just as I like American women and any other women from any place. Individual women may pose problems, but as a class, they are not the enemy.
So anyhow, after my first week swimming in Chinese semen, I had planned a strategic Saturday outing with DB. Not for fun. I needed crucial information related to my job. I figured I’d get this toxic event out of the way and be safe from further exposure for months – perhaps even for the rest of the semester.
When out with DB, there is alcohol. He is a fucking fish. An alcoholic (like most older men who come to China). He jokes about going to class everyday having to mask the smell of alcohol consumed the night before leaking out of his pores with his sweat. I usually have a few drinks while I’m on these outings with DB because it helps me suffer through his grossness.
But on this recent outing, I discovered a more practical and useful side effect. I found courage.
I am really good at defending other people – women especially – but I am horrible at defending myself or having general debates. I’m not an orator. I prefer to think, mull, and write, rather than have a verbal discussion. I’d also rather avoid men who disgust me than get into arguments with them about things they don’t understand and that involve my human rights and their male privileges. Once the insanity starts, I tend to close down and fantasize about killing them. But on Saturday, after a few drinks and in the feminist frame of mind I’ve been in, especially recently, I was ready for a fight of the verbal sort. I mean, I still sat there for much of it imagining a clean shot put between DB’s eyes. But verbally, I trounced that fucker, and did it using his own (and all men’s) low-blow and aggressive techniques against him. And those techniques mostly involved interrupting. Shutting down his irrelevant lines of thought before he could complete them. Dismissing his rebuttals. Derailing his derail attempts. Refusing to defend myself and my claims. Keeping on the attack rather than the defense. Basically, I treated him as he has always treated me – as men always treat women. And it worked. It didn’t gain me respect necessarily, and it didn’t feel ‘natural’ to me, but it shut him up. Instead of the male voice, I eventually got silence. Blessed silence. The male voice, silenced. He gave up trying to dominate me and forcing me to back down and agree to his misogynist viewpoint. He took on the pouty, abused, ‘is-is-is she saying no to me?’ look that some men get when women speak with authority or righteous anger. Didn’t stop me. I firmly believe that women can’t ever win or be heard or make men shut up unless they use the ‘master’s tools’ against the masters themselves. Men don’t understand anything but aggression. Reasoning doesn’t work. Appeals to logic or empathy or humanity don’t work. But a good beating, verbal or physical, coupled with shaming, do. It’s what they do to us. I get so tired of women refusing to see that taking the high moral ground will never, ever make men stop their abuse of us. Even men’s request for ‘educating’ aren’t true or real, but women fall for it every time. That derailing technique works every time. Women’s energy derailed and stolen.
Not until you become more self-aware do you realize how much woman-hate is organic to conversations with men. Almost everything men say smacks of misogyny. But we don’t notice, or we laugh along, or we get nervous, or we have already tuned out and are nodding and smiling in boredom. When you become self-aware, it is horrifying how nasty and ignorant men are. And they remain unopposed by all men and almost all women. Honestly, I should have brought a massive fucking misogynist bingo card with me. This guy hit almost every stupid point that men come up with when trying to assert their dominance and entitlement/’rights’. It was trope central. And standard to pretty much all British men, even the young ones, he kicked it all off with basic fighting words: “mankind“. And it went on from there. Here are only a few of the highlights:
Religion, not men, caused gynocidal events in history
DB is a history buff (male history) and he is both a China apologist and an atheist. China can do no wrong and is superior for not being a religious country (except that traditionalism is a form of religion – a topic for another post). DB loves dictatorships and censorship (as long as HE is free to do what HE wants, that is).
I had pointed out that the two worst events in the history of humans: 1000 years of footbinding in China and 300 years of witch burnings and torture of women in the West. DB immediately leapt in with a condemnation of religion. I cut him off. Nope. That doesn’t explain footbinding. I just kept repeating: “Men did it. Male hatred of women. Misogyny.” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Dumb people need repetition. And you can list all the horrific gynocides throughout history – DUE TO MEN. The 6-week rape-fest in Nanjing, China by the Japanese. Not religion. Men. The perfection of what we now know as the ‘concentration camp’ by Winston Churchill and Lord Kitchener used on Afrikaner women and children. Not religion. Men. Cruise through time. Make notes. Men have done it all to women. Men. Men. Men. To women. Women. Women. And it seldom makes the history books or history class curricula.
Chimps trade meat for sex
Atheist men fucking LOVE LOVE LOVE evolutionary psychology as a tool to try to justify their love of rape and domination. Atheist men hate you too, ladies. This particular stupid douchebag doesn’t have a single course in science. He doesn’t even have a college degree. Through some weird British educational loophole, this idiot was let into a Masters program in something that was decidedly not science, WITHOUT an undergraduate degree. But he loves to try to school ME in science, a women with post graduate education in science, published articles in science, research in science, and teaching experience in university scientific methodology and statistics. And like most atheist men without an understanding of science, he trots out debunked evo-psych bullshit based on male confirmation biased interpretations of animal behaviour (anthropomorphize much, rapists?) to support his love of rape and prostitution. Dumbass. Anyhow, I shut that fucker down before he could actually finish his first sentence as I saw it coming a mile away. I said, “Debunked. Non-science.” To derail me, he tried the male trick: where is your proof? I said, “Google it.” You prove it. Science, my scientific ass.
Good things always come from war
Nothing smacks of male privilege like dismissing the effects of war. History is basically the male masturbatory recounting of wars. It is also the dismissal of the female experience, the erasure of female existence. So men, when they start jizzing over how fucking awesome a battle was, or how fucking awesome the world became due to some war, they forget one tiny thing. Women are the overwhelmingly large majority of victims when there is war or civil unrest. I was reading a psychological site on PTSD in women, and they cited the statistics that during civil unrest and warlike conditions, women comprise up to 80% of the victims (general victims, not PTSD victims, specifically). Men can’t see this because they only see soldier mortality as victimhood. What they forget are the women civilians killed. And that victimhood isn’t just death. Rape is rampant during any kind of uncivilized event. Men don’t get raped. Women and girls are raped. And tortured and injured and killed. They are raped and killed by the enemies. They are raped and killed by the men on ‘their side’. Women are the largest group of victims during unrest.
As for the good things that come from war? WTF? Is the world a better place when war is concluded? Not for women. And no aftermath is worth all the loss and suffering. Any freedoms or benefits usually go to men and boys. For women, it is business as usual. The only war I can imagine resulting in something good is one where women stand up for their rights, physically fight, and win over men. Liberation for women is the only cause that makes sense for me because every current ill in society results from women’s oppression. Liberating women would help alleviate all human problems as well as environmental, animal, and food/water problems.
We then moved on to:
If we don’t do it, someone else will
Men are positively obsessed with progress and growth. This is the only way they define success. Progress and growth are seldom logical or reasonable and always come with a high cost. A cost that is paid by women and girls.
There is no such thing as creating something out of nothing. There is no such thing as ‘bottomless’ or ‘without limit’ when men seek success. The male demand for more and more is only possible if you tread on the rights and humanity of others – the least powerful. The least powerful are women, so they get less so that more is produced. So women are paid less for the same job. They work more in order to produce more. They are removed from their homes and made homeless so that buildings and structures they will never benefit from can be erected. They suffer through wars and environmental disasters and medical atrocities. Just so men can achieve ‘progress’ and ‘growth’. And I’ll add recognition and power to that list.
I suggested to DB that there are several lines that should not be crossed, whether it is in science or any endeavour. His answer? If we don’t do it, someone else will. We can’t let the other guy get there first! And I hammered him. “What a shitty, amoral excuse for evil behaviour.” This guy swears he is not a capitalist.
The world is safer than it has ever been
For men? Yes. Definitely. Not so much for women. Men don’t have a clue what safety issues are. And how much do you love it when men try to tell you that you are perfectly safe now. I mean seriously, fuck off. They have no idea what women think about, worry about, and have to do in order to get from Point A to Point B.
His measure of safety is that we have longer life spans. Yeah. That’s it. Longer life spans. What an incredibly nuanced way to look at safety.And I told him so. Did I also mention that I have worked in forensics as an analyst? I have worked with an FBI consultant on serial rape data. I have worked with police departments on workplace violent crime. I have also worked in the health field on medical errors research.
In what world does living a long life mean that you have lived free from danger? That you haven’t almost died? That you don’t suffer from fear or trauma or anxiety due to living in a crime-filled, corrupt world of danger for women?
They’re trying to criminalize johns and let prostitutes…!!!
We’d already covered the chimps, meat and sex bullshit, and the world is a safer place bullshit. So why not move into trying to shut down the male right to rape?
I jumped on this one before he even finished his sentence of outrage. There is nothing I hate more than men telling me that they have a right to stick their dicks into women, or that women ‘choose’ lives of rape and degradation over health and happiness. So I derailed him. I said, “Yes!!! Finally!!! The Swedish model is the best thing to happen in a long time. Finally, we can take away men’s right to rape and finally, we have a fighting chance in hell to reduce male violence against women, misogyny, and endless rape – all of which increase when prostitution is legal. I launched into the cold reality that prostitution ONLY exists when men refuse to allow women the means to support themselves properly. We have prostitutes because women are poor. That’s it. Holding women severely economically disadvantaged positively ensures that women will be forced to sell their bodies and ensures that men have a constant supply of enslaved cunt to rape.
I didn’t allow any response from DB. There is no response to this issue that isn’t dripping in pro-rape, pro-poverty, male privilege and psychopathy. Did I mention that this guy is NOT a capitalist? Right. Unless it’s something he wants sold for his pleasure as a male.
But but but the Women’s Movement was successful
I mentioned that women-only social justice movements are never allowed to succeed. Only when men’s rights are at stake, do they succeed. And they do so mostly because they have women’s free labour supporting them. Women don’t receive the backing of men when it is their turn. And he came out with the ‘right to vote’ success. Most men don’t know anything about the herstory of women’s struggles. And of course, any successes that occur are assumed by men to have been the single purpose of the struggle. When women won the vote, that was not the whole point of the movement. It was actually a decades-long struggle for several legal rights, one of which was the right to vote. Following backlash from men and possibly exhaustion from that landmark achievement, the women’s movement lost some steam. They didn’t achieve most of what they had set out to do. Would I call the First Wave a success? Not entirely. It wasn’t a failure, but it wasn’t a roaring success in the way that all male movements have been.
It’s time to start looking for a Chinese wife
Speaking of prostitution and male privilege… As an over-60, DB has overstayed his welcome in China. The Chinese who, in addition to being sexist and racist, are also ageist. They love Chinese old people, but the foreign people who stay for decades diligently and devotedly educating their youth? Nope. Once you hit 60, you’re tossed to the curb. There is no pathway to residency. There is no pension for foreigners. No ‘thank you’ for your service. You’re out.
Unless you are a man. Foreign males can find local pussy, convince them to marry (which is pretty easy to do), and then stay forever on the equivalent of a green card. This isn’t really an option for foreign women. First, Chinese men, like Western men, want subservient wives and baby factories. Besides, Chinese men only see us as whores. Something to fuck, but not to ‘respect’ in the form of a slave relationship (marriage). Second, most Western women who come to places like China are either already enslaved or they are the most independent women from what are independence-embracing countries. They aren’t looking for a slave-arrangement. So this dealio works well for men who have no problem owning a slave. But it is not an option for women.
The only other way to stay is if you are extremely well connected with someone in government who can ‘arrange’ an illegal visa if you have the money. This is rare. I think about all the people, including those from China, we let stay forever in Canada, despite having little or nothing to offer, and I think about devoting my education and talent to a place like China and their complete disrespect for my years of service and their abuse while I am employed with them. Mind-boggling. There is no reciprocal arrangement between our countries.
Anyhow, DB is 60 or 61 and he has been told that he will be kicked out of China next year. He is joking now that it is time to find a Chinese wife. Who knows, he might just do that.
There is actually a lot more here to tell, but this is long enough. My bingo card was full by the end of things. And I raged for days. Even though I put this douchebag in his place, thanks in part to the liquid courage of a couple of G&Ts, I spent the following week calming down. When it really hits you full force how much a dude you have known for a while hates women, and by definition, you yourself because you’re a woman, you rage. You rage. You rage. And just think, even your Nigels (if you have one) are the same. Maybe he has different words and tactics, but the woman-hate and privilege is in there. Waiting. Waiting for you to oppose him in some way. Deny him what he feels is his ‘right’ (but which is only a male privilege) and you’ll find out how much your sweetie ‘loves’ you. The truth is these assholes walk the planet taking what they want. They are not used to hearing ‘no’ and having to abide by it. They don’t respect ‘no’ in the way that women do. They are given more than you (more money, more respect, more space, more consideration, more understanding, more freedom, more safety) despite their inferiority simply because they have dicks. So, while I felt a victory – and it was important one, personally – it came with a price and it changes nothing about how the world works. I stopped a dick mid-swing, but unless it is cut off completely, it will live to swing another day, knocking down all women in its path.
Filed under the Conversations with Men series.
I have a very strange internet friend whom I’ve ‘known’ for a long time from years ago – back when I was a serious researcher doing serious research and not frittering my life and spirit away in China. We collaborated on a short project online, but we have never met in person. At this point, this acquaintance’s role has morphed into one of sending me occasional stories of ‘how fucked up China is’. News of the weird. Of human rightsy weirdness. Bizarre deaths resulting from Chinese neglect. That kind of thing.
The thing is, I KNOW ALREADY. I live here. I experience bad and weird things here all the time. I don’t bother to comb through alt-media sites or even mainstream Western media for Chinese fuckery because the day-to-day stuff that I see in situ is bad enough.
When you come from a country where there are *sometimes* consequences for abusing power – or at least the pretense of consequences – or at least mechanisms and bodies set up to deal with power abuses – it is hard to imagine it working otherwise in other places. So Westerners can’t understand that if they go to China, if anything untoward ever happens to them, there will be nothing whatsoever that can be done. Unless you have managed to get very well connected with powerful people, that is. And the majority of Western people – or any foreign worker, for that matter – are extremely vulnerable to abuse because they aren’t connected. Newbie Western workers will often try to fight what has happened to them with logic or human-rightsy arguments that usually start with: “This would never happen in MY country.” And they might be right. Maybe. It might happen, and you might be lucky to have a way to fight it. There is definitely more of a chance of fighting it in the West. But in China, you learn very quickly that anyone can do anything to you at any time. And you are not allowed to say anything about it. Even contract agreements between you and the Chinese only apply to you. If you don’t live up to the contract they can do what they want to you. But as a Chinese, they can break the contract every single day. You can complain if you want. And they will ignore you. And they might fire you because you don’t take abuse well. Their firing techniques are almost always passive-aggressive, subtle manipulation. It is actually the exact mentality behind Western men complaining about Western women. The whole “I love Asian women” phenomenon. Western women believe they have rights as humans. Most men don’t like that, and some will go East to find the perfect docile slave.
Many of the younger Westerners who come here are ‘liberal’, so they don’t usually complain, and may often make excuses for the Chinese (aka ‘apologism’), because they hold the Western mentality that the Chinese are oppressed – which isn’t actually true anymore in the West, nevermind the East. It’s the older white (and usually incompetent) male who comes here for a pussy and booze free-for-all who gets very angry and loud when he isn’t treated like a member of the dominant race. And both groups are delusional, by the way.
The Chinese are the dominant and the majority race. And China is very patriarchal. And it is still a system that is run as a dictatorship. And with that combination, you get very serious racism, very serious misogyny, and no concept of human rights whatsoever. There is no such thing as a race-motivated crime. There is no such thing as a crime against women. And there is no such thing as workers’ rights or human rights abuse of any sort.
It is hard for many Western people to wrap their minds around that non-Western reality.
I once read a disturbing, but amusing (because I could understand it on a personal level) little essay written by a long-time foreign resident in China about the stages foreigners go through when first living in China. It was written by a man, and thus didn’t take into account that China is much easier for men to deal with for a number of reasons. But I still recognized some of the elements in it. The whole essay reminded me of the grieving process one goes through when dealing with a death – starting with anger, moving through depression, and eventually resolving with acceptance of reality. It was troubling to realize that living in China was so similar to dealing with a serious loss such as a major death, but it is actually very much like that if you stay long enough. Living in China really does mean giving up your personhood or identity. It is a death of sorts. Whether you can be reborn or whether you remain living as the undead, is another thing entirely and is dependent upon either having your mind and spirit broken completely and thus becoming open to brainwashing or being able to escape most of the mundane Chinese abuse through obtaining an elitist kind of job with super-high pay.
I’ve thought about this a lot. Many sociologists and cross-cultural researchers paint this simplistic black-and-white picture of individualistic cultures and group-based cultures. And of course, the former are painted as evil and latter are somehow superior. But I think this conclusion, and the whole type-of-society dichotomy are not quite right. I actually find the Chinese to be much more individualistic and self-centred and heartless in some ways that I have not been able to explain (until recently) using the group-think or collectivist society model. Likewise, that model hasn’t explained the countless examples of supposedly average, individualistic, selfish Americans and other Westerners relentlessly donating their time and money to humanitarian efforts or to helping random people on the street. You may not see this if your knowledge of China has come solely from movies and the news, but given how much time I’ve spent in non-Western countries, I’ll tell you how jarred I am by how much positive and pro-social interaction there is between strangers in the West. Every time I return, I get freaked out. Strangers helping strangers. Hell, strangers talking to strangers. You never, ever, never, ever see this in China. Ever. Ever. People don’t even say ‘thank you’ here. But that is a post for another time. I have developed my own theory as to this individualism vs group-based society phenomenon.
My point is that to survive in China, you can’t see yourself as a person in the Western sense. And most people are not able to see themselves as a person in the Chinese sense. It’s not a great way to live. Undead.
I haven’t written in a while simply because my first two weeks back at work have been a racist, misogynist fuck-fest. There has been plenty of Chinese bullshit and some Western male bullshit, too.
The first day of class involved university officials and photographers stopping by my class to photograph me while teaching. I’m never allowed to say ‘no’ to anything they do to me, and in this case, they will use my image for their greedy capitalistic and political purposes. (See! We have foreign staff! Come to our university!!! Pay our tuition!!!) Like a porn contract, you sign on the dotted line, and that means they can do whatever they want to you after that (don’t worry, I’m not equating teaching with porn… I’m telling you that the Chinese mentality is the porn producer’s mentality).
I spent the week correcting the grammar of misogynist sentences produced by my male students, which was fucking awesome and not a mindfuck at all!
And the second week saw a quiet, moneyless payday – and an announcement from the university that they had no intention of paying us this month for last month. They announced to us that the pay schedule will change (again). Now, they are going to start paying us TWO WHOLE MONTHS after the start of each pay period. We get paid monthly, the pay date has been pushed further and further away from the pay period each year that I have been with this university. And now, work that I do on March 1st won’t be paid until April 30th. What??? I am not allowed to protest this. They have implemented worse abuses in past years – like breaking my contract and quadrupling my work load for no extra pay. The foreign staff has protested individually, but as Chinese, they give excuses and end up doing what they want to us. This new payment policy actually feels very much like one of the passive-aggressive Chinese punishments. They may be looking to clear out foreign staff by implementing abusive policy, so they can bring in new, naive people whom they can pay less.
This happens all the time. I’m used to it. There is nothing ‘fair’ about the Chinese. It may surprise you to know that this is the best place I’ve ever worked in all the years I’ve been in China. At least these employers don’t chain the staff into our residential building every night like my last employer did. Nobody could get in or out except the key master. The Chinese didn’t understand why the Western staff had a problem with that. A simple, humane solution to the ‘grave danger’ looming over our building would be to install a key card or coded key pad entry system. But that would cost the Chinese money. The Chinese don’t like to spend money.
But the worst of these first two weeks back was actually dealing with a horrible, British, male acquaintance/co-worker and his disgusting misogyny last Saturday. I’m still reeling from it. Unfortunately, I need to stay ‘friendly’ with this asshole, as one really needs allies when you’re working for the Chinese. The Chinese deliberately try to keep Western people in the dark and misinformed and isolated on several levels so that we remain powerless and disorganized. Because foreign workers are ALWAYS abused, it is really key to have as many allies as possible – even if they are assholes. Information needs to be shared since it is so hard to come by, and sometimes protests must be done as a group or at least in numbers. But the cost of being friendly with jerks can be really hard, and the deeper I get into feminism, the harder it is to deal with men who don’t see me as a full human.
I’m going to write about this asshole. It’s one of those things that ended up being successful in my mind even though it didn’t and doesn’t necessarily feel like it. I’m glad I did what I did, but my body and mind are paying for it. More soon…
It seems like a year ago now that I was abroad, especially as I look at some of the photos I took whilst away. Some of the photos, I wanted to put on my blog, and others are just for me to remember specific things and are for my eyes only.
On my way back to China, I had an overnight layover at the Taipei airport. I spent hours wandering the place – most airports are kinda weird at night, and you can notice things you might not see when things are crazy and populated during the daytime. I’ve being in some shitty airports, and I’ve been in some state-of-the-art airports, and I’ve noticed something. The more modern the airport, the more apparent it is that they are male-dominated, capitalist strongholds that sell rape, and (mostly white) female objectification and subordination to the men of the world, and that convince the women of the world that it is sexy, required, and therefore ridiculous to complain about or oppose. And this is done very, very easily through advertisements. Pictures of vulnerable, pornified women draped over or adorned with crap that no one needs.
And most of the time, the ads are of pornified white women and girls. It is not a mark of privilege to be the most rapable, the most objectified. To be seen as cunt on legs is nothing to aspire to or envy. Sorry, ladies of colour. This is not privilege. And it is not what we freely choose, no matter what a handful of really loud fun-feminist cockpuppets tell you. When they open their mouths, you can actually see the head of a penis directing the show and talking away about its needs. Real feminists want ALL women to be completely free from being used in this way and to figure out what their place in the world is while free of male demands for penis worship.
Anyhow, while walking the miles of corridor in the Taipei airport, I ran across tons of pornified, two-dimensional white women and the products on which [rich men of all colours decided] their tits and pussies put the stamp of approval. And you know what? I often couldn’t figure out what product was being sold. The only thing that I knew for sure was for sale was the white girls and women themselves. I used to wonder if men were that fucking stupid to fall for this. I was disbelieving in my youth. We women always want to believe in the best in people, especially men and especially after they abuse us. But with age and more experience than I wish I had, I have come to know for sure that, frighteningly, yes, men are that dumb. Super dumb. And coupling lack of intelligence with entitlement and willful ignorance, they sink to unfathomable depths of violence and depravity, reducing females to things. So the advertisements are of things (women) selling things (products). All to make men (rapists) feel like men (rapists) who want and own shit – shit being both the women themselves and the stuff they are advertising. And of course, all to make women feel inadequate and distract them from pursuing more important things (careers, skills, independence, self-confidence) than becoming temporarily desired (hated) objects.
The most disturbing advertisement I saw that night was selling white pedophelia. It was a larger than life poster of a vulnerable-looking, white girl-child with almost-exposed, barely-formed breasts. As you can see below, she looks like she has been violated – that haunted, ‘is rape all I can expect from life?’ look – and is just realizing that she is just a fuckhole. I think she might be selling a watch (?), but really, it is just White Girl Tits and Pussy™ that are being sold.
I hope I won’t meander too much here. This isn’t a straightforward little Aesop’s Fable with a sweet little bottom line. It’s involved, layered, and there is no clear conclusion. Just something I’ve been thinking about for years and that I continue to think about as I experience more and more and find myself further down that downward spiral that is life as a woman.
Let’s just start with this: Canadians are miserable fuckers. I’m saying this as a Canadian and one who tries to spend as little time there as is humanly possible. As evidence, despite my great boredom on ‘holiday’ here in the US from China, and despite the fact that I have a piece of business I need to take care of up North, I’ve decided not to cross the border. I just hate the place. A small part of it is that Canadians are miserable fuckers. Various data/polls even show it. I remember a comparison poll I once read about done by the airline industry on the differences between Canadians and Americans, and they found that the number one thing American airline passengers hated was fellow passengers who brought too much carry-on luggage. Canadians? The number one hated thing was strangers sitting next to them trying to talk to them. Yeah, miserable fuckers.
But it’s all relative. Canadians are, for example, much, much friendlier and more helpful than the Chinese who are some of the rudest, most selfish, emotionless and humourless assholes on earth. But we’ll get to that.
And I will say this, having disparaged my fellow countryfolk, friendliness varies depending on where you are in the country. I’ve travelled a fair amount in Canada, and I’ve lived in four of the 13 provinces/territories. Having grown up in one of the nastier parts of the country, it was a breath of fresh air to move to the West Coast. I’d say that about American geography, too. I’ve lived on both American coasts and also travelled through 25-30 of the 50 states. While Americans are much friendlier than Canadians, in general, the West is waaaay friendlier than the East. And I’m talking basic friendliness, not politics or ability to think, etc.
Living on the West Coast, and in particular, on the various islands is a different world. People look each other in the eye. Strangers say hello to one another on the streets. You strike up conversations with people at bus stops. You help your neighbours. And people smile. Could be the weather. I really do think better weather makes for more easygoinginess, in general. It’s not that simple, of course, but I think it plays in. So when I moved out there in my later 20’s, I felt myself relax, connect more easily. And I smiled a hell of a lot more.
If you don’t think about smiling in particular contexts and the meanings it can have, you can make the blanket statement that smiling is good for your health. I have felt that, and still do to this day. Exchanging an ‘unloaded’ smile (I’ll get to that in a moment) with a stranger can change your frame of mind and put a different spin on whatever is going on in your mind.
But then there are the ‘loaded’ situations. This is where men come in and ruin things for women like they ruin every fucking, innocent, positive thing on the planet with their filthy minds and need to humiliate and dominate.
It is dangerous to smile at or around men. It is also dangerous not to smile at or around men. Nothing is safe, but a blank look – the kind you see on rape victims or women destroyed by working in porn – is best. Smiling at or around a man can, TO HIM, mean, that you want him, want sex, want to be approached, are submissive and friendly and compliant, and are the perfect victim/prey. Not smiling, and even scowling, may invite sexual harassment, belittling requests for a smile (“Smile for me, honey. It’s not that bad.” Um, yes it is. Now that you’re talking to me.), or the seeing of you as a threatening bitch in need of punishment. Women are required to smile in order to make men feel like men and to help them get what they want from you. Fucking fuckers.
But having said all that, it is not Western men who made me lose my smile, although I will say that now that I have been permanently affected and my eyes are fully open, I don’t waste smile energy on them anymore.
No, I lost my smile due to long-term immersion in Chinese culture. And it took only a month for the first changes in my behaviour to occur.
I still remember my very first month in Taiwan. I’d gone directly from the West Coast of Canada – happy, smiley territory. I was bright-eyed and pleased to be working in a foreign land once again. Until I got there. Despite having a machine gun held up to my face by an aggressive young man on the second day I was there, I still remained my smiling self. But I realized something. Not only did the Taiwanese not return my smiles, ever, the only thing I ever saw were blank, robot-like faces, or just plain old disgust. It was bizarre, and very disheartening. Chinese culture discourages emotion. Emotion = bad, weak, out of control. Even fucking smiling.
Even the children don’t smile. Even most babies!!! Back in those days, in between my regular teaching, publishing, editing and writing jobs, I took on some private language-teaching sessions with the children of rich families. I had one weirdo kid – an 11-year-old boy from a very rich family – who had a freakish interest in out-moded English vocabulary and whose mother would enrol him in adult-level film classes (um…). And oh yeah, the kid refused to smile or even laugh because he thought it made him ‘look ugly’. I got him to engage in some tailored, fantasy/comedy-based murder-mystery story-writing centered on the strange-looking photos of the authors of one of his English books. His stories were hilarious and I laughed my ass off. The kid would start to laugh and then deliberately choked on it to prevent himself from getting all ugly. But I pushed and pushed and finally one day he started laughing and couldn’t stop. Every time I came by his home after that, to his mother’s confusion, the kid would spend the first five minutes laughing hysterically before exictedly whipping out the next instalment of his who-dunnit.
Jezus fucking christ. My biggest accomplishment in Taiwan. Forget the textbook I published, I got a fucking little kid to learn to smile and laugh. Pathetic.
I spent a couple of years in Taiwan, found myself changed fundamentally in a negative way, but not entirely smile-less. I returned to Canada for about 6 years. And then I went back to a culture I said I’d never return to, and I’ve been in Mainland China almost solidly for the past 6 years. The Mainland is even worse than Taiwan, which might be expected given the history and the sheer terror that communism wreaked on the country for so long. And having been there so long, I’ve had a lot of time to study and reflect on the culture and how I have adjusted to it and been mostly destoyed by it.
China killed my smile. It’s not that I am incapable of smiling. I do it a fair amount when warranted. It is much less automatic or natural though in these situations. But in public, outdoors, it never happens. Never in China. And while it has a significant effect on how I feel inside and my outlook, in general, it helps me dissociate, which is necessary when you are a white woman in China. It also saves me a lot of energy. I was quite surprised actually, when I began to analyze the effects of the implemented changes to my public demeanour in China. I used to try to be ‘present’ when I went out, and it was exhausting and demoralizing, especially because there was never any reciprocation from the Chinese. Once I started behaving like them, things became, I don’t know… streamlined? Energy-efficient? Self-centred? I’m not sure what the right word is. I mean, I absolutely hate the way it has changed me, but at the same time, I don’t feel exhausted every time I finish an outdoor ordeal. Going outdoors is always an ordeal. The funny thing is this: I know from feedback from some of my students, that they think I look angry or they are a bit afraid to approach me. But the thing is that I look exactly like them, expression-wise. Blank face. ‘Chinese face’ is what some of them call it. But as a Westerner, and especially as a woman, I am expected to be the kind and entertaining dancing monkey. Double standards. But it saves me energy and I don’t have to be concerned with how I appear when I don’t waste time on distorting my face into something I’m just not feeling. I want to feel nothing, so I put nothing on my face. It becomes easier and easier.
The double standards happen in the West, too – only for women though. We must be the happy slaves at all times. Men can wear whatever the fuck they want on their faces including murderous rampage or disgusting, rapey perv. They’re fine no matter what. Not so for women. Now that I’m visiting the US, I have relaxed a little, but I am much more economic and mindful of my smiling. Tons of women have smiled at me, and I smile back. No problem, and it feels good. I like women. I like the solidarity and energy I feel when exchanging a smile with one. But I don’t smile at men anymore. I try not to even look at them. I’m mindful of where they are in relation to my person, but I don’t look at them. And I don’t scowl. I adopt blank, trauma-face. It is the safest. And so far, so good. I am hyper-aware without perhaps appearing to be so. I come across perhaps as on a mission, hopefully ‘not prey’.
I hate that men and male culture have destroyed something so simple as smiling and relating positively to people. I don’t feel natural, comfortable, easygoing, or healthy. Thanks, China. Thanks, men. Thanks, international Patriarchy.
It’s officially New Year’s Eve in China – about 8:30 pm. I’ve settled in with a bottle of overpriced red wine from Australia, and I won’t make it to midnight. I’m in a musing frame of mind.
I’m not a traditional person. I don’t have many rituals that I manage to keep for years. I have rituals that serve a purpose, and then when no longer needed, they go away. That’s their function, in my opinion. So the turning of the year isn’t that special to me. I don’t take stock or make resolutions. And if I wanted to, I don’t think I could anyways. I’m comfortably uncomfortable in my unstable life, and the comfortable part of that discomfort means that I haven’t been all that motivated to make big changes in my life. Under all that, I really just don’t know what I want anymore. The few things I know I do want/need are not achievable anyhow.
So what do you do when you’re low-key, unmotivated, feeling a bit lazy, and kinda strangely okay with all that? Well, you organize a huge group of young ladies with whom to go out for lunch and act crazy.
I mentioned in earlier posts that a) most of my students are male, b) I do occasionally go out with the most motivated and least offensive of those, c) I try to nurture female students if they want help, and d) a couple of young, first-year, undergrad law students crashed one of my Masters English classes this year. I’m happy to say, there are a lot of women in the law program, and it is with a group of 8 of them that I went out with today. No testosterone!
It happens so seldom these days. There used to be so many more opportunities to go out with groups of women when I lived in the West. When I was part of the working world then, I would always organize ladies lunches – and called them that too because it we all thought it was funny. And I miss those days so much. Gynergy. I’d like to say, if you could bottle the stuff… but it is definitely something that shouldn’t be sold and to even utter those words is to soil it with typical male non-thinking and greed and devaluation. Gynergy is priceless and should be free to all WOMEN. Not men, women. They get the stuff for free now, and women have to pay to keep the tiniest bit of their own.
So anyhow, to once again get a bunch of nutty girls together, even if they are all less than half my age, was a good thing. Yep, there are generational and culture differences. As soon as we sat down in the restaurant, half of them whipped out their cell phones to log into the free wifi. That is ubiquitous here and among the young world-wide. But there was plenty of talk about life, school, reading, plans, the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. And then, it was photo time.
When young people tell me they have a hundred thousand photos on some social networking account, I used to disbelieve them. I remember the very first camera I got when I was 12. It was precious, and you had to really consider when you decided to take a photo. You only had one chance and then later you paid to have the roll of film developed. It was a crap shoot, and an expensive one. Cell phones have changed the world in so many ways (most of them not good ways). Photo-taking is constant and definitely not as valued as it once was. If I go out with a group of students, hundreds of photos are taken. When you add a foreigner to the mix, multiply the number of photos by a gazillion. Today, I was the only one without my camera out. That is not always the case, but I can usually have a few of the cooler shots sent to me. Today, things got pretty crazy, and with 8 people taking shots, I can’t even imagine how many photos there are. I wish I could include at least a group shot and a couple of the more charming concoctions, but you know, men ruin absolutely everything about a woman’s online existence, so I’ll remain faceless and anonymous. *Sigh*
Today was so great for everyone, that I’ve invited the crowd over to my place on Sunday for a dumpling-making party.
Dumplings are an important staple snack in China, and a very common thing to get together and do with family and friends. They are easy to make, and a hell of a lot of fun to prepare (especially if you are just learning how to make them). You can buy the little circles of dough (translated from Chinese as ‘dumpling skins’) fresh from the local farmers’ market if you don’t want to make your own. And you can make whatever filling you want. I’m meeting the students beforehand to go to market. This is part of the fun, for me, at least.
I also have a few games planned (which they might not have experienced in China) for after everyone has eaten too much.
I can’t imagine a better way to kick off the new year: cooking, eating, playing fun games, and sharing gynergy – oh, and of course, there will be a butt load of photo taking.
I first moved to another planet in 2003. It was called Taiwan. And then several years after leaving, I returned to that part of the solar system and moved to a planet called China.
I guess I should explain, since I’m coming off as a space cadet of sorts. There are places you go that feel so completely different and seem to operate so differently that it’s as if they are a separate world from your own. There are a number of things that factor into other-worldliness. Operating language, political and economic system, values, social structure, racial composition, general standard of living, environmental conditions, educational system, taboos – really, it’s hard to list everything that goes into how out of your element you might feel. I think it’s different for everyone – both the factors and the level of differentness you experience.
I don’t really want to get into the particulars of China or Chinese culture except where they involve feminism and atheism – the purpose of this blog. I have a completely separate blog on China that I have maintained for several years.
I will say that while Chinese culture is very complex and convoluted in some ways, there is something missing that the West hasn’t managed to export (yet) and that makes it very simple in some important ways.
Sexual and identity politics.
When I read what Western feminists are talking about – things that are going on in their home countries, particularly around trannies and issues surrounding the silencing of feminists – it is a little hard for me to believe. It has been a while since I lived in – or I should say was immersed in – Western culture. Even in the last 10 years when I have lived in the West, I’ve not lived in cities or around young people or within academic circles. So it astounds me the level of craziness that is going on with this need to ‘identify as’ something. To be honest, it sounds very ‘high school’ to me. It smacks of this needy, dysfunctional immaturity that one typically sees with teenagers as they strive so hard to be different, unique and rebellious, and that ends up making them all kind of the same. Pathetic, sometimes laughable, but mostly harmless. Most of us go through it – when we are kids – it’s a phase. But unlike with teenagers and their identity quests, what is going on is having serious legal and social consequences. For women, feminists in particular. Nothing laughable about that.
We just don’t have this in China. We are still barely dealing with the idea of homosexuality here. And for me, since I’ve become used to the insanity that for a long time marked China as a different planet, the sexual/identity repression has become a major factor in my seeing/feeling China as another world.
It is very hard for me to describe China to people who have never been here in a way that they can understand. For example, the best, but still mostly inadequate, way for me to describe it is that it is a mix of the 1950’s and almost-now. The almost-now part refers to technology. For example, their high speed rail system is top notch and puts public transportation in North America to shame. And they skipped email and went straight to smart phones and texting as the primary mode of communication. But sexually and socially, China is living in the past. A traditional culture coupled with a dictatorial government is responsible, I believe. Gender roles are strict and people generally comply. Even the rebellious weirdo type isn’t commonly seen – and I live in a major city where you are more likely to see this stuff.
To this day, I’ve only met one person who has told me they are gay, even though my gaydar has gone off for both males and females tons of times over the years. These folks will go on to marry and breed and perhaps never wonder why there is little joy in their arrangement, unfortunately. I’ve met many people who adamantly profess that they are not gay, however. The gay-jokey accusations are constant among students. All in all, being gay really isn’t on the table as an option and there is nothing resembling a social movement here.
But on a smaller scale, I’ve noticed that students are paying more lip-service to both valuing female babies as well as acknowledging that gay people both exist and should be treated better, however. One of my Masters students asked if he could choose the topic of gay rights for his speech in my class – not that HE was gay – because he was feeling some shame and sympathy that gays and lesbians were treated so badly in China. He also told me that he wouldn’t dare talk about this anywhere other than in our English class – it wouldn’t be accepted. I’ve also noticed a few student groups tackle a gay topic when our department has held film-making contests.
All in all, this is where things are in China’s sexual landscape with regard to identity. It feels not sufficiently open but safe from identity pirates at the same time. It is a naive society, although becoming less naive due to the intrusion of Western sitcoms coming through via the internet. I’m not aware of any Western television programs that both encapsulate the transgender or queer identity madness and have made their way into Chinese consciousness. I’m trying to imagine attempting to explain it to my students. Someone would inevitably ask me what it all means. I do get students ask me why, for example, Americans are obsessed with sex. That is what they see in television and films. Sex, sex, and more sex. And I try to give an explanation.
I don’t really feel I’ve done this topic justice, but I’ll conclude. While I feel like I’m living on a completely different planet, I will say that similar to the planets I’m familiar with, all are run on patriarchy and misogyny. China is simpler, but not better, and at its core, perhaps not all that different.
Addendum: I just read the following post by Phonaesthetica on the show ‘Transparent’, and the second-to-last episode of season 2 which paints lesbians in a bad light because they don’t accept MtTs in their space. The description of the episode sounds like the usual activist drivel – the man-in-dress character is painted as a Nazi-victim. I’m glad this nonsense hasn’t hit China. I’m having this weird sense of dread that like with their technology experience (skipping email and going directly to text messaging), they are going to skip the gay rights movement and move directly into pushing every gender-confused person into forced sex changes. Sounds crazy, but yanno, this is a crazy world.
I didn’t realize it was Thanksgiving today until some of my Chinese students sent me text and chat messages with some lovely sentiments within. I decided not to remind them that I’m not American, and that while Canadians do celebrate Thanksgiving, we do it in October. I actually taught my students this and explained why Americans celebrate in November and Canadians in October, but Canadians don’t tend to impose their culture on the world, so my lesson didn’t stick. Western culture IS American culture.
Anyhow, I’m not ranting about Americans today – this post isn’t about pornography or capitalism, you see.
I’m talking about thankfulness and how men and women may differ in their perspectives.
As a woman, I’m grateful for every day that I manage not to get raped, sexually assaulted, harassed or reminded that I’m inferior. Luckily, I don’t experience the first two that often anymore – I am getting older and am not deemed as fuckable as I once was, although I’m not immune. But in China, the latter two happen every time I leave my apartment.
As a white woman, I’m ogled as soon as I step outside my apartment door. My neighbours objectify me and other me. They may cringe against the wall in the stairwell with horrified looks on their faces as I pass by them. Walking through my immediate neighbourhood is a daily struggle to remind myself that I’m human and not a walking twat and set of tits. Two-and-a-half years in a place should earn me a spot among humans, but I’m not Chinese and I am a woman, so I must be reminded by every single person I pass that I hold the privilege of being on public display as a sexual object to be enjoyed or reviled (or both) by all. Men don’t get this treatment I (and occasionally they) have observed. And they become invisible if they are walking with me, as I take the heat.
Since opting out of being othered is not possible, I have to resort to feeling thankful if I make it through my errand back to the safety of my apartment without being pointed at, laughed at, yelled at, called racial slurs, or hit on purpose – all of which do happen, and not infrequently. Because I’m a woman and because I’m not Chinese. I’m thankful for my white privilege and the special status that gives me.
Eventually, I’m going to do a whole post on purported ‘white woman privilege’ that every single group (sometimes including self-immolating white lib-fem women) on the planet likes to shout to silence a white woman when she tries to speak. [Update: I went ahead and created the White Girl series to address this huge problem.] White women are still women, and there is the shit heap of hate and violence that goes with that. A white woman doesn’t have anywhere near the advantages that a white man has, and in many cases that a man of colour has, yet has to be held accountable for all the sins of the white man – her lord and master. But know that penis always wins over vagina, no matter the colour. Sex is the original, longest-existing, and most disregarded or pooh-poohed oppression in human history – all oppressions derive from it. Being white doesn’t erase woman-hatred, and can bring with it, in fact, a set of unique problems. But that discussion is for another post. I’m writing today about a recent conversation with a man that falls into this category of penis trumping vagina, despite colour. A man of colour targets a white woman for sexual assault based on sexual stereotypes of her.
Rewind to six months ago: For those who aren’t regular readers, I live in Southern China. I work at a university that has a handful of campuses. I live on one of the smaller campuses in the staff housing. I am the only white person here. There are a few Filipino teachers and a handful of mostly black students here too. The bulk of the foreigners live at the main campus. I’m a bit lonely. I don’t know many people in my immediate area save a few of my better students who occasionally have lunch with me. While I’m open to meeting new people, I don’t actively seek it out. I’m quiet and a loner and I’m a-okay with that.
The night in question, I had gone into town to meet up with a Chinese friend, and I had arrived back at my campus mid-evening after a truly lovely day. It was starting to get dark. As I was entering the campus gates, a man sidled over and began to walk with and talk to me. I thought he must have been one of the black students who live at our campus. It turns out he was a French-speaker, which immediately piqued my interest as I seldom get to practise my French, so we switched languages. He said he was from Paris and taught French at our school. I was a little surprised. We have one woman from France here and she usually teaches Business English, not French. And we lost our Italian teacher after they started forcing her to teach English. But whatever. The school doesn’t inform me of new staff hires. So we chatted, and when we got to the fork in the road where I went off to staff housing, and he was going off to the dorms where he said he lived, we exchanged phone numbers. I was happy to have a new French-speaking friend who was an adult and had world experience. I like students, but I find there is always a teacher-student boundary that I don’t like to cross with regard to conversation topics. Sometimes, I just want friends – and here, I don’t meet a lot of adult women. Sometimes, I let my guard down and allow the possibility of a male friend. Usually a mistake. Men don’t become friends with women without there being a self-serving purpose. Women are there to be used in a variety of ways. I feel very stupid every time I forget that.
So, I went off on my way home.
Being female, I did what I always do when interacting with males. I checked behind me a few times. No matter how nice a dude is, you want to make sure you’re not followed. It had nothing to do with race (I can just hear someone screaming ‘YOU DID THAT BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK – WAAAAAAAH!!!!!’ Nope. I’m wary of ALL men. Men of all races have attacked me. No one gets a free pass. Penis = justified suspicion. I’d given him my phone number, yes, but no dude can truly be trusted, and I don’t let men know where I live. Ever. So I looked back. I was safe. No one followed me.
About half an hour after I returned, I got a phone call. It was Dude. WTF? And immediately, he aggressively started in with demands to come over and fuck me. Talking over me as I tried to say no. Repeating the demands over and over. At first, I fell into the typical girl thing and said I had a boyfriend. Didn’t matter, he said. He just wanted to fuck. Don’t be so serious. I asked him why he didn’t have a local girlfriend. He said he didn’t like Chinese girls. I knew what that meant. You can’t just fuck Chinese girls – they are more conservative here. I didn’t bother asking about the other African students – men who go abroad often don’t like women of their own race (white men never approach me here in China since they are after Asian pussy). So that meant he targeted me because I was white, and every man of every race knows that white women will fuck anyone. We’re ‘easy’. And that’s when I got really pissed. Like all men, a woman’s ‘no’ doesn’t mean a thing. And the racial component, which I’ve experienced soooo many times before, sent me over the edge. I switched to English to regain a slight feeling of power in the situation. I told him off. Made my position as clear as possible. He was being disrespectful of me. I was angry. And I was not interested at all in sex. I told him he lied to me. I was adamant that he not call me again.
And he called me again. And again. And again. Over the next few weeks, he called several times. I never answered. And I decided not to block him because I wanted to keep a record of the harassment in my phone log.
I went into the Foreign Affairs Office of my university, which unfortunately was at the main campus – not mine. I reported the guy. I only had a first name and a phone number. There was no record of him as a student. And he definitely wasn’t a teacher either. All I knew was that he was a potential rapist who had targeted me because I was a woman and white. The Foreign Affairs Officer said there was nothing that could be done. I asked if we could call the police (our campus is, in fact, beside a police academy). He said no. Apparently, in China, sexual harassment, stalking or even sexual assault aren’t police matters. What??? I think the guy didn’t want the reputation of the university to be tarnished by a sexual harassment complaint. The Foreign Affairs Officer (a man) suggested that I not go out at night. For fuck’s sake! So, this is MY problem. There is a rapist on the loose, and I have to alter MY behaviour.
I was terrified walking around on my campus. What if I ran into him? I am easy to pick out since I am the only white woman around for miles. What if he followed me? The guy was huge. There was no way I would be able to fight him off. And if I managed to hurt him, I would be imprisoned thanks to misogynist Chinese law. Rape isn’t taken seriously here.
Well, I mostly didn’t go out at night for a long time. I lived in terror knowing that no one was on my side. Eventually, the calls stopped. Maybe he found someone else to rape. All of this became just another of many similar dealings with men and yet another reason not to trust them or interact with them unnecessarily. I’m tired of being threatened and feeling terrified and having to alter MY behaviour and routines.
This is an example of my white female privilege. Are you jealous? We are targeted by men of different races because we are seen as the epitome of whores. The crème de la crème. All women are whores, and all women should aspire to be as light-skinned as possible. The whiter you are, the more of a prize fuck you are. And we are open to it, so the stereotype goes. We will fuck anyone and everyone. We are public property. If you can fuck a white woman – and of course, according to American TV and films (written and produced mostly by white men, many of whom are Jewish), all white women do is look for opportunities to get naked and fuck, so it must be true – then you score big time. You can check it off your list of things to do before you die. This is what happens when men define female freedom. Female freedom = happy for every many to fuck her. For free. Anytime. Anywhere. The word “no” isn’t in her vocabulary. And some white women (e.g., see the slutwalk brigade) have taken men’s words to heart.
I haven’t. Liberation means something very different to me. It means freedom from men’s desires, demands and crimes (which are all the same thing). It means freedom from fear. Fear of men and what they do and get away with. Adopting the dictates of slavery as your own does not free you. It just opens you up to more abuse. And all men know this and try to take advantage of this. So black men, Asian men, Arab men, aboriginal men – all men – have now proclaimed an open season on white women. Mark my words, white girls. By accepting your boys’ definition of (sexual) freedom, you must service all men free of charge. Rape is not possible when men believe you want it 24/7, and all they hear you saying is, “yep, I’m a slut”. I see you as brainlessly complicit in the shit that happens to me. Not the masterminds, but dangerous sheep-accomplices, nonetheless.
And though I’ll cover this in my future post on the intersection of race and sex, I’ll just be clear here since I know reading this will make people uncomfortable because white women aren’t supposed to experience systemic problems or talk about them. I am not negating violence against women of colour or their unique problems resulting from sex and their particular race and location in the world. I am saying that we are not responsible for what white men or men of colour do to them, though. Every group of women experiences a combination of racial and sexual stereotyping and punishment at the hands of men of all different groups. Including white women. The truth is that it is not all fun and games for white chicks despite what you might need to tell yourself to feel at home in your own particular oppression-group or to feel righteous when you attack the white women you feel obliged to ‘other’. We make much easier targets than men of any colour, and it is widely believed that hurting us, the property of white men, is the best way to sock one to the male masters.
I just posted on my interaction with a young Chinese male potential stalker. I tried to talk him down for two reasons.
- First, and most important, I was concerned about the woman he was interested in stalking. If I can prevent harm to a specific woman or girl at the hands and dicks of men, I’ll do it. We are constantly in danger from both male strangers and especially the males we know. Men act, first and foremost, for selfish reasons, and if a woman is destroyed in the process of a man getting what he wants, nobody gives even half a shit. I give a shit. I give the mother lode of shits.
- Second, if I can shape the thinking of a single man, I stand the chance of saving scores of women and girls from future harm. It’s along the lines of that old proverb: “Give a person a fish and she’ll eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and she’ll eat for a lifetime.” Big picture. Strategic thinking. Preventative medicine. All that.
Anyhow, I do keep in touch with many of my students through a Chinese-based chat program and I heard from young dude last night. There were some positive things said, but I am not clear about whether he still intends to stalk his ex-girlfriend. There was some ambiguity at the end. Here is the exchange:
Dude: Today you said that happiness comes from our inside heart. And I half agree with that as I believe that our beloved ones are the source of half our happiness. Sometimes we still have to lay half of our happiness on the outside world like our beloved ones
Me: It is important for each of us to decide what it is that makes us happy. And then to set out to achieve it.
Dude: Thank you for teaching me that “if one side wants it, but the other side doesn’t want it, then the relationship cannot happen.” It gave me courage. And I have finally decided to let go of my ex-love.
Me: That is difficult, but good news. It is hard to see things when you are feeling pain. But with time, you’ll see that something better will happen for you. You are making a good, strong decision by letting go.
Dude: If possible, I still hope I could have a chance of reunion with her.
Me: That may just be a dream. But I would suggest letting it go. When a woman says no, she must be respected.
Argh!!! I was feeling positive about him letting her go until I read his last statement. “if possible” “I still hope”.
Fuck! Let her go man!
Well, I tried.
In China, stalking of women by men is a standard and highly accepted part of the romantic narrative.
I’ve (unfortunately) been privy to countless examples of this. The wearing down and terrorizing of a woman by a man in order to ‘prove’ he loves her is more common than you might realize.
I can still remember back to 2003 and acquiring my first data point. A Western (male dickface) colleague chuckling over having his adult ESL class interrupted by a petulant Chinese man who had been harassing and stalking a female classmate with whom he was in love. He interrupted the class to throw a tantrum since the woman had not yet submitted to his displays of (immaturity, misogyny, entitlement) love. I was disgusted by the whole thing – had it been my class, heads would have rolled.
And over time, I’ve heard more and more stories. Sometimes from the lovelorn themselves looking for advice on why their stalking behaviour was not working as planned. I think most of the time it works. The poor young woman is beaten down through relentless unwanted attention and forced to give in. Yeah! A boyfriend! How long can one be terrorized and remain sane in a place where stalking and violence against women isn’t taken seriously?
And so today, it happened yet again.
I had parked myself in a huge mostly empty classroom reading Andrea Dworkin of all things, waiting until it was time to make my way to my own classroom in another building. I suddenly became aware of someone sitting beside me, but across the aisle. It struck me as strange as the classroom seated about 200 and I was one of maybe 4 people in the room.
I realized it was someone who wanted to talk to me.
Okay, what the hell. I was tired and having trouble focusing on reading. It turned out I had met the student before about 6 months previously. I could barely remember, to be honest. There are 45,000 students at my university. Luckily, it was a business English major, so he had better English, and thus was able to have a higher level conversation with me. And we talked about a variety of things which were actually interesting to me.
But one of the topics we covered was how he could ‘persuade’ his ex-girlfriend who had broken up with him that she should take him back.
I tried to tie my answer to one of his previous questions, “How can we be happy?” I could have said, “Overthrow Patriarchy,” but most dudes don’t have the capacity or intelligence to begin to comprehend what that means. But, to be honest, I haven’t a fucking clue how to be happy. I think we obsess about it too much, and spend too much time trying to find and force happiness, which, in my opinion, is the surest way to be thoroughly unhappy.
So instead, I delved into the idea that trying to get, take, or receive things is not the way to be happy. But that is what most people (especially men) try to do. We try to get a partner in love, we try to acquire money and possessions, and we want people to give us their loyalty, love or respect. None of that really works. What I suggested is that he stop focusing on taking or getting or expecting, and just try to give. I said that happiness comes from inside ourselves and when we give without expecting something in return, we are more likely to feel happy and free.
And I waited for it… He jumped in with: “But I want to give love to my ex-girlfriend.” And I countered with: a) Don’t give people what they don’t want or need. If the girlfriend broke up with you, she doesn’t want your ‘love’ (I suspect he wasn’t giving love, but rather, control and unreasonable demands). And b) you can’t give something and then secretly expect something in return. You’ll never be happy if your motivation for giving is ultimately selfish.
That gave him some stuff to mull over. I am not sure if it will sink in. Most guys can’t comprehend the notion of selflessness or understanding others’ (especially women’s) needs and wishes. But he seemed to think about what I said.
And then again, I might be completely full of shit about all of this happiness nonsense. But I hope I at least put a damper on his stalking potential. I am pretty sure that is where his obsessive thoughts were taking him. I’ve seen this a million times before.
A handful of years ago, I was teaching a small class of really motivated, super-smart Chinese girls. I’d just spent a hellish year teaching high school – one of the worst years, if not the worst year, of employment in my life – in the Chinese countryside. I tried to wash away that year in a seaside city at a small, private language school with small summer classes. This group of young women was a salve on a wound that unfortunately still hasn’t healed.
We were doing a short unit on heroes and role models. We were using a crappy textbook produced through some Western-Chinese collaboration, and I hated it. It was sexist and as with any and every book trying to teach Western culture to non-Westerners, it did a piss poor job. Anyhow, as I didn’t like the discussion of heroes in the book, I decided give my own rendition. You see, all the book’s examples were men – men of the Western persuasion – and not a one of them was interesting or heroic. But then, throughout the world, we celebrate men for mediocrity and often, overlook atrocities they commit to celebrate that mediocrity.
So I did some research and looked for women in China, current and past, in a range of domains, that could be put up for nomination as heroes. I chose human rights activists, political leaders, anti-censorship advocates, athletes, actors, even a warrior.
And the girls, smart though they were, only recognized a few of them. I was first shocked, then unsurprised, then saddened. Just like in the West, women are not only barred from public life, but they are barred from recognition, from history, from memory, despite being the ones who actually keep this world running. Throughout the world, we celebrate the mediocrity of men over even the most amazing of women.
Fast forward a little to the years I’ve been teaching college and post-graduate students. Every semester, either through speech-giving assignments or through class discussion, I get students to talk about role models and heroes. And here are my data.
Out of hundreds and hundreds of students in four years of doing this, only two students have provided a woman as a role model or hero. And those women were the students’ mothers.
Many of the male heroes have been killers/soldiers. We’ve had notorious Western rapist athletes nominated. Mao Ze Dong, the great brainwasher and killer of millions. Winston Churchill, the man who perfected the concentration camp and had thousands of South African women and children starved, raped, or killed. We’ve had a few capitalists. Writers. Lots of fathers. Male humanitarians or social justice warriors are never mentioned as heroes – there aren’t that many of those comparatively, I suppose. Plus, activism is still frowned upon and frequently punished in China.
In China or elsewhere, I can’t figure out what makes these nominees heroes or role models other than possessing a penis. It’s not just that women have been barred from doing ‘great’ things. The fact that so many people see fathers as heroes or role models indicates that it is the penis and the qualities that only a penis-wielder is (incorrectly) believed to possess that are important in defining heroism or role-modelship. It has little to do with the accomplishments themselves. If we had a scale with men on one side and women on the other, and we had the ability to see who actually did what (i.e., we could see through stolen ideas, credit-taking, silencing, etc.) and you added weight for objectively positive accomplishments (creating and improving life and knowledge), and subtracted for objectively negative, destructive things (war, cruelty, immorality, development of weapons, greed, etc), women would, hands down, be the greatest contributors, the heroes, the role models. I truly wish there were a way to uncover truth, to reward merit, to encourage positive contribution.
We can’t do that under male rule. Merit will never be recognized under Patriarchy.
Fists and penises used to win the power, (later) the money and the ability to write history. Once money and power were firmly in the hands of men, it became just the threat of violence that has continued to erase women and keep the definition of heroism out of more objective hands.
In short, whom we honour and reward in our global society has little to do with good works or positive accomplishments or contributions. As with everything, it is all about dick. And I’m so very tired of worshipping violence and lies.
I teach a few different things in China. My least favourite course is ‘advanced oral English’. First, there is nothing advanced about the abilities of the majority of students – ‘advanced’ is just a word that, in typical Chinese fashion, is for appearances only . And second, I am not an orator. Decent teacher, yes. Orator extraordinaire, no. Oh, and third, trying to have a heavily interactive class when the standard number of students in a small, participation-based university class is 50 is a waste of everyone’s time.
If I must teach communication methodologies, I prefer to teach writing. But if I had my druthers, I’d be teaching a variety of other things within the analytical realm.
Anyhow, I’m in the middle of two weeks of the dreaded speech-making unit. This is where I give a choice of topics (ranging from easy to requiring more insight and imagination). One of the topics requires these 18- to 23-year-olds to think about what they want their lives to look like in 20 years.
If they choose this topic, inevitably, they talk about the family they want. If you can believe it is possible, the Chinese romantic narrative is even more boring and standard than the Western one. Everybody says almost exactly the same thing. I have never, ever, ever met anyone here who wants something different than the rest of the 1.35 billion people.
While it is depressing to hear the young women spout the romantic dream that is the curtain that hides their impending slavery, it is worse listening to the men. And sadly, most of my students are men. Even though I spend an entire class talking about how to describe personality or character, and get them to brainstorm adjectives, they ALL describe their future wives in exactly the same two-dimensional way, and unsurprisingly, there is never a reference to character unless it is to imply that she exists to wait on him and provide children, which is still not really ‘personality’. They describe Future Wife as ‘beautiful’ and that is it. She has no substance. The only thing that matters is that she is beautiful. One of the better speakers did say: “I don’t like girls with strong opinions.” So there you go.
Interestingly, when I teach the class on character and do the brainstorming exercise, most of the students include beautiful, pretty, or cute on their lists, and I do the requisite explanation that physical attractiveness is not a personality characteristic. And although you could, in English, call someone beautiful and refer to their personality, that is not at all what people are thinking here when they put it on their list of personality traits.
When describing men, there is a much richer palette. Men are allowed to be intelligent, talented, creative, hardworking, diligent, responsible, etc. Oh, to be multifaceted – dare I dream?
If you do manage to get people to describe women in any detail, you get a more intense and benevolently misogynist list than you get in the West – today’s Western woman might be called strong, but what is meant is that she is a sexual being with all that entails regarding character (wild, masochistic, uninhibited, slutty, etc). It’s just as superficial, in my opinion. In China, it is all naiveté, innocence, and purity – these are all ideal ‘girl’ qualities. The ideal woman is ‘a girl’ – she acts like, looks like, and thinks like ‘a girl’. It’s so ingrained in the culture – even trying to get people to refer to females over 18 as women is really hard to do. They have no problem calling 18-year-old males ‘men’, though.
I decided I have to stop assigning this topic for speeches. As my educational techniques regarding women and personality and human status are clearly not working, I am now going to give my barf trigger mechanism priority.
In another post, I’ll tell you about a) Chinese misogyny in hero/role model discussions and b) how my writing classes approached their assignment on short fiction.
I’m in China – it is Hallowe’en morn. For many of you, it is still October 30th or ‘Devil’s Night’ (at least that is what we called it in Canada when I was a kid) – the night bad kids will sneak out and tp or egg people’s houses. Until about the age of 30, it was my favourite festival of all the observable Western holidays. I like the night. I like costumes. And I like chocolate. I don’t participate in the traditions anymore, but now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve researched the history of the festival (which I won’t get into here), and it is truly fascinating. I have a deeper understanding of how it came about and has evolved over the centuries.
To my complete puzzlement, and to be honest, my disdain, China has begun taking on Western holidays. Let me clarify. They take on the marketing and capitalistic rewards of holidays such as Hallowe’en and Christmas, but none of the meaning. Some of the people put on this weird fake enthusiasm for them, but like much of Chinese enthusiasm, it is all surface. There is no understanding of the festivals and they definitely don’t give a shit about them on a deeper level. These holidays mean nothing to them. Why should they? Festivals are rooted in culture, religion, and history. I just wish they wouldn’t bother – it is deeply offensive.
Not that these holidays are well understood by Western people either, but for all of us, there is tradition and cultural meaning, both positive and negative, regardless of whether we are religious or not.
So the Hallowe’en decorations have gone up here in China, and in the department stores, I’ve noticed candy and costumes for sale. Here’s where things get curious for me.
I haven’t seen a single slutty/sexy costume anywhere. And it’s a fucking relief.
Apparently, the Chinese didn’t get the message. The basic purpose of Hallowe’en is to let women AND little girls release their inner whores for the titillation of men.
I’ve put together a little comparison of current Western costumes to illustrate my point. And if you’re wondering, all of these photos I found individually. They were not already paired as mini-slut and mommy-slut. The unplanned similarities in costumes and mannerisms are depressing and creepy in a Stepford-slut (terminology attribution: Gail Dines, I believe) kind of way.
When the fuck did this happen? I don’t remember this at all from my youth. Hallowe’en was just about fun and eating too much candy. Adults sometimes had their own Hallowe’en dress-up parties, but there were no ‘sexy anythings’ then. Girl children were NEVER trotted out as whores or ‘sexy anythings’ – except for the princess thing, which I’m proud to say, I never did. But now it’s harem girls, sexy cops, sexy nurses, sexy witches (used to just be wart-covered, scary witches), and even, gulp, French maids.
One significant thing. During my youth, more people made their own costumes. I have never worn a store-bought costume. My mother sewed everything, and then when I got older, I either sewed, but more often, crafted from various non-clothing and thrift-store clothing items, something interesting and very original.
But at some point, capitalism inserted its stiletto heel into Western culture’s brain, and it has been a slut-fest ever since. People say they are too busy or too unimaginative these days to spend time on costume creation and construction. I agree on the latter. Capitalism and porn have stripped (ahem) people of their ability to think of interesting things. It’s all sex, all the time. A woman must be sexy 24-7, and this includes when dressed up for Hallowe’en.
I seldom dress up for Hallowe’en anymore, but about five years ago, I did a year-long stint teaching high school in rural China. My colleague and I decided to have a Hallowe’en party, and we got excited about creating some simple costumes. I bought some thin, black electrical tape and black construction paper, and I luckily had a yellow shirt of my own and black pants, and voila! I became a bee. My colleague spent equally little – white tape and some construction paper, and became a zebra. They were great costumes.
I worry about the future of the West, and especially the safety and self-image of Western girls and women. Capitalism and its evil spawn, digital pornography, are damaging the culture, likely beyond repair. I think porn will lead (hell, we can see it already!) to the intellectual downfall of the United States, whose number one export is porn, and number one import is intelligent foreign students and labour.
As much as I dislike China, they have managed to keep porn out of the mainstream – it is illegal. More on this another time, but while I am anti-censorship, I am firmly against hate speech and pornography is, without question, hate speech. In China, unfortunately, women are seen as chattel in other ways, but (without touching on the shameful 1,000 years of foot binding) they are not yet being degraded the way Western women are. But, I fear that is only a matter of time. Until that time, there are no Chinese Hallowe’en sluts on offer.
It’s my first post of October. Alas, I have been out of town and away from my keyboard. It’s my first chance to write.
I normally find it healthy to get out of China once or twice a year. China is not the greatest place to live as a non-Chinese woman. Outside of your apartment you are public property, permanently on display for every man, woman and child. And they’re not polite about it. I’ve learned to dissociate as soon as I leave my apartment, much like I have done during a pelvic exam at the gyno’s office or during a sexual assault. I pretend I’m not there. I wonder at the long-term damage to my spirit, all this dissociation.
But for a few reasons, I’d been stuck in China for about 14 months. And then I found a way to leave for about 10 days that overlapped with a Chinese holiday and the rest, well, I took a few days off work. I went to the United States, Los Angeles specifically, to visit a complicated friend. Or is it a simple friend with whom I have a complicated relationship? Dunno.
Going from China to the US – or any Western country for that matter – is always strange to me. They are such different experiences, although there are many underlying similarities. As this is a short post, I’ll just mention one thing that really stands out to me that illustrates this unique quality – the differentness and the similarity of the places.
China is distinctly not white. White people don’t rule the day-to-day business. On a global scale, that is a different matter – although I think that is starting to change. But on the ground, white people don’t have special rights, and in fact, are often denied rights and are abused in the way that foreign workers or tourists usually are anywhere without workers’ rights or human rights standards as the norm. Chinese is the dominant race and culture. Among the foreign population, most (in my city) are not white. Among the white population, white women are a rare thing. Men are always more plentiful among travellers and foreign workers. Women are just less likely to work abroad unless they come with a partner or have a personal well of confidence. So if you see a white woman, it is an uncommon thing, indeed.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, is distinctly multiracial and multicultural. White is still the dominant race power-wise, and more specifically and pointedly, white men rule.
Yet, in both places, white women are the universally-accepted whores.
When I walk around in the very, very non-foreign-populated community in which I live in China, you will see large poster advertisements in the commercial areas of white women in lingerie or in sexy poses for some stupid product or other. It is offensive and disconcerting. Most people have never seen a live white person, but might be faced day-to-day with a larger than life advertisement of a scantily-clad white woman. And then they run into me. How do they see me? I have first-hand knowledge of the poor treatment that can result. Going by the behaviour of some of them, I can only imagine they think I am public property, especially if they are watching American films and television in addition to viewing misogynist advertisements.
While in L.A., even in my friend’s upper middle class neighbourhood, there were plenty of billboards and advertisements along the commercial streets. And most of them were of nearly-naked white women selling all sorts of shit from construction boots to gym memberships. There were a couple of new, highly-offensive and scary ones that had been put up since I was last there. I’ve never understood the logic of what is done in advertisements. It can’t just be catering to men’s penises. The ads are so hateful, I can only imagine that they are also designed to remind women of what their place is and the fact that they will never truly measure up. You are all whores. You need to have this skin colour. And of course, you need to look like this. Why would we want to be whores, though? Why do women accept this pronouncement? These ads?
For some reason, white women have become the target of many, men and women, alike. Women, in general, do make the easiest targets, and white women are easier to attack than the real culprits – white men. They are the cannon fodder. The ones white men put in front to take the heat, to shoulder all the blame. And because white women are part of the sex class, they become the whore all women should both aspire to and hate at the same time. But the thing is, white women don’t have real power. Forget what some dumb fun-feminist tells you about empowerment through nudity and sucking cock. They still have less power than all men of all colours. Always have. They are still victimized by the lowest men on the male hierarchy. A homeless, mentally ill man of colour can terrorize any woman on the street and get away with it. He can even scream racism at her as she cowers from his male threat, not his race. The woman can’t escape. She just needs to ‘relax’, ‘take it easy’ – she is the privileged one, right? The public and law will support him over her. He is justified. As long as women are objects, they have no power. As long as we have to witness our naked bodies on display for entertainment and marketing, we will never be free or be safe or have power or be taken seriously. Those billboards hurt.
If your only rejoinder is that ‘sex sells’, well, guess what? None of this is sex. It is debasement, objectification, exploitation, and subjugation. Of a class of people.
It’s not ‘sex sells’. It’s ‘sexual slavery sells’. And it sells everywhere in the world, thanks to men of all colours, led by the white boys. The solution is not to include more women of colour in the public nudie parade. It is to take the group-specific sexploitation out of entertainment and marketing entirely.
I’d like to live in a place where advertisements (if they must exist at all) are limited to the product and its qualities. No whores needed. In China, in the US, anywhere, everywhere.
As a university instructor in China, I take great delight in mentoring young women who venture outside the traditional ‘women are property’ box. Planting seeds of personal rebellion is my specialty, as is providing validation for the stirrings of feminist thinking that normally get stamped out by controlling parents and concerned friends.
One of my young protégés, a lively English major who took my writing class last semester, had an exciting summer. We had lunch last week and I heard all about it. She had joined up with a volunteer organization that brings young people from different countries together to teach children. I’m not quite clear on what they teach. I thought it was English, but most of the people who came to China to teach were not native speakers of English. Maybe culture? There were young men and women from Vietnam, Indonesia, Russia, Egypt, Tanzania, and the US, in addition to the local Chinese.
But I was less interested in the teaching experience and more curious about my former student’s exposure to people from around the world. On the whole, I think it was a good thing. But there were several alarming elements.
First, it becomes quite clear how sheltered and naive the Chinese are. All of the foreigners, save the Vietnamese and the Indonesian, spent time teaching my young friend English slurs and general swearing. And most of it was woman-hating, of course. She learned how to say cunt, bitch, fuck you, retard, etc. And she also got some odd, inaccurate advice from the non-native English speakers. Apparently, “Screw you!” is a very polite form of “Fuck you!” Huh? I worry about a) ESLers, and b) 19-year-olds, teaching the intricacies of language to the impressionable. So, we had an in-depth discussion of nasty words and who they hurt (usually women, and other oppressed groups), and by the end, I think she was much less enthusiastic about hurling insults at people. But swearing is the number one thing most people want to learn when they are first exposed to a new language. I just give a different perspective on it – I do, after all, swear a lot, and put a lot of thought into why and who gets harmed by it.
Second, the poor thing ‘fell in love with’ the young Egyptian dude in the group. She thought he was awesome. Luckily, he was crushing on the properly diminutive and dainty Vietnamese girl and wasn’t interested in my more outgoing Chinese friend. I got to watch a few videos she took featuring him posturing in his macho way, and I wasn’t quite so taken with him as she was. Personally, I don’t find Egyptian men or Egyptian culture all that progressive. The country is, after all, in full support of female genital mutilation – over 90% of the current female population has lost their clits and/or had their fuck holes sewn up in the name of ‘respecting women’. I personally have had way too much experience with the rapeyness and violence of Muslim men (both strangers and a man I had the misfortune of dating) in a few different countries, and I worry about non-Muslim women who get involved or find themselves trapped with men of that persuasion. Men are scary enough on their own, but when they are religious, there is a whole nuther layer of justification for woman-hatred present.
Third, my young friend got an instructional dose of the ‘female dichotomy according to men’ care of the young Tanzanian man. The viewpoint certainly isn’t limited to Tanzania or to black men – it’s universal. But the dude laid the viewpoint out quite clearly and matter-of-factly. And my friend, being young, female, Chinese and naive, didn’t see anything wrong with it. The viewpoint goes something like this:
There are two kinds of girls: the ones you have fun with and the ones you can take home to your parents and marry.
What my friend didn’t understand, because Chinese girls are not educated about sex, was that ‘the ones you have fun with’ translates into: bad girls, the ones you can fuck, but don’t have to ‘respect’. She didn’t see that men have this thing called privilege where they can place value on women. You fuck the trash and then throw it away when you’re done, but you marry the pure. And both types of women are objects. You are a whore one way or the other – either a public whore (the bad girl/slut – girlfriend material) or a private whore (the pure, wifey-wifey material that you can only rape after marriage).
I made sure to explain all of this.
Do I do young women a favour by telling them how the world really is? How men will always enslave us? I don’t know. As a Chinese woman, she doesn’t have options. She must get married. Her parents definitely don’t want her marrying a foreigner – that is just racist, Chinese culture talking. But marrying a Chinese isn’t going to be any better than marrying a foreigner – they are all men, and marriage is the slavery of women. So is it better to go into female slavery naively than going into it with wide open eyes? I don’t know. I’d like to think that being prepared is better than being bitterly disappointed that the fairy tale that girls are force fed from birth isn’t true.
I was much less naive when I was 20 and a budding feminist to boot, but I do so wish I’d had an older woman in my life to open my eyes to reality. It would have saved me a lot (not all) of the grief I went through in navigating a world of woman-hate.
Men. They’re all different, but they’re all the same.
That doesn’t make sense now, does it? Well, what I mean is that when, as all women are, you’re forced to listen to the constant stream of stupid shit straight men say, you notice that they all have their different sexual fetishes and proclivities. But, at the root of all of these delightful differences is a deep-seated hatred of women. Men reduce women to their body parts (I love tight pussy, big tits, long hair, etc), race/skin colour, and culture. By culture, I don’t mean the proper definition of culture, I mean cultural stereotypes – male fantasies aren’t based on deep meaning or understanding. So while they ‘love’ certain exploitable things about particular women, they actually hate women as a class. Love of women’s junk or affiliations does not translate into love, or more importantly, respect, of women.
I’ve spent the past few years removing men from my life. It’s depressing, but stress-releasing and self-preservational. Depressing because I’ve realized that the wiser and more self-respecting I’ve gotten, the less able I am to endure men. And being around men, I’ve also realized, is about enduring, tolerating, bearing – in essence, negating/erasing myself and my self-worth. I’ve never felt this in the company of women. I’ve not felt that women hang around with me because of anything other than shared interests or compatible personalities.
Coming to Asia for Pussy and a Sense of Power
The most recent batch of men that I’ve had to offload or detour around once I encounter them are ones that have come out with the all-too-common: “I love Asian women.” and the complement of that: “I hate Western women.”
Unfortunately, I have lived in Asia off and on for the last 13 years, so I hear this shit all the time from non-Asian men. Many of these dickfaces come to Taiwan and China (and other Asian countries) so that they can score Asian pussy. Some of them just want to use and fuck, but others want the whole wifey-wifey deal. Part of it is so that they don’t have to learn about the country they’re in or learn the language – if you pick up a local woman, she will navigate for you and make your life easy.
My favourite comment thus far came from a South African dude who smirkingly told me that he’d finally scored a ‘rice-powered bed-warmer’. Classy. And yet, I didn’t reward him with a high five.
The other thing that foreign men like about Asians is the whole subservience thing that they believe is built in to Asian women. Asian women will cook, clean, let you rape them regularly, and will never complain about anything you demand of them. They are also femininity-compliant and believe that the man is the head of the house. Oh, and you can be old, fat, ugly, stupid, and have a personality disorder and still score a hot, young Asian babe. There are many online discussion groups devoted to this “Asian bitches are better. They know their place” phenomenon. These men are vomit-inducing. Thank goodness they have the internet so that they can get together and circle jerk.
I worked with one obnoxious, stupid and really ugly Australian guy who had scored an accomplished, employed Taiwanese woman. I remember her rushing to our place of work with the lunch that he had forgotten. I watched as he upbraided her for some transgression in the middle of our populated staff room. She stood there, head down, like a child. She was in her 30’s.
One thing is always true though, I’ve noticed: these guys are big losers in their own countries. Women can smell the rot within them and won’t give them the time of day. I would bet money that they have raped at least once. I used to wonder why these dudes didn’t just join the fucked up BDSM scene, but I suspect that most of them don’t see themselves as kinky or alternative – they just want subservience. BDSM is lame and gross, but probably too weird for the “I love Asian women’ crowd. Control, without perversion.
The average Western woman (outside BDSM or strict religious communities) is ‘uppity’, ‘demanding’, and is vocal about having some semblance of human rights. We don’t like to be raped. We have the word ‘no’, which we like to use. In Chinese, there is no distinct word for ‘no’ – or for ‘yes’ for that matter. You can say ‘don’t want’, ‘don’t have’, ‘am not’, but there is no resounding ‘NO!!!!’ Once you own a Chinese girl, you can do whatever you want. No one will stop you. Foreign men love this.
But You Can Love Asian Women at Home Too!
But these dudes don’t even need to leave the homeland to enjoy what the world has to offer. Luckily, Asian women are everywhere.
I recently had to dismiss a former boss-turned-acquaintance from Canada (originally England). After one relationship had gone south with a Canadian woman, he found himself living alone on a farm. He started taking on WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) to help out as volunteers with the work. He was particularly taken with some young Korean girls in their late teens who were travelling and volunteering. Dude (who is about 55) told me he had a hard time keeping his hands off them, and then announced to me that he hated Western women. He then told me he was using a dating site matching up Asian women with Western men (mail order bride site?), and he wanted my help in procuring an impoverished Filipino woman who was working as a slave/house cleaner in China to support her children back in the Philippines. Prostituting herself to a Western fucker looked like a better option, apparently.
I told him to fuck off, that I wouldn’t participate in his rape fantasy-turned-reality, and I haven’t spoken to him since. Piece of shit.
A few years back, I went back to Canada for a spell to get my health back after a horrid, demoralizing stint in the Chinese countryside. I ended up working for an abusive Turkish immigrant who sexually and psychologically harassed me on a regular basis, starting on day one when he told me that I was older than he thought I would be (I arranged the job online and via phone before I got back to Canada).
We had a number of Japanese women working for us that he appeared to leave completely alone, unharassed. At one point, after I showed myself to be an uppity Western bitch when he wouldn’t leave ME alone, he told me that he ‘really liked Asian women’ working for him. They never complained. Of course they didn’t. Asian women don’t talk back to male bosses who are hurting them. AND they had WORK VISAS. If you have a work visa in foreign country, you are well aware that the visa is tied to a specific job. If you lose the job, you must leave the country until you can find another employer to sponsor you. To stay would get you deported and banned. The best way to get fired is to complain.
One thing I want to make clear. I’m not lamenting the loss of these nutsacks to more compliant women. I wouldn’t touch these fuckers with a 10,000 foot pole. Rather, I’d prefer to live in a world where women aren’t reduced to their parts, and where men aren’t given universal permission to treat women as acceptable or unacceptable based on how much abuse they’re willing to take. As it is, this little ‘rating’ system does convince many women that there is something wrong with them if they can’t catch a man, and that wrongness is directly tied to having to give up their humanity.
First, women don’t need men. Ever. Second, if you really must be with a man, it should be someone who sees you as an equal deserving of respect.
As is well understood by women, the history of humankind is the story of men. And it is a boring story of repetition: rape; war; rape; the stealing of women’s ideas; rape; denying education to women; rape; the development of various economic/religious/political systems of dominance favouring men; rape; war; more rape, ad infinitum. Boring. And the story is pretty much the same no matter which culture or part of the world you drill down into. And there is no end in sight. History is written by the victors, and men are always the victors. History is written to get men off, not to regret, not to learn, not to become better beings. It’s just the stuff of boners.
I’ll provide one teeny tiny example.
A few years ago, I lived and worked in Nanjing, China. For those who know little to nothing about China, Nanjing is famous for a few things. For one, it is a former capital of China, and secondly, it was the site of one of the most brutal mass rapes and mass murders in history. Over a period straddling December 1937 – January 1938, Japanese troops occupied Nanjing and rained atrocity down on the women and other citizens of Nanjing. I’m not going to recount the whole history here – you can check out Iris Chang’s book, “The Rape of Nanking”, to avoid being forced to swallow a male point-of-view. Men tend to focus on how off-duty Chinese soldiers were executed – as if that was the highlight and greatest tragedy of the whole disgusting mess.
Anyhow, modern-day Japan poured money into the building of a memorial/museum in Nanjing. And I went. It is a spectacular building.
I did, however, feel there was a cock-centric over-focus on soldiers being killed. Personally, I couldn’t give a shit about soldiers. They sign up to kill and be killed. Many of them rape local women/girls and/or use prostitutes, which demotes them to non-human status for me. So fuck ’em. War is a man’s invention. Not women’s. You make your bed, you sleep in the damn thing, men. I just wish women could be left out of the whole business since it has nothing to do with us.
Now, out of the whole museum, there was one wall that also included a corner, detailing the whole rape business, which for me was the centre of the whole multi-week siege. I think it would have been over sooner had there been no women there. The display consisted of all sorts of large photos and text describing what had happened.
But I couldn’t read any of it. Why?
Because I couldn’t get close to it at all. There were 200+ Chinese men all pushing and shoving each other, including me, trying to get close enough to see the naked photos of the Chinese women. Unfortunately, for the men, there were no actual mid-action rape photos – just dead women with bayonets sticking out of their vaginas, and naked, devastated, brutalized women lined up for viewing, crouching, cowering, crying. Still, titillating stuff for China (where porn is illegal). These fucking turds were excited by the idea of what had happened. No learning going on. No tears shed (except mine). Just excitement. And hatred for the Japanese, but also excitement.
Naked, brutalized women. Very, very cool stuff.
By the way, there was no pushing or over-crowding or excitement at any of the other displays. And there were no women pushing or shoving to get close to the rape display. Actually, the Chinese women visiting the museum avoided that whole corner for the most part.
But this whole phenomenon is not unique to China. Men all over the world love depictions of rape. Love seeing women degraded, hurt, brutalized. Even if they don’t consider themselves rapists (ahem…), they can live vicariously through those who do.
And women don’t fantasize about rape (please read that again American porn-dogs). Women who claim they do have been socialized/trained/brainwashed by the Patriarchal ‘romance narrative’ into believing that seduction and sexayness need to be violent. There is nothing healthy or ‘natural’ about getting hot about the idea of rape. Sorry.
I appreciated the memorial and museum very much, but I was disgusted. Nothing ever changes no matter how much time goes by. Men still love to hate women. And we still accept it.
Not that I feel bad about disabling comments on this blog, but now that the university semester has started up, any pause that I might have had has definitely gone out the window.
You see, I’m forced to listen to the stupid shit my overwhelmingly large classes of male students say. It’s China, it’s traditional, and my classes are almost completely populated with young men. Blech!
The comment of this past week came after asking students to work together to describe where they were from. I put people from the same provinces together, and within the province of my university (as most students stay in their home province for schooling), I grouped people by town.
And of course, there were the standard, meaningless Chinese comments. “People from my hometown are very friendly.” Which, by the way, I guarantee you they are not – people hate outsiders here in China – even among Chinese people – and parents teach their children not to talk to or help strangers EVER. Only family and those in your guanxi (business-social network) count. Outside classroom assignments, my students tell me what their parents really teach them about strangers.
And then of course are comments about girls and women.
The comment winner this week jizzed out the following.
“The girls from my hometown are very beautiful. The men from my hometown are very hardworking. So if you want to get married, you should come to my hometown.”
And this is the general worldwide view of women. It’s not just China, of course. Women are there to serve as eye candy, fuck-holes and baby factories. C’est tout! Despite the fact that women almost always work several times harder than any man on the planet (for anywhere from less to zero compensation), it is the men who are always deemed hardworking and smart and strong and interesting and funny and good leaders, and and and just so fucking multifaceted.
I’ll say it again, I miss having predominantly female classes. The women are just as brainwashed by dick-think, but they say much more interesting things when they have a receptive, non-punishing, woman-supporting audience (me). Only in these classes have I ever heard young Chinese women speak the unspeakable: “I don’t want to get married.” I always give them a loud, enthusiastic round of applause when they are brave enough to speak their minds on female slavery.
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a university instructor of writing, academic English, and general speaking classes in China. I’m 43. I don’t practise femininity, although everyone easily knows I’m a woman cuz I have tits. You’d think that I’d become a little more invisible because of my age and androgynous clothing, but sadly, that is not the case. I’m reminded on a daily basis that I’m a woman and that I exist as sub-human, a sexual object, and there primarily for male use.
When you teach in China, unless you are teaching at an all-female school or are teaching non-science or non-technology majors, you are stuck with classrooms full of dudes. Female students still face many barriers to entry into these ‘male professions’ here, and of course, China is missing millions upon millions of girls because of selective abortion resulting from the One Child Policy. I teach at a technology university, so you know what I’m stuck with. Wall-to-wall dickitude.
Last semester, I was fortunate to have a lot of English-major classes (almost completely female), tourism classes (female-dominated, male minority) and business grad students (equal gender divide). I knew I should cherish that time, and that I would be unlikely to be so fortunate again. Having predominantly female students is a very different experience from having a predominance of male students. It’s a more pleasant, non-aggressive, and intellectual experience. You get more questions about real issues. And all of this matters even more when you’re a female instructor trying to preserve your safety, sanity and dignity.
After such a positive semester of academics and womanhood, this new semester began in stark contrast. Aside from having to tell classrooms full of young men to shut the fuck up and listen every five seconds like they were out-of-control toddlers, misogyny reared its ugly immediately.
First, there were endless comments from the males about what a shame it was that there ‘weren’t enough girls’ in their classes. (I think there were five women in total out of 140 students.) Now, the concern wasn’t because these young men wanted to see equality in science and technology, or that they wanted to do something to rectify China’s history of gynocide, or that they wanted more opportunities for women, in general.
Simply, they wanted more and convenient access to pussy.
To all men in the world, these Chinese boys included, women exist to be looked at and used sexually. So, I wasn’t fooled. These privileged dudes weren’t feeling sorry for women. They were feeling sorry for themselves. It was all about their entitlement.
I watched the faces of the few girls in the class when these comments were made amid the snickers of fellow male classmates. The young women’s faces reminded me of those being victimized in porn or in violent scenes in film/tv. Checked out. Blank. Knowing full well they had no escape from the misogyny of the four years of their degrees or the lifetime following graduation. Knowing that speaking up and defending themselves would unleash the hate and violence that lives in all males. They were trapped and according to Chinese culture, had to accept their fate as objects. It is rare that women speak up for themselves in China, and I’ve only ever witnessed it in one-one-one discussions or in my classes where women predominate. I feel for these young women, and I’ll stand for them as much as I can in class.
And then there was the misogyny directed towards me.
Keep in mind that both elders and teachers are *generally* still given respect in China – unlike in the West, where both older people and teachers are constantly criticized and regularly disrespected, even by small children. So when you see disrespect in China, it is a big fucking deal.
Respect in China, I’ve learned over the years, is meted out differently to men and women. As a woman, and especially as a foreign w̶h̶o̶r̶e̶ woman, I can be easily and justifiably disrespected. And I am constantly disrespected. Out of three classes I conducted during this first week alone, there were three notable instances of disrespect that no man, Chinese or foreign, would experience. Chinese women are not on par with men in this culture either, but I guarantee they are not on the receiving end of unwanted touching or solicitation in a university classroom. So upon first meeting of their university instructor, my classes of dudes gifted me with the following:
- My ownership status was questioned. In an introductory exercise meant to get students thinking about asking questions, I had my surname put on the board. They were meant to come up with: “What is your family/last name?” But no one thought of that. One dude immediately came up with “What is your husband’s name?” (I have to justify my non-married AND childless status every goddamn semester. My male counterparts don’t.) Instead of a justifiable, but unprofessional “FUCK YOU” directed at the student, I decided instead to let the boy know that the name was mine (technically, my rapist, wife-beater grandfather’s…) and that neither was I married nor did women ever need a husband. The class laughed. Of course they would. Women’s words and needs can’t be taken seriously.
- One male student tried to hug me. China is not a cross-sex touchy culture. And you definitely don’t touch strangers, even of the same sex. And no Chinese student over the age of 5 would EVER attempt to touch a teacher, especially on the first day of class. But I am a foreign woman. Thanks to misogynistic Western media (primarily American film and television) and thanks to Chinese misogyny, white women (not black or hispanic or other women of colour) are seen as sluts who are not only obsessed with sex, but who are open to being touched and fucked by every single interested male on the planet. “No” isn’t in our vocabulary. ‘Sex in the City’ is frequently watched here, and provides a model of the typical white, Western woman as public fuck toilet. As a woman who is personally well-acquainted with assault in many countries, I am hyper-vigilant about men, regardless of colour, when they are near me. Nevertheless, I’m frequently surprised by men trying to objectify me, touch me or otherwise assault me in this country. When it happens in the classroom, I get really pissed off because I am not some random, nameless stranger men can rationalize abusing by ‘othering’ me, but a teacher who, according to culture, should be automatically given a modicum of respect. One of my quite young (24), white, female colleagues has told me that the sexual disrespect from males in her classes is quite frequent. She doesn’t know how to deal with it, she admits. I would have thought that being 43, authoritative, very confident, and not overly thin or super attractive would have done the trick, but alas, it appears no woman can escape misogyny. I don’t have a lot of advice for her other than to maintain as much professional distance as possible. She isn’t paid to be either their friend or fuck toy.
- I was asked either as a joke or in seriousness (I’m still not sure, to be honest) in front of a class of 40+ young men whether I could go on a date one of the student’s room mates. I can’t even imagine such a disgusting and disrespectful question being asked publicly of a female prof in a Western university classroom setting. So experiencing this in a Chinese classroom was an incredibly huge insult. Again, no Chinese teacher or foreign male teacher would be so disrespected here.
So in short, that was my first week of teaching. I’ve accepted that every time I leave my apartment, I am at risk. I’m constantly ogled, sometimes assaulted by local men and laughed at when I vocally oppose the assault. But even in my classroom, I’m disrespected and have to be very careful about the actions of my male students towards me.
A white, British, male colleague of mine can’t for the life of him understand why his health thrives in China, but mine is actually worse than when I live in the West. (I suffer chronic depression and anxiety, and I get sick frequently as a result.) He is a white male, the ultimate symbol of power in the world. White men here, as everywhere, are on the top of the heap. Unless rich, they do have fewer rights than Chinese men, of course, simply because working foreigners have fewer rights than say, Chinese tourists in our own countries, but foreign men can walk around in safety in China.
I, on the other hand, have discovered through years of experience in China, that I represent the universal whore – the white woman. Valued for skin colour, seen as animals rather than humans because of our varying eye and hair colours, viewed as sexually insatiable and omni-available thanks to American entertainment, and not taken seriously in any professional way whatsoever. My male acquaintance and I have had very different experiences. Women of other colours are also treated very poorly, but in different ways. Race and sex interact in different ways in different parts of the world, but one thing you can count on – women ALWAYS lose.
I don’t necessarily think that the hatred men have for women has either increased or decreased over the years. What appears to be the case (and one could say this holds for every aspect of societal evolution over long periods of time) is that how the hate manifests can appear to intensify. The hate levels and proportion of infected hater population can stay the same, but the manifestations of the hate can appear to escalate in horrificity. With globalization and improvement in modes of communication and information sharing, there has definitely been a change in the spread of hatred towards women.
A handful of years ago, whilst living in rural China, a local teacher explained to me that the internet made people bad. It is still a commonly held view in China that information censorship is a good and necessary thing. My immediate reaction was to oppose her view. I like freedom of speech despite that the principle does not yet serve the oppressed like it does oppressors. We just don’t live in a world where the principle is applied equally. Oppressors (men, religious people, straight people, breeders, etc) use freedom of speech to spew hatred and perpetuate violence, while those they oppress (women, atheists, lesbians and gays, non-breeders, etc) are often censored. And I think the definition of ‘speech’ is often twisted and abused in order to include and protect violent acts like pornography that serve to hurt the oppressed and make money for the dominant class.
Communication tools can be harmful and beneficial at the same time. Unlike the Chinese teacher, I don’t think there is a simplistic and direct, one-way, causal relationship between tools and people’s goodness or badness. That is not to say they don’t influence each other. They do. I would argue that there may be more harm than good being done, but then again, I don’t think any society in our world is set up to reward good behaviour to the extent that they do bad behaviour. That is Patriarchy, and it’s not a good system for most people. The internet was created as a tool to serve Patriarchy, and while some have managed to do good things with it, it still serves its masters: men.
Anyhow, back to the people.
Assholes existed before the internet was created. Awesome people existed before the internet was created. And then came the internet. Assholes became more assholish (perhaps a few stayed the same or reformed). Lots of people found ways to become assholes thanks to this thing called ‘relative anonymity’ – one key, defining element of the internet. And many awesome people became more awesome. Some people used the internet to learn and self-improve, or help isolated people organize and overcome various hardships. Other people found convenient and rewarding outlets for their hate and self-indulgence that they never had before, or found ways to make money off peddling hate. In short, like any other tool, it is impossible to label the internet as good or bad. It made some people better, had little real effect on several folks, and it made lots of people worse. And of course, people had an effect on the internet in a myriad of ways. Cause and effect are hard to discern.
Let’s get back to the woman-hate problem.
Woman hate has existed for a long, long time. The internet has provided a means for that hatred to manifest in disturbing ways. And these manifestations are colouring human interaction in the meat world, which then continues on to affect the online world. Now, the internet has:
a) provided a common, virtual space for men to meet and bond regardless of race, age or religion in a new kind of brotherhood of hate,
b) provided a platform for manifestos and other writings advocating for hate of and violence against women that can be accessed by anyone in the world. Unlike in previous times, ‘publishing’ is no longer limited to those who can write well or think well, or who are connected enough to find a respectable publishing outlet, In essence, any dickface can jizz online and be read by millions of other dickfaces,
c) increased men’s boldness and willingness to hurt women by allowing anonymous hordes of dudes to e-threaten or e-gang rape a woman who dares speak in public. The kind of repulsive hate speech you can easily find online is like nothing we have ever seen before. These dudes far outspew historic sex-based hate writers, such as de Sade. Previously, men had few places where they could go to bond with other men over rape and sexual violence (e.g., strip clubs) and were limited to private hate at home, in the office to a certain extent, or during the clandestine paid rape of a prostitute. Before the internet, men who couldn’t find support for their hate may have suppressed or localized their violence, and may have even questioned themselves, out of fear of repercussion and lack of support. But these days, group think and group acceptance has increased male boldness and made it easier to let loose on women violently, both online and off.
d) provides unlimited access to free or inexpensive depictions of horrific sexual violence (e.g., porn, ‘edgy photo art’ and BDSM sites) for many who never before had access, including young boys. The latter are getting their sex education primarily from sites fetishizing gruesome sexual violence against women and girls. And pairing this ‘learning’ with boners and orgasms (previously not possible in public, but now possible anonymously at home) is unnervingly effective.
There is plenty more to say on that, but I’ll stop at four.
On the positive side of things, the internet has:
a) allowed abused women who have been socially isolated by patriarchal structures such as marriage and poverty to find support, strength and the courage to escape in online support groups,
b) allowed women who haven’t found a community of like-minded women in the real world to find hope and support in online communities,
c) provided knowledge of and access to feminist literature that cannot be found in most libraries due to censorship of women writers/radical material or bias towards providing published penis’ pointless pontification,
d) allowed marginalized radical feminists an outlet and a voice in the form of blogs and web sites that they themselves can control. Men still try to attack them and derail them, but women can choose how much to interact or allow on their sites. They can also choose anonymity and still speak to promote positive change. This is impossible in the real world, and many women have stayed silent in the past due to very real, constant threats to their safety at the hands of men and sometimes patriarchy-supporting handmaidens,
And of course, there are other ways women benefit from the internet.
How does it balance out? Impossible to say, exactly. The positives are encouraging and do provide help to individuals, although I doubt women are taking advantage of it in the way they need to to effect real change on a societal level.
The negatives are disturbing, and I’d hazard a guess that one of a few things will eventually happen.
1) Violence against women will become so normalized that we’ll regress as a society and end up with a repressive something-or-other akin to what Margaret Atwood depicted in her classic novel or the way things went in Iran, post-Revolution.
2) Western men will become so addicted to and distracted by the pornification of women that more controlled and focused societies (aka China) will easily take over global dominance. China is no picnic in terms of women’s status, but they are definitely not as obsessed with porn and normalized, widespread depictions of rape as the West is.
3) Highly unlikely, but I dream – women will finally wake up, get out of their Bibles and off their dance poles and say, “Enough is enough. Time for revolution. Either you’re for human rights or you’re against ’em. Pick yer side!” and shoot the whole place up. Not for the imposition of another dominance structure such as matriarchy, but for liberation from sex-based oppression.
I root for #3, but I suspect #2 is the most likely scenario. As I mentioned in another post, I increasingly find myself in the position of having to explain the American porn and sex obsession to my Chinese undergrads, Masters and PhD students. It’s what they’re learning about and are confused about in Western entertainment.
I love the internet. My life would be incredibly different and much smaller without it. But I worry. It depresses me to no end that so many men have used such a valuable and amazing tool for the most disgraceful, shameful, boring and base of power fantasies.
Before I launch into my spiel, I’ll say one thing so everyone knows I’m an equal opportunity blame doler when it comes to pointing out shitty male behaviour. No country or culture is off the hook. Of course, the majority of people often claim moral superiority for their own country or culture and spend a lot of time pointing out the faults of other countries and cultures. And of those others, those upon whom the most blame is heaped are generally women. Women are always to blame for the way misogyny manifests in their country or culture. It’s easy to blame the powerless for the misdeeds of the powerful. So, in short:
- every country and culture hates women,
- the hate manifests in different ways,
- people are generally unable to own the bullshit that happens in their own backyard, preferring to point fingers at other backyards, and
- women are forced to take responsibility for the shitty things men do in said backyards.
Okay, that out of the way, let me move on to what I wanted to talk about.
For a long time now, I’ve lived in a different backyard. It is one that no matter how long I stay in or assimilate into, I will never be allowed to belong to. Monoracial countries are like that. And this particular monoracial country is China. I teach university in China – undergrads, Masters and PhD students. China is a rough place to be in a lot of ways. It has a poor track record in the human rights department. The locals are abused, and foreign workers have severely limited rights and often must put up with very strange and abusive treatment (I’ll save for another post my experience being chained into my college staff building at night.) The people are very racist, xenophobic, traditional, and oh yeah, they hate women. But as mentioned above, they don’t really see any of this, and similar to Americans, most can’t figure out why the world hates them.
And so we get to Americans. China has a love-hate relationship with the US. Personally, I think it’s a ‘study your enemy’ type of thing. There are things they envy about the US (e.g., capitalism), there are things they absolutely hate (e.g., gun violence) and there is a shit-ton of stuff they don’t understand and have developed stereotypes and half-truths about. Even the highly educated believe that what they see in American film and television is true. It is very much like Western people believing that all Chinese know kung fu and play the cello.
One of the things that has become disturbingly and increasingly more popular as a question or topic of discussion among the undergraduates as well as the post-graduate students is what they see as the American obsession with sex. I often get asked why this is so. I also get woman-blaming questions that boil down to ‘Why are Western women such slutty whores???’ and a lot of the male students want to hug, kiss or touch me, because of course, white women are increasingly seen around the world as communal property that will pretty much fuck anyone. We WANT everyone to touch us. Thanks American television and misogyny and dangerous/misguided Third Wave Feminism. Please note that white men are not treated this way. And different racial groups are treated in different ways. You can’t take models that apply in the West and have them work in the same way in other places. And I absolutely don’t want to minimize shitty treatment of non-Chinese women of other races here in China. I am not qualified to talk about what these women experience. Anyhow, female ‘white privilege’ will be talked about in a different post.
I address the subject of Western entertainment carefully. I definitely want to talk about what is happening and make sure that people do some deep thinking about these very important issues. I also like to introduce radical feminism anywhere and everywhere I can. I do see tiny feminist stirrings in a few of the young women I teach. I like to nurture that kind of human rights thinking.
I begin by telling people that hatred of women exists in every country and culture – educated Chinese are beginning to acknowledge and feel shame over the fact that as a culture they have selectively and deliberately aborted female fetuses and killed baby girls – so they can kind of get what I’m saying.
But woman-hate manifests in different ways, I tell them. It is all based on sex. I tell them that in the US, there are some similarities. For example, as in China, Americans fetishize female ‘purity’. But in the US, while baby girls might not be left to die somewhere en masse, society is inundated with pornography. (Pornography is illegal in China – in the US it is fucking ‘free speech’ and ‘art’.) Boys are taught that women exist only for sex and that sex is owed to boys. Rape is sexy shit, and secretly, girls love it. Girls are taught that they must remain pure, but at the same time, they must be as fuckable as possible. It is confusing and dehumanizing. And what you see in mainstream media – news, TV, and film – is evidence of this fuckability mandate. The burgeoning porn and violent porn industry is becoming the number one American export. Something to be proud of.
Anyhow, I use simpler words, but I get this message across to my Chinese students. I want them to see the truth that unites what happens in their country with what happens in the US and everywhere else. That truth being ‘woman hate’.
I also challenge their ideas about television and film. Most of my students tell me that they learn about American culture (meaning ‘all Western culture’) from what they watch. Most can’t afford to travel, so they learn from whatever materials they can get their hands on. So most educated Chinese take what they see on TV and in movies literally. Everyone is rich and beautiful and fucking is the most important thing in life. So I ask them, “Do you believe everything you see in Chinese TV and film? Does everyone do Kung Fu in China like Jackie Chan (Chan Kong-sang)?” They say, “Of course not! That’s crazy!” Then I ask, “Then why would you believe everything you see in American TV and film? Just like Chinese media, it is just entertainment.” That stops them. They think about it. And they realize that TV and film are not educational materials.
I hate being put in a position where I have to defend American culture – especially as a non-American, and especially as a feminist. Some things, I’m happy to talk about. I did post-graduate education in the US and many of my most excellent human-rightsy, hippie friends are American. I have good memories of living there, and I love many things about being there. I’ll talk about volunteer work and hippies and human rights protests. These are positive things about the US. The entertainment world is NOT one of those things, however, and I think it’s only getting worse. Having seen and experienced the impact in developing countries of the mainstream shit that is churned out in the US, and having been at the receiving end of ‘white chicks are rapeable sluts’ in Western and developing countries (which I think is a very serious outcome of what is going on in popular culture), I worry. I worry a lot. And I truly hope these American ‘values’ are not adopted and promulgated elsewhere.
The only thing I can do is make sure dialogue occurs and try to get people to think on a deeper level about what misogyny is and the power it has to destroy all cultures.