China has banned “sissy” effeminate men from being on TV, insisting broadcasters must only “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture”.
According to the Associated Press, the official instruction to broadcasters on Thursday (2 September) is part of a “national rejuvenation” campaign by president Xi Jinping to enforce traditional “morality” by tightening government control of business and society.
The government’s TV regulator said broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal aesthetics” on screen, and used an insulting term for effeminate men – “niang pao”, which translate as “girlie guns”.
Officials are reportedly concerned about the influence of the K-pop aesthetic in South Korea and Japan.
Broadcasters should no longer promote “vulgar internet celebrities” or any figure that has “lost morality”, and instead should “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture”, the government said.
The new rules in China come as the government increasingly expresses concern over the decline of traditional “masculinity”.
Earlier this year, the education ministry in China announced it was planning to increase PE classes and sports in schools to boost the “masculinity” of “effeminate” boys.
Following the announcement, feminist scholar Li Jun said: “The proposal has represented some stereotypes in China on male masculinity, which is against gender equality and diversity, as it sees being effeminate as negative and dangerous while masculinity is useful to the Chinese nation.”
The country has also seen boot camps open, claiming to turn young boys into “real men”.
Former teacher Tang Haiyan founded a programme in Beijing called the “Real Man Training Club”, where boys as young as seven run topless in temperatures of -10 C.
China has been cracking down on online LGBT+ content
China has recently seen a crackdown on LGBT+ online content.
Earlier this year, it was reported that WeChat, which like QQ is also owned by Tencent, had been “wiping out” LGBT+ accounts, prompting fears that the move was part of a wider crackdown.
This week, the hugely popular messaging platform QQ banned the words “gay”, “lesbian” and “LGBTQ“, claiming that they are “harmful”.
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