Woman of the Week: Anti-Corruption Warrior Princess

反腐女战士 (fǎn-fǔ nǚ zhànshì): anti-corruption warrior princess

Sarcastic title given to Guo Meimei and Lu Xingyu in the summer of 2011. Both women claimed to work for charities while at the same time flaunting their considerable wealth online. Outrage over their lifestyles of conspicuous consumption served as a rallying cry against corruption while causing great mistrust of charities.

Guo Meimei

Guo Meimei (Rebel Pepper/变态辣椒)

Guo Meimei in particular was the cause of considerable controversy because she claimed to work for the Red Cross Society of China and was later proven to be the mistress of a top charity official. The phenomenon of mistresses in China receiving expensive gifts and well-paying jobs has directed public anger towards the mistresses and their sugar daddies, who are often government officials. Guo has done lasting damage to the Red Cross, as witnessed after earthquakes in 2013 and 2014.

Lu Xingyu, the daughter of tycoon Lu Junqing, was running the China-Africa Project Hope, a charity building schools in Africa. An investigation by the Southern Metropolis Daily found a number of lies perpetuated by the organization, including affiliation with the United Nations. Chagrined netizens took to calling Ms. Lu “Lu Meimei,” after Ms. Guo.

The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.