China’s “comment posting culture”, free speech and the Li Yinhe controversy – David Bandurski

From China Media Project:

As the latest public personality in China to be verbally attacked en masse by web users and become a media hot topic, sociologist (李银河, blog ) is feeling the force of creeping social change in the country. She is playing an unenviable role, you might say, in the dress rehearsal for free speech in China, the revolutionary idea that all Chinese have the right to speak their own mind and make their own decisions about what is truth.

On July 21 Li Yinhe, a sociologist and well-known expert on sex and gender (who proposed for a third time this year that gay marriage be legalized in China), presented a talk in Nanjing in which she reportedly discussed everything from one-night stands to incest. Nanjing's Jinling Evening News ran what most now agree was a news report with a negative spin on July 23, and suggested Li had said in her talk that she had a "desire for multiple romantic relationships" (Li later told Y Weekend her words had been taken out of context, that she was expressing not a personal wish but rather a hope for social diversity). [Full Text]

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