Part Girl, Part Boy And Proud – Jonathan Ansfield

373_li.jpg CDT’s Jonathan Ansfield wrote the following for his Biganzi column:

Boyish Supergirl Li Yuchun made androgyny a sexy subject in China. Celeb social critics Li Yinhe and Yu Dan, plenty butch in their own right, helped to affirm the trend. Never mind that for women in Mao’s , gender ambiguity was the rule. Today it’s the rage.

Now a new survey lends evidence to suggest that it’s a growing psychological phenomenon. In a poll of 800 female students from universities around Shanghai, released there last week at an academic forum on women’s issues, 31.5 percent identified themselves as part-male, part-female in temperament, Shanghai’s Wenhui Bao reported. Compared to a similar study of women born in the seventies that was conducted in 1998, about twice as many of the eighties generation (80Âêé) were designated androgynous (shuangxinghuaÂèåÊÄßÂåñ; the formal term is cixiong tongti ÈõåÈõÑÂêå‰Ωì)

Experts point to the competitiveness of the times as an explanation, according to the : Chinese girls grow up knowing they need to be more “firm” and “self-assertive” to compete. (The paper didn’t say how the survey classified the boys from the girls.)

A more deep-seated factor may be the one-child policy. At heart, the theory goes, some Chinese single-child parents have always wished their girls could be boys. With everyone from Supergirl Li to retiring “Iron Lady” Wu Yi as model gender-benders, it’s also a more popular thing to be.

Middle-roader politics reign within the Party nowadays, marked by wishy-washy leaders and a more balanced-sounding policy platform. Why can’t the androgynous rule the battle of the sexes?

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