China, Sex and Prostitution: Telling Tales (Routledgecurzon Studies on China in Transition, 18)

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There is another story about Wang Yantao and his wife, both of whom were middle-class people working in stable government jobs and were diagnosed with HIV. Like many rising government officials in China, Wang engaged in guanxi -building and yingchou — which included having unprotected sex with sex workers — as part of the process of climbing the political and economic ladders of success.

Wang was unaware of the potential biological risks his behavior could place on himself, his wife, and other partners, partly because a powerful, wealthy man like him, despite his behavior, is not considered at-risk in public health discourses. Global research and interventions associate HIV vulnerability with marginalized members of society such as injection drug users, commercial sex workers, and homosexual males. Elite members of society such as government officials and businessmen do not fit into the definition of an at-risk population. The role of elites in HIV transmission is also neglected in the discourse of the prevention of heterosexual infection, which targets the women who sell sex but not the men who fuel the demand for the commercial sex industry.


This paradox further increased risks of infection for the elite men who participate in sexual networking. Conflicts between informal governance and formal governmentality in post-Mao China often drives the sexual component of yingchou further underground. The informal everyday practices of governing the distribution of state-resources encourage Chinese businessmen and government officials to engage in casual sex. At the same time, such action is officially prohibited by the Chinese government. As a result, men who were unofficially obligated to solicit commercial sex as part of the process of achieving political and social success had to simultaneously cover up such activities because they were illegal and against Communist Party ideals.

Uretsky points out that the official public discourses also avoid discussing the potential vulnerability of the men involved in governing China to the risk of HIV infection because of the threat it poses to party ideals.

UB: 31 Chinese, arestado sa raid sa prostitution den; 51 Chinese sex workers, na-rescue

Such competing discourses create challenges for HIV prevention. Businessmen and government officials who were at risk for infection were not willing to approach any government-sponsored or quasi-government medical institutions for diagnosis or treatment for the fear of risking their positions and status. Instead, many sought internet information and AIDS hotlines for self-diagnosis and left themselves and their partners vulnerable to infection.

It remains to be seen whether and how the cultures of guanxi and yingchou are resilient enough to outlast these social and political changes. While creativity has become a key resource crucial for national economic transformation, global markets, and geopolitical competition, China has been viewed both domestically and internationally as relatively weak with regards to creativity and innovation, partly due to its test-oriented education system Kuan Chumley spent and in the Chinese cities of Jinan and Beijing, and parts of , , and in Beijing, observing art classes, conducting interviews with students and faculty, and engaging in participant observation among people who participated in the arts in those cities.

Based on this research, Chumley explores how creation and creativity are cultivated in art schools in China. The drastic transformations of the art schools over the course of past twenty years also reflect an evolving marketized economic system in China. The fine arts gradually became less prestigious than industrial arts and new disciplines of design that are oriented to market practice, even as pedagogy in state institutions became less valued than practice in the market and pursuit of moneymaking.

The expansion of higher education and the suburbanization of colleges also weakened the intimacy and strong networks between mentors and students in art schools. Chumley explains that studying art was a way for students with unsatisfactory grades to overcome the increased competition and pressure of college admissions, because the scores required for art schools were lower than the scores for academic schools.

Consequently, art test fever was not an outcome of passion for art and design, or desire for aesthetic pursuits, but rather a pragmatic strategy by which students and families sought an edge in the competition for college admissions. Chumley notices that the test prep industry has reduced training in socialist realist genres to merely the standardized manual-technical skills to be tested. Neither the aesthetic significance, nor the political and historical meanings e. As an art school directly preparing students for careers in the arts, the Central Academy of Fine Arts taught students skills that more closely matched what careers in the arts might entail.

One of those skills involved the cultivation of individualism, which has become increasingly valorized in China. In creativity classes, students engage in group critique to learn marketing skills of discursively participating in the meaning making of their art object and developing a recognizable personal style. She observes that political art themes and discourses were discouraged in these creativity classes.

The instructing professors made clear that the art pieces produced should not be political but personal. Through a series of examples from education policy, art pedagogy and various aesthetic communities in China, Chumley illustrates the contradictions of creativity cultivation and practices in China. Tensions between families, art institutions, and test prep industries give rise to an art test system that reinforced the skills of memorization and reproduction that are counterproductive to the value of creativity that the education system intends to cultivate.

Teachers who grew up in a monologic cultural system were responsible for teaching creativity to students whom they simply regarded as uncreative and impassionate for creative cultural work.


Chinese art students were instructed to find themselves in order to socialize into diverse aesthetic communities and produce values for others. Despite these forces, Chumley argues that many students in her study were able to overcome years of potential creativity-suppressing training and succeed in producing radically different forms of artwork.

By exploring the interplay between change and continuity, ethnographies of contemporary Chinese society highlight the contradictions that have emerged as Chinese citizens negotiate between globalization, national policies, market competition, historical continuities, local cultures, and emerging individual identities.

Fong , Amherst College. Chumley, Lily. Kipnis, Andrew B. Uretsky, Elanah. Allison, Anne. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Bregnbaek, Susanne. Fong, Vanessa L. Gaetano, Arianne, and Tamara Jacka, eds.

Jacka, Tamara. Sharpe, Jankowiak, William. Sex, Death, and Hierarchy in a Chinese City. New York: Columbia University Press, Credentialism and career aspirations: How urban Chinese youth chose high school and college majors. Comparative Education Review 60 2 , Kipnis, Andrew.

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    Yang, Mayfair Mei-Hui. European anthropologists usually referred to these people as berdaches , which Natives considered a slur. There is archaeological evidence that trans- or third-gender individuals existed in California years ago at rates comparable to those at which they exist among indigenous peoples there in the modern era, [80] [81] and archaeological and ethnographic evidence suggests third-gender categories may be of great antiquity in North America overall; Barbara Voss suggests they may go back to the first migrations of people from eastern Asia and Siberia over 10, years ago.

    During the colonial period a European system of beliefs and values was imposed on the First Nations and enforced among the colonists.

    Transgender history - Wikipedia

    In , the arrival of Esther Brandeau , a Jewish girl disguised as a boy using the male pseudonym Jacques La Fargue, caused a minor scandal in Quebec City. In , sexual orientation and gender identity were included in the Northwest Territories Human Rights Act. In March , the House of Commons passed Bill C to officially extend human rights protections to trans people in Canada.

    In December , legislator Estefania Cortes-Vargas came out as non-binary in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta during a debate over the inclusion of transgender rights in the provincial human rights code. In , gender identity or expression was added to the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Since August , Canadians can indicate that they are neither male nor female on their passports, using an 'x' marker.

    In several pre-Columbian communities across Mexico, anthropologists and colonial accounts document acceptance of third-gender categories. The Zapotec people of Oaxaca have a third gender role for muxe s, people who dress, behave and perform work otherwise associated with the other binary gender ; [] [] [] vestidas wear feminine clothes, while pintadas wear masculine clothes but also makeup and jewellery.

    Thomas ine Hall , an English-born servant in Virginia, reported being both a man and a woman and adopted clothes and roles of each at different times until ordered by a court in to wear both men's breeches and a woman's apron; Hall is thought to have been intersex and is cited as an early example of "a gender nonconforming individual in colonial America". In , the Public Universal Friend born Jemima Wilkinson reported being genderless, dressed androgynously, and asked followers gained while preaching throughout New England over the next four decades not to use that birth name or gendered pronouns; [] some scholars have called the Friend a chapter in trans history "before [the word] 'transgender'".

    During the Civil War, over people who had been assigned female at birth donned men's clothing and fought as soldiers; some lived the rest of their lives as men and are thought by some to have been transgender, such as Albert Cashier.

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    In the late s, We'wha was a Zuni lhamana , a member of a group of male-assigned third-gender people. In , We'wha became friends with anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson and became a prominent cultural ambassador, visiting Washington, D. In a group of self-described androgynes in New York organized a club called the Cercle Hermaphroditos , "to unite for defense against the world's bitter persecution". American jazz musician and bandleader Billy Tipton assigned female at birth in lived as a man from the s until his death, [] while socialite and chef Lucy Hicks Anderson insisted as a child that she was a girl and was supported by her parents and doctors and later by the Oxnard, California community in which she was a popular hostess from the s to s.

    Hart was one of the first trans men to undergo a hysterectomy and gonadectomy , and later became a pioneering physician and radiologist. The possibility of someone changing sex became widely known when Christine Jorgensen in became the first person widely publicized as undergoing sex reassignment surgery. In the late s and s, modern transgender and gay activism began with the Cooper Do-nuts Riot in Los Angeles, Compton's Cafeteria riot in San Francisco, and a defining event in gay and transgender activism, the Stonewall Riots in New York.

    The s and s saw organizations devoted to transgender social activities or activism come and go, including activist Lou Sullivan's FTM support group that grew into FTM International , the leading advocacy group for trans men. The s saw the establishment of Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those lost to violence, Paris is Burning documenting gay and trans New York ball culture , transgender marches and parades around the time of Pride celebrations, and—increasingly in the s and after—the visibility of transgender people rose, with actress Laverne Cox being on the cover of TIME [] [] [] and Caitlyn Jenner coming out in , [] becoming, according to many news outlets, the most famous openly trans American.

    Organizations such as the Girl Scouts [] and the Episcopal Church announced acceptance of transgender members [] in the s.

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    In , the Obama administration issued guidance that clarified Title IX protections for transgender students, the most well-known being allowing trans students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.