The rise of new feminism in the current Chinese Popular Culture

At first, I wanted to explore the topic of the job situation of Chinese young people, then I try to find the urban movies and TV series about young people’s job. However, I discovered that most of the highly popular Chinese television drama and movies in recent years I found are about women’s career and life. For example, the TV show “Go Lala Go” played on the Sohu website which is a Chinese video website after14 days, total amount of play was more than 100 million times, the playback volume has exceeded 10 million in a day, created the website record for “the highest level of play” and “play the fastest-rising” (ent.news.cn, para.1). And the TV serials “Ugly Wudi” was showed on September 28, 2008, it got highest ratings for Hunan satellite TV for 4 years (media.people.com.cn, para.1). In addition, these TV dramas have a common characteristic is that reflected the feminism. TV shows as a cultural product, they not only tell the story to the audiences, and disseminate the underlying values. In recent years, the feminist dramas get Chinese audience’s favorite, because of the improvement of women’s status in China. Therefore, I focused on feminist films and television shows, because these TV shows reflect the characteristics of contemporary Chinese young women. Then, I will focus on the two aspects which are women’s appearances and career to analyze Chinese films and TV dramas in recent years how to reflect these characteristics.

Appearances

There is a Chinese proverb “Those who please other people with their appearance will get less and less love when their beauty fade away”. However, women’s beautiful appearance and the female body are often as a commercial selling point of a movie or a TV show. In fact, this reflects the unfair treatment for women, because the female body and appearance have been regarded as a kind of consumer products. Therefore, most women in the TV series are sexy and beautiful, it is to attract male viewers. For example, Lust, Caution is a 2007 espionage erotic thriller film directed by Ang Lee. The content of this movie is a group of Chinese university students from the Lingnan University who plot to assassinate a high-ranking special agent and recruiter of the puppet government Mr. Yee using an attractive young woman Wang Jiazhi to lure him into a trap. This movie is not very old, but it reflects the idea is old. First, actress Wang Jiazhi use seduction for killing a traitor. I think it also reflects the discrimination for women. Because these students can use a variety of ways to kill the agents, why they must choose seduction. This seems to mean that women are weak, only the beautiful appearance is the characteristic of women. Second, there are three pornographic parts in the movie. The purpose is to titillate audience. Maybe many people would say that this movie is an art, but I have to say that many people watch this movie just for porn clips. It illustrates women’s body are already as a physical commodity, used to stimulate the public’s consumption. Therefore, the expression of the movie is an unfair treatment for women.20071030134107777dd

 

However, the urban movies are totally different. These dramas are not concerned about a woman’s looks, but they more focus on showing women’s ability. For example, a popular teleplay which names “ugly Wudi”. The actress is a graduate graduated from the famous university in China, and her major is Financial. However, she cannot find a job because of her appearance. She looks ugly. She is fat and has explosion style hair and big buck teeth. In addition she always wear a pair of glasses and old-fashion clothes. In fact, ugly heroine is hard to receive the audiences’ favorite, but this role is still loved by the audiences, because of her upbeat personality, diligent attitude and problem solving skills. Even though she met a lot of problem, she never give up. She still votes resume to many companies. Finally, she is admitted to a well-known advertising company, which names “Gainian”. She is admitted as a secretary of the president. Whereas, her ugly appearance makes her be excluded by her workmates. She does not have friends, and they often laugh at her because of her appearance and apparel. However, she does not care about other people’s sights. She just work hard. Finally, she tries her best and use her advantages of professional and personality. She got success in career. In addition, due to her efforts, she also helped the company get $ 40 million profit a year. Thi01300000168284122304564314547s T
V show was loved by many Ch
inese audiences, because a lot of people think Wudi is an inspirational example. Because most people are ordinary looks, after watching this TV show, audiences would believe that ordinary people can gain success and love, if we work hard and never give up. Therefore, in this TV show, the concerns of the people are not a woman’s appearance and body shape. They focus on the role Lin Wudi ‘s ability and spirit. Therefore, this shows the improvement of the status of women, because it reflects female no longer only have the appe
arance, like avase, women also have the ability.

 

Career

In the Chinese tradition, male is the leading force for social development, so male is the dominator, women should dependent on men. Therefore, women do not need a job, they just need to take care of her husband and children. Therefore, there is a stereotype for women in Chinese TV show and movie. That is if the woman married, family is the core of her life. If an unmarried girl, love is the most important thing for her. There is an example. The movie “Painted Skin” is a 2008 supernatural-fantasy film directed. This film is not old, but it has a stereotype of women. There is a role of the General’s wife and her name is Pei, Rong. The role of Pei Rong is designed totally according to male perspective which is a wife should serve for her husband. 10080889So Pei, Rong is a virtuous wife and she has a beautiful and dignified
appearance. She stay at home every day and wait her husband return after he win the fighting victory. When her husband came back with another woman, she did not complain. She chose to make her husband and the woman get married for the sake of her husband happiness. The woman’s whole life is for husband. The film embodies cultural expectation of traditional female role.Women do not have their rights; they need to obey their husband. Everything she does is for her husband, without taking into account her feelings. Audience thinks thiswoman is pathetic, but it also reflects the stereotype of women in the movies.

 

Here I will use an movie “Go Lala Go” compare with the “Painted Skin”. I mainly focus on the heroine, du Lala. She is a young woman who has just started work. When she was just graduated, she found a job which was a small private enterprise. She was not satisfied with this job and her boss often harass young women, so she went to the job interview of DB company which is a world-wide Fortune 500 company. Because Du Lala got a good education, she get this job. She worked in a big company is not easy, and she encountered a lot of difficulties, like she need to plan company relocation, but she worked hard, and never give up. Finally, she was promoted from secretary to HR manager and she fall in love with a sales manager Wang Wei. The most important thing is there is a policy in this company, an employee who work in this company cannot get married and fall in love with another employee who also work in this company. Du Lala did not like traditional Chinese women choose to love, she chose to the career, so she broke up with Wang Wei. Therefore, this film reflects love, family, and the man is no longer the focus of her life. Women are independent and they can have their own career. The film reflectedthe new feminism. Women are independent, they have equal U7481P1276DT20120703092843status and career aspiration. Because Du Lala chose to break up with her boyfriend, it means women is not chosen by man, so the status of women and men are more equal. After watching this movie, maybe many women want to be like her. The reason is the female independence the role have is our desire. There the movie illustrate what the feminism is Chinese young women think.

In conclusion, although Chinese film and television show still exist the stereotype of women. Even not all of the TV series and movies as well as these two teleplay and movie which the narrative main line is about women. However, TV show and movies are a reflection of real life, the status of Chinese women has improved in real life, so these popular urban TV series and modern movie also have the emergence of feminism. Therefore, the feminism of the TV shows or movies reflects and transmit the modern values.

References:

Go Lala Go get high ratings. (2010, August 9). Retrieved from http://ent.news.cn/2010-08/09/c_12425188.htm

Luo, X. (2012, June). Research on the images of “superwomen” of “Work place play” during New Century. Retrieved from http://www.doc88.com/p-2806684542612.html

Qian, Q. (2012, April 15). The Study of female images in Chinese metropolis films in the new century. Retrieved from http://www.doc88.com/p-1488575813664.html

Why TV shows Ugly Wudi is popular. (2009, February 19). Retrieved from http://media.people.com.cn/GB/22114/45733/146913/8835395.html

Learning moments:

This is my first time take online class. I have learned this class ten week and I got many new knowledges. There are my two significant learning moments. First, I think the course blog is most useful for me. Because I need to post my initial responses according to those questions of course blog every week, it can push me to think. If I read the course texts, I just read the new information. However, if I need to write blog, I will combine book knowledge and our own experience in thinking. In addition, I can read classmates’ blog and get classmates’ response, it is beneficial to me understand different people’s opinions and expanded my views. For example, we discussed the topic of advertising. I found a Chinese tradition makeup ad to prove advertisements can contribute and reflect our traditional culture and fashion value. Another classmate agreed my opinions; she post an old period ad about man tie. I really like it, because it is helpful for me to look back American ad history. And I get the recognition of the students, I feel very happy. Therefore, this is my most significant moments.

The second significant moment is week 7, I learned how to analyze whether a news story is newsworthy. I can follow these points, timeliness, proximity, prominence, significance currency, controversy, uniqueness, emotional Appeal. These points are easy to remember and understand. Now, when I read a news, I am not only concerned about whether the content is interesting, sometimes I will consider the newsworthy. This helps me learn not to blindly accept the information. Therefore, this is also an important learning moment for me.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The rise of new feminism in the current Chinese Popular Culture

  1. Hi Zhao liu,

    This was an interesting read. I like how you compare T.V shows and movies that stereotype women to ones that do not. It’s nice to hear about feminist T.V shows. I had no idea there was a show called “Ugly Wudi” but it sounds a lot like a T.V show I watched growing up called “Betty, La Fea” which got an American adaptation called “Ugly Betty”. I’m fond of both shows and it’s interesting to hear about a show that seems to be a Chinese version (maybe I’ll watch it).

  2. Hi Zhao,

    I really like your topic the rise of new feminism in the current Chinese Popular Culture. I have watch those medias that you chose to support your topic. When I was young, I hope that I could be a successful women as Du Lala, because she work hard, clever and brave. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I want to ask you a question, why you choose the Lust, Caution a your supporting idea? I think this kind of movie is barefaced.

    Thanks for your posting.

  3. Hi Zhao,
    Your paper is incredibly researched and analyzed! Well done! I love the stereotypes you pointed out in Lust, Caution but I think you could have applied those stereotypes in a different movie since that genre of movies is not supportive of your point if you see what I mean.

  4. Hi Zhao!
    I love what you changed about you paper! I remember reading it in the group assessments! I love the subject and think that you did a great job. I didn’t realize how similar feminism was in China and in America. You have so many interesting points. I also liked the media you used. I didn’t realize they had shows like that and I wonder why america hasn’t made some tv shows like those since we are always into life changing shows like those.
    Good job!

  5. I think you did a great job on your blog. I think you got your point across well and I think it is an interesting topic. Feminism in America has been a huge topic of controversy for years now and I never realized that it was a huge problem in other countries as well. It looks like you put a lot of thought and time into your blog and did a lot of research on your topic. Great job Zhao!

  6. Hello Zhao,

    It is interesting that you pick this topic and tell people how another side of the world sees feminism.
    I like how you cite the sources of the time period from very old to very recent, and I can definitely see the comparison between them in your paper. It is true that the stereotype of wives need to dedicated her entire life to their husbands we have in Asia that has been around for decades still existed. Fortunately, the media and popular culture has changed people’s perspective of what feminism is and being open minded about it till this era. Good job!

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