1. #1
    Stood in the Fire Heran's Avatar
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    To fight K-pop’s influence in China, a club teaches young boys to be alpha males


    It is 14 degrees the morning two dozen boys gather at a Beijing park to be transformed into alpha males. A reluctant winter sun casts silver light between treacherously cold shadows. The wind bites, worsening nerves as the boys — the youngest 7 — prepare to strip to their waists for a run.

    One of the watching mothers is worried. She wants her son to grow into a macho male, but it’s so cold. She tells him he can keep his shirt on, or perhaps skip the run through Olympic Forest Park.

    This is the kind of “feminine” parenting that coach Tang Haiyan fears can ruin boys. Tang, a former schoolteacher, founded the Real Man Training Club to combat what he and others in China see as a masculinity crisis — part of a backlash against the makeup- and earring-wearing male TV, film and pop idols who have gained immense popularity here.

    “If you are promoting these effeminate figures,” Tang said, “it’s a calamity for our country.”

    In a nation where men dominate political and business leadership and campaigns for gender equality have gained little traction, the debate over what is “effeminate” has become a popular pastime among older conservative residents, and mostly among men.

    Influenced by K-pop idols in Korea, China’s boy bands and celebrities — with their delicate beauty, dyed hair and haute couture wardrobes — have a massive following among women here. But China’s state-run media condemns the young idols, calling them “sissy pants" and “fresh young meat.”

    The backlash deepened after a back-to-school TV program featured the boy band F4. Angry parents attacked the Education Ministry’s decision to hold up the cosmetics-wearing young men as role models; state media warned that a “sick” and “decadent” culture threatened the future of the nation. This year, a Chinese videostreaming website started blurring earrings worn by men.

    “The gender stereotyping is not just about gender identity itself,” said an author and researcher on Chinese masculinity. “It’s about the reproduction of the nation and how to properly cultivate the next generation.”

    Song Geng of the University of Hong Kong said the fear partly reflects deep-seated insecurity about Chinese power, after historical humiliations such as the opium wars and domination of Chinese rulers by foreign imperial powers.

    “They’re worrying that if Chinese men are so effeminate… then we will become a weak country in future and we cannot compete with our rivals,” he said. “There’s anxiety about the virility of the nation being harmed by those effeminate male images.”

    Screenwriter Wang Hailin says the young men resemble male prostitutes sought after by some affluent older women. “We need to be aware of this effeminacy before it’s too late and deal with it,” said Wang, 48.

    He has berated fellow screenwriters, saying they portray men as “wimps, cowards, losers and idiots” and that China should look to Hollywood for strong alpha male characters.

    “It’s created the impression that Chinese men are all weak, irresponsible and indifferent,” he warned. “Male actors represent national ideology. We cannot encourage the younger generation to look up to them as role models.”

    Chinese military leaders seem to share fears about the nation’s men, with the army newspaper People’s Liberation Army Daily complaining that 20% of recruits were not fit enough to pass the fitness test for admission because they were overweight, watched too many cellphone videos, drank too much or masturbated too often.
    https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-...426-story.html

  2. #2
    Ok, I know this is clickbait and I'm falling for it, however anytime a guy uses the term "Real Man", especially when he is referring to himself, that person is insecure about his masculinity.

    Maybe someone should give China the memo to not to look to Hollywood for strong alpha male types as that is the last place I would look. I would personally look at the male that is taking care of his children(either by providing through work or time spent and not running away) or one that can take care of themselves(if they are alone). A strong male, in my opinion, is one who doesn't blame others for their own faults and is willing to take responsibility for their own actions.

    The most ironic part about this is that China wants to form a national identity for their men by having look at other cultures, especially the west.

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