The Nanfang / Blog


Chinese slang ‘diaosi’ causing social instability: official

Posted: 02/24/2014 9:27 am

Aside from a deteriorating environment, a widening wealth gap and many other social issues facing China, the viral use of Diaosi, a term originated from the Internet referring to a poor, unattractive, young man holed up all day playing video games, is also fueling social instability, according to Cai Guoxuan, vice president of Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences.

According to Cai, the use of Diaosi, a crude translation of a male’s private part, can not only result in an individual’s moral degradation, but also lead to social instability and uncertainty, Nanfang Daily reported on February 21.

In addition, the prevalence of the use of the term is also causing a failure of communication between people, and will adversely “corrupt our rationality and logical thinking,” said Cai.

Diaosi, initially an insult for a loser, has been widely embraced by youngsters in China over the past couple of years. It has become a self-deprecating counter to the use of Gao Fu Shuai, meaning tall, rich and handsome in English. Today, the term has largely become an emblem for today’s underdogs, losers and everyday men, ifeng said in an article sourcing its origin.

The question is, can the use of terms like Diaosi really cause social unrests like Cai claims?

Red Net, the official news portal in Hunan Province, gave it a resounding No and called Cai’s views “ludicrous”. The emergence and prevalence of the term nonetheless reflects today’s youth, who are increasingly frustrated with social inequalities, according to the news portal.

It wrote: “Aside from self-mockery, people are increasingly feeling the pressure from buying houses, finding jobs and more…While Fu Er Dai (second generation of the rich) and Guan Er Dai (second generation of the officials) can easily bank on their connections and powers to get more opportunities. The others that don’t have the resources to brandish their high-ranking fathers or money can only surrender to the reality and accept mediocrity, thus giving rise to the use of Diaosi.

One netizen called Zodiac 1981 chipped in on Sina Weibo and said the real cause of social instability is not the two Chinese characters Diaosi, but the other two Chinese characters called Te Quan, meaning special privileges in English.

“When power and money were out of the question, and people could get equal opportunities through their own hard work, then Gao Fu Shuai wouldn’t become so alluring and Diaosi wouldn’t feel so shameful,” wrote Red Net.

Home page photo credit: Ministry of Tofu

  • Zen my Ass

    Social inequalities have always existed: the internet has made them visible.

  • terroir

    Ooooh. If only there was a word that existed for that particularly feeling I have right now. It’s part condescension, part exasperation, part paying attention to the man hiding behind the curtain, and part cringeworthiness in response to all of this.

    Oh wells. I guess with no word to describe this, I’ll just have to go on, bereft of being able to adequately tell my fellow man.

    I suppose all I can do is wait for the proper conditions to allow for schadenfreude.

  • Pingback: Links of the day | 在网上找到 | renaissance chambara | Ged Carroll

Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV