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Guangdong Anti-Smoking Campaign Compares a Penis to a Gun

Posted: 05/26/2014 5:30 pm

anti smoking campaignIf you’re not familiar with reading Chinese, you may see the above graphic and think, “Oh, it must be a factoid about guns or gun violence.” And why not? It has a gun with the barrel bent down, and the statistic of “40%”, so it’s only reasonable to assume there must be a correlation between all these things.

However, that’s not what the graphic says. Translated from Chinese, this is what’s written:

Smoking Leads to Male Impotence

People who smoke more than one pack a day
will be more at risk
than non-smokers
by more than

Maybe the cultural divide is still too great and the message still isn’t getting through, so we’ll bluntly put it this way: this anti-smoking campaign is comparing men’s penises to a gun, and that smoking will reduce the effectiveness of your substitute killing machine by causing your rigid, burly barrel to go limp.

Just as guns must have straight barrels to shoot out their bullets, we are shown this metaphor that the penis must also remain virile to shoot out its sperm in the proper direction. I mean, just look at those wiggle lines drawn next to the wilting barrel—you don’t want wiggle lines next to your penis, do you?

This graphic was published on the Weibo account of the Southern Metropolis Daily and was accompanied by several fascinating bits of trivia to educate the Guangdong public against the dangers of cigarettes.

For example, quiz yourself with these interesting facts:

  • A study of 7,345 junior high school students showed that 9.9% of all respondents had been exposed to cigarette smoke, thus diminishing the capacity of their developing guns
  • Male students were five times more susceptible to smoking than female students
  • Experts warn that the low cost of cigarettes is boosting the trend of smoking among adolescents, and recommend raising the price in order to help protect gun caches in pants across the nation

Strangely, the NF Daily article linked to by the Weibo post is about adolescent cigarette use and has nothing to do with male impotence, guns or a Robert Rodriguez-type hybridization of the two, leading us to wonder where this gun metaphor came from.

We can only hope that an epidemic of “limp barrels” does not afflict the population of China because there clearly isn’t enough endangered tiger penis and rhinoceros horn to help heal all the crooked shooters in China.

Photos: Southern Metropolis Daily via Weibo

  • ilhamJan

    so don’t expect one with Chinese root understands Chinese culture. In Chinese, gun, especially steel gun, is like a slang to penis. Masturbation is called shooting pistol in Chinese. What is even more troubling than this under-researched article is the fact that I read it through…

    • charlesliu

      Masturbation is not called “shooting pistol” in Chinese, but rather “shooting at aircraft”, a WWII metaphor because self-gratification has to do with fighting imperialism. Obviously.

      It still doesn’t change the fact that the metaphor likens a penis to a gun (spear for non-gunpowder types), but then what else would you use to shoot at when trying to aim for the “flower vases” that are the metaphor for women.

      As said in the propaganda for Viagra, “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition”.

      EDIT: Did I just correct someone on the word for masturbation? Maybe you’re doing it wrong.

      • ilhamJan

        打手枪(shooting pistol) and 打飞机(shooting at aircraft) is interchangeable in Chinese.

        You are right pointing out that penis is traditionally likened to spear, as in 金枪不倒(golden spear that doesn’t bend?). The metaphor is passed down to guns as guns and spears shares the same word in Chinese.

        Just as golden spear that doesn’t bend being metaphorical to a potent penis, the gun in the ad in question, is subliminal to a less potent one. Any Chinese, or people familiar with Chinese language, should be able to understand it. I personally like the ad quite a lot.

        p.s. Doing sth wrong indicates lack of practice, which in this case implies a….should I say, less pathetic life style.

        • charlesliu

          Pretty sure no ones uses the term “打手枪” to indicate the shooting of a handgun, otherwise no one would take the current crop of armed police patrol seriously, same as no one really uses the latter term to describe “shooting at planes” except as a gaming app.

          Won’t dispute historic tradition of comparing one’s penis to a spear as well as the many glorious colorful idioms involved, and yet the association remains despite there being a ban on guns in China; despite guns not being a part of people’s lives in China barring CS zealots.

          You’re basically saying comparing a penis to a gun is okay because it’s traditional.

          PS Masturbation is immoral? Guess it’s much more ethical to have mistresses and use prostitutes — seeing as it’s a less pathetic life style.

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