The Nanfang / Blog

Controversial Class Teaches Women to Have “Absolute Obedience” to Husbands

Posted: 09/30/2014 10:30 am

Women attending one of the Women’s Virtue Classes

Dongguan has cancelled a class that taught women to tolerate domestic violence after critics said the class was chauvinistic and twisted traditional Chinese culture, New Express Daily reported.

The controversial “Women’s Virtue Class” that targeted women from teenage girls to women in their 70s had asked its students to strictly adhere to its four basic principles: never fight back when beaten, never talk back when verbally assaulted, take it as it as and never file for divorce.

The class came to light after a women’s organization went undercover at the school, Tencent reported. Song Yuping, a student that took the class, said she was taught a woman can suffer from headaches, arthritis, heart disease and thrombosis if she does not care for her father-in-law and husband. Conversely, absolute obedience to a husband can eventually cure lung cancer and albinism.

Following an investigation into the program by local authorities, Dongguan’s propaganda department announced the class has been officially shut down. An investigation found “its teaching curriculum was against social morals, and its class was run without a legal license,” the report said.

The Mengzheng Chinese Study Academy ran the women’s virtue class annually in 12 separate sessions, each of which was filled with 50 students. In addition to Dongguan, similar classes were taught in Beijing as well as Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi and Hainan provinces, Chinese National Radio reported earlier.

Most of the teaching materials were loosely based on Confucius classics. The popular class suggested “some modern women are desperate and hopeless when facing a family crisis. They can’t solve their immediate problems, and instead turn to those brainwashing women’s virtues to hypnotize themselves (for temporary relief)”, Jiang Jingjing, a commentator told Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily.

Photos: Wen Wei Po


Discrimination or Fair Play? Car Model Dismissed Because Breasts “Too Small”

Posted: 09/16/2014 9:22 am

car show model breastsThe firing of a model from a car show in China had drawn media attention after the woman returned to confront the firm that let her go — with TV cameras.

The organizer of the car show fired the model, Xiaowang, admitting openly that she was dismissed because her breasts were “a problem” and were not up to his organization’s standards. The problem, at least for him, is the model was fired after she had signed a four-day contract, and had already worked the first day.

The university student and part-time model was incensed at the breach of contract, so came back to the car show with a TV news program in tow. They tracked down this guy, named Xie:

Breasts, it was a problem with her breasts
We had already accepted her,
(and then we found) there were many layers of padding (inside her bra)
to prop it up
But there was no way, all we could do was fire her

Xie said he was forced to go with another model with better “experience” that can fill in the role.

Xie was unwilling to pay Xiaowang the complete salary for four days of work according to the signed contract, instead paying her for three days.

Video of the exchange can be seen below, but Xie doesn’t go into detail about any of his explanations.

Photo: Sina News Video


Guangdong Official Puts Foot In Mouth, Leaves It There

Posted: 05/14/2014 8:00 am

Nearly four months after a Guangdong government official made a sexist comparison of female PhDs to the shelf life of perishable products, neither the official nor the local CPPCC are showing any remorse.

On January 16 at a panel discussion hosted by the Guangdong Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a political advisory body to the government,  a CPPCC member named Luo Biliang said: “If female PhDs did not try to find a husband, it would be quite serious.”

To better illustrate his point, Luo made a comparison. “A woman is a product,” Luo said, “Having tried for more than 20 years to sell yourself, one has failed to strike a deal.”

Luo’s selfless sharing of his wisdom did not stop there. Luo continued by saying, “From a relationship perspective, getting a doctoral degree does not help add value (to a woman); instead, it’s a devaluation.”

CPPCC member Luo Zhiliang (Photo credit:

It’s not surprising Luo’s tawdry, sexist comments have sparked outcries from women PhD holders and women’s rights groups in the country. After all, CPPCC members are trained to make outrageous comments at the annual two sessions, and the public has developed a certain threshold for their absurdities (some of them can be found here in this WSJ article). Nonetheless, a womens’ studies center at South China Normal University and several womens’ rights organisations held press conferences denouncing Luo’s comments as well as citing gender equality-related articles from the country’s constitution and other international regulations. They have also contributed to an angry petition sent to the Guangdong CPPCC.

But what’s surprising here is neither the provincial CPPCC nor Luo have expressed any apology over the comments, and have defined the whole incident as a “misunderstanding,” subtly hinting that the women are making a big fuss over it.

Four months later on May 8, the women’s studies center received a delayed written reply from the CPPCC. The provincial CPPCC said it has reminded Luo to be more aware of the occasions when he makes comments to “avoid making unnecessary misunderstanding,” Guangzhou Daily reported on May 13.

photo credit: Sohu

The CPPCC made a point in the letter by reiterating that the whole incident was a “misunderstanding” and called for an adherence of the “Three Don’ts” policy, namely: “Don’t use a big stick, don’t label people, and don’t pick on others’ faults”, Communist jargon that advocates for greater tolerance.

Luo, on the other hand, was much more resolute in his response. Back in January, he defended himself and told the public that nothing he said was wrong. In fact, he said his comments were made on the theory of the “marriage market”, something that ordinary minds like the female PhDs were obviously too slow to understand. Let’s not forget that Luo is the dean of the Economics and Management Department at the South China Agricultural University in Guangdong, and he certainly did not miss any chance to show off his advanced economics intelligence at any occasion.

Perhaps, it is the people who are angry about the reaction from Luo and the provincial department who should be sorry: sorry for having too many expectations from CPPCC officials; sorry for being too concerned about the country’s gender equality; and sorry for not showing “greater tolerance” over a sexist comment.

Home page photo credit: Sohu


Female Students Strip Naked in Protest at Guangzhou University

Posted: 04/21/2014 6:35 pm

university of technology female student naked protest[This article may contain material offensive to some readers]

This morning, Weibo user @Morning Sunbeams of Southern China made a post that contained all of the pictures seen in this blog.

For context that may explain these photographs, text was added to these photographs. These words said:

Guangzhou female university students suddenly take their clothes off in public. Under the gaze of everyone’s eyes, these women were not shy in the slightest. Male students at Guangzhou University City (Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center) have gone crazy.

Upon further analysis of the photographs, signs could be seen that read “Stop looking at us through lusty lenses”“Cherish the worth of the female sex” and “We need equal opportunities for employment”.

Online debate of this protest was fast and but not spurious. A user named Chaozhoufangua(潮州翻瓜) wrote: There are many ways of protests. Why baring yourself? For the attention? Most of the people only talked about the nudity anyway.

On the contrary, Weibo user Maskmagician opined: Our Chinese national characteristics are not fit these “open” protests. It’s disgusting and is purely for the attention. I am not even bothered to repost this story.

Opinions differing as they will, job discrimination is still a factor for today’s women. The job market in China is expected to be much tougher than last year as 8 million graduates will soon be flooding into the country’s various job markets, Sina reported on April 21. Last year, the number was recorded around 7 million and it was already called as the “toughest employment season ever” by some media reports.

It was certainly fortuitous that a crowd of photographers was on hand to record this extremely rare occurrence of women “suddenly” taking their clothes off in a planned media stunt that is sure to gather attention for many things if not for the alarming fact that China’s body painting technology is decades behind that of the West.

The Nanfang will continue to follow this story as more details are uncovered.

university of technology female student naked protestuniversity of technology female student naked protestuniversity of technology female student naked protestuniversity of technology female student naked protestuniversity of technology female student naked protest

Natalie Wang contributed to this report.

Pictures: Weibo account, club isso

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