China’s Crackdowns on Culture, More Crackdowns for the Books

Mikel Frith, Contributing Writer

In Beijing, an announcement was recently made declaring that minors under the age of 18 were only allowed to play games for one hour a day, between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for a maximum of three hours a week. This is only one of the changes targeted toward people that China has been implementing. Others include a nine-month suspension for new game approvals and the deletion of LGBTQ accounts on social media and online games.

China has been putting a lot of effort into censoring and blocking LGBTQ media in their country. Boy bands, drama shows, movies from other countries with LGBTQ representation, online gamers, and avid book readers are all seen as effeminate things for men to be involved in in China whether they’re gay or not according to Bloomberg Opinion.

Media companies involving effeminate males has been deemed an “unhealthy culture” and has been urged by authorities to be resisted according to Quartz. Any celebrities who endorse or are part of this culture have been threatened to be banned from screens.

Si, the chairman of Harbin Electric Corp. had this to say to Bloomberg Opinions: “Many Chinese teenage boys nowadays have the characteristics of weakness, low self-esteem and timidity, and they tend to follow the pretty-boy superstars.” This ideology is what many people in China think will lead to a weaker, more timid China, thus putting the nation itself at harm. They expect boys to be active at a young age, out of a chair and in a gym, following the traditional meaning of masculinity in China.

China’s feminist culture has also been targeted with censors and hate speech. China’s MeToo movement suffered setbacks when an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. employee that had been accused of rape was let go with minor charges after being held in custody for the maximum charge of 15 days for indecency and again when a national television broadcaster lost a cast where she claimed she had been sexually harassed at her news station.

All in all, China’s pretty much still a shitshow. They’re stifling the means of creativity in their culture which I guess is just what kind of country China has been for a while. Targeting the youth of the country and not giving them the ability to choose what it is they want to do is not going to benefit the country in the long run, but then again traditions remain on the strong side even when a large demographic of people is against it.

The LGBTQ community has made many great strides in progress and recognition and China’s shutting it all down because they don’t want their youth to be seen as weak or “sissy” as they’ve been using. It comes off as insulting to other cultures to have come so far only to reach a wall that completely stops their efforts, and that goes for gamers and the LGBTQ community both.

Adult women, young men, and children still in their developmental stages are being targeted by these changes. The lack of support women in Chinese workplaces and children trying to find out their interests have said a lot about China that we may not have understood before. It broadens the sense of ‘The Chinese only care about preserving the country as a whole and not the individuals who make it up’.