Personal Note: I decided to share my book with friends and students in mainland China because the book is not available in mainland China. It costs too much to order it from America. Enjoy it and share it with your friends. Steve, usa, december 11, 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org blog – https://getting2knowyou-china.com
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Much is written about the sexual revolution since the beginning of a new China under Deng Xiaoping, and the youth of today since the early 80s, living in a time when sex and abortion and casual sex—one-night stand or a quickie or an hour sexual rendezvous—are as common as riding a speed train or going to a cinema or having a simple noodle soup lunch, to while away their abundant leisure time and money, or to act out their pent-up sexual fantasies. This is China.
A Chinese student told me that xingkaifang is the Chinese phrase now used to describe “sex openness”, meaning people now are free to talk about sex in contemporary China. Many attribute the radical changes in sexual attitudes and behaviors to urbanization and the Internet, providing the ordinary Chinese with more private space and freedom to enjoy sex, and to remain anonymous for many to surf the Internet and express what they want in a whole new environment, without the prying eyes of neighbors, parents, co-workers and peers, with less criticisms of and judgments on their sexual attitudes and behaviors. Be yourself, is the motto.
This is China.
An article in the China Daily says that, “More than sixty percent of 1,302 college students interviewed in a recent survey say they accept student couples’ public displays of affection (PDA), according to a new report on China Youth Daily….Yuan Xin, a psychological professor in Nankai University said PDAs suggest society is now quite open.” PDAs are not from the Chinese traditional culture, but imported from the West. And today’s students lack the education to know what the expected boundaries are, in private life and public places. “It’s important to know what behaviors are suitable for the right situations,” says Mr. Xin. “It’s called respect for others and the society.” So, did I see PDAs on my campus? I wasn’t paying too much attention to students’ public behavior. Standing at the main gate during evening hours, I did see many students in small groups going out to eat, instead of eating in the campus canteens. There were couples, here and there, but very few of them would hold hands on their way to the restaurants.
I was not fully aware of the sexual revolution in China until one day a math student came to visit me at my apartment, and was excited that he would be an uncle soon.
“Wow, I am happy for you. So your brother’s wife will give your parents a grandchild soon,” I congratulated Oscar, a math genius.
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“No no no!” he said.
“What do you mean?”
“My brother has not decided to marry the girl after the baby is born. He is thinking about it.”
“I cannot believe you, and your mother is ok with this? I mean they are not married, Oscar? And they are going to have a baby?”
“My mom just wants to be a grandmother. Honestly she doesn’t care if they are married or not…. Steve, we are living in a modern world! This is modern China.”
Yes, I forgot This is China. A new China. I could not believe I was still living in the cave. But what happened to morality or values of ancient China? I could not believe Oscar’s mother, an ordinary Chinese mother, could accept her eldest son’s “immoral” behavior, fathering a child when he was not legally married to the woman. What happened to China?
And the same story from Max, whose father is a police man in his hometown. When Max told me his girlfriend would be visiting him and his family, my first stupid question was: “So are you going to find a room in a hotel for her to stay?”
I reminded him most apartments do not have a spare room or a bed for guests and some would put their guests in a nearby hotel. Some of my students’ parents would do that for me, if and when I had the time to visit them during a major holiday. Knowing the small size of some apartments, I would usually book into a hotel near their apartment. The older apartments are not big like the ones some people had built for themselves.
“Where is she going to sleep, Max?”
“My parents think it is ok for us to sleep together in my bed,” he said, without a trace of shyness or embarrassment or concern for what is morally acceptable. No sense of shame? Oh God, I must be living in the cave!
I forgot This is China. I must have missed the train to modernity. America, yes. But China? The new China is relatively new, less than 40 years since Deng Xiaoping took
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over China and opened it to the world in early 80s. But the Chinese world is changing faster than the fastest speed trains in modern China.
I could feel the Chinese government no longer exerts legal controls over childbirth when, at one time, every child producing female had to report to a community leader of her conception of a baby. Since the reforms and opening up of the country in the 80s, there are cultural shifts in the ways people think about sex: pre- and extramarital sex, separation of sex and marriage, separation of sex and child-bearing, internet sex, homo- and bisexual behavior, and a boom in the sex industry. Briefly put, everyone now has the right to pursue his or her own sexual gratification. Even small dogs are doing it, shamelessly, in front of students and passers-by.
I am not ashamed to admit how I did help a student, not my student, who knew me very well, when he came crying to me one day, “I need to borrow about 3,000 yuan from you because my girlfriend is pregnant and we have decided to kill the baby.” He continued, “I made a terrible mistake.” In China, students do not use the word “abortion” but “kill a baby” is a common expression, and to many it is not a big deal to kill a baby. This is China. Some students reminded me that there were many posters in the city that advertise for abortion services.
I did not know because I do not read Chinese. I told my Chinese students that we in America do not like the idea of “killing the babies”, thus abortion is a taboo subject avoided at all costs by people, especially those who are running for high political offices. This subject did not surface when businessman Donald Trump ran for office to become the president of the United States. It is such a controversial and contentious issue that almost all presidential candidates, or anyone running for a high office, would avoid it like a poisonous snake. It is one of the most divisive issues in America. We have the pro-choice on one side, and the pro-life on the opposite side. The pro-choice people are those who support or advocate legalized abortion. We have pro-life people who are opposed to legalized abortion; they are members of the right to life movement in America. Not just about two-legged humans who are concerned about life. If any American is found to ill-treat or mistreat their pets, cats or dogs or horses, he or she will end up somewhere in jail, because we Americans care deeply about preserving and saving lives. When it comes to the humans, we do have many women who will tell you in your face…“This is none of your fucking business, this is my body and you cannot tell me what to do with my body. Abortion is my prerogative.” And for anyone running for a high office, you do not want to antagonize these women because you want their votes desperately. You better believe me: women’s votes in America can decide your fate! This is America.
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“No, it is not a mistake,” I told the student who needed the money to kill the baby.
“I didn’t know what I was doing.” In hindsight that is what many would tell you, with very little remorse or regrets. They knew exactly what they were doing: enjoying sex without the use of condom.
“It is not a mistake,” I continued. “It is called S-T-U-P-I-D-I-T-Y,” and I spelled each letter slowly for him so he will remember the word and his immature and irresponsible action. “Both of you are studying math and finance, right?” They are supposed to belong to a new breed of intelligent kids on the campus.
He continued to cry, tears pouring down like a broken water pipe.
And I continued without any mercy, “How can both of you be that stupid to have sex without protection? How stupid can you get?”
I loaned him the money because he would not dare approach his parents for some additional cash to spend on the campus. He did return the loan.
And no small wonder the Chinese government is wondering how to stop the spread of sexual diseases in mainland China today! When how to kill the baby seems more important than the use of condom! Blame it on the lack of sexual education in China. Or an inadequate one.
And I suspect that is exactly what is happening inside those love hotels, risky sex pursuits without condoms. Yes, This is China.
Don’t tempt or fool Mother Nature, I said often, to deaf ears. As a college professor, I often wondered about the sense of invulnerability and immortality among our youth of today! They think they are immortals and can do anything they want. Right now! I went through that in America, when the youth wanted Instant Gratification…I want it right now! Growing up as the only child in a family, the parents gave the “little emperor” and “little princess” everything to make them happy. Many are spoiled children from day one. Children are not taught any sense of duty or responsibility to anyone, not even to their parents. And that sense of irresponsibility extends to their relationships with the opposite sex. And now as young adults, they keep on exploiting others for personal gains. And sex is just one way to exploit others and if you don’t like it, kill the babies. It is everywhere in China. A whole new generation of irresponsible children. Blame it on one-child-one-family policy?
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What is happening in China?
Only a few years ago, if a girl did not kill the baby, then her parents might send her away somewhere in another town or countryside and return after the birth of a child. They did this to save “face” in China. Not all Chinese mothers are as tolerant as American parents. But Chinese parents are also changing their tune: some are helping to raise illegitimate babies now.
An American friend of mine recently shared with me her days when she was in college. “Oh God, my friends? You would not believe this…the rich ones, I am talking about my female friends in the 70s, here in Seattle…the rich ones would fly to Tokyo to have an abortion. Or the rich parents would send them there to have a quiet abortion.” I could not believe my ears…listening to someone who was in college in the 1970s, and sharing with me how some of her rich female friends were dealing with unwanted pregnancies…saying, “if you don’t go, your parents will send you to have an abortion in Japan”. Japan? In the 1970s? Legalized abortion did not take place until 1974, the year after the famous Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade in America. I do know many parents today, from whatever socio-economic level, in America would likely raise the unwanted baby instead of an abortion. Abortion is not encouraged in America…it is a taboo. We have anti-abortion or pro-life groups who would go after a doctor if he or she is caught doing abortion. They had set fire to clinics that did the abortion. In the news!
When the Chinese government introduced the one-child-one-family policy, and when for generations (even now) boys are valued more than the girls in our Chinese culture, and when you were allowed only one child, I have no problem understanding why couples would resort to abortion because most Chinese would want that one child to be a boy. There are many unanticipated or unwanted consequences because of this policy. Many of my Chinese students wished they had a brother or a sister when they were growing up. And now because of demographics and the “graying” or “aging” population, China desperately needs more younger hands with skills to replace the retiring population, predicted to be in the millions in the coming decade or so. The two-child policy became effective January 2016. But the majority of the women in China are not too keen about this for economic and personal reasons, especially those in big cities in China.
This is China.