phallic logic

China More Accepting of Lesbians Than Gay Men Because They Don’t Have Penises

Having never been to China, and having only Chinese-American (but not Chinese) friends, I’ve got little knowledge of gay life there besides what I read in the press. So I read things about the Mr. Gay China competition being shut down, but also how a boy who dresses as a girl took the country by storm in a reality singing competition. How Chinese officials opened a gay bar as part of an AIDS education program, which is all supposed to be part of China’s “quiet gay revolution”. And now I’m reading about how lesbians in China might be more “tolerated” by society than gay men because their sexuality is more spirtitual, or whatever, while the idea of two gay men falling in love still carries more Ew Factor?

“The Chinese public look at lesbian relationships as more spiritual,” says Stanley Kwan, the director of an opera about two women in love, who, reports Global Post, “added that he doesn’t think that means an opera about men in love wouldn’t have been allowed. ‘Maybe not a film or TV series, but an opera or stage drama, I hope it would be possible.’”

Adds Beijing-based lesbian activist Eva Lee: “The lesbian story is less offensive to mainstream society. When people see two men in love they only think of them having sex. They don’t treat lesbians seriously because they don’t understand how women can have sex without a man, without a penis.”

Whatever it takes to be accepted tolerated, I guess.

China Might Actually Love Its Gays. We’ve Got a Conspiracy Theory Why

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #art #china #lesbians stories and more


  • EdWoody

    Basically the same reasoning Queen Victoria had.

  • eagledancer

    There’s a similarity of Chinese History to that of many African Nations—same-sex love was a part of their tradition, but after involved Western contact and the adoption of many Western values, same-sex relationships was eventually thought to be a “Western Import” and “not what WE did…” In Chinese traditions, like that of many Asian groups, people frequently speak “indirectly” (poetically) so male same-sex love becomes “the cut sleeve,” or “the passion of the bitten peach…” I’m fond of the cut sleeve—it refers to an emperor was so concerned about his sleeping male lover, the emperor cut off his own sleeve in order not to disturb him.
    Recall too, that mid-eastern cultures that influence Judeo-Christian history—believed that all life came from the male. This is why for a lot of you who are Americans, you were told as a child, “When a mommy and daddy love each other very much, the daddy plants a seed inside the mommy, and that’s where babies come from.” This folk belief comes from the idea of a tiny human contained within the sperm of the male. The woman was seen as simply a “nest”-an incubator—a womb with a view. As a result, there are Old Testament condemnations against “spilling the seed,” since from that cultural belief, you’re killing little people who never had a chance to get to the womb and be born. There’s no direct condemnation of same-sex female relationships, because there’s no “life” that can be shared.
    Variations of this sort of belief help explain why lesbians are often treated differently. Here’s an image of what people believed these “little people” looked like. When the microscope was invented, here’s what researchers reported seeing:

    As long as I’m mentioning it—in many traditional cultures there was pressure to reproduce. This was contributing to the power of the clan/community, but also provided a type of “social security” where when you became elderly, you would depend on your children and grandchildren to support you, as you had supported them in their childhoods. Two-Spirit, or other alternative genders would often serve as foster parents to orphans, or to children who were the youngest in large families, so the responsibility to care for the children was shared—alternative gender people could “parent” as “auntie or uncle” to their nieces and nephews—and those who could not biologically produce a child, could still experience a form of parenting. At any rate, for many more “conventional” relationships, once the obligations of producing the “next generation,” were fulfilled, many cultures then allowed a relationship outside of the primary couple, where often there was a greater intimacy or sense of connection. These might also involve a choice of a same-sex, or alternative gender partner.

  • jason

    This is yet another illustration of the bisexual double standard. The bisexual double standard can also be seen in porn that contains both genders. In 99% of this type of porn, women are allowed to interact with each other but men are not.

    It’s got nothing to with spirituality or some other fucked-up Chinese assertion. It’s got everything to do with patriarchy. Patriarchy means sleazy straight guys controlling the social conversation. This includes rewarding or paying women to behave in certain ways.

    Under patriarchy, women are the ultimate prostitutes.

  • jason

    On the spiritual topic, I think relationships between men can be extremely spiritual. Consider the relationship between two best male friends of the straight persuasion – it can be an extremely spiritual relationship.

    Men don’t talk about it much because men in general don’t advertise themselves in the same way women do. Men tend to be buyers, not sellers.

    Going back to the difference in social attitudes to female homosexuality as compared with male homosexuality, don’t underestimate the degree of pro-female political correctness that is operating here. Ever since the rise of feminism, women have been pushing this form of correctness. These women have basically colluded with pornographers to push the line that females are “hot” and males are “ewww”.

    There’s also a degree of anti-male in the negative attitude to male homosexuality. The feminists who push pro-female political correctness are often the same ones who push anti-male attitudes, including anti-male homosexuality.

    This was brought home to me recently when I read an interview with an “empowered” bisexual female porn performer who said she would never have sex with a bisexual man because she found it repulsive.

  • thedarkchariot


    Not really sure that feminism is hurting the gay (male) movement. Feminism is about broadening gender expression and all of that. Feminism isn’t pro-female, its pro-human. It’s about equalizing the genders and realizing that all men and women are created equal, and just as a girl can be a firefighter, a boy can also be a fashion designer. Great stuff like that. That’s what I always thought, at least.

    Anyways, just wanted to add my two cents that in Chinese culture, the funny thing about homosexuality is that, yes, (of course) there is homophobia, right? But usually, it’s comes from a squicky-“ew, what is that?”-“it’s unnatural”-“really? two guys can do that?”-“are you sure it’s not a disease?” place rather than some sort of immovable “immoral”/religious reason. “God” is never invoked in these discussions. Probably because most Chinese people are not religious, or deal with more mellow religions like Buddhism. And I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. My instinct is that it is better; I don’t know, though.

  • Lamar

    I think feminism is a hinderance to mens rights and gay rights. I believe in feminism but I think it achieved its purpose long ago. It doesn’t seem to be about getting equal rights but extra rights to compensate for the time they were opressed such as demanding that board rooms always have 50% women (when no such provisions are made for men who want to go in traditionally female professions such as teaching). This revenge type tactic is like blacks demanding that whites be their slaves for the centuries that they were slaves. Because the media and government focus exlusively on feminism and womens rights men rights are pushed to the back and overlooked. For instance there is a lot of research going on how to create kids without men’s genetic material (which would benefit lesbians in particular) but hardly any for the opposite (which would help us gays).
    More men need to stand up for their own rights just as how many women, especially lesbians are. Let’s not kid ourselves into beleiving that feminism is about equalizing the genders, if it were then they would protest on how men are forced to join in the army but not women, how women substantially benefit more than men in divorces, how the illustrations of male violence is depicted as humorous but not femaleviolence (e.g. “Ow, my balls – iPhone app”, prison rape) etc. the list is truly endless.

  • Sean

    The progress on LGBT issues in China and East Asia is developing at a faster rate than it has in America. They will be able to obtain the equality we have and more, in half the time it took us to get here. Reason? the religiosity in East Asian countries is low, and the religions that do exist are Buddhism, Taoism, or other folk religions that don’t mention homosexuality at all. The religious beliefs in America are a mental roadblock to rational reasoning. You can reason all you want with a religious zealot on equality but all you’ll ever get out of them is some idiotic catchphrase like, “I love the sinner but hate the sin.” There was a chart on acceptance of gay marriage in different states by different ages groups. One result that stood out to me: 18-29 year-olds in Alabama are as progressive on the issue as 60 year-olds in Massachusetts. America has a long way to go.

Comments are closed.