© Chinese Sexology Association.
© Wenhua yishu chubanshe.
All bodies are male or not
It’s a matter of fact, cast in stone.
But what about those bodies that break the rule - the mixed, dissonant, boundary-blurring bodies of intersexuals and transsexuals?
Unfortunate mistakes of nature, these are anatomies for surgeons to right. In China, as in many parts of the world, intersexual children are ‘corrected’ at birth. And adults who are unhappy with their body have since the mid-1980s been able to pay for genital surgery and officially be assigned to membership of the other sex.
Anatomy is destiny
Erasing ambiguity is important. Otherwise, you - and your family, friends, colleagues, the state - don’t know who or what you are, or how you should live. In China, anatomy is still destiny. A male body mandates strength, independence, entrepreneurship and power. A female body unfolds into mothering, imitation, passivity and an exploitable concern for beauty.
From skin whiteners to plastic surgery, from breast enhancers to lingerie, in free-market China, massive profits are being made from the constraints of what it takes to be feminine.
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