The Chinese government has banned effeminate men from TV in a move many see as a continued attempt by the government to strengthen its control over the country’s society.
It comes as President Xi Jinping urges a “national rejuvenation,” according to the Associated Press. This has come with Community Party’s continued control over business, education, culture, and religion. Both citizens and businesses are being pressed to adhere to what the party believes will make a more powerful China.
The National Radio and TV Administration told broadcasters that they must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics.” It used the term “niang pao,” which means “girlie guns” — an offensive word used toward effeminate men.
China’s war against effeminate men in popular culture comes out of concern that too many Chinese citizens are being influenced by the fashion of Japanese and South Korean singers. The government is wanting Chinese male celebrities to represent a masculine image.
The announcement also pushes programs to “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture."
Broadcasters are also supposed to ignore celebrities who are deemed to have gone against the government’s idea of social order.
Lynette Ong, professor of political science at the University of Toronto, told the BBC the announcements were, “evidence of the Party’s ever encroaching role into the lives of ordinary people.”
Internet industries have also been targeted, reported the AP. Thousands of fan clubs and entertainment news accounts were suspended on the microblog Weibo Corp.
Those below 18 are also now limited to three hours of online gaming a week with no gaming on school days.
The country’s moves against effeminate men in society follows other actions the country has taken to scare LGBTQ+ citizens. Over the summer, the Chinese messaging app WeChat began blocking the accounts LGBTQ+ college groups. Shanghai University also started collecting the names of LGBTQ+ students, reported The Washington Post.
Recently, the 2022 Gay Games, which will be held in Hong Kong, have been criticized by lawmakers who often side with the mainland. The Post noted that Beijing has sometimes used LGBTQ+ rights as proxy for foreign influence.
According to LGBTQ+ rights group OutRight International, China's policy toward LGBTQ+ people tends to be along the lines of "don't encourage it, don't discourage it, don't promote." However, the continued crackdown the government has had on its citizens means there is less space for LGBTQ+ rights activists to make progress.