On the Boundaries of East Asian Images: Interiority and Exteriority, Iconophilia and Iconophobia
Prof. Orna Naftali
31/05/2023 – WED 16:30 – Room 5318
In recent years, youth gender standards and the role of education in shaping them have become a contentious issue in Chinese public discourse. Some educators and political leaders have warned against a "crisis of masculinity" in the current generation of Chinese boys. Others insist that schools should promote the idea of "gender equality" and a "gender-safe" campus environment. This talk focuses on the latter strain of thinking. Noting the distinct, complex meanings of gender equality in the context of Chinese education, the talk considers how school materials produced in the Xi Jinping era (2012-) reflect and contribute to a growing moral panic about the blurring of boundaries between masculinity and femininity, and the threat this trend allegedly poses for the strength and stability of the Chinese nation.