China Bans the Appearance of Effeminate Men on TV

 Leaders in China fear the influence celebrities have on their citizens, therefore they banned the appearance of effeminate men on TV to discourage this in their country.

Los Angeles Times

Leaders in China fear the influence celebrities have on their citizens, therefore they banned the appearance of effeminate men on TV to discourage this in their country.

Kylie de Best, Section Editor

“Somehow I’ll make a man out of you!” These well-known words from Mulan highlight the expectations men were to have in the movie, and can reflect on what society believes a real man is like. In past years, the definition has mostly remained constant, but in modern times, more attention has been made to question what defines a real man.

Recently in China, the appearance of effeminate men on TV was banned to discourage the idea of promoting a society of men who they feel aren’t strong or masculine enough. A reason for these actions was out of fear that the influence of pop culture and celebrities has reduced the masculinity in their men, and there are many ways in which they are trying to get rid of this influence. 

One way is by restricting access to online video games, not only to encourage a reduced screen time, but to discourage what they believe is “an unhealthy attention towards celebrities” that express more “feminine” qualities, and the presence of effeminate men in general (New York Times). When not being exposed to content or pictures related to effeminate men, they believe that it will result in the idea not being placed into people’s heads in the first place.

Another example is in January, China suggested more physical education be placed in schools, specifically for men. This is to emphasize the importance of being able to defend their country at the time of an attack or a call to fight in a war. Though it is important to stay healthy by exercising, having a label and reason for this can cause stereotypes or stigmas revolving around men not being strong enough. 

With the goal of promoting men to be tougher to make the country appear stronger, it does not take into account their mental strength, which can be altered by this pressure being put on them. As seen in these examples, many people often feel that physical strength and appearance is what defines someone as tough, but mental strength is another important factor to have and is probably even more important. However, society often fails to acknowledge this, as it is not normalized. This is seen globally, and in a study conducted by FiveThirtyEight, “sixty percent of men agreed that society puts pressure on men in a way that is unhealthy or bad” (FiveThirtyEight). Based on these results, Juliana Neemeh (11) expresses concern in how “the constant pressure dehumanizes men and makes them believe that their emotions aren’t valid, just their appearance and attitude. This idea makes people fail to realize that everyone is truly human, and that people should be able to express themselves and be confident without leaders or society making this seem detrimental.” 

With this being a topic discussed globally and examples being prominent all around the world, it shows the different social standards and thoughts surrounding the idea of what defines a man as masculine. Overall, this emphasizes the impacts these opinions and decisions from leaders have on an ever-evolving society.