Over a year ago, a Chinese billionaire businessman made headlines when he published a seeking marriage ad in the newspaper where one of the requirements of the woman be that she is a virgin at the time of marriage.
This set off a debate about the ethics of such an ad, and the status of women, love, and marriage in a rapidly changing society. You can read the New York Times article for a good recap of the issue.
25-year-old Liang Jianming of Chengdu, Sichuan, has declared war on what he considers the many erroneous concepts of love, sex, and marriage in Chinese society. The above video is Liang’s own seeking girlfriend ad, in which Liang says that he won’t marry a virgin that he doesn’t like, and if he likes a girl, it doesn’t even matter if she’s a porn star (A片女星).
Liang states that even sexologists such as Renmin University’s Pan Suiming discriminate, perhaps unconsciously, against women. Liang uses the example of a survey question found in Pan’s book 性爱十年 (which would translate to something like Tens Years of Sex), in which there is a question regarding how a man would react to the knowledge that his wife had premarital sex. Liang says that the survey’s wording uses “forgive” (原谅), which implies that sex before marriage is some kind of mistake or wrongful action—why else would it be something to be “forgiven” for? And why is it, Liang asks, that men must forgive the women—doesn’t it imply, even when the sex is completely consensual, that only the women have done wrong? Although Liang has fairly progressive views on sex and marriage, he is 25 and yet to get laid. We wish him luck.
Liang also has a blog, where goes into more detail about the battle he’s waging against the outdated sexual mores of Chinese society. In one recent entry, he tells about reading an entry from noted sexologist Li Yinhe’s blog, where she says that she’s been given an implicit gag order from above. In other words, she has to tone down all her talk of spouse-swapping, one-night stands, and gay marriage.
The pressure placed on more outspoken Chinese intellectuals and critics is nothing new, but because of the blogs and the internet, become a tad less secretive and mysterious than before.
According to Liang, Li Yinhe stated on her blog that 1. she was told to talk less to the media and 2. that she was not send proposals regarding gay marriage in China to government officials during any high-profile meetings.