CIA turned our celebrities into ‘sissy pants’, says Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Beijing has accused the CIA of secretly fuelling the trend for effeminate or “sissy” celebrities in China.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Cass), one of the country’s leading research institutions, studied China’s booming entertainment industry and its demand for androgynous, coiffed male celebrities, derided in state media as “xiao xian rou” which means “little fresh meat”.
A Cass report accuses the CIA of beginning its campaign to “brainwash” Asian men in Japan in 1962 with the foundation of the Johnny & Associates talent agency.
It claims the agency’s founder, Johnny Kitagawa, was “loyal to the Americans rather than the Japanese” and colluded with the CIA to use “entertainment to brainwash the Japanese people . . . to weaken the male temperament of Japanese society”.
Since then, the Chinese report, titled “Do you know how hard the CIA is working”, says, weakened male temperament has spread to other parts of east Asia.
Beijing’s experts compared China’s entertainment industry, which “advocates feminine male artists”, to Hollywood, where “male stars are not like this, most of them are tough guys”.
The biggest celebrities in mainland China often are imported from the K-Pop industry in South Korea. Their style has influenced a generation of young fans in China who like their idols to be pale and delicate.
This has irked Beijing, which connects national strength with male muscularity. An editorial in the state-run Xinhua news agency derided xiao xian rou as “sissy boys” unfit for the task of “helping our nation reach its renaissance”.
Last year, Xinhua, the state news agency, lambasted singers in a new group, New F4, as “sissy pants” and said they were “not men, but not women”.
“They look androgynous and wear make-up. They are slender and weak,” the influential opinion columnist using the pen name Xinshiping wrote. “The impact this sick culture will have on our young generation is immeasurable.”
To counter the popularity of xiao xian rou, the government has backed films such as Wolf Warrior 2, with male leads who are macho and militaristic. “Anyone who offends China will be killed no matter how far the target is,” the tagline for the film, which features guns, explosions and tanks, reads.
While China is still a highly patriarchal society, notions of gender and sexuality have become more diverse, especially since homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in 2001.