China promotes education drive to make young Chinese men more ‘manly’

China promotes education drive to make boys more 'manly'
While China wants young boys to be soldiers, it is not everyone's ambition. Source:BARCROFT MEDIA/GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: A notice from the education ministry of China has caused a stir after it suggested young Chinese men had become too “feminine”. The message has sparked criticism and seen as sexist by many online users – but some say China’s male celebrities are partly to blame.

China’s government has been signaling concern that the country’s most popular male role models are no longer strong, athletic figures like “army heroes”. Even President Xi Jinping has long been seeking to cultivate better sports stars.

So the education ministry issued a notice last week with a title that left no doubt about its ultimate goal.

The Proposal to Prevent the Feminisation of Male Adolescents called on schools to fully reform their offerings on physical education and strengthen their recruitment of teachers.

The ministry notice advised recruiting retired athletes and people from sporting backgrounds – and “vigorously developing” particular sports like football with a view to “cultivating students’ masculinity”.

It is a decisive push in China, where the media does not really allow for anything other than squeaky clean, “socially responsible” stars.

But there were some earlier signals suggesting such a move was coming. A delegate of China’s top advisory body, Si Zefu, said last May that many of China’s young Chinese men had become “weak, timid, and self-abasing”.

He claimed, there was a trend among young Chinese males towards “feminisation”, which “would inevitably endanger the survival and development of the Chinese nation” unless it was “effectively managed”.

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