Viral one-minute Chinese sex ed video — English translation

So there are these minute-long Chinese sex ed videos that’ve gone viral on the Chinese internet. I suspect they’re actually aimed at parents, but they’re funny and well done. Here’s a translation of the first one, which compares conception to getting a shot at the doctor’s and makes fun of the classic Chinese answer to, “Where did I come from?”

chinesesexed Viral one minute Chinese sex ed video    English translation
Your mom says you were brought back from the garbage pile?

We’ve had an interest in Chinese sex ed ever since we first arrived as language students and got involved with Bright Future, a sex ed project run by an American at Tianjin University. The traditional taboo against talking about sex is still strongly felt in China, so sex ed is a special challenge. Not talking about sex enables risky sexual behaviour and its consequences (see links at the bottom), so we’re fans of creative attempts at sex ed.

DSCN5810Chuck Viral one minute Chinese sex ed video    English translation
A hands-on Bright Future birth control class at Tianjin University

Here I’ve embedded the video from YouTube, but if you’re in China without a VPN you can also see it on Youku and Tudou. Embedded from Youku at the bottom.

(If you want to mouseover the Chinese and get instant pop-up pronunciation/translation, install this in your web browser.)

一分钟性教育(1):小孩从哪儿来?

One-minute Sex Ed #1: Where Did You Come From?

你从哪儿来的?
Where did you come from?
当然是你爸妈生的啊!
Of course your dad and mom borned you!
老师跟你说是爱情的结晶?No, no, no,
Teacher told you it was love crystals? No no no…
我们是哺乳动物又不是晶体
We are mammals, not crystal
只有受精哪来的结晶
There’s just fertilization, where’s the crystallization?
你妈跟你讲,是从垃圾堆里捡回来的?
Your mom says you were brought back from the garbage pile?
也不是,你妈记错了
Nope, your mom remembers wrong
你是从小树林里捡回来的
You were brought back from a small grove of trees
哦,不
Uh, no
你是在小树林里受精的
You were conceived in a small grove of trees*
这个受精啊
This conception
就是你爸的精子钻到你妈的卵子里去
is your dad’s sperm making its way into your mom’s ovum
你问精子怎么进去的……
You ask how does the sperm go in…
呃,医院打针见过吧?
Um, you’ve seen an injection in the hospital, right?
针头戳一下,药水推进去
The needle pokes all of sudden, and the medicine is pushed in
过程差不多
That’s the process, more or less
哦,想知道你怎么长成这么大的呀?
Oh, so you want to know how you grew up this big?
刚开始受精卵比你的头发丝还细呢
At the very start the fertilized egg was thinner than your hair
用眼睛是看不到的
Couldn’t be seen with eyes
精子那么小,所以针管一定很小?
Since the sperm is that small, so the needle must be really small?
不不不!这和注射器大小没有关系!
No! No! No! This has nothing to do with the syringe’s size!
啊,你问会不会和打针一样疼?
Ah, you’re asking does it hurt as much as an injection?
嗯,多少会疼那么一下吧
Um, it can possibly somewhat be sore like that**
总之,你要孝顺你妈,知道了吗?
Basically, you need to show filial piety to your mother, understand?
然后受精卵会分裂
Afterwards the fertilized egg will divide
一分二、二分四、四分八……
One into two, two into four, four into eight, etc.
接着呢,会形成组织器官
After that, it will take shape and organize organs
慢慢分化
Slowly differentiating
这样你就有了心肝脾肺肾,眼耳鼻舌喉等等零碎儿了
This way you have a heart, liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, throat, etc., odds and ends
什么?你妈说确定你是从垃圾堆里捡回来的?!
What? Your mom says she’s certain you were brought back from the garbage pile?!
我擦
Censored (“I erase”)
等等,我得去跟她聊聊……
Hold on, I need to have a chat with her…

(*P.S. — “…conceived in a small grove of trees” isn’t just some random joke. In memoirs we’ve read of China’s 1980′s, it was apparently not uncommon for couples to sneak out to public parks at night to fool around because they had nowhere else to go; living quarters were crowded and lacking privacy. I’m guessing that’s what they’re alluding to.)

(**P.P.S. — How would you translate this? 嗯,多少会疼那么一下吧)

More about Sex Ed (and the lack thereof) in China:

Abortion, AIDS, prostitution and gendercide:

Pro-life in abortion-saturated China — What do you do?

(Before we begin…)

memorialforunbornchildren Pro life in abortion saturated China    What do you do?

  • If you or someone you’re close to has had an abortion, there is loving, compassionate help available here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
  • If you work in the abortion industry, there are former industry workers who will help you quit (quietly or as a whistle-blower), find a new job, and even provide legal help if needed.
  • If you’re pregnant and want help, you can find everything from a listening ear to a maternity home here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

(If you know of other crisis pregnancy or post-abortion resources, please let me know!)

* * * * *

Abortion-saturated China

If you don’t read Chinese, what would you assume this ad — with it’s heart-shaped-hand-enveloped unborn child — is for?

chineseforloveabortionadcrop Pro life in abortion saturated China    What do you do?
Painless Abortion Surgery 无痛人流术
Give love the safest guarantee 给爱最安全的保障
Because of love — for / give the unmet child 因为爱——给未谋面的孩子
Ultimately / in the end, the best gift 最后,最好的礼物

Chinese abortion rates are so high that Chinese temporary residents skew their host countries’ abortion stats. “Pro-life” encompasses more issues than abortion, issues for which China also provides plenty of fodder (China executes more people than pretty much everyone else, for example). But I’m betting abortion is the one that’s most in-your-face.

The reasons for this are many: a big, bold abortion industry + general aversions toward the Pill or condoms + zero support for unwed mothers + the One Child Policy + male chauvinism + collectivist identity that doesn’t recognize the inherent worth or intrinsic rights of the human individual + abortion as an enhancement of China’s ongoing legacy of infanticide + poor sex ed + casual attitudes toward abortion… Point being that the chances of personally encountering abortion-related situations in China are very, very high, whether your looking for them or not.

dismembermentiswrongextremists Pro life in abortion saturated China    What do you do?

For example, here’s a conversation a new coworker of mine had at her preschool branch just last week, on her 5th day in China:

Today the girls learned I had a huge family [she has 9 siblings]. One responded, “Your mother is very lucky, I dream of having many children in the next life.” Another responded that she already had her first child and needed to go have an abortion, do I have advice for her? Ahhh, what?!! I was like, “Oh, no! Are you sad?” She said, “Yes,” but remained totally expressionless, no big deal attitude and then kept on doing whatever she had been doing.

Imagine: it’s your 5th day in China, you’ve just learned “你好” and “谢谢“, you’re jet-lagged like anything, and a coworker asks you for advice on her impending One-Child Policy-mandated abortion.

Pro Life conscience, Abortion-saturated China

embryology textbook Pro life in abortion saturated China    What do you do?

For those of you who realize that the unborn are living human individuals and who believe in universal human rights, that denying basic human rights to an entire class of human beings for the purpose of legalizing their slaughter by the millions is a gross injustice; and that offering (for a fee) to dismember alive or chemically burn to death the babies of women in hardship enables, perpetuates and profits from systemic inequality and male chauvinism, here are some questions (others are welcome to comment, too):

How do you handle living in this abortion-saturated society? What do you do? If you’re semi-literate you’ve seen the “3-minute” “painless” abortion ads. If you have Chinese friends you’ve probably had or at least overheard deceptively casual “Oh I’ve gotta go get an abortion”-type conversations. How do you respond? How do you think you should respond? How do you wish you’d responded differently in the past? Do you know of resources or opportunities for people who want to help (pregnancy and maternity support charities, adoption route options, sex education projects, etc.)? Contact me personally if you don’t want the information out in public.

peopleandchoices275 Pro life in abortion saturated China    What do you do?womendeservebetter275 Pro life in abortion saturated China    What do you do?

Some of our own abortion-in-China stories (more are on the way), including a hospital experience and some translated conversations and advertising are here:

Abortion & China:

Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

(Wrote this when we lived in Tianjin, saved it for a rainy day.)

Believe it or not, there actually is a cultural angle to this; it’s not just about ogling scandalous public depictions of women.

Earthquake Memorial
Behold! Tianjin’s public celebration of curvacious (foreign?) women in windswept, soaking wet, clingy dresses who like to pose as if they’re on the cover of trashy women’s fashion magazines– er, I mean– memorial to the Chinese mothers who suffered in the devastating Tangshan earthquake in 1976 that killed over 200,000 people:

DSCN6381 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

I pass this earthquake memorial on Nanjing Rd. every day on my way to work. It’s one of three statues; the other two are what you’d expect: a baby-rescuing soldier and a worker. The exaggerated woman is conspicuously… not so historically accurate.

Ever since I first noticed this memorial I’ve been taking a second look at the public statues I come across. There are statues of women all over town, and except for a larger-than-life soft porn series of Rodin knock-off statues along the Hǎihé near Liberation Bridge, exceptionally (read: unnaturally) proportioned nudes in the Italian concession area, and a random nude holding a hoolahoop in the middle of a roundabout (no idea what that’s about), most of them aren’t supposed to be sexual, or at least you wouldn’t expect them to be sexual. But– well, you be the judge.

Nankai University
What is the first thing this statue makes you think of?

DSCN2420 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

And be honest; don’t say Moses and the 10 Commandments.

DSCN2421 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, ChinaDSCN2418 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

DSCN2422 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, ChinaDSCN24231 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

This not-Moses-and-the-10-Commandments statue is at Nankai University.

Tianjin University
This next statue is inside the main entrance of Tianjin University:

DSCN1120 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

It commemorates the school’s centennial anniversary and I assume it’s supposed to be celebrating women’s education, but she’s not only exceptionally — oh what’s the Chinese word… 丰满, it’s also — how can I put this delicately… unnecessarily detailed?

commiegirl Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, ChinaThis is the opposite of the Communist statue depictions of women, like at the memorial near Tianjin’s Liberation Bridge (right). Gender equality is part of the message, but equality in the traditional Communist images essentially means desexualization/masculinization, with short hair and form-obscuring army uniforms. Of course, masculinizing women in the name of gender equality certainly isn’t unique to China, and conflicting public images of women are found in Mao-era China, too. (For more about Mao-era depictions of women see: Iron Women and Foxy Ladies.)

 Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, ChinaNeighbourhood elementary school
Even across the street from our apartment complex, this elementary school teacher (right) has apparently just been swimming in the Haihe, in her clothes.

Sex in China
China sends extreme, conflicting signals about sexuality. I realize that the statues in these photos aren’t necessarily extreme (especially compared to the previously mentioned soft porn statues). But they are examples of sexualization/objectification where you don’t expect it: of earthquake victims, monuments to women’s education/advancement, primary school teachers. What I’m trying to highlight is Tianjin’s seemingly split-personality when it comes to sexuality. Many social norms are still far more conservative than what you’d see or hear in the average the U.S. or Canadian public space, yet at the same time in other areas public sexuality and sexual behaviour seem more liberal and tolerant. Depending on where you look, China can have less or more public sexuality than the post-Sexual Revolution, pornified West.

Our old apartment building had a “massage parlour” on one side and a kindergarten on the other, which was right next to a KTV bar and bathhouse — both with prostitutes — which was down the street from a sex toy shop. And we lived in a pretty nice part of town. It seems like every three or four block radius in residential areas will have at least one sex toy shop and no shortage of places hiding prostitution in plain sight. If I went to the top floor with a sling shot I could probably hit a trashy massage parlour.

But parents and teachers and young couples can’t talk about it. When sex is in the textbooks, teachers often tell the students to read it at home, and it’s never discussed in class. Even in Bright Future classes (the foreigner-led, explicit sex ed initiative at Tianjin University), we’ve seen students often switch to English for uncomfortable words when speaking or writing. (For more about Bright Future see: Sex, drugs, and Tianjin University students.) One of a few big reasons Chinese premarital pregnancy and abortion rates are so high that Chinese non-resident and new immigrant populations skew their host countries’ abortion rates is because old taboos against explicitly acknowledging sexuality and sexual behaviour hinder attempts to directly address or educate regarding those behaviours. In other words: people are kept dangerously ignorant about sexual basics, they aren’t called out on their flagrant, irresponsible behaviour, and (girls especially) lack options, skills and vocabulary for resisting when pressured for sex they don’t want to have.

It makes sense to me that these extremes of flagrant behaviour and non-acknowledgement — of sexualizing earthquake memorials and elementary school teachers but avoiding sex ed in the home and classroom — counter-intuitively exist side-by-side, but it’s still sometimes surprising to see them in close contrast.

hoola Conspicuously Curvacious Tianjin, China

More about sexuality in China:

The Relentless fight against human trafficking in East Asia, with Dr. Katherine Welch

20130211Chiangmai boysarenotbaht The Relentless fight against human trafficking in East Asia, with Dr. Katherine WelchThailand is a fantastic place to be a tourist, but even the most blissfully ignorant will stumble upon evidence of the (very) dark side of Thailand’s tourism industry. We happened upon these “Boys are not baht” stickers on our way to Chiang Mai’s Chinatown, after attending our NGO’s annual conference just north of the city. Turns out those stickers are indirectly connected Dr. Katherine Welch, founder of Relentless, one of the presenters at our just-concluded conference.

Katherine lived several years in China, learned the language, taught pediatric medicine to Chinese doctors with a focus on abandoned children, and fought human trafficking in her off hours. She’s recently relocated to Chiang Mai, Thailand where she serves full time against one of the worst injustices in our world. Along with her advocacy and research, she equips anti-trafficking groups with holistic health knowledge and training to better serve the victims of human trafficking.

She’ll tell more about herself and what she does through Relentless in her upcoming guest post. For now as an intro to human trafficking in China, I’ll share some info and links, many of which come from her presentation.

gorelentless540 The Relentless fight against human trafficking in East Asia, with Dr. Katherine Welch
You can check out the Relentless website and Relentless on Facebook.

Human trafficking facts (links go to related news items):

  1. Most at-risk to be trafficked in China: rural migrants, the disabled, refugees, infants and children.
  2. Most common forms of human trafficking in China: sex trafficking, child trafficking (selling) and kidnapping (stealing), and forced brides — the One Child Policy being a major factor. The amount of trafficking related to re-education through labour is unknown.
  3. The Trafficking in Human Persons 2012 Report (scroll down to find China) lists China on the Tier Two Watch List rather than Tier Three, surely for political reasons.
  4. China is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.
  5. Traffickers use “visa circuits” to keep trafficked people’s presence legal: from China to Malaysia to Thailand to China.
  6. “Orphanage tourism” — Sometimes helping hurts, despite good intentions.
  7. “Trafficking” is difficult to define; different countries use different definitions and calculations.
  8. Solid trafficking stats are hard to come by due to differing definitions and political interference.
  9. “Traffickers fish in the stream of migration”.
  10. Restricting migration makes migrants more vulnerable; they will migrate regardless, but with less legal protections.
  11. Poverty is not the cause of human trafficking but one of several potential major factors, which are different for different people groups.

Here’s a short Chinese anti-sex-trafficking video, with English subtitles:

Trafficking stories highlighting police successes are now routine in Chinese media:

And of course there are more in the international press and blogosphere:

Child Trafficking & the One Child Policy:

Our American boss and NGO associate formerly ran a China adoption service but quit after things felt too sketchy for him. We’ve blogged on this before:

Forced Marriages:

Sex Trafficking:

Labour Trafficking:

Colonialism’s new frontier: Western beauty ideals plague China and the world

I’m riding in a 4×4 with Sweetbert, my Tanzanian language tutor out in the sticks of rural Tanzania — no electricity, TV, internet, nothing, except the odd battery-powered handheld radio. Local entertainment, from what I can see, mostly involves the occasional regional drumming-and-dance competition and getting drunk on village brew banana beer. We get to talking about women, and when I mention that North American men like skinny women, he busts a gut laughing, literally can’t stop. “A beautiful woman must be FAT!” he exclaims between uncontrollable giggles, incredulous, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, as if finding thin women attractive was the most counter-intuitive thing he’s ever heard and can barely even imagine. A few years later he gets married and sends a photo of him and his ‘fat’ wife, of whom he is very proud.

ralphlauren Colonialisms new frontier: Western beauty ideals plague China and the worldMeanwhile, Western beauty ideals have metastasized throughout every media-saturated corner of the planet. We’re all well accustomed to a large daily dose of visual B.S., but that doesn’t mean it smells good, or that it’s healthy. Criticism is piling up in the West, from “Health Warning” label legislation to movie-style rating systems for manipulated photos. According to the speaker quoted below, our malignant Western beauty ideals are also compounding body issues in the already patriarchal beauty cultures of China and the rest of the world.

It’s no secret that Western beauty ideals rule in first- and second-tier Chinese cities. Of course, traditional and modern Chinese culture has plenty of its own ideas about which faces and bodies and postures, etc. are attractive. But walk through any mall and count the number of ads that use Caucasian models. The highest beauty ideals in China are Western. And the highest beauty ideals in the West require surgically and digitally altering the bodies of underfed, underweight, unhealthy women.

I’m thinking about this because of a recent speech at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which opened fire not at oppressive patriarchal traditions of 2nd and 3rd World cultures, but at us, calling out our societies for our hypocrisy in criticizing foot binding and female genital mutilation, and for the cancerous effect on women that aggressive Western corporate marketing has in societies around the world, specifically including China. I’ve excerpted much of it below, but the whole thing (not long) is worth a read. Regardless of how much you disagree, it’s a fantastic conversation starter. Emphasis from the original.

Susie Orbach Speaks at the UN Commission on the Status of Women

. . .what has been overlooked have been the vicious body practices that girls and women have come to take on themselves in the west in the mistaken belief that they are doing good for themselves. . .

The west congratulates itself on its distance from Eastern practices of foot binding which constrained and limited women. It fails to see the links between toe operations carried out now to enable women to fit into the latest 4 inch high heels.

The west smugly criticises FGM while sanctioning labiaplasty and the remaking of the genital lips which has become a growth area for cosmetic surgeons.

The west makes appeals about famine victims in the southern hemisphere but has failed to notice the voluntarily insane food practices that exist in their own countries.

The west hasn’t noticed that these are forms of violence and constraint for women. . .

. . .the engine which feeds the tyrannical hold that beauty exercises on girls and women’s energies, dollars and sense of self. . .relates to those industries which grow rich on creating body distress and body hatred in girls and women. . .

The beauty companies, the fashion houses, the diet companies, the food conglomerates who also of course own the diet companies, the exercise and fitness industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the cosmetic surgery industry combine together, perhaps not purposefully or conspiratorially, to create a climate in which girls and women come to feel that their bodies are not ok. They do this through the promotion of celebrity culture, through advertising on every possible outlet from billboards to magazines to our electronic screens, through the funding of media outlets which can only exist because of their economic support. . .

As immoral and unethical as the activities of these companies are in and of themselves, the economics of growth as we currently conceive it depends upon their extending their markets. L’Oreal’s growth rate in China is 26%. They achieve this not by marketing their lipsticks and hair products to Chinese women per se but by marketing the western body as the body to have to Chinese women. They and the other beauty, fashion, media companies promote the western body to the new economies as a way of finding a place to belong in the maelstrom and confusion of modernity.

Alongside the disseminating of western ideals of beauty to Asia, Africa and South America, is the export of the consequences of these ideals: body hatred and body anxiety. This is the emotional fallout from the endeavours of these industries and the basis on which they make their extraordinary and obscene profits.

. . .They are mining bodies as though they were a commodity like coal or gold. Women’s bodies all over the world are being designated as profit centres.

As the western ideal becomes plastered over the globe we bear witness to the loss of indigenous bodies. This is a new frontier of colonialism. Mad eating is normalised. Western style bodies are revered and local bodies are swallowed up as fast as demise of local languages. [Link]

I wonder what my Tanzanian language tutor would think. Then again, they were selling skin-whitening creams in East Africa, too.

Related China & Beauty stuff from the blog:

Related stuff from the web:

Young Chinese non-residents skewing New Zealand abortion statistics

According to a study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, young, Chinese non-residents and new immigrants are the predominant ethnic group having abortions and impacting New Zealand’s abortion statistics. Many factors are mentioned, including, “ethnic Chinese women lack adequate contraceptive education, demonstrate distrust of non-barrier methods, believe men should provide the condom, and mistakenly believe contraception unnecessary for the first week following menstruation. . .Abortion may be used for family planning, rather than as back up for contraceptive failure.” See Non-Resident Birth Care and Abortion.

For more on abortion and China:

China’s sexual education, taboos and consequences

China’s a very interesting place right now in terms of sex education, sexual behaviour, and tenacious, strong taboos surrounding discussion of sex.

When we first landed in Tianjin (2007) we walked to Chinese class, and noticed that the walls lining the sidewalk outside of residential and school compounds had condom boxes affixed to them. The anonymous (though still public) nature of the transaction made sense to me, given that sex talk was still very much taboo and buying condoms at a convenience or grocery store risked a scowl or scolding from the cashier if the customer looked young.

Here’s a picture of one kind (they didn’t all come with cute posters and fancy framing):

DSCN7431 condom box Chinas sexual education, taboos and consequences
关注生殖健康共建和谐家园
Pay Attention to Reproductive Health, Together Build a Harmonious Home
关注生殖健康构建和谐社会
Pay Attention to Reproductive Health, Construct a Harmonious Society
安全售货
Condom Vending Machine (They chose “safety cover” 安全套 rather than “contraception cover” 避孕套。)
Contraceptive Social Marketing

I was reminded of these things by a recent e-mail from the author of this article: “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Didn’t Learn Because You Grew Up in China): Despite the one-child policy, millions of Chinese citizens don’t know how to have sex without getting pregnant”, and much of it rings true to what we’ve seen volunteering with a sex ed. project in Tianjin — for example, the practical difficulty of implementing sex ed. directives:

his teacher forced an assistant—who until then had not taught a single lesson—to lead the class. The younger instructor stood in front of the students red with embarrassment, unable to broach the subject. Eventually, the students were told to read the chapter themselves.

The article makes for a decent introduction to the current sex ed. situation in China, tying together the state of Chinese sex ed., cultural taboos surrounding sex talk, traditional Chinese patriarchal gender roles, the rampant, uninformed sexual activity among students, the lack of birth control use and China’s abortion epidemic.

Here’s more on sex ed., cultural taboos, and current sexual behaviour in China, including stuff about the university sex ed. project we’ve volunteered with: