New Chinese anti-gendercide poster — translated

For several months, Qingdao has been flooded with propaganda posters and billboards relating to the ongoing “sanitation” 卫生 campaign, encompassing everything from tidying up (or clearing off) street markets and sidewalk BBQs to promoting food safety and healthy eating habits.

But here’s one new anti-gendercide poster from our neighbourhood bulletin board that I hadn’t seen before today, from the “Qingdao City Sanitation, Harmoniousness and Family Planning Committee” (text and overly-literal translation below):

gendercideposter

综合治理出生人口性别比华复之根
Zònghé zhìlǐ chūshēng rénkǒu xìngbié bǐ huá fù zhī gēn
Comprehensively managing the birth population sex ratio is the ROOT of China’s restoration.

  • 出生人口性别比是关于中华民族繁衍生息,盛衰兴败大事。
    chūshēng rénkǒu xìngbié bǐ shì guānyú zhōnghuá mínzú fányǎn shēngxī, shèngshuāi xìng bài dàshì
    Birth population sex ratio concerns the Chinese people’s propagation; it’s a matter of prosperity or decline, flourishing or withering.
  • 出生人口性别比,是指一定地域人口某一时期(通常一年)内出生的男婴总数与女婴总数的比值,用100名出生女婴数相对应的出生男婴数表示。正常范围是每出生100名女婴,男婴出生数在103-107名之间。
    Chūshēng rénkǒu xìngbié bǐ, shì zhǐ yīdìng dìyù rénkǒu mǒu yī shíqí (tōngcháng yī nián) nèi chūshēng de nán yīng zǒngshù yǔ nǚ yīng zǒng shǔ de bǐzhí, yòng 100 míng chūshēng nǚ yīng shù xiāng duìyìng de chūshēng nán yīng shù biǎoshì. Zhèngcháng fànwéi shì měi chūshēng 100 míng nǚ yīng, nán yīng chūshēng shù zài 103-107 míng zhī jiān.
    Birth population sex ratio refers to the population ratio of total male babies born to total female babies born within a certain time period (usually one year), and is expressed using the figure of 100 female babies born to correspond to the number of male babies born. The normal range is within 103-107 male babies born for every 100 female babies born.
  • 如果出生人口性别比持续超出正常比列范围,将导致人口性别结构失衡,对将来的婚姻和家庭形成冲击,进而影响社会稳定与和谐。
    RúguÇ’ chÅ«shÄ“ng rénkÇ’u xìngbié bǐ chíxù chāochÅ« zhèngcháng bǐ liè fànwéi, jiāng dÇŽozhì rénkÇ’u xìngbié jiégòu shÄ«héng, duì jiānglái de hÅ«nyÄ«n hé jiātíng xíngchéng chōngjí, jìn’ér yǐngxiÇŽng shèhuì wÄ›ndìng yÇ” héxié.
    If the birth population sex ratio continues to exceed normal parameters, this will lead to population sex composition unbalance, seriously affecting the future formation of marriage and family, and from that influence social stability and harmoniousness.

转变旧的生育观念,让全社会不再有性别歧视
zhuǎnbiàn jiù de shēngyù guānniàn, ràng quán shèhuì bù zài yǒu xìngbié qíshì
Transform the old childbearing notions, make the whole society no longer have gender discrimination.

男女平等 家庭幸福 社会和谐
nánnǚ píngděng jiātíng xìngfú shèhuì héxié
Male-female equality, family happiness, societal harmony

青岛市卫生和谐计划生育委员会
Qīngdǎo shì wèishēng héxié jìhuà shēngyù wěiyuánhuì
Qingdao City Health, Harmoniousness and Family Planning Committee

* * * * *

The background of the poster has an iconic Qingdao landmark (May 4th Square) and the Chinese character 女 in various styles.

leftoverwomenBooks like Leftover Women: the Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China by Leta Hong Fincher demonstrate that social stability is the government’s priority, and authorities willingly exacerbate gender inequality in pursuit of that goal, particularly through the promotion of the “leftover women” concept, which is designed to push “high-quality” women out of the workplace and into the nursery. From their perspective, skewed gender ratios and a large population of hopeless bachelors threaten social stability; gender inequality per se, not so much.

There’s lots more on this blog about gendercide.

14,286

The other night I was sharing beer-in-a-bag (散啤), peanuts and tiny dried shrimps with our neighbourhood’s convenience store owner to celebrate his son’s 100th day outside the womb (百岁). He said his family is supposed to pay RMB 100,000 as a fine for having a second child in violation of China’s One Child Policy (计划生育政策). We estimated that works out to USD 14,286, but it’s actually higher: 16,141.92 USD (we calculated at 7å…ƒ/$1 at the time). But there are a couple details that make this extra interesting.

First, $16,142 is a relatively low fine. These fines are calculated according to the father’s hukou (户口), his registered place of residence, not their current location. He’s from a village, so he has a rural hukou, and that means his fine is less. A Qingdao city native would be fined more than double. (China’s hukou system has a long historical tradition, functioning to control population mobility, i.e. keeping peasants tied to their land and out of the cities.)

Second, because they’re officially classed as “peasants”, if their first child had been female then they wouldn’t be fined for having a second child. But because their first child was a boy, a second child is not allowed. Urbanites aren’t afforded this concession.

Third, they don’t intend to pay. In their situation at least, their kid still gets a hukou and can access social services like school and health care even though they haven’t paid. He says they get calls every day badgering them to pay, but they’re betting that in a year or two China will further loosen the One Child Policy, so they’re going to drag their feet as much as possible. Last year China eased the One Child Policy slightly in response to the looming demographic time-bomb it created (disproportionately large elderly population); couples where one spouse is a single child may have two children. He says he thinks they’ll loosen it further, effectively exempting them from their fine.

One Child Policy fine
Our neighbour’s One Child Policy fine, when we converted it to USD.
More encounters with China’s One Child Policy:

China’s One-Child Policy in my preschool English classroom

Interesting little One-Child Policy anecdote this morning.

I have to teach one preschool class this “Brothers and Sisters” song. So I took a poll: Who has a brother or a sister?

They were sort of confused by the question. Lots of hands went up. But their Chinese teacher and I both knew there was no way most of them had siblings. So we specified: No no no, brothers and sisters that are your parents’ kids, not your cousins.

Unlike the large families of generations past where everyone called their relatives by specific titles denoting maternal or paternal and older or younger (in relation to themselves and/or their parents), these OCP kids grow up calling all their cousins and random kids on the playground “brother” and “sister”. Not that I can really blame them, OCP or not:

After their Chinese teacher and I weeded out all the cousins (their full-time Chinese teacher knows anyway; I could have just asked her), it turned out only four of those thirty Mainland Chinese 5-&-6-year-olds actually have a biological brother or sister.

Related stuff:

“Be selfless, moral, two-child Chinese citizens”

Three new propaganda* posters just went up in our neighbourhood, courtesy of the Qingdao Spiritual Civilization Construction Committee Office (青岛市精神文明建设委员会办公室). “Create together a national civilized city!” (共创全国文明城市).

Interestingly, they feature traditional Chinese values, classic Communist values, and a TWO-child family. All at the same time. I don’t know what to make of all that, if anything, but they caught my eye. Translation below each image.

1. Serve the People!


Serve the People!
为人民服务
A person’s life is finite, but, serving people is infinite,
I want to take my finite life, and throw it into the infinite service of others…
人的生命是有限的,可是,为人服务是无限的,
我要把有限的生命,投入到无限的为人服务之中去……
Vigorously promote
大力弘扬
Study Lei Feng, be devoted to other people, enhance yourself
学习雷锋 奉献他人 提升自己
The Volunteer Service Principle
志愿服务理念

2. Become a moral person


Become a moral person
做一个有道德的人
Kong Rong Shares Pears
孔融让梨
(Ancient Chinese fable in which Kong Rong chooses the smallest pear, giving the bigger pears to his brothers. When asked why, he says the older brothers should get the bigger pears because they’re older, and that it’s his responsibility to take care of his younger brother.)
融年四岁时,与诸兄共食梨,辄引小者。
大人问其故,答曰:“我小儿,法当取小者。”

3. Advocate Civilizedness


Advocate a new civilized trend
倡导文明新风
Construct a beautiful homeland together
共建美好家园
Love our Qingdao
爱我青岛

*P.S. – In Chinese, the word propaganda isn’t necessarily negative like it is in English. It basically just means ‘promotion of ideas’. I think we should combine the best of both worlds: use it in all the situations Chinese does, but keep the negative English connotations. So all advertising, political and ideological messaging is propaganda.

P.P.S. –
That’s not just any young revolutionary in the first poster; it’s Lei Feng of Chinese Communist mythology. For more about him, see:

Want a second child? Shanghai parents: “No thanks.”

In aging China, a change of course

…when Shanghai government officials … began encouraging young couples to have more than one child, their reaction was instant and firm: No way.
[…]
Wang … said she wants an only child because she was one herself: “We were at the center of our families and used to everyone taking care of us. We are not used to taking care of and don’t really want to take care of others.”

Chen Zijian … put it more bluntly. For the dual-career, middle-class parents … it’s about being successful enough to be selfish. Today’s 20- and 30-somethings grew up seeing their parents struggle … and don’t want that kind of life for themselves, he said.

Related:

Free Baby Accessories, compliments of Tianjin & the One Child Policy

In Canada the Province of British Columbia gave us a free CD with a hippie/new-age reading of a poem for infants about how “YOU. Are a chiiiiild of the UUUNiverse…”. In Tianjin our friends who had their baby here got this free bib with a One Child Policy slogan on it:

“Fewer births, scientific and healthier births, lifelong happiness”
or
“Fewer and better births make your life happier”
or
“Few births, scientifically bearing children, happiness for whole life”
少生优生,幸福一生
shǎo shēng yōushēng, xìngfú yìshēng

Other One Child Policy stuff:

Some other Vancouver stuff:

Largest gender gap seen in China’s youngest generation

Abortion in China is legal, widely available and accessible, doesn’t carry near the stigma and controversy that it does in North America, and is apparently the most common method of gender-selective infanticide in China. But I’d assumed that China’s gender gap was slowly shrinking because I’d assumed that the authorities would deal effectively with the well-known “gendercide” issue (gender-selective abortion is illegal). So I was surprised to read in this AP report that China’s youngest generation has the largest gender gap:
“The study found that the biggest boy-girl gaps are in the 1 to 4-year-old group — meaning that China will have to grapple with the effects of that imbalance when those children reach reproductive age in 15 to 20 years.

Ratios in Jiangxi and Henan provinces were the highest in the country, with 140 boys for every 100 girls in the 1-4 age range, the study said.”