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
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。
    Rúguǒ chūshēng rénkǒu xìngbié bǐ chíxù chāochū zhèngcháng bǐ liè fànwéi, jiāng dǎozhì rénkǒu xìngbié jiégòu shīhéng, duì jiānglái de hūnyīn hé jiātíng xíngchéng chōngjí, jìn’ér yǐngxiǎng shèhuì wěndìng yǔ 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 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 (), 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 7元/$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:

“There are too many Chinese!”

The lesson in class this week is about China’s population issues, 马寅初, and the One Child Policy. Many times I’ve heard a Chinese person say:

“中国人太多了!”
Zhōngguórén tài duō le
(There are too many Chinese!)

We told our teacher it kind of makes us uncomfortable when we hear Chinese people say that — first that they would imply that some people are superfluous, and second that they’d have such a negative attitude toward their own race! Sometimes when people say this to me, I object and say things like, “China has a lot of people” or “China’s population is too big” because those phrases feel different from just saying “there are too many Chinese” (so we ought to just get rid of some??). Our teacher listened, and then smiled when she wrote on the board:

“中国,人太多了”
Zhōngguó, rén tài duō le
(In China, there are too/so many people.)

She explained that people were probably meaning the second sentence, but of course when speaking fast (and being heard by a language student) it sounds like they’re saying there are just too many Chinese. It’s one thing to say a county is overpopulated, it’s another thing to say there are too many of a particular race and imply that we’d all be better off if some people hadn’t been born.

Another friend disagrees and says that when Chinese people say this, they really do mean that there are too many Chinese. However both the friend and my teacher thought that the comma makes a difference.

These two signs promoting the One Child Policy and raising daughters are from Happy Forest village:

The one on the left says:

“[…], the One Child Policy depends on everyone”
婚育新风进历家,计划生育靠大家
hūnyù xīn fēng jìn lì jiā, jìhuàshēngyù kào dàjiā

And the one on the right says:

“Establish civilized marriage, nurture a new atmosphere;
Walk the Use-science-and-technology-to-get-rich road”
树文明婚育新风,走科技致富之路
shù wénmíng hūn, yù xīn fēng;
zǒu kējì zhìfù zhī lù

(PS – may not be the best translations in the world!)