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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:47 pm 
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Five detained over China Uniqlo sex tape: report
19 July 2015

Beijing (AFP) - Chinese police have detained five people including a young couple over a sex tape shot in a Beijing clothing store that went viral in China, media reports said Sunday.

Those detained include the couple suspected of shooting the video -- showing a mostly clothed man and a naked woman apparently having sex -- in the changing room of a Uniqlo store in the capital. The clip rapidly spread on China's Twitter-like Weibo and mobile messaging service WeChat, with scores of people taking selfies outside the outlet, some mimicking the poses seen in the footage.

Police held the couple on Wednesday night, just hours after the footage went viral, media said Sunday, citing an earlier report by state-run broadcaster Beijing Television. "Five people were taken away by police including the man and woman who played the main role," the channel said in a report broadcast late last week. "The police investigation has two main parts: who published this unsavoury video, and was it an example of hype by the business (Uniqlo)," it added.

China's online regulator the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said late Wednesday that distributing the footage was "against socialist core values". The CAC ordered senior managers of Weibo's operator Sina and Tencent, owner of WeChat, to cooperate in an investigation, the agency said in a statement.

China's Communist Party oversees a vast censorship system -- dubbed the Great Firewall -- that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out content and commentary that is pornographic, violent or deemed politically sensitive. Popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are inaccessible in the country, as is YouTube.

Source: Yahoo! AFP

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:02 am 
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China plans to boost penalties for sex with girls under 14
24 August 2015

BEIJING (AP) -- China is planning to close a loophole that allowed some men to get away with relatively light penalties after having sex with girls under age 14, state media said Monday, following public outrage over high-profile offenders including government officials and a school administrator.

A proposed amendment to China's penal code calls for eliminating the charge of "prostitution with underage girls." If the measure is approved, any sex with girls under 14 would be considered rape and subject to harsher penalties, including death, regardless of whether the girl gave her consent. The current penalty for prostitution with underage girls is five to 15 years in jail.

The proposal has been submitted to Chinese lawmakers for consideration, the state-run China News Service said. It wasn't immediately clear when the National People's Congress would decide on the plan.

Members of the public and legal scholars have been upset that offenders are charged with "prostitution with underage girls" after being caught having sex with young girls. Compared to rape, the crime does not carry the same social stigma, and it also assigns some blame to the young victims by suggesting they use sex to seek favors such as cash, critics have argued. Advocates for children's rights say it fails to protect underage girls.

The push to change the law has gained momentum in recent years after a string of sex scandals involving young girls. In 2009, six officials in the southwestern province of Guizhou were charged with the prostitution crime after they were found to have had sex with girls who were coerced into prostitution, including three under age 14. Some men believe sex with young girls can bring them good luck such as promotions, as well as health benefits, giving rise to an underground business of pimping underage girls.

In 2013, a primary school principal was caught spending a night with four schoolgirls - all under the age of 14 - in a hotel room in southern China's Hainan province. Amid a public outcry, the principal was fired and charged with rape.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:25 pm 
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Legal loopholes in China fail to stop sexual abuse of children
By Joanna Chiu
22 October 2015

Beijing (dpa) - A tax official in south China's Sichuan province paid 6,000 yuan (945 dollars) in 2009 to have sex with a virgin but escaped with only a 5,000-yuan fine after he told police he did not know she was 13 years old.

Police in Sichuan's Yibin city said that paying to have sex with an underage girl is not a crime as long as the offender is unaware of the child's age and if the sex was "consensual." The case enraged citizens. Tens of thousands discussed the case on the microblogging platform Weibo, with many saying that the apparent loophole was an insult to Chinese people's intelligence.

Human rights lawyer Lu Xiaoyuan became one of the key lawyers heading the charge to reclassify the controversial crime of "engaging in prostitution with an underage girl" as rape. He and others criticized the law for suggesting that children under the age of 14 were able to freely choose sex work. "Most of them are middle school students. They are victims not prostitutes," Lu told dpa. "But many feel guilty and don't want to cooperate with police because they are poor and were initially wiling to do the work to make money."

In August, the National People's Congress approved Lu's proposal to reclassify the crime of sex with underage prostitutes as rape. The previous maximum penalty for the crime was 15 years in prison. Now that the main legislature has reclassified the offence as rape, the crime could mean life in prison, or even the death penalty. But many experts say the legal change does not go far enough, since there are other loopholes that mean offenders avoid stronger penalties.

There are two categories for minors in Chinese law: those under the age of 14 and those aged 14 to 17. The crime of "engaging in prostitution with an underage girl" only applies to crimes involving girls under the age of 14. "Young people really cannot freely 'consent'. One question to consider is whether the minimum age should be higher than 14," said Jerome Cohen, professor and co-director of the US-Asia Law Institute at New York University School of Law. "It very clearly doesn't meet international standards under article 34 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child," said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for Amnesty International.

The convention, to which China is party, defines a child as anyone below the age of 18. "Any law in this area should require identical age limits for boys or and girls, or men and women," Bequelin said. It is also not clear why China considers rape a crime against women and girls only. Rapists who target underage boys can only be charged with child molestation, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Advocates say that in addition to changing legislation to make sure that offenders are appropriately punished for their crimes, police should also focus on prevention efforts and work to better identify victims of forced prostitution.

China does not provide estimates of the number of children who have entered sex work in the country, but police in 2011 said they rescued more than 24,000 abducted women and children, many of whom were bound for prostitution rings. The proportion of child trafficking cases among total trafficking cases has been growing since 2001, according to official figures.

"In addition to this legal change, we also believe that increasing prevention activities will also help to tackle this issue," said a spokesperson from Save the Children China. "These include but are not limited to protection work in schools such as better child safe-guarding measures, increasing the availability and effectiveness of reporting mechanisms, as well better provision of life skills and employability training to young women."

Instead, police have focused on trying to reduce prostitution, which is ubiquitous in China. Public security forces regularly conduct crackdowns called "sweep away prostitution and pornography" as well as larger drives against prostitution as part of periodic "strike hard" campaigns. "Police come into contact with many sex workers but often they are male officers, and they are not taking the time to talk to women and listen to their stories," said Matt Friedman, an international human trafficking expert and chief executive of the Mekong Club, which educates companies on how to identify signs of forced labour.

Activists in China say there is currently not enough momentum or public support to push the government to protect all children under age 18 from sexual exploitation. "Little will change as long as China prioritizes maintaining social order and does not work to change attitudes that fetishize virginity," said veteran women's rights activist Feng Yuan. "It is a problem in many places but China and East Asian countries especially have a tradition where taking a girls' virginity is like getting a trophy," Feng said.

Source: dpa

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Hong Kong LGBT protesters say city lags behind in gay rights
7 November 2015

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Around a thousand demonstrators paraded through downtown Hong Kong for the city's annual gay pride parade on November 7, 2015 (AFP Photo/Isaac Lawrence)

Hong Kong (AFP) - Hong Kong's streets were a sea of rainbow flags on Saturday as protesters marched in the city's annual gay pride parade to call for equality and same-sex marriage.

Around a thousand demonstrators paraded through downtown Hong Kong, with many complaining that the city lags behind other major Asian hubs in terms of LGBT rights. "There's still a lot of room to improve, compared to Taiwan and even to Japan," Carol Yung, a 40-year-old marketing officer in the music industry, told AFP. "These days they are... already discussing about same sex marriage, but in Hong Kong we're still very far behind," Yung said.

Taiwan, which held a massive pride parade attended by nearly 80,000 people last month, is one of the most progressive Asian countries when it comes to homosexuality, but a bill to make same-sex marriage legal has been stalled in parliament since it was first proposed in 2013. Hong Kong's LGBT community has for years sought a ban on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

LGBT issues are in the spotlight again this month after comments from the city's Catholic bishop, which angered many in the community. Cardinal John Tong, in a letter published Thursday, said concepts of marriage and family were being "challenged" by what he called "the gay movement". If a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance were enacted, or gay marriage legalised "this would force our society into undergoing a change that would turn it upside-down", Tong said.

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Hong Kongers on the annual gay pride march complain that the city lags behind other major Asian hubs in terms of LGBT rights (AFP Photo/Isaac Lawrence)

In another development, the judgement for a landmark court case in which a gay British woman challenged the government's refusal to grant her a visa to live in the territory with her partner, is expected in November. QT, as she is referred to in court, had called the authorities' decision to be "discriminatory". She entered into a civil partnership in Britain in 2011 and moved to Hong Kong in the same year after her partner was offered a job in the city.

One of Saturday's marchers, Mark Green, 54, who works in the city's fashion industry, told AFP however that things were progressing. "I think Hong Kong is making enormous progress. We're seeing changes...in the way that people react and respond to gay people in the work place and society," Green said. But "the government is really a little bit behind the times when it comes to recognising LGBT rights", he said, adding that even China recognises the need to give same-sex couples dependent visas. "We really need the government to take the lead and get up to speed with the rest of the world," he said.

Source: Yahoo! AFP

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Transgender in China: secrets and surgery
November 9, 2015

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Chinese society remains deeply traditional in many respects (AFP Photo/)

Beijing (AFP) - At home her son still calls her daddy, at work she dresses in a masculine style, but this Chinese person has a "little secret" -- she was born male, but is not any more.

She had long identified as a woman, and suffered from depression after starting a family, opting in the end to have a surgical sex change. "I had wanted to kill myself, but then I decided I should do something -- if I die, I'd rather die on the operation table," she adds. Chinese society remains deeply traditional in many respects so in public she still has to hide her new identity and does not want her name or occupation revealed, for fear of the consequences. “It will be very easy to find me, and I might lose my job,” she explained.

US-based NGO Asia Catalyst estimates there are four million transgender people in China, and says they face severe discrimination.

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A transsexual woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, in an apartment in Jinzhou, in China's northeast Liaoning province (AFP Photo/)

Sexually ambiguous characters have a long history in Chinese art and literature, but being transgender is still classified as a mental illness in the country --homosexuality was removed from the category in 2001 -- although sex reassignment surgery is legal. Those who come out as transgender to their families risk being rejected or forced to marry and have children. "I married my wife when I still had a man's body, thinking I could live with her without changing myself physically," AFP's interviewee said. "My wife did not mind my identifying as female. She is from a small town. Our personalities do not match well, but we both wanted to get married."

She says she did not want to become a father but her family persuaded her to have a child, and the couple have not separated since her surgery for the sake of their son. "I tell my nine-year-old boy: 'Daddy has a little secret -- daddy is not a man,'” she said. "He is not yet old enough to feel confused about this."

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Male-to-female transsexual dancer Jin Xing performs during a dress rehearsal on January 31, 2012 at the Joyce Theater in New York (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

I thought no one would love me

Now she tries to help others in her position, running an online network from her home in Jinzhou, in the northeastern province of Liaoning, to connect transgender individuals with each other and professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists and lawyers -- who can help with divorces. "As I tried to solve problems in my life, I gradually built a safe environment around me," she told a meeting at the Beijing LGBT Centre, a resource centre in the capital. "You just have to be brave enough and tell people your trouble -- if one doctor doesn't understand you, talk to another. Eventually you will find someone."

Transgender issues were given unusual prominence in China last year, when the country's most famous sexologist, Li Yinhe, announced she had been living for 17 years with a partner who was born female but identifies as a man, referring to him as her "husband" and stressing she saw herself as heterosexual. The couple were profiled by a national magazine and the Communist party mouthpiece the People's Daily said on a microblog: “Respecting the choices of people like Li Yinhe is respecting ourselves."

Together with the success of male-to-female transsexual dancer Jin Xing, who often appears on mainstream television shows, the reaction to Li's statement was taken as a sign of slowly shifting attitudes. But many Chinese doctors and psychiatrists know little about how to deal with transgender individuals, the Beijing LGBT Centre's executive director Xin Ying, told AFP.

Those who have changed their physical appearance face difficulty getting a job, having a medical operation, or even boarding a train, she said, as there is no established legal procedure to change information on Chinese identity cards. Hong Kong-based transgender activist Joanne Leung urged the audience at the meeting not to lose hope: "Before I had sex change surgery, I thought no one would love me and I would be single until I die. But I was wrong."

Even so fears about others reactions remain. Fang Yuran, another speaker at the meeting, was born female but wants to become a man. She has only come out to her family as a lesbian, fearing their response if she explained further. She explained: "If I told my parents the truth, they would think I am ill and never let me be."

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Undercover video shows horrific reality of China's gay shock therapy - where young men are pumped with electricity to try and 'cure' them of their homosexuality
By Frank Coletta
10 November 2015

They are horrific images of young Chinese men with electrodes placed near their genitals and on their head before being subjected to huge doses of electric voltage to try and rid them of their homosexuality.

It's been revealed that men are still regularly subjected to gay electric shock therapy in China, 15 years after it was no longer classified a 'mental illness'. Hospitals across the country continue to offer the brutal treatment, saying they can 'cure homosexuality'. Their barbaric methods are exposed by the Dateline program.

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An undercover 'patient' is subjected to gay electric shock therapy inside a Chinese hospital. Leading psychotherapist Johnny Li said 'the damage can be long-term'

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In one scene a young man posing as a 'patient' appears to have electrodes placed near his genitalia before the shock treatment begins and tells the nervous 'I'm nervous'

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The program charts the process of finding a hospital which offers the treatment right through to the therapy

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Secret filming by 'patients' uncovers the gay shock therapy still used in some Chinese hospitals

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Activist John Shen is filmed making enquiries at Chinese hospitals about treatment for homosexuality. He is pictured with reporter Shaunagh Connaire

Viewers are taken inside medical facilities like the Tianjin Mental Health Hospital where undercover activist, John Shen, is told he can be prescribed drugs and shock therapy. 'It’s a small electric rod, when you have these urges, you shock yourself with the rod, then you know you should avoid these urges,' a psychiatrist tells Mr Shen. In one particularly confronting image it appears a nurse even places electrodes near the man's genitalia as he calls out that 'I'm nervous'.

China outlawed the classification more than 15 years ago but that hasn't stopped the shocking practice taking place in medical facilities. The SBS program also reveals how he is told his current 'condition reflex' makes him feel love for the same sex. 'Now what I want to make you to feel is scared,' the clinician tells him as she sends the charge through his body.

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Activist John Chen breaks down as the Dateline crew leaves the hospital, revealing that he can be jailed if he makes complains about the gay shock treatment to authorities

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Activists against the Chinese shock treatment reveal they are regularly threatened with jail

Another 'patient' went ahead with the treatment at the Huashan Hospital to secretly recorded the process. 'When these urges arise, you can take a cold shower or go jogging to release the excess hormones,” a psychiatrist suggested to him before offering the electric shock treatment. He is told it costs $800 each time and that several appointments will be required for him to be 'cured'.. Electrodes are attached to the man's head, which goes numb as the voltage is turned up. 'He’s told it will rebalance his nervous system.'

Despite the law change, police closely monitor any public dissent and reporter Shaunagh Connaire is told opponents are threatened with jail. 'I think aversion therapy can hurt anyone, especially gay people,” psychotherapist Johnny Li said. 'Aversion therapy reinforces their lack of self-identity and their feelings of rejection, the damage can be long-term or even last a lifetime.'

Source: Daily Mail UK.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Chinese lesbian takes government to court over textbooks
By Ludovic Ehret
November 24, 2015

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A Chinese lesbian, who goes by the pseudonym Qiu Bai (R), waits with her lawyer Wang Zhenyu before entering the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing on November 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)

Beijing (AFP) - A Chinese lesbian on Tuesday took the government to court over textbooks describing homosexuality as a "psychological disorder", a landmark case in a country where discrimination remains common.

Qiu Bai, 21, a student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, brought the action against the ministry of education, demanding that it give her details of how it approved materials and how they could be changed.

China only officially decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, removing it from its list of mental illnesses four years later. Qiu's team showed AFP a manual, "Student Psychological Health", published in 2015 by the prestigious Renmin University and distributed to students nationwide. "The most commonly encountered forms of sexual deviance are homosexuality and the sick addictions of transvestism, transsexuality, fetishism, sadism, voyeurism and exhibitionism," it read. Other psychology textbooks had similar content.

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Gay rights activists and journalists stand around a display of textbooks which activists say present homosexuality as a disease or psychological disorder, outside the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court on November 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)

Qiu, who uses a pseudonym for fear of being victimised, told AFP that she hoped to make sure such materials "no longer harm students", adding that she had come under pressure from her university over the case, but it had been mitigated by coverage in Chinese media. Holding a large rainbow flag, she said she was "excited" by her "first opportunity to have a face-to-face dialogue with the ministry of education".

Supporters brandished signs outside the Fengtai district court in Beijing reading: "We want a fair judgement" and "Homosexuals must gain visibility".

"Of the 90 textbooks available in the libraries of Guangzhou, 42 percent present homosexuality as a disease or abnormality," said Peng Yanhui, director of the non-profit LGBT Rights Advocacy, based in the southern city, citing a study.

Attitudes are changing in major Chinese cities, but gay men and lesbians are still widely subject to strong social and family pressures. Often without siblings, due to the country's one-child policy, they must contend with parental insistence that they have grandchildren, and so frequently resign themselves to heterosexual marriages while keeping their true sexual orientation secret.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:56 pm 
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Lonely pensioners fuel surge in sales of inflatable SEX DOLLS in China as they struggle to find new partners
By Qin Xie
5 December 2015

Hidden amongst the back streets and alleyways of Xi'an, north China, are around 2,000 adult shops.

Perhaps surprisingly, a growing number of their customer base is pensioners looking for blow up sex dolls, reported People's Daily Online. It's a growing trend that's also seen in other parts of the country.

Some of these aging men have been widowed while others have found that their wives are no longer interested in sex. Tragically, some of these men are also seeing these dolls as companions in life as they no longer have regular contact with their children.

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Normal? Li (left) sits at his home in Xi'an, north China, with his blow up sex doll, which he uses as a companion

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Trend: Li is one of a number of pensioners in the city of Xi'an, China, who owns a blow up sex doll (pictured)

According to Feng, an adult shop owner who trades both online and at his numerous outlets in Xi'an, blow up sex dolls didn't arrive in the city until about 1998. At the time, they were lucky to sell 100 a year. But in recent years, a growing number of these dolls are being sold. Feng claims he now sells more than 1,000 of the dolls a year.

Typically, the consumer groups are broken down into curious youths, who buy the dolls online but don't use them much; middle-aged migrant workers or men in long distance relationships, who will use the dolls regularly; and widowers or pensioners living alone, who use the dolls regularly as well. In particular, Feng revealed that the pensioners will generally visit the shop to browse, which in turn allows them to easily return any unwanted products.

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Recommended: Li (pictured) is 70 and lives on his own. He decided to buy the sex doll after talking to a friend

Factoring in other shops, online products and similar sex toys, the sales rate in the city of Xi'an alone is estimated to be more than 10,000 items a year. For the city's pensioners, the toys fill a need. QQ reported that a survey of those aged between 65 and 80 in China showed that 95 per cent still had sexual needs - and many of these were not being met.

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Growing tend: Feng says his adult business has seen the number of sex dolls sold up from 100 to 1,000 a year

For a 70-year-old man named as Li, a blow up doll is both a companion and a sex toy. Li's wife died three years ago and he rarely sees his children - his son works abroad while his daughter lives in another city. Most days, Li is at home on his own. Although he was introduced to a woman once, she didn't want to have sex and thought that Li was disgusting for making the suggestion. Her feelings echoes that of the wider society where many feel that once a person retires, their sex life should retire too. After talking with a friend, who also had a doll, Li decided to buy one for himself for around 1,000 Yuan (£100).

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Two markets: It's not just the men buying the dolls. Sometimes the wives buy the toys for their husbands

Li says he uses it perhaps a handful of times a year but most of the time, it's deflated and sits in a cupboard. Occasionally, however, he puts the doll out and dresses it in his late wife's clothing just to have a cup of tea.

Lonely widowers like Li are not uncommon. Although life expectancy has increased in China, those left behind don't always have the option of pairing up with new partners. As well as difficulty in finding a compatible partner, who is of the right age group, pensioners also have to deal with the objections of their children. This social phenomenon has also led to a growing number of pensions seeks love in the arms of prostitutes and other monetary based relationship.

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Not alone: As well as pensioners, curious youths and migrant workers also buy the dolls, according to Feng

But it's not just lonely widowers who resort to sex dolls. Another man in his sixties, named as Zhang, revealed that it was his wife who bought him the sex doll. He claims that when his wife reached her 50s, she no longer had a need for sex while the opposite was true for him. After repeated arguments over their sex life, his wife bought him a sex doll to appease him. Although initially angry, Zhang used the sex doll once when he was in need. Immediately afterwards, Zhang felt guilt and regret. The next time it happened, Zhang resorted to the toy and, again, he was left with regret. Zhang says that it has been a cycle of regret for him for the past few years.

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Complicated: Pensioners want to find someone compatible but their children have to agree to the union too

But it's not just Xi'an that's seen a growing number of pensioners resorting to blow up sex dolls. Although there are no nationwide sales figures for the toys, there have been a number of media reports regarding the growing trend of pensioners using blow up dolls, albeit, only when things go wrong.

Earlier this year, a man in Zhuzhou, central China, reported a fraud case concerning blow up sex dolls. The 67-year-old brought a doll, which looked nothing like the advert, and reported the incident to the police. Eventually, the case went to the courts but the verdict was never publicly announced.

For the adult shop owner Feng, it's clear why the use of such toys are rarely reported. He said: 'People are repressed about sex. They think sex is ugly and don't want to discuss it. They especially don't want to discuss their own sex life with others.'

Source: Daily Mail UK.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:09 pm 
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China bans depictions of gay people on television
by Hannah Ellis-Petersen
Friday 4 March 2016

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Addicted AKA Heroin ... one of the shows banned by Chinese censors.

The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”.

Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates the dark side of society” and now deem homosexuality, extramarital affairs, one night stands and underage relationships as illegal on screen.

Last week the Chinese government pulled a popular drama, Addicted, from being streamed on Chinese websites as it follows two men in gay relationships, causing uproar among the show’s millions of viewers. The government said the show contravened the new guidelines, which state that “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”

The ban also extends to smoking, drinking, adultery, sexually suggestive clothing, even reincarnation. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told television producers it would constantly monitor TV channels to ensure the new rules were strictly adhered to.

The clampdown follows an increase in cultural censorship in China since Xi Jinping came to power in November 2012. In December 2014, censors stopped a TV show, The Empress of China, from being broadcast because the actors showed too much cleavage. The show only returned to screens once the breasts had been blurred out. In September 2015, a documentary about young gay Chinese called Mama Rainbow was taken down from all Chinese websites.

The new regulations have angered gay activists in China, who have fought for two decades to overcome the substantial stigma in their country against homosexuality. It was only decriminalised in 1997 and was only taken off the official list of mental illnesses in 2001.

In November, one Chinese campaigner took the government to court over its description of homosexuality as a “psychological disorder” in textbooks.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 9:10 am 
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Hong Kong men want more sex on overseas holidays, women more shopping, survey finds
10 May 2016

More sex – that’s what Hong Kong men want during their overseas holidays, according to a survey conducted by online travel agency Zuji. Local women, though, would rather get out of bed and do more shopping.

The March survey of 736 people also found that nearly 20 per cent of respondents thought that travelling together as a couple didn’t help strengthen their relationship – and even caused setbacks.

When men were asked what they most regretted not doing during overseas trips with their partners, 43 per cent cited “intimate activities” (such as bathing together and taking nude photos) and 22 per cent cited “surprises for partners”. But when it came to women, 38 per cent said “spending more” and 29 per cent said “surprises for partners”. Just 18 per cent cited “intimate activities”.

Source: South China Morning Post

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:59 pm 
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In China's marriage markets, parents secretly hitch the happily single
Wanting to stay single is a dread secret many young Chinese keep from their parents. So strong is the pressure to marry that some parents play matchmaker without even consulting their offspring.
13 January 2017

Beijing (dpa) - Sunday is market day at the Temple of Heaven Park in central Beijing, with lots of haggling and touting of wares. "Woman, born 1988, 168 centimetres tall, 55 kilograms, nurse," reads one notice among a row of other A4 sheets laid out on the paved ground.

One man who looks to be in his mid-50s appears interested, reading the advertisement closely. "My son," he says and holds out a photo to the woman sitting behind the notice on a low wall.

Parents are busy here trying to pair off their offspring. In China, being married is an important element in validating yourself as a full part of society, an attitude which causes endless discomfort to single women and gay people.

Chinese women are expected to be married off before the age of 30 and that is the case for around 90 per cent of women, with the average age of marriage hovering at 26, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. Those featured in the adverts in the park tend to be slightly over that average - they were born in 1987, 1988 or 1989.

On some adverts there's a code that interested parents can scan with their smartphones and which leads directly to the son or daughter's page on the WeChat social network. It's the marriage market in the digital age and often the future lucky couple have no idea what their parents are up to. "It's really embarrassing for a lot of people," says 25-year-old Billy as he sits in a cafe in a Beijing shopping centre. His parents, too, regularly tout potential brides for him. But Billy is only interested in men. "My parents don't know anything about this," he says. His home on the southern Chinese island of Hainan is very traditional, he says. "I would have to first explain to my father the concept of homosexuality," says Billy. If he did come out to his family, there would be tears, he says, because his parents expect to one day have grandchildren.

So, he tells them that at the moment he's too busy to have a girlfriend. He's not sure how long he can keep up the lie, but he will definitely be sticking to it in February, when he flies home, alone, to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Hardly any Chinese parents know about their children's homosexuality, and that applies to most of his gay friends in Beijing, says Billy. While there are lots of gay bars, clubs and organizations for gay people in the capital, having that conversation with your own parents is impossible, he says. "It would be seen as a disgrace for the family," he says. Friends who have outed themselves to their parents in most cases no longer have any contact with their parents, he says.

Single people generally run into problems in China's marriage-obsessed society. Around 200 million Chinese are single, and a majority of those millions are men, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua. According to the country's statistics bureau there will be 24 million more men of marriageable age than women by the year 2020.

Oddly, it's the unmarried women over the age of 27 rather than the men who tend to be regarded as if they are "rejects," says Xiong Jing, director of the Women's Media Monitor Network, which promotes gender equality in Chinese media. "Marriage is seen as a basic necessity in life," she says. Being unmarried implies you can't provide for yourself.

Even highly educated women with good jobs and who are financially independent feel the pressure to marry, says Jing. The mere fact that there are more independent women around nowadays is a big change, she says.

China only officially ended its one-child-per-family policy last year. Most young people are only-children. So parents' expectations are high.
"That leads to a lot of worry among some women," says Jing. The pressure doesn't just apply to women, she adds. "Men also come under the same pressure, though it tends to happen later."

But there isn't the same stigma for men who remain unmarried into their 30s and 40s, she says. If a single woman gets a top job, she's quickly called a "nu han zi," or, loosely translated, a "manly woman."

"Man have have fewer disadvantages in that situation," says Jing.

Internet: - [Women of China on "nu han zi," in English] (http://www.womenofchina.cn/womenofchina ... 7688-1.htm)
- [Xinhua on single women in Beijing, in English] (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016- ... 126682.htm)

Source: dpa

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:29 pm 
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‘I was forced to sell my body in a Hong Kong bar’: a Filipino’s experience of trafficking, prostitution
By Sylvia Yu
19 February 2017

Jean, a single mother from the Philippines, had dreamed of the good life when she was offered a job in Hong Kong. Instead, like many others, she was forced into prostitution to service a never-ending ‘debt’

Jean never knew how long it would take to repay her debt. All she knew was that doing so was destroying her. To meet the never-ending demands of her “agent” she would sell her body up to three times a night to men she met at the same Hong Kong bar where, on paper, she was employed as a “domestic helper”.

On the better nights, she might earn HK$4,000 for her “mamasan” – the female pimp managing her and 12 other prostitutes at the same bar.

On the worse ones, that same mamasan would beat her or force her into taking hard drugs with her “johns” (clients) to keep them happy. “Life was hell. I was just surviving,” recalled the Filipino. “Clients ask you to buy drugs like cocaine, ice, marijuana, anything the clients want. They make you take it with them. We could earn a lot of money from using drugs with clients.”

It was a far cry from the good life and pleasant job in a restaurant she had been promised when a recruiter visited her home town in Pampanga in 2014. Jean, a single mother of a 4-year-old girl with no family support network, took the job out of desperation.

She arrived in Hong Kong on a tourist visa, and was told by her recruiters she owed a heavy debt for the cost of her ticket, visa and living expenses. To pay it off, she would have to prostitute herself. “Of course it’s like torture to pay back the debt,” she recalled. “The agent doesn’t care. They don’t know how clients treat you badly.”

Jean’s plight, while horrific, is far from unique. Last year, Hong Kong was downgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List in the US State Department’s global rankings on human trafficking, just one rank above the worst offending nations like North Korea.

The State Department says that traffickers commonly use promises of employment to lure vulnerable women from the Philippines and Thailand to Hong Kong, where they confiscate their passports and force them into prostitution through debt bondage. Its most recent Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report criticised Hong Kong for lacking a comprehensive law in line with the internationally recognised UN Palermo Protocol on Human Trafficking and said the city did “ not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” despite “making significant efforts”. It urged the city to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups such as migrants, domestic workers and women and children in prostitution.

At around the same time as the State Department’s report, the trial of British banker Rurik Jutting, jailed for life for killing two Indonesian women he met in Wan Chai’s red light district, was intensifying the spotlight on Hong Kong’s prostitution scene.

It was in a bar not unlike the ones where Jutting met his victims that Jean found herself working shortly after arriving in the city. Her recruiters had arranged a two-year domestic helper visa for her as part of an arrangement with the bar, where she worked with women of other nationalities. “There were too many women to count,” said Jean. “[In the bars] there were Colombian women, Filipinos, Indonesians, Thai women. I was deceived. These girls are deceived… then forced into prostitution [by having their] passports taken.”

Her agent never told Jean exactly how much she owed, though Jean estimates she paid back more than 1 million pesos (HK$155,000). A typical arrangement involves the client paying HK$5,000 for a full night with a prostitute – a charge that may or may not include drugs (prostitutes who work by themselves in single-room brothels charge much less, about HK$300-400 per client). Of this, $4,000 would typically go to either the bar owner or mamasan, while HK$1,000 would go to the prostitute. The twist is that the prostitute will not keep even that HK$1,000 – it will go towards the “debt” their recruiter will insist they owe – a moving target that changes constantly to suit the agent. “It was very traumatic,” Jean said. “I can hardly talk about it.”

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the action or practice of legally or illegally transporting people from one place to another for the purposes of forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation. Profits from human trafficking are estimated to be US$150 billion annually, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Nurul Qoiriah, head of the Hong Kong office of International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a Geneva-based international governmental agency that assists foreign migrants, said victims of sex trafficking were “often found in the streets or working in particular establishments that facilitate commercial sex acts such as strip clubs, brothels, pornography production houses, night clubs, bars, spas, etc”.

“Sex trafficking in Hong Kong SAR is usually an underground crime, where it’s often challenging for law enforcement personnel and service providers to identify potential victims. In most situations, victims cannot escape from the traffickers.” Jean said the bar she had worked in was co-owned by a Hong Kong police officer. It has since closed.

In an unrelated case, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said on January 25 that 12 people, including three police officers, had been arrested on suspicion of corruption in relation to enforcement action against two nightclubs. The ICAC said the officers might have accepted a “substantial amount of bribes in cash and other forms of advantages from the operators of the nightclubs” in exchange for tipping them off about police action.

Traffickers had various ways of preventing victims from seeking help, said Qoiriah. “[They] may threaten to turn victims without valid visas or proper work permits in to the authorities, and may tell victims that police will harm them if they seek help.” Force is often used to keep them in line. “I was beaten up by the mamasans. They slammed me against the wall. Mamasans have [great] control over us,” Jean said.

Qoiriah said identifying trafficking victims was hard because they were often dependent on the abuser, afraid of deportation or imprisonment, unaware of their rights and the concept of human trafficking and had feelings of guilt and shame. “It’s very hard for people to understand unless you’ve gone through trauma. It numbs you,” said Marcela Santos, an advocate who has helped Jean. “It’s a Stockholm Syndrome situation for these ladies,” she said, referring to the psychological condition in which a hostage identifies with their captor as a survival strategy. “They hope [the mamasan will] be nice to them. She is like their mother. But she kind of pits the other women against each other and controls them.”

Santos helped Jean escape by buying her a plane ticket back to the Philippines. She has met eight Filipinos who were forced into prostitution through different trafficking rings. Most were issued domestic helper visas. “Jean was completely clueless of what the agency was doing because the mamasans were taking care of the visa process. It’s their way to control [the situation], making sure the women don’t know any of the process,” Santos said. “[The women] don’t have the skills to ask questions or they don’t think they can find a way out of their bad situation.” Instead, they must put a brave face on their plight. “They are great actresses because like one of them said, ‘I need to show that I am happy and OK even when I am not’,” said Santos. “This to me kills a soul.”

Another woman, Liz, who worked at a different bar from Jean, had been promised a job as a restaurant waitress. When she flew into Hong Kong, her trafficker and two men from the Philippines accompanied her to make sure she didn’t make trouble when she found out what her true job would be. Liz arrived on a tourist visa, and had to shuttle back and forth every fortnight between Hong Kong and China to avoid overstaying. The agency created false hotel reservations for her and other trafficked women to show the customs officers. Liz had to pay the agency for the hotel reservations even though she didn’t stay there. A police source said organised criminal gangs were usually involved in bringing illegal immigrants to Hong Kong as prostitutes.

Kat, a 23-year-old Filipino who has been working as a prostitute in a Hong Kong bar since December, believes she will need another three to four months to repay her debt. “I’m traumatised. There are three other women at my bar that feel the same. I always feel in danger. I take a risk every time I go out with a male customer,” said the single mother, weeping. “I have no other choice.” Kat said she was forced to participate in “wild parties” where hard drugs are used.

The mamasans allow her to keep the commission made from drinks bought by clients in the bar. Under a system common in Hong Kong, a bar may charge HK$100 a drink, of which HK$50 will go to the bar, HK$50 to the prostitute. The woman must sit with the client while he drinks, during which time he can touch her however he wants. Under this system, Kat managed to send HK$5,000 back to the Philippines in January to support her young daughter and ill mother. “I feel a heaviness in my heart every time I think of the women who work in the bars,” Santos said. “I think of the darkness, loneliness and pain that goes beyond the physical abuse they receive from clients, mamasans and bar owners. I think about one lady who told me about the ugliness and disgust that she feels every night and trying to erase that when she says her prayers. How could I not want to get her out of that?”

Hong Kong’s Security Bureau says the city does not need dedicated legislation against the trafficking of persons as outlined in the UN Palermo Protocol. It says Hong Kong already has laws that deal with criminal activities related to human trafficking and that penalties range from 10 years to life imprisonment. Sandy Wong, chairwoman of the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee of the Hong Kong Federation of Women Lawyers, said: “We do have laws to tackle sex trafficking but not in the sense of how the international community understands the issues. We also do not have specific labour trafficking laws. So on that front, there can be a lot of improvement. But it is not only the government but also the community that has to rise up to tighten our laws.”

Last year, the Hong Kong Police Force and Immigration Department put in place an enhanced mechanism for screening and identifying potential trafficking victims. The list of vulnerable trafficking victims has been expanded to sex workers, illegal workers and illegal immigrants. More than 1,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, Labour Department and Social Welfare Department officers received training on human trafficking last year. A local NGO estimates at least 20,000 prostitutes work in Hong Kong. However, Ann Lee, a spokeswoman for Zi Teng, a support group for sex workers, estimates there are 500,000 women working in the city’s sex trade through roles in massage parlours, spas, compensated dating and as freelance prostitutes. She estimates about 1 in 50 are under 18.

“We also need to go to the source of demand and supply,” said Wong. “Despite the police’s efforts in combating vice establishments, many operate in broad daylight. If we don’t stop the source of demand, there will always be someone who will provide the supply by hook and by crook. Punishing the johns in Sweden [is] an effective measure and should be a model to adopt.” Sweden’s prostitution laws criminalise the buying of sex – putting the criminal focus on the clients rather than the prostitutes. Swedish laws also offer support for women who want to leave prostitution.

However, critics say that punishing the clients will leave the prostitutes more vulnerable. “If you penalise the customer, they won’t pay for sex services. The whole industry will move underground and it’ll be more difficult for social workers to contact sex workers. It’ll be more hidden,” said Lee of Zi Teng.

Organised criminal groups have also tricked and forced African women into prostitution in Hong Kong and mainland China. In 2013, Esther from Tanzania arrived in Shenzhen on a tourist visa before being forced to have sex with several men everyday for three months to pay back a massive debt. She also worked in Hong Kong, often walking the streets all night to find clients. Su, a single mother of two boys also from Africa, arrived expecting to work in a hotel before finding that “there was no job. It was prostitution”. Her passport was taken from her, leaving her trapped, with “no other place to go, no money”. She said she had made at least US$40,000 in four months for the people who trafficked her.

One NGO has helped 200 Nepalese women who were forced into prostitution in Hong Kong since 1996. The women were staying at Chungking Mansions.

Jean, now 25, is in rehab in Manila to heal the psychological scars and recover from drug addiction. Her advocate Santos has visited to help her look for a job. “My daughter keeps me going. I’m studying to finish my high school education,” said Jean. “I don’t know what kind of job I’ll get. I want to go back to a normal life... I want dignity.”

Victims of human trafficking can contact IOM on 2332-2441 or via WhatsApp on 9481-9030. Names in this article have been changed to protect the women

Source: South China Morning Post

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:45 am 
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Gay rights in China get fillip from Taiwan same-sex marriage ruling
By Ben Blanchard
26 May 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) - Taiwan's decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry has proved a shot in the arm for the gay rights movement in Asia, but it is likely to be many years before China approves similar measures, amid deep-rooted opposition in some quarters.

Until 2001, China listed homosexuality as a mental disorder, but it is not illegal to be gay. Many large cities have thriving gay scenes, although gay men and women still face a lot of family pressure to get married and have children.

Wednesday's decision, the first such ruling in Asia, cements Taiwan's position as a beacon of liberalism in the region, and could prompt legal action by activists in Thailand, home to one of Southeast Asia's most vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Mainstream Chinese media either ignored the decision by Taiwan's constitutional court, or focused on the island's few protesters against it. The decision had "caused controversy", the state-run Xinhua news agency said. China sees Taiwan as a wayward province to be brought under Beijing's control by force if necessary, and considers its people to be Chinese citizens. Proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being ruled by China.

But it is only a matter of time before China approves same-sex marriage, the English version of the Global Times, published by the official People's Daily, said. "The ruling proves that same-sex marriage is acceptable in Chinese culture, and is likely for the Chinese mainland to legalize gay marriage within a decade," Li Yinhe, a prominent sexologist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who has backed proposals to legalize gay marriage, told the paper. But the far more widely read Chinese version of the paper was silent on how the decision might affect China.

Despite muted government reaction, the news drew millions of views and many broadly supportive comments on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter. "This is the broad trend of the times. It doesn't hurt anybody else," Li Tingting, a gender equality and gay rights activist, told Reuters.

Taiwan's decision would help promote the same-sex marriage issue in China, said Li, who was detained in 2015 for trying to fight sexual harassment and goes by the pseudonym Li Maizi. "But the problem is society is too conservative," she added. "Many people have never had any contact with anyone gay."

As if underscoring that view, a Chinese academic denounced the news on the site Confucian Web, urging parents in Taiwan to move to China to safeguard children from catching AIDS.

Wei Xiaogang, who works on gay rights and gender issues at the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute, said he felt reaction in China had been generally positive. "It raises the visibility of equal marriage in China, and if more places in Asia approve this, China will feel like it won't want to be left behind," Wei told Reuters, though he could not predict how long the change might take.

Chinese literature and history are rich in description of relatively liberal attitudes to homosexuality in imperial times, but the Communist revolution of 1949 ushered in more prudish attitudes towards sex. Beginning in the late 1970s, however, China eased up on such strictures as it embarked upon landmark economic reforms.

Still, though there are a handful of openly gay celebrities, no Chinese politicians will acknowledge being gay in public, unlike in Western countries. Trying to gauge the extent of support for gay rights in China is difficult as no proper polls are published, said Sun Wenlin, whose landmark case last year seeking permission to marry his boyfriend was rejected by a Chinese court.

Past suggestions by a handful of representatives in China's largely rubber stamp parliament for gay marriage to be legalized have now fallen by the wayside, said Sun. "There's no platform for dialogue about this in China at the moment," said Sun, adding that he was looking into ways to get married in Taiwan once the decision became law there. "I think about half the people I speak to support gay marriage and half oppose," he said. "Generally younger people support it, and those who don't can't really explain why."

Sun will speak next month on the subject at the Shanghai Pride festival, which began in 2009 and bills itself as the longest-existing event of its kind in China.

The Taiwan ruling's influence extends across Asia, though. In Thailand, activists said it would provoke redoubled effort to get the military-ruled country to legalize gay marriage. "I believe long-term gay couples will soon make a similar petition to the administrative court to amend the law," said Danai Dinjongrak, director of the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand. "Activists are already calling each other on the phone, talking about rallying people for the petition."

(Additional reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Panarat Thepgumpanat in Bangkok; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Source: Reuters

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Man wins lawsuit in China over forced gay conversion therapy
By GERRY SHIH
4 July 2017

BEIJING (AP) -- A gay man in central China has successfully sued a mental hospital over forced conversion therapy, in what activists are hailing as the first such victory in a country where the LGBT rights movement is gradually emerging from the fringes.

A court in Zhumadian in Henan province ordered a city mental hospital to publish a public apology in local newspapers and pay the 38-year-old man 5,000 yuan ($735) in compensation, according to a copy of the June 26 judgment seen by the Associated Press. The man, surnamed Yu, had been forcibly admitted to the institution in 2015 by his wife and relatives and diagnosed with "sexual preference disorder," court documents show. He was forced to take medicine and receive injections before finally walking free after 19 days.

In its relatively narrow ruling, the court did not weigh in on the practice of gay conversion therapy or account for Yu's sexual orientation. The court said forcing Yu into a mental institution if he did not pose a danger to himself or others amounted to "infringing on the plaintiff's right to individual freedom."

China removed homosexuality from its list of recognized mental illnesses more than 15 years ago but stories are rife of families admitting their relatives for conversion therapy. Gay rights activists say the case marks the first victory against a public mental institution for compulsory therapy against a patient's will. In 2014, a Beijing man named Peng Yanhui checked himself into a private conversion clinic to investigate its advertised electroshock treatments. Peng, a gay rights activist who goes by Yanzi, then sued the clinic and won a $500 decision from a Beijing court for the suffering he endured in treatment.

The recent ruling in Zhumadian "confirmed the illegality of forced treatments," Peng told the AP. "It's time for China to enact laws to prohibit forced gay conversion therapy." The Zhumadian mental hospital did not immediately provide comment when reached by phone.

While few Chinese have religious objections to homosexuality and homophobic violence is very rare, the country's authoritarian politics and conservative society's preference for marriage and childbearing create subtle barriers that keep most gays in the closet. Vibrant gay scenes do exist in large cities including Shanghai, which has an annual gay pride parade, and depictions of same-sex relationships are increasingly seen in Chinese films and television.

Source: AP

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Period of change: the women fighting to break Hong Kong's menstruation taboo
By Elizabeth Beattie
20 August 2017

In a sex-toy shop nestled in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, a quiet revolution is taking place.

Amid the usual paraphernalia you might expect on the shelves of Sally’s Toys is a stack of menstrual cups, a clue to the outlet’s second life. Once a week, the shop hosts education sessions for women on a taboo subject: periods.

Miki So, 24, is the brains behind the menstruation information sessions at Sally’s. After spending hours educating women one-on-one about menstruation, their bodies and the menstrual cup in the store, So decided that developing a workshop would make more sense. “Hong Kong females, they don’t tend to share their personal experiences with others, which is [typical] in Asian society … they always cover what they feel or what they want to say,” she says. “In the workshop you can feel they have many questions they want to ask, but they don’t have the platform for them to voice these, so at the workshop they can talk about the things they can’t in daily life.”

For women in Hong Kong who have periods, the options are slim. Most pharmacies, department stores and supermarkets offer a great wall of sanitary pads, while tampons and other options are typically unavailable or less visible. Although tampons are available online, they remain uncommon. Also barely visible is any discussion around menstruation. But growing numbers of young women are attempting to change this.

With women in Hong Kong typically working long hours (Hong Kong has the longest working week of any country in the world), the fear of toxic shock syndrome can be a deterrent from using tampons, So says. This has resulted in women seeking alternative sanitary products, such as the menstrual cup.

‘When I had my first period, I thought I was going to die’

The workshops, which are held in Cantonese, sometimes see self-conscious women donning disguises such as large hats and medical-style face masks as they make their way to the sessions. Nevertheless, the number of attendees, aged between 18 and 50, has been increasing. So is acutely aware of the stigma that exists around menstruation – both through the women she encounters and her own experiences. “When I had my first period, I thought I was going to die,” she recalls. “Because my mother didn’t teach me … then my first period was a very light flow – so I thought it was like a disease or something. I put tissue paper into my panties … then my mum found out there was blood on my trousers and she said ‘that is your period and here is a pad’, and then nothing.”

So is not alone in her quest to normalise menstruation in Hong Kong. Two sociology graduates from the the University of Hong Kong, Jessie Leung and Joyce Fung, both 22, are the founders of a Facebook page called MenstruAction. The site’s mission states: “Join us to challenge the menstrual status quo of shame, silence and secrecy. Love it and embrace it.”

The page is a result of the women’s research project. While classmates were studying more traditional topics such as minorities within Hong Kong, Fung and Leung saw the project as an opportunity to encourage cultural change. MenstruAction’s message is that women in Hong Kong should be aware of all the options and ought to have the freedom to explore them. They also want to challenge the stigma that surrounds this topic.

Both graduates say menstruation in Hong Kong remains taboo. According to Chinese traditions, women are not able to visit temples when they have their periods. They also cannot burn incense. Leung says traditionalists often “think menstruation is dirty”.

For young women who grow up within traditional families, the lack of openness about periods produces a sense of shame. “If a mother does not talk about menstruation to her daughters, it becomes a taboo,” Fung says. She has challenged this dynamic by bringing the conversation into her home, and discussing it openly with both her parents. “I tried to educate my dad … and we can actually talk about it; when I’ve got menstro pain, he can actually help me,” Fung says. “It’s very important in the sense that men can also understand how we feel and they can also understand what it is. It’s something that leads to reproduction. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

‘Seventeen or eighteen – that was my first time knowing tampons’

Currently, sex education is not mandatory in schools in Hong Kong. When Fung was at school, as a form of sex education, she and her classmates received a visit from a sanitary pad company. “The discussion about menstruation was by the menstro pad company. They went to our schools and then they gave out menstro pads. The boys and girls were separated. “They would say ‘OK, you’ve started bleeding, this is what you should use’. It was kind of a dictatorship,” Fung says.

So had a similar experience. After a brief school discussion about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, girls and boys were separated before lining up in the fitting room to receive sanitary pads. “Seventeen or eighteen – that was my first time knowing tampons,” she says.

So says quality sex education and a normalised view of human reproduction and menstruation is something she wants to see. In her spare time, she also works for NGO Sticky Rice Love, an online sex education platform that promotes educational resources for young people.

Fung and Leung say talking openly has already helped enlighten some of their friends and allay concerns about insertion-based methods, such as the menstrual cup. “Still a lot of people don’t know about it and have many misconceptions towards the cup, they say it’s not very hygienic … A lot of our friends even questioned ‘how do you pee when you use the menstro cup?’ They don’t know your vagina and urinary tract are two different organs,” Fung says. “So we start from these types of questions, we clear these misconceptions, and that’s how these kinds of ideas get more and more accepted.”

Source: Guardian UK

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Cutiepie Snoozikin Scrupelshrumpilstilskin's "major pain in the butt"
Sex. Enjoy it. Talk about it. Share the experience. Learn from others.


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