A Chinese teacher founded the Real Man Training Club to fight effeminacy in China’s youth as Chinese authorities and media warn against a crisis in Chinese masculinity.
Young boys in the Real Man Training Club engage in a variety of masculine activities directed by coach Tang Haiyan, according to the Los Angeles Times. Wearing headbands that say “Real Man” and tracksuits and shirts displaying English slogans such as “Power Leader” and “Anything is Possible,” the boys follow their teachers in beating their chests and chanting slogans.
“One, two, three!” the boys chant with their coaches as they go for an early morning run in 14-degree weather. “Who’s the best? We are! Who are we? We are real men!”
This “reserve for alpha males,” as Haiyan refers to it, also pushes the boys to join in aggressive activities like football, wrestling and hiking, according to the LA Times.
The Chinese state-run media has criticized Chinese young men, saying that they imitate Korean pop stars in using makeup, bleached hair and high-end outfits, and calling these pop stars “sissy pants” and “fresh young meat,” according to the LA Times.
Media figures worry that Chinese actors reflect the nation’s identity and that the effeminacy of Chinese actors makes China look weak the publication reports. Meanwhile, the Chinese military publication People’s Liberation Army Daily complained that only 20 percent of their recruits could pass fitness tests.
“If you are promoting these effeminate figures, it’s a calamity for our country,” Haiyan told the LA Times.
Concern over men’s masculinity deepened after a back-to-school TV program showed students the band F4, causing parents to lash out at the Education Ministry for holding up effeminate role models to their children. The incident caused media to warn against the culture’s “sick” and “decadent” decline. Chinese media began blurring out earrings when men wore them on TV this year, according to the California paper.
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