low carbon lifestyles…

the current dearth of sexts hasn’t stopped chinese text message snark. the latest mocks poverty and environmentalism:


there’s a new nickname for men without a house, a car and a girl — low-carbon bro.

of note, the “three withouts” in this message are possessions – a house, a car, and a girl. once upon a time in shenzhen, “three withouts” referred to status: no shenzhen hukou, no job, and no home… so an interesting shift in nomenclature. we seem to have gone from seeing the importance of status to seeing the disgrace when one lacks possessions. it could also indicate the extent that those without status are no longer seen at all and the new butts of these jokes are not the truly dispossessed, but unemployed college graduates.

5 thoughts on “low carbon lifestyles…

  1. Pingback: Unpacking a recent Chinese text message snark | China Hope Live

  2. “…of note, the “three withouts” in this message are possessions – a house, a car, and a girl.”

    Girls are possessions?! 0_o

    Uh, no… no they’re not.

    • Of course we aren’t, but that doesn’t change the assumption (not only in China, but also in other parts of the world) that a man can have a house, a car, and a girl…

      • More like the entire world… the language, the use of the word “have” is very problematic and implies male ownership of women. It is important that we work to change this constant undercurrent of Woman as Useful Object.

      • Yisheng Qingwa, I agree that more often than not patriarchal assumptions shape human interaction. However, I’m not yet willing to concede that everyone in the entire world treats people as objects, even when there is more general social inequality. Moreover, within places where images and assumptions of woman as object circulate there are still alternative viewpoints and places to create alternative interactions; These spaces both nourish and provide a place to launch my life. Indeed, I would say that most of us are vexed by different forms of instrumental thinking — animals are food (just a piece of meat), the earth is a resource (or source of resources), people in my life are means to some end (both men and women). Thus, for me the problem is how we leap from noticing difference (small, doesn’t move, can picked up) to transforming those differences into justification for using others (i know better, it doesn’t feel, tasty when broiled), as means to satisfying our wants, such as a particular sense of self (i’m a man, i need a hot shower everyday, i like to be connected by internet) as if our wants defined the world, rather than were simply part of it.

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