rant on the state of shenzhen news

A journalist approached me for an interview on the topic, “送你一个好男人 (We’ll give you a good man)”. His newspaper is currently preparing special articles for International Women’s Day, next Thursday, March 8. I replied that my ideal man would have been a better topic for Valentine’s Day, when fantasy is given free reign and chocolate assumes its rightful place in the food chain. He responded that the newspaper was aiming for a “light” approach to women’s issues by collecting and retelling love stories. I’m presuming that the editorial moment will be to abstract those characteristics shared by good men the world over; my love story would be cross-culturally inspirational. So to speak.

The fact that newspapers are generating content for International Women’s Day isn’t surprising. In fact, making the ideal man the subject of Women’s Day reportage is an accurate reflection of the status of women and the terms of gender debate in Shenzhen. What’s more, I’m not even surprised that their story is gossip — the semiotic daisy chain that strings women and love and sex and gossip is so overdetermined that I’m moderating a roundtable on the relationship between gossip and architecture as part of my Women’s Day celebration. But here’s what I don’t get — why call me? Continue reading