A former schoolteacher in China has founded a club to protect boys from the influence of “effeminate personalities” amid the ever-growing popularity of “K-pop culture” among the country’s young.
The Beijing-based Real Man Training Club aims to combat what its founder Tang Haiyan and others in China “see as a masculinity crisis — part of a backlash against the makeup- and earring-wearing male TV, film and pop idols who have gained immense popularity here,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
“If you are promoting these effeminate figures,” Tang told the Times, “it’s a calamity for our country.”
The club offers members a host of activities including American football, wrestling and boxing, and annual treks through the desert and mountains. Tang likens the club to a “reserve for alpha males.”
Boys don a headband with the words “Real Man” and their track suits and shirts display slogans in English such as “Power Leader” and “Anything is Possible.”
Tang and other male mentors lead the boys in chest beating and slogan shouting.
Song Geng of the University of Hong Kong said the fear partly reflects deep-seated insecurity about Chinese power, after historical humiliations such as the opium wars and domination of Chinese rulers by foreign imperial powers.
“They’re worrying that if Chinese men are so effeminate… then we will become a weak country in future and we cannot compete with our rivals,” the Times quoted him as saying. “There’s anxiety about the virility of the nation being harmed by those effeminate male images.”
Screenwriter Wang Hailin said China needed to be “aware of this effeminacy before it’s too late and deal with it.”