Sex and the Chinese single space
The global market, as it impinges on social organization and identity in China, has engendered a new space for singleness and sex which in turn has created new possibilities and difficulties for both sexes. Women especially now have the opportunity to expect sexual pleasure in marriage and the potential to seek it outside of marriage, even as their job instability and divorce rates have increased. With the advent of the market era, state-sanctioned equality has disappeared and sex difference (xingbie) serves to organize society hierarchically, most often to the detriment of women. New non-governmental women's organizations such as singles' clubs and a national hotline mediate the tremendous dislocations, especially among urban professionals who are «children» of the Cultural Revolution. While particular changes are unique to China, the emergence of singles and the centrality of sex and gender to the smooth functioning of the market are consistent with experiences in other post-socialist countries.
Virginia Cornue received her doctorate April 2001 for her dissertation, Re-organizing Women: Gender, Non-Government Organizations and Contemporary Change in China. Prior to her graduate work at Rutgers University, she founded and headed a number of women's rights organizations in the US. She has written and produced bilingual (Chinese and English) materials for young learners and is the author of Springing from the Ground: Meditations on Flowers and Their Messages. Volume I, Meditations on Moonflowers, will be published soon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Cornue, Ph.D. 129 Lincoln Street, Montclair, NJ 07042, USA, 973-509-0108, f: 973- 509-3109.