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Title: Young Chinese women fans of 'boys' love' : the appeal of homoerotic fictions
Author: Lu, Ni
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 8994
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of this thesis is to apply feminist perspectives to explore the ‘boys’ love’ (BL) culture in China. I argue that women in China are challenging traditional patriarchy through this new culture. Drawing upon interviews with 30 young Chinese women, I explore the attitudes of an ambitious new generation who are questioning gender norms in three areas: sex, love and relationships, and self-identity. With regard to sex, these women are challenging their negative sexual status. Traditionally, women are considered innocent and passive objects that are defined, gazed at, and consumed. However, my participants express their own sexual aesthetic and sexual desires, and they understand sex positively through BL. With regard to love and relationships, young women are questioning women’s roles as expected by mainstream society. Unlike men, who are considered to be independent, women are traditionally considered to be dependants that have no choice but to invest their whole selves in love and relationships, and to become ‘good wives’ and ‘good mothers’. However, my data shows that young women now have different demands for love and happiness, and as a result they are questioning traditional family forms, the heterosexual norm, and patriarchy. With regard to self-identity, I explore how the young women question gender norms. The definition of femininity has restricted women’s achievements and their opportunities to access equal resources in past and current Chinese society. My participants demonstrate a rethinking of gender norms through the medium of BL. Ultimately, the contribution of this thesis is to explore a new awareness arising in a newly formed women’s social practice, one that questions the gender binary, the heterosexual norm, and the gender inequality that arises from them, in an era of social change in China.
Supervisor: Jackson, Stevi ; Johnson, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available