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Reinventing LicentiousnessPornography and Modern China$
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Y. Yvon Wang

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752971

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752971.001.0001

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The Implied Masturbator Speaks

The Implied Masturbator Speaks

Technologies and Markets Catalyze Transformations in Yin Ideology

(p.89) Chapter 3 The Implied Masturbator Speaks
Reinventing Licentiousness

Y. Yvon Wang

Cornell University Press

This chapter builds on the material and technological transformations described in the previous chapter to discuss changing ideas about sexual representations. The chapter begins to directly talk about the desires of the implied masturbator. From the late Qing into the early twentieth century, mass media conquered the Chinese cultural world. Ambitious intellectuals at the turn of the twentieth century increasingly put their ideas onto a print market that was more open than ever before. The chapter analyses how literary professionalization remained a deviation from the orthodox path of officialdom. It also elaborates the five aspects of ideological change around sex and sexual representations at the turn of the twentieth century. Many of these ideological transformations were led by political and cultural reformers, including proponents of a “New Culture.” These self-declared iconoclasts argued for revising the boundaries of legitimacy around desire itself. Ultimately, the chapter introduces the downfall of Zhang Jingsheng, a leading member of the New Culture group. The chapter addresses how Zhang's open discussion of his personal desires made him vulnerable to becoming seen as no better than an implied masturbator.

Keywords:   sexual representations, sex, implied masturbator, mass media, print market, New Culture, desire, Zhang Jingsheng

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