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Credit should be given to China for decriminalizing homosexuality (it took a while, but a step forward is still a step) in 1997 as well as removed homosexuality from their classifications of mental disorders in 2001, but there still is a heavy problem in China for two big reasons (Denyer, 2017). Conversion therapy although deemed as illegal in 2013 is still a thing that people are being forced into, as well as confinement and taking medication for it. People who try to escape conversion therapy are often verbally abused which just adds to the stress and trauma that these individuals are going through. These people are told they are a disgrace to their families, that they are diseased, that they are perverts, and that they are dirty (Denyer, 2017). In situations like these when people feel they have no one on their side, it would be nice to have some type of support and although China does not decriminalize them, there are no laws that defend them from discrimination. They have this mentality that they will not approve of it, but will not promote for their rights either. It is basically thought about as whatever happens happen, which makes it hard for people affected by this to sue for wrongful mistreatment. There are a few cases where people sued and won, but it is very difficult for it to go in favor of the plaintiff.
When relaying this back to race relations we talked about the web of heterosexism in chapter seven, in which case there are no direct discriminatory laws or policies against them, but there are still discriminatory practices (Miller & Garran, 2008). Their legal rights are challenged in a way because everyone has the right to be protected if wrongly acted against, the right to responsibility (so we have a duty to other people and should help protect their rights and freedoms), the right to feel comfortable to be yourself and not fear being assaulted or killed because of it, etc. People in this community are often threatened, isolated, stereotyped and outside their community they do not have much support overall, but this is not one of the only problems in China.
China has quite a few actions that are followed and done that are not made into laws but are still very wrong and shows there is a common way of thinking when it comes to men and women. For example, there was a “law” established in Sichuan Province in 2003 that male officials could not have female secretaries, now this was only in certain parts of the country and was focused more towards men in government (Denyer, 2017). This was strongly enforced throughout Sichuan in which the reason for this law was that the female secretaries could be too distracting for the males to get anything productive done. Although this was obviously practiced there is no proof of this being written in the code. If this was not enough to make you think, Fushun School of Traditional Culture in China was closed for teaching women how to be “obedient” (BBC, 2017). This school called themselves teaching women traditional values but failed to realize they were violated their social values. They were taught things such as not to fight back when being beaten, do not speak back, not to expect equality, not to try to have a career, etc. while also reading articles that were backing up what the teachers were saying to these women (BBC, 2017). Employees from the institute felt the closing of the school was unfair due to the video misrepresenting what the institute was about.
Although this school was shut down it seems to be a sense of sexism when it comes to China. In chapter four we talk about the web of institutional racism focusing on employment racism, it focuses more on race in the book but in this scenario, we are going to focus on the fact of gender in which women are treated differently than men. Men are more respected, they get promotions more often, they tend to be “smarter” and a “better representation of a company” (Miller & Garran, 2008). Men represent strength while women are “fragile” and “emotion driven” but that is in places all over the world not just China. This can make it very hard for women because they must put in 10x the work just to get half the respect, half the credit, and half the pay.
When it comes to labor workers in China, everyone knows they are some of the most hard-working people seeing how everything, in America at least, is made in china. We hear about how they are underpaid, given atrocious working conditions, and their health is just horrible, but they have a job so you would figure that they are at least appreciated, that’s not the case. Labor workers are being given days to move everything out before their water and electricity will be cut off (Kuhn, 2017). People who have worked for years are being forced to relocate and start all over, migrants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (just to name a few) are also being pushed out (Kuhn, 2017). Due to this people such as breakfast vendors, locksmiths, delivery men, etc. are having to relocate to the cities as well. “Even though they’re Chinese, they’re considered migrants because of the country’s household registration system, known as hukou. Residency is determined by one’s birthplace” (Kuhn, 2017). The reason behind this abrupt force out of migrants is due to a fire sparking in southern Beijing Daxing district killing 19 people, this helped them speed up the process of moving people out since they want to cap Beijing’s population at 23,000,000 (Kuhn, 2017). “China never makes a big deal about these “slums” until they need the land or a fire breaks out but their reasoning for pushing them out is pointless. Beijing’s population is declining because it’s too expensive to live in Beijing, as well as they are getting factory jobs, high-speed rail and internet access” (Kuhn, 2017).
The web of institutional racism talks about the hardships of immigration racism, although for China it was different in a way (Miller & Garran, 2008). They welcomed migrants for a while, gave them a job so they could make money, live somewhere comfortably, and have the bare necessities if nothing else. Migrants were useful to the Chinese for a while but as soon as they no longer needed them and had other plans they forced them out like they did not matter. Unlike America, China was not scared of them taking jobs away from the other people there so they in a small sense were safe but were not respected or even really seen as human. They were considered at the bottom of the totem pole so there was no remorse or real help being given to the people who were losing their jobs and China did not care because it was about them no longer needing the migrants. Like any other place, China has issues but these were just a few of the ones I felt related to race relations.
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