Women in the Workplace, Fighting Spam, Money in the Museum, and the Mood for Food


汉语世界(The World of Chinese) 2016年5期

Chairman Mao famously said that women hold up half the sky. Well, its time to pay up. Women, after all, shouldnt be holding that much of the sky for two-thirds the wages of the male counterparts, for harassment in the office, and for job discrimination that keeps women from certain jobs. Every country has trouble with pay inequality in the workplace, but Chinas economic explosion and status as a rising world power means that the Middle Kingdom can make gender equality a product of development rather than the annoying hindrance to which its so often portrayed. A few laws need to change, but traditional attitudes toward women need to change first (page 26).

Turning to our phones and computers, there are few things more annoying to our digital realm than the prevalence of spam. Bombarded as we are, few realize that China is a growing, innovative power in the spam market, which, incidentally, is worth billions. Chinese internet users have also discovered that spam and malware make interesting bedfellows, giving birth to worms, viruses, and the dreaded Asian Hummingbad. Clutch your phone tightly. Things get (digitally) scary in “Click Click Boom” (page 34).

Chinese cuisine, unlike spam, has successfully and thankfully infiltrated just about every corner of Earth. When a Chinese dish leaves home it changes forever—to become sweeter, spicier, or shoved in a box and sold at Panda Express—but good Chinese grub is changing in places like Vancouver, where immigrant food is now fine dining (page 40).

Once youve finished with that main course, check out how museums are selling out in “Forbidden Money” for a palate cleanser. For many, the story of the mainstream commercialization of Chinas cultural sector began with a Starbucks in the Forbidden City, but places like the Palace Museum thrive on what have come to be known as “creative products” to maintain their relevance. Still, many are worried that this path to historical capitalism—be it in the form of reality television in a museum or imperial ear buds—is leading the countrys culture down a dark path (page 46).

For lovers of literature, be sure to check out an original short story from up-and-coming writer Monster Fuji

(怪物不二) about murder and the genesis of fear in our Dragons Digest section (page 10). Also, TWOCs favorite sci-fi master, Liu Cixin, publishes the third in the Three-Body trilogy, Deaths End, in September and we were lucky enough to get an advance copy to review; learn more in “Three Body the Third” (page 84). If youre more in the mood for trivia this issue, weve got you covered with a 17th century explosion that nearly destroyed Beijing in Time Machine (page 72) and an in-depth look into the modern ritual of choosing an English name in China (page 22).

Thank you for reading and dont forget to get your digital copy, called China Dispatch, on the App Store. Also, remember to check out our website, for daily updates and fresh content.