NPR

A Fiery Debate Over 'Sissies' Vs. Macho Men In China's Social Media

It started when the boy band New F4 was featured on the annual back-to-school special that every primary and middle school student must watch and discuss.
Members of New F4, a popular Chinese boy band, perform during Chinese Central Television's annual back-to-school special. Source: cassette. film via YouTube/Screenshot by NPR

What's the greater threat to Chinese society: "Sissies" or "straight-man cancer"?

Chinese social media has seen heated debate this month over what masculinity is supposed to look like.

It all started with the state-owned Chinese Central Television's annual back-to-school special, which aired on Sept. 1. The show prominently featured a popular boy band called New F4.

Watching the program, "The First Class of School," is mandatory for more than 100 million

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