Lecture: Subversion and Submission: Chinese Media’s Representation of Trans Personality Jin Xing



Professor Peiqin Zhou
Department of Sociology, Nanjing University


Transgender is a rarely touched topic in gender studies in China. To date, Jin Xing is the only highly visible sex/gender minority figure in Chinese mainstream media, which makes her an especially valuable object for understanding sex/gender non-conformists in China. The main focus of this study is to examine the gender ideology Jin Xing has presented to the public. On the one hand, Jin Xing’s media representation clearly indicates that she has been subversive in a society where social norms are usually held fast. On the other hand, her media representation strongly indicates that she can be very submissive on some issues regarding gender ideology. For example, her viewpoint on women’s position in heterosexual relationships is stunningly conservative. This finding highlights that there are fundamental conflicts between transgenderism and feminism. The study further points out that Jin Xing’s submission to a gender binary system may be counted as a crucial factor that explains her long time media success. Except for being transsexual, Jin Xing’s image completely fits into well accepted conservative gender norms. Furthermore, her physical attractiveness, stable marriage and financial success work together to help set up the transnormativity, which is largely compatible with mainstream gender ideology.

Professor Zhou Peiqin is a professor of sociology at Nanjing University. She was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Drake University in the academic year of 2009-2010, and spent another academic year during 2016-2017 at Drake University supported by funding from the Ministry of Education, China. She has also been a visiting scholar to Science Po Lyon (France), The University of Sydney, and Freiburg University (Germany). Her teaching and research interests focus on gender studies and media studies.