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Tongzhi LivingMen Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China$
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Tiantian Zheng

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816691999

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816691999.001.0001

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The 1s and the 0s

The 1s and the 0s

Defining, Socializing, and Disciplining Gender Roles in the Tongzhi Community

(p.75) Chapter 3 The 1s and the 0s
Tongzhi Living

Tiantian Zheng

University of Minnesota Press

Chapter 3 unravels the gender roles and gender dynamics in tongzhi relationships. More specifically, it explores the ways in which tongzhi negotiate, rework, and recast hegemonic codes of masculinity and femininity in their relationships and create unique forms of engagements with gender. Through foregrounding the relationships between 1 (penetrator) and 0 (penetrated), this chapter argues that these relationships and identities are constructed and shaped within the hegemonic gender norms that dictate gender roles, such as female sexual faithfulness as the object of control and male sexual promiscuity as the master of control. After entering the tongzhi community, as a result of his first sexual experience, each man is often defined as either 1 or 0 and expected to assume either a masculine or a feminine role. In this community, men learn how to be 1s and 0s through their experiences, and often their challenges and manipulations manifest the unstable and contentious nature of gender roles. Although these creative aberrations and appropriations of hegemonic gender norms allow for the individual pursuit of sexual pleasure and a certain degree of freedom, they continue to be self-contradictory and subject to intense contention.

Keywords:   tongzhi, hegemonic gender codes, gender studies, gender identity, LGBT community

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