China’s Masculinity Problem and America’s Solution

According to The New York Times, China has a boy problem. More specifically, “a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys” (quoted by The Dallas Morning News, Feb. 7, 2016) is plaguing China to such a degree that the government has decided to take action.

While I certainly applaud China’s attentiveness to the need for boys to act more like boys and less like girls because, you know, acting like a girl is about the worse thing ever, I’d suggest there is more that could (and perhaps should) be done to address this disturbing problem.

But first, what excellent measures are underway so far?

To their credit, in a similar fashion of American girls signing purity pledges to their fathers, Chinese boys in some schools are signing petitions to “act like real men.” Presumably acting like real men includes martial arts, working on computers and knowing physics, all classes designed in Zhengzhou to achieve more “real men.” Or, in Hangzhou, “bringing out the men in boys” includes taekwondo as part of a summer camp program.

Too, the Chinese government is recruiting more male teachers whose maleness is intended to “salvage masculinity,” because, let’s face it, having too many female teachers at any age is worrisome. I mean, who can really trust women with knowing stuff, much less being able to teach it to boys?

While these efforts to teach their young boys to “man up” are laudable, China is really missing a huge opportunity to undergird their men with just the right kind of aggressiveness. So, maybe China should take a page out of America’s successful handbook.

According to The Associated Press, an average of 760 Americans was killed with guns annually by spouses, ex-spouses or dating partners between 2006 and 2014. 80% of those killed were women. (The Dallas Morning News, Feb. 6, 2016).


Guns, in and of themselves are not bad, of course, and guns themselves do nothing but sit in dusty drawers. Furthermore, I’m sure it is pure coincidence that the vast majority of people killed by such innocent weapons are women and that the massive NRA lobby is merely protecting a time-honored freedom and we should not make any unwarranted logical assessment between the prolific availability of guns/lax gun regulation and disproportionate deaths of women.

Still, I imagine if China is really serious about its masculinity problem, the government may want to look to our American practice of protecting guns, even at the expense of women. We know a thing or two about cultivating masculine preference.