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Chinese Feminists Call Trump Out For His "Straight-Man-Cancer" Behaviors

The term, which has become popular on Chinese social media, is the Chinese version of “male chauvinist pig” in English.

Posted on December 14, 2016, at 4:44 p.m. ET

A Chinese feminist icon sent a warning letter to US President-elect Donald Trump with one clear message — don't spread the "straight-man-cancer," because "feminists are watching you."

"The attitude of a US president towards women has a vast influence on the rest of the world," Zheng Churan, a 26-year-old activist, told BuzzFeed News in an interview conducted via WhatsApp. "As someone who is trying to improve women's rights, I figured I had to give Trump some warnings."
Courtesy of Zheng Churan

"The attitude of a US president towards women has a vast influence on the rest of the world," Zheng Churan, a 26-year-old activist, told BuzzFeed News in an interview conducted via WhatsApp. "As someone who is trying to improve women's rights, I figured I had to give Trump some warnings."

"Even across the Pacific, in the faraway land of China, there are constantly reports of you and your government’s involvement in sexual discrimination," wrote Zheng, one of China's "Feminist Five."

The Feminist Five are a group of Chinese women who were granted that title for their somewhat ironic detentions by the Chinese authorities on the eve of International Women’s Day last year, for planning to distribute flyers about sexual harassment on public transportation. The five were released on bail a month later after the hashtag #FreeTheFive went viral and concerned the international community. (Even then–presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her support.) The women remain "criminal suspects" under the investigation, charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order,” a vague offense that is commonly used by the Chinese government against dissidents and human rights lawyers under recent crackdowns, carrying a prison sentence up to five years. Zheng has previously launched campaigns such as Occupy Men's Toilets, which as a result drove the local government to add more female public toilets.
Courtesy of Zheng Churan

The Feminist Five are a group of Chinese women who were granted that title for their somewhat ironic detentions by the Chinese authorities on the eve of International Women’s Day last year, for planning to distribute flyers about sexual harassment on public transportation.

The five were released on bail a month later after the hashtag #FreeTheFive went viral and concerned the international community. (Even then–presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her support.) The women remain "criminal suspects" under the investigation, charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order,” a vague offense that is commonly used by the Chinese government against dissidents and human rights lawyers under recent crackdowns, carrying a prison sentence up to five years.

Zheng has previously launched campaigns such as Occupy Men's Toilets, which as a result drove the local government to add more female public toilets.

Zheng attached to the letter the results from a poll she launched on Weibo and WeChat, inspired to fight back against the Harvard men's soccer team's sexist ranking on female players, in which 72% of over 10,000 voters chose "double standards" as the worst "straight-man-cancer" behavior.

Sent a letter to @realDonaldTrump . 10,899 Chinese vote 10 Top “Straight-man-cancer Behaviors”.HEY TRUMP , FEMINIST… https://t.co/lLGQyHp80L

The term has gained popularity in recent months in China as a local answer to the English phrase "male chauvinist pig" and other terms. "Just as cancer, which goes viral and attacks body immunity system, straight-man-cancer hampers women's rights movement and undermines social equality system," the letter reads.

Among the 20 behaviors listed by the poll, the other's behaviors gaining the most votes include: shaming the victims of sexual violence, virgin complex, discrediting feminism, judging women by their appearance instead of capability, and restricting women from taking power.

Many of those who participated in the poll reacted with the same bitter joke, "this questionnaire is impossible to take — it's a multiple choice question in which every choice is correct."

And some shared their own experiences and observations. "(My) boss is like this, (he has) advanced straight-man-cancer. He thinks all his female business partners got their positions through sex. Isn't that nonsense," one commented.

As for why she chose to use the term "straight-man-cancer" to lecture Trump, Zheng argued that the frustration of many women had reached a degree that softer terms don't really capture, and only a term as violent as "straight-man-cancer" could express the outrage appropriately.

Courtesy of Zheng Churan

Courtesy of Zheng Churan

Zheng sent the mail from a small post office in Shenzhen to the Trump Building on Wall Street, whose address is "too famous not to know." She also tagged @realDonaldTrump in a tweet, hoping to get a response from the President-elect and to raise public awareness of the issue of sexual discrimination.

Here's some of the key excerpts from her open letter to Trump:

"A feminist from ChinaZheng ChuranDec, 2016Mr. Trump:"Hopefully, the message we try to deliver will get through to you:"We wish to tell you that, Gender Equality is already a global issue. Female Movement will definitely not stagnate with the inference of straight-man-cancer group. "Feminists across the world will resolutely stand up to defend our triumph in history and fight against the obsolete patriarchal order, under which men enslave women women serve men. "We wish you know that, women in every corner of the world is winning back their rights of subsistence and development. They are always taking action on the front-line for the recognition of their economic status and political rights."We wish to warn you that, straight-man-cancer will inevitably pay their price for the contemptible comments or violent remarks on women, for actions of sexualizing women."We wish you to watch out, the feminists worldwide are speaking, and we are watching you."
Courtesy of Zheng Churan

"A feminist from China

Zheng Churan

Dec, 2016

Mr. Trump:

"Hopefully, the message we try to deliver will get through to you:

"We wish to tell you that, Gender Equality is already a global issue. Female Movement will definitely not stagnate with the inference of straight-man-cancer group.

"Feminists across the world will resolutely stand up to defend our triumph in history and fight against the obsolete patriarchal order, under which men enslave women women serve men.

"We wish you know that, women in every corner of the world is winning back their rights of subsistence and development. They are always taking action on the front-line for the recognition of their economic status and political rights.

"We wish to warn you that, straight-man-cancer will inevitably pay their price for the contemptible comments or violent remarks on women, for actions of sexualizing women.

"We wish you to watch out, the feminists worldwide are speaking, and we are watching you."

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