New York Times interviews Muzimei

Amazing. A big fat article in the NY Times about the Guangzhou sex kitten. Everything you ever wanted to know about her is here.

For the past month, as China’s propaganda machine has promoted the nation’s new space hero or the latest pronouncements from Communist Party leaders, the Chinese public has seemed more interested in a 25-year-old sex columnist whose beat is her own bedroom.

“I think my private life is very interesting,” said the columnist, Mu Zimei, arching an eyebrow and tapping a Marlboro Light into an ashtray. She added: “I do not oppose love, but I oppose loyalty. If love has to be based on loyalty, I will not choose love.”

Mu Zimei is both reviled and admired, but she is not ignored. The country’s most popular Internet site, Sina.com, credits her with attracting 10 million daily visitors. Another site, Sohu.com, says Mu Zimei is the name most often typed into its Internet search engine, surpassing one occasional runner-up, Mao Zedong.

It’s great that the Times is giving this so much space, taking a look not only at who she is but at how this episode has ignited a major nationwide debate in China on women and sex. A debate that’s making the government squirm.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Sex in the City

When you talk about sex in the city and that city happen to be in China … oh boy .. I think those cities would rival American city in the amount of sex that is going on there. Here an…

November 30, 2003 @ 11:49 am | Comment

While some members of the government (and society in general) may be squriming, I think someone at a fairly senior level has decided that it’s time for Chinese society to become “progressive” and start talking about sex. It has been particularly noticeable over at Xinhua (www.xinhua.org/english) where there have been numerous stories relating to sex over the last 2 or 3 months. Just for a few examples: there have been several stories relating to the issue of sex education in schools, and complaining about the failure of schools to adopt a new book that has recently been published specifically designed for high school sex education. A story about elderly couples in Shanghai choosing to live together rather than getting married. A story about the top-10 sex related stories in China so far this year. A story quoting the recent Durex world wide survey, because it listed Chinese women as the most sexy in the world. I was quite surprised when I first noticed stories of this nature start to appear, but they seem to have become a regular feature … and frankly I think something as radical as this must have been decided at a political, not an editorial level.

November 30, 2003 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

Agreed. Just look at all the attention they are giving to AIDS and condoms all of a sudden.

The reference to the government squirming is that her web site had to be closed down and her book contract ended. The fact that it has gone this far and is being discussed so widely throughout the country is a great sign in itself. China is making great strides in these areas (though it’s too bad that when it comes to issues like government reform, Tiananmen Square and human rights, the reforms come screeching to a halt).

November 30, 2003 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

Again with the Muzimei (or is it Mu Zimei? I’m calling her Miss. Mu for now on).

An article appearing in the New York Times, part interview and part run-down of events that led to Miss Mu’s celebrity status as a sex (although not exactly explicit) writer (via Peking Duck), tells me a couple of things: Her…

November 30, 2003 @ 1:46 pm | Comment

This explains why my hits went ballistic over the weekend. For some reason I’m on Google’s first page for a search on her. It’s not quite Korean trannies, but I’ll take it.

November 30, 2003 @ 6:14 pm | Comment

Enjoy it while you can! If you look up “Liu Di” on google, you’ll see how I’m enjoying the same thing today.

November 30, 2003 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

This will be a world phenomenom, we are writting about her in Spain…

November 30, 2003 @ 11:34 pm | Comment

A focus on sex? Beautiful women, also. See Xinhuanet’s coverage of this year’s China Auto Exhibit in Guangzhou.

December 1, 2003 @ 3:44 am | Comment

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