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“Men Conquer the World and Women Save Mankind”

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how Chinese women imagine masculinity and femininity through reading and writing Web romances. It focuses on another subgenre of Web-based popular romance, nüzun: matriarchal fiction, mostly set in a society ruled by women, that describes a woman's ascent to power in the public arena, or her success at establishing and heading a happy domicile including one or more male sexual partners, or both. The majority of the author's interviews described experiencing a heightened sense of freedom and liberation through the Internet, which can be explained by their life stage, their hitherto intense focus on academics, and their prior supervision by parents and teachers. Catering mainly to well-educated and articulate Chinese women, Chinese language websites such as Jinjiang possess interactive features that inculcate a reader-oriented form of writing. Readers' online commentaries provide a kind of erotic pleasure as conceptualized in Georges Bataille's work.

Keywords: Chinese women; Georges Bataille; Jinjiang; nüzun; public arena; Web romance



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