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Mid-September is the start of the academic year in China and highschool grads begin life at college.  In Du An County, a Yao minority area in the mountains of southwest China where I research and write on science, I have lovely friendships with kids of the 3 highschools there, keen to practice English and also to genuinely make me welcome. It is a quiet, safe charming rural society which is why I live here. The school system supports the mountain kids in dorms during their formative years. Like a pleasant prison, only allowed out Sunday afternoon 1 to 6pm,   no idea of wider world, no TV and mercifully never heard of “Te Lang Pu” (Trump).  I followed quite a few of the kids’ big step out into the big world (including posing at the bus station pretending I am pleading one not to leave – posted on my facebook). Another one I followed by wechat messages leaving here at 8 am and after many travails at interchanges arriving at a 4th tier city to be shuttled to a rather obscure college where the national exam computer system had matched her highschool score with “tea studies” (yes that is a 4 year course in China).     At 11 pm she was messaging gushing that she had met someone real friendly and warm.  He was a foreigner and could only speak English to her (which she is very poor at).  It is a fact that some developing countries send kids here for low level uni courses).  She copied some of his text because they communicated by auto translate.

I was unnerved to note he came for a country frequently in the news because of the dominant traditions that treat women horribly.  Women are required to have all skin covered and dress otherwise can be justified reason for rape.  His texts were offering to “help” the new arrival and intimated she could come to his kitchen and he would cook for her. “My dorm is close to yours”.  I have had previous close experience with guys who had freaked out at first sight of girls in shorts and a hint of cleavage.  I texted back be careful and that his country was not like where you come from, with some links to background on problems for women in places where they are not respected.

Why can’t the world be like Du An County where sexuality is neither commercialized to the brink of porn nor taboo that goes berserk when unleashed.

 

: http://www.coulterexergy.com/archives/1854

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