Zhang Ziyi's Butt and the Face of the Chinese People

Previously, Danwei had told us about the alleged nude photographs of Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi in the new movie Memoirs of a Geisha (see sample below).   By now, it is clear that these poor-quality photographs were taken from some other movie(s) (see Kaiju Shakedown: Zhang Ziyi Definitely Not Naked).

But when the film gets released in December, Zhang Ziyi may still have a nude scene or more.  What then?

Undoubtedly, this will re-ignite the issue of whether it was a national disgrace for a Chinese woman to be screwed by a Japanese man (or Japanese men).  As an anti-dote, the following is a translation of an article at New Century Net (backup copy is here).

Zhang Ziyi's Butt and the Face of the Chinese People  By Zhu Xueyuan (朱学渊)

In Memoirs Of A Geisha, famous movie star Zhang Ziyi had to meet the needs of the movie and took part in some scenes with exposed skin.  This caused many patriots to be unhappy and even infuriated.  They condemned Zhang Ziyi en masse, and some even used unprintable language.  A cute summary was made by someone who described them as mixing saliva and spit with faces that have the color of pork kidneys.

I believe that it is understandable that people should denounce Ms. Zhang.  Japan has committed innumerable crimes in China, and to this day they have failed to acknowledge this history and their war crimes.  This has caused China, Korea and other countries invaded by Japan to harbor strong anti-Japanese feelings.  For example, the case of the Korean cutting his finger off, or the incident on the Beijing soccer field in the Sino-Japanese match (although the news was suppressed in the media, the people's mouths were not sealed) and the tremendous anti-Japanese marches around the country this year all expressed the heavy emotions against the Japanese.  I am also angry about the crimes that the Japanese committed, but do we need to elevate the Zhang Ziyi incident to the level of patriotism?

I believe that this is totally unnecessary.  The Chinese people like to throw the word patriotism around.  This is a tradition on the Internet.  One gets online: if one cries patriotism, then one becomes a patriot; if one condemns someone else as being unpatriotic, then one is a patriotic fighter.  This is reminds me a great deal about the big character posters that used to be all over the place during the Cultural Revolution.

The Chinese people are good at using patriotism for support.  They use it to support others as well as themselves.  When the female Chinese tourist Zhao Yan was assaulted by the police in the United States, the entire population got angry because they believe this was a provocation of China by the Americans and it damaged the face of the Chinese people.  When Zhao filed a lawsuit in the United States, the patriots inside China cried that this was a lawsuit filed on behalf of the dignity of the people of the motherland.

Let me ask: how did Zhao Yan ever get to represent the dignity of 1.3 billion people in China?  Does she really represent them?  On August 4, 2004, the policeman Dou Shugui of Bazhou (Hebei) deliberately committed murder; on July 4, 2004, the policeman Liu Dezhou of Yuzhou (Henan) deliberately committed murder; in July, 2005, a policeman named Li of Shanxi deliberately committed murder; in August, 2005, a peasant in Wen County (Henan) committed murder eleven years ago and let fled to Shanxi where he joined the police force.  How come all these incidents did not arouse the ire of the patriots?  If the American police hurt the face of the Chinese people when they assaulted Zhao Yan, then who is hurting whose face when our own policemen assaulted our own people?  Why aren't you saying anything?  Are you out of breath?  When you scold the Americans, you prove that you are a patriot and the Americans can't touch you, so why not?  This is an example of using patriotism to support others.  In the following, I will describe how patriotism can be used to support oneself.

There is no lack of such examples in China.  A few years ago, Ms. Vicky Zhao was accused to selling out the country when she used the Japanese flag as a dress.  The scene was like a class struggle session.  This time, it was movie star Zhang Ziyi's turn to represent the face of the Chinese people.  Zhang Ziyi takes off her pants and shows her big white butt.  This was just perfect for them to issue condemnations, as if Zhang Ziyi's but represents the face of the Chinese.

Let us look at what Shi Changqing wrote:

She is not being screwed by just one Japanese person, for she is being screwed by every Japanese person!  She is not the only person to be screwed by the Japanese people, for every Chinese person is being screwed by the Japanese people!  She let shame fall on the Chinese people!  How could such a person deserve to be a Chinese?

After reading those words, I became super-dispirited.  How did all the Chinese people get screwed by all the Japanese people?  If you think that Zhang Ziyi's butt can represent your face, then I do not object to that.  But could you please not bring the entire Chinese population into this!  When I read your words, I did not feel screwed by the Japanese people; instead I thought that you were screwing me when you decided to use Zhang Ziyi's butt to represent my face as well as the face of all the Chinese people.  Why do you want to screw the Chinese people?  What kind of patriotism is that?  Do you deserve to be a Chinese person?  Do not use patriotism to elevate yourself, do not think that you win just by invoking the word 'patriotism' and do not think that you are elevated, haloed and flawless.  It is not so.  When you used Ms. Zhang's butt to represent the face of the Chinese people, I consider you to be unpatriotic; instead, you have insulted the 1.3 billion Chinese people.

Patriotism is definitely a term that can arouse people; it is a highly inflammatory term.  Hitler used the term to start a world war, so we can imagine how powerful it is.  For someone to elevate the words or deeds of certain individuals to the level of nation and people is a dangerous sign.  It does not help the healthy development of the country or the soundness of the democratic consciousness of the people.  It will lead the people into a dead-end with no escape.  You are here yelling about patriotism but you are not loving your country in any true sense; instead, you are insulting the wisdom of the people.  I agree firmly with these words from Wang Yi:

Those who presume to invoke the name of the people actually do not believe in the rights of the people; those who frequently claim to act in the name of the nation are actually not nationalists; those who frequently use to the name of nation to do things are not actually patriotic.

Therefore, I believe that the Zhang Ziyi incident is an issue restricted to cinematic arts, nudity, the lower half of the body and the butt, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with patriotism.  As for those comrades who like to raise the flag and sing in the wind, they should not use Zhang Ziyi's butt for their faces.  You need to consider that when you use her butt to represent the face of all the people, you are insulting everyone.  You can afford to lose face, but we cannot and we will not.