Yang Bingyang 杨冰阳, or Ayawawa, is a Chinese relationship expert who created a lucrative business by preaching her questionable yet popular dating theories to a legion of about 3 million fans. Guyu Lab, an online media outlet operated by Tencent, published a widely circulated article (in Chinese) today profiling the self-acclaimed “goddess of dating” and her loyal followers, and one quote by Yang in the article has drawn fire on the Chinese internet.
The controversial remarks were given by Yang in a class she taught. In an attempt to explain why women are born with more “gender advantages” than men, Yang asked her students to imagine being Chinese comfort women who were forced to provide sex services to the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.
“Do you think they are really miserable? Have you thought of men during that period of time? Many of them got killed during the war, but women managed to survive,” Yang said. “So you see, girls still have gender advantages during wartime. As long as you can exploit the advantages based on your gender, the benefits are beyond measure.”
Aside from this extremely questionable take on the plight of comfort women, the article is basically a stream of arguments on why women should never overestimate their value in the dating market and how to take advantage of their gender to please men and find a successful partner. “Dress yourself to look good. Be a young mother. Don’t marry someone out of your league,” Yang advises. On the topic of Hillary Clinton’s election failure, Yang says, “Her loss to Donald Trump doesn’t suggest a failure of women as a whole. She lost because she’s not good enough. If Ivanka Trump were in the race, her father would have lost to her easily.”
The head-scratching article has ignited a storm of criticism online, with many newspapers, such as the China Youth Daily and China Women Newspaper, castigating the values advocated by Yang. “Because of this article, we are reminded that even in a country where gender equality is a basic national policy, there are toxic theories like this and lessons that try to degrade women into dust,” China Women Newspaper wrote (in Chinese).
Yang apologized (in Chinese) on Weibo today for what she called “an inexcusable mistake” that she made while commenting on “the gender difference during wartime.” “I was not aware that all human beings are victims of wars, regardless of gender,” she wrote. “I’ve been blogging about relationships for a long time and I knew little about politics and military affairs. That’s why I made such a stupid mistake.” Yang also announced that she will take a break from all social media platforms for a month to “learn internet regulations, conduct self-criticism, and foster correct worldviews.”
The apology, however, did not go down well with angry netizens who wanted Yang to be muted on all sorts of platforms for good. “One month is far from enough. She’s been objectifying women for such a long time. Why is she still around?” one Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).