“There is no time limit on loving you”: Male students from Tsinghua Law School borrow metaphors about love for girls to mock the revision to the constitution, students’ banners soon get removed.
(Editorial Note: This is a translation of an anonymous article that was originally published by Stand News on International Women’s Day. We are posting it here as it helps to understand the political situation in China. However important criticisms of the sexism associated with Girls Day have been made elsewhere. )
Today is March 8th Women’s Day. In the mainland there is also a March 7th Girls’ Day. This is mainly because female students in the mainland think that Women’s Day is a festival for married women and so in order to differentiate from this, they celebrate “Girls’ Day” on March 7th. On March 7th, many university students will hang up banners praising girls. According to online news, yesterday at the campus of Beijing’s Tsinghua University many banners with expressions dedicated to female classmates were hung up, however due to their implicit mocking contents, they had to be quickly taken down.
Providing a background to this was the hot debate of the moment; the amendment to the terms of office of the country’s president and vice-president. The online photos show that these banners were very timely. They include, “there is no time limit on loving you, if there is, it can just be deleted”, “I want to re-elect your classmates” “No state can exist without a constitution, just as I can’t live without you”, and “I want to get re-elected as your boyfriend.” According to reports from the internet these banners were dedicated to female students from different departments and classes, wishing them a Happy Girls’ Day” or addressing them as “Goddess”, and were hung up by male students from Tsinghua University.
Some students said that the banners had only been hung up for ten minutes before they were taken down. The reason for this is clearly related to the sensitive words such as “re-election”, “constitutional” and “term limit”. People will likely connect them to the fact that the National People’s Congress will vote to delete the term limit for the country’s president and vice-president. As could be expected, the news and pictures of these banners went viral in the mainland and were spread quickly on Weibo, Weichat, Zhihu and other social media before being successively deleted along with related messages. Later, even online reports on “Girls’ Day” were removed from the official media such as Xinhua and People’s Daily.
In mainland private discussion forums, however, there are still netizens who are praising these banners, saying that, “To be honest, it is very touching. It shows that at China’s elite universities, among the top groups of people, there are still people who think normally.”