4 min read

The Comedienne vs. China’s Men’s Rights Activists

Her punchlines have managed to continually trigger men in China.
The Comedienne vs. China’s Men’s Rights Activists

Too busy to check in on the RADII website every day? We got you every Monday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week:

  • Comedian Yang Li has become a cultural red flag - for two different sides. If you’re a man who doesn’t like Yang Li, chances are you’re “not a feminist.” If you’re a woman who likes Yang Li, chances are you’re a “man-hater.”
  • One of China’s most famous artists, the painter/ sculptor/ performer Zhang Huan, has entered the non-fungible token (NFT) metaverse.
  • Beijing fashion photographer Chen Man’s Dior Art Exhibit is facing backlash from netizens for “stereotyping, insulting, and demonizing” Chinese faces. But is it really?

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, friend.


Meet Yang Li, the Comedian Who Triggered China’s Men

Yang Li has become one of the most polarizing figures on Chinese social media.

For some, she is an icon who uses humor to shed light on complex gender issues in China. For others, she is a downright sexist who discriminates and disrespects men. For this month’s celebrity spotlight, we introduce you to Yang Li, one of the most polarizing figures on Chinese social media.

Largely unknown before 2020, Yang rose to fame after competing in the Chinese comedy TV show Rock and Roast. Her most famous joke, proclaiming “men can be so average yet so confident,” became one of the most used memes among Chinese feminist netizens in 2020.

Today, she has become so polarizing that some Chinese women are now asking their boyfriends’ opinions of Yang Li to gauge their level of support for gender equality.

After poking fun at the egos of some Chinese men in another episode, her punchline — “How could men be so average yet so confident?” — went viral on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform. Feminist netizens even created memes to show how much they related to Yang’s joke.

What do you think of her jokes?

Renowned Chinese artist, painter, sculptor, and performance artist, Zhang Huan has now entered the metaverse. He presented the first of three NFT works in the State Hermitage Museum exhibition Ethereal Aether.

“Ash Square” features a square, light gray screen with downward-moving dark gray streaks. The NFT piece seems to draw inspiration from some of Zhang’s other art, specifically his pieces created with incense ash. Check it out below:

How much would you pay to own this work of art?

  • Netizens are not impressed at Chinese photographer Chen Man’s latest work featured in Dior’s Art Exhibit, accusing her of “kissing up” to foreigners by using stereotypical “ugly” imagery of Chinese peoples rather than the high-end gloss Western models are afforded. But are these really stereotypical?
  • Yu Minhong, nicknamed China’s “Godfather of English Training,” founded one of China’s largest tutoring companies, New Oriental Education & Technology. He’s now selling veggies on e-commerce sites. What?
  • Chinese stand-up comedian Chizi has decided to leave social media, cancelling his Weibo account. It’s an unorthodox move in China, but it hints at the increasingly adverse environment that social media presents for public figures.
  • On November 15, TikTok users in the US received a notification on the short video app, reading, “U.S. residents who used TikTok before 01 OCT 2021 may be eligible for a class settlement payment.” Find out more about the recent TikTok lawsuit and if you’ve got some cash coming your way.
  • 2021 has yet to see the debut of a single Marvel film for Chinese audiences, but Spider-Man: No Way Home gives Avengers fans hope! It’s rumored to see a China debut by year’s end.
  • Also in the Disney universe, the creator of the award-winning Pixar short film Bao now has a feature-length Asian-American movie coming out called Turning Red. It’s generated some buzz on Chinese social media, with netizens excited to see an ethnically Chinese protagonist with a “strong personality.”
  • We can’t get enough of Disney news. People in China are obsessed with this new pink fox Disney character, LinaBell. Have you seen LinaBell at Shanghai Disneyland? She looks like this:

All-grown-up TFBoy Jackson Yee sings for a ‘shared future’ in a new music video created for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The video features tons of smiling faces, hand-holding, and winter sports action. Frankly, we don’t know how to feel about the song, so we’ll pass it onto you so you can make your own judgment:

Chill or No Chill?


Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:


Find us on our main site, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and WeChat (@radiichina)