standing alone in complexity
“Twenty years ago girls were doing badly at maths, now they’re not,” she says.
I just learned about Dongfang Bubai, a Jet Li movie from 1992. Jet Li’s character fights a man who had discovered that the only way to get this martial arts superpower is to castrate himself, so he does, and becomes really powerful, and also becomes a woman. Jet Li falls in love with her.
While I was searching for the name of that movie, I found: http://sensesofcinema.com/2003/feature-articles/sexual_politics_chinese_martial_arts/ …which I haven’t read all of but wow!
It came up because we were talking about how much I love Maggie Cheung, and the person I was talking to mentioned that movie thinking that she played the main “bad guy” part (of the man who became a woman), but actually it was Brigitte Lin.
Anyway, I’ve never seen this movie, but I’m totally fascinated. I feel like fucking around with gender is more acceptable in mainstream asian media than mainstream american media (ranma 1/2 and stuff)… and, like, there was Shakespeare and stuff… but yeah I don’t really know why I felt so shocked that there was a movie from 1992 involving Jet Li falling in love with someone who is transgender, even if in that particular discourse, “being a woman is okay because it made them a really really powerful martial artist.”
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