In this wide-ranging history, Richard Bernstein explores the connection between sex and power as it has played out between Eastern cultures and the Western explorers, merchants, and conquerors who have visited them. This illuminating book describes the historical and ongoing encounter between these travelers and the morally ambiguous opportunities they found in foreign lands. Bernstein’s narrative teems with real figures, from Marco Polo and his investigation into the harem of Kublai Khan; the nineteenth-century American missionary Isabella Thoburn and her efforts to stamp out the “sinfulness” of the Mughal culture of India; Gustave Flaubert and his dalliances with Egyptian prostitutes; to modern-day sex tourists in Southeast Asia, as well as the women that they both exploit and enrich. Provocative and insightful, The East, The West, and Sex is a lucid look at a pervasive and yet mostly ignored subject.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The East, the West, and Sex|
|Release Date: 06-02-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The East, the West, and Sex
Sometime in 2006, a foreign English teacher in Shanghai posted a message on the Internet in which he bragged about how easy it was for him to have sex with young Chinese women, mostly his former students. “I was with Star on Saturday,” the teacher wrote. “I was with Yingying on Sunday. In between, I contacted Cherry via MSN. I telephoned Rina, and I used SMS to flirt with Tulip. I sent Susan an e-mail to flirt with her, and I professed my love to Wendy on her blog.”
The writer of this kiss- and- tell memoir called himself China - Bounder on a blog he maintained, “Sex in Shanghai: Western Scoundrel in Shanghai Tells All.” He appeared to be British, though that was not certain. In any case, he gave no name or other clearly identifying detail about himself, which was perhaps not very brave, though maybe a life- saving precaution, given the murderously furious response he elicited from Chinese men.
A psychology professor, Zhang Jiehai, of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, led the charge, posting a long article titled “Internet Hunt for an Immoral Foreigner,” in which he urged the entire Chinese nation to track down this person who had insulted and humiliated China and throw him out of the country. “Several days ago, a friend told me about a blog run by an English man in Shanghai,” Zhang wrote. “I read it and I was shocked, angered, and disgusted.” After a lengthy, quotation- rich summary of the blogger’s comments, Zhang concluded with a call to Chinese men to take action. “Please think about how this foreign piece of trash has dallied with your sisters and made fun of your impotence,&...