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Recipes for Men: Manufacturing Make-up and the Politics of Production in 1910s China

Lean, Eugenia Y.

In the first decade of Republican China (1911–49), masculinity was explored in writings on how to manufacture makeup that appeared in women’s magazines. Male authors and editors of these writings—some of whom were connoisseurs of technology, some of whom were would-be manufacturers—appropriated the tropes of the domestic and feminine to elevate hands-on work and explore industry and manufacturing as legitimate masculine pursuits. Tapping into time-honored discourses of virtuous productivity in the inner chambers and employing practices of appropriating the woman’s voice to promote unorthodox sentiment, these recipes “feminized” production to valorize a new masculine agenda, which included chemistry and manufacturing, for building a new China.

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Academic Units
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Published Here
February 11, 2020