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Cries of Joy, Songs of SorrowChinese Pop Music and Its Cultural Connotations$
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Marc L. Moskowitz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833695

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833695.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Men Writing Songs for Women Who Complain about Men

Men Writing Songs for Women Who Complain about Men

Mandopop’s Gender Construction in Taiwan and the PRC

(p.69) Chapter 5 Men Writing Songs for Women Who Complain about Men
Cries of Joy, Songs of Sorrow

Marc L. Moskowitz

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores the ways in which women's identities are constructed in Mandopop. For one, most female performers sing songs that are written by men. While this can also be said of many U.S. pop songs, the difference is that in China and Taiwan songwriters are famous in their own right and therefore the audience's categorization of a song as a “woman's song,” in spite of common knowledge that a man wrote the song, highlights the fact that women are active participants in male lyricists' depictions of seemingly innate differences between women and men. Women's roles are defined in such songs by a cultural emphasis for women to endure hardships rather than overcome them. Thus, women become allied with traditional values of perseverance and the acceptance of suffering. By emphasizing women's virtues and men's shortcomings, women's Mandopop can be seen as a critique of both men and modernity.

Keywords:   female identities, female roles, Mandopop, Mandarin Chinese pop music, male songwriters, modernity

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