In China, Babies Sell DVDs
19 Jan 2006
A scene I imagined, based on real events:
> The middle-aged woman knocked on the dingy office door. “Shei ah?” an impatient man’s voice cried from within. “What do you want?”
> “I was hoping I could get a job,” the woman replied. “I have experience selling on the streets, and my friend Xiao Li told me you need DVD vendors.”
> The door opened and the woman was admitted. “Yeah, we do. Not just any DVDs, though. These are adult DVDs. You know how to sell adult DVDs?”
> “Well, I know how to avoid the cops, and I know I should target young men…”
> “No kidding, genius. But do you know the key?”
> “Well, I do have a baby…”
> “Yes! Perfect! That’s it! How old is the baby?”
> “Only 6 months.”
> “Great. We don’t need him talking and screwing up sales. You just need him on one arm while you push these yellow DVDs with the other. Lady, you and that baby of yours were destined to sell my porn DVDs.”
OK, this may seem like a bizarre dialogue, but it’s true that there is a trend in Shanghai of woman holding babies selling adult DVDs. In a group of three women all selling DVDs, all three of them will be holding a baby! I really don’t understand it. I rarely see any other kind of vendor with a baby.
If I were going to buy adult DVDs, (1) I wouldn’t want to buy from a woman, and (2) I certainly wouldn’t want to buy from a woman holding a baby! And yet, on the bridge that crosses Suzhou Creek at West Zhoushan Road, I regularly see these women peddling porn with their babies, and I see men buying them.
Is the Chinese male’s psyche really that different?