Lecture Notes in Education
Psychology and Public Media

Empower or disempower? The Cunning Patriarchal Consumerism and Female Representation in the Chinese Online Shopping Festival “Queen’s Day”


Xiaohan Huang * 1

1 Department of Media and Communication Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Corresponding Author

Xiaohan Huang


male gaze, female empowerment, Chinese online shopping festival, patriarchal consumerism


Chinese online shopping festival has become increasingly important to research on cultural and societal issues related to gender. This paper focuses on the Chinese online shopping festival “3.8 Queen’s Day”, investigates the relationship between female empowerment and patriarchal consumerism power embedded in “Queen’s Day” in context of Chinese society. This paper analyses the reason of the popularity of “Queen’s Day” through the historical and societal perspective, and by critical discourse analysis of the advertisements and slogans in “Queen’s Day”, the patriarchal power presented by dominant male aesthetics and patriarchal discourse have been found. Then, through renaming “Women’s Day” and the word “Women” (“妇女” in Chinese) to “Queen”, it can be seen that patriarchal consumerism discourse has done alienation towards female by deconstructing the historical and societal meaning of the “Women’s Day”. This paper uncovers the cunning of patriarchal consumerism as inconspicuous male power seemingly empowers but actually disempowers female through ads that advocate “female independence”.


Xiaohan Huang. Empower or disempower? The Cunning Patriarchal Consumerism and Female Representation in the Chinese Online Shopping Festival “Queen’s Day”. LNEP (2021) LNEP ICEIPI 2021: 170-181. DOI: 10.54254/lnep.iceipi.2021193.


[1]: Xu, C. (2020, March 9). "3.8 Queen's Day" Taobao live streaming led to a 264% year-on-year increase in sales. The Beijing News. Retrieved from: http://www.bjnews.com.cn/finance/2020/03/09/701304.html

[2]: Southern Finance Omnimedia Corp. (2021). Report on the Trend of Live Streaming in 2020 [Online]. Retrieved from: https://m.21jingji.com/live/show?id=682

[3]: Niu, Q.X. (2020). Goddess Festival, Queen's Day, 38 festival, Is this the rising of female awareness or hypersensitivity behind the frequent name changes? (in Chinese). Modern Advertising, 2020(06), 22-23.

[4]: Meng, B.C. & Huang, Y.N. (2017) Patriarchal capitalism with Chinese characteristics: gendered discourse of ‘Double Eleven’ shopping festival, Cultural Studies, 31(5), 659-684, DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2017.1328517

[5]: Chen, T.Z. & Cheung, M. (2020) Consumption as extended carnival on Tmall in contemporary China: a social semiotic multimodal analysis of interactive banner ads, Social Semiotics, DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2020.1720992

[6]: Hu, C.Y. & Luo, M.X. (2016). A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Tmall's Double Eleven Advertisement. English Language Teaching, v9 n8, 156-169

[7]: Yang, S.M. (2007). The shaping of ideal female image by Confucianism in Han Dynasty and the gap between it and reality (in Chinese). Nandu Xuetan, 2007(06), 6-9.

[8]: Gao, X. (2003). Women existing for men: Confucianism and social injustice against women in China. Race, gender & class, 114-125.

[9]: Leung, A. S. (2003). Feminism in transition: Chinese culture, ideology and the development of the women's movement in China. Asia Pacific journal of management, 20(3), 359-374.

[10]: Yi, Y.Z. (2006). The basic connotation of Chinese traditional female ethics (in Chinese). Journal of China Women's University, 2006(03), 43-46.

[11]: Kang, M. E. (1997). The portrayal of women’s images in magazine advertisements: Goffman’s gender analysis revisited. Sex roles, 37(11-12), 979-996. doi:10.1007/bf02936350

[12]: Luo, Y.J., & Hao, X.M. (2007). Media Portrayal of Women and Social Change. Feminist Media Studies, 7(3), 281– 298. doi:10.1080/14680770701477891

[13]: Chen, F. (2013). To explore the female image in advertisements from the perspective of feminism (in Chinese) (Master’s Thesis). Available from CNKI database.

[14]: Wu, A. X., & Dong, Y. (2019). What is made-in-China feminism (s)? Gender discontent and class friction in post￾socialist China. Critical Asian Studies, 51(4), 471-492.

[15]: Soar, M. (2000). Encoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising Production. Mass Communication and Society, 3(4), 415–437. doi:10.1207/s15327825mcs0304_05

[16]: Ritzer, G. & Jurgenson, N. (2010). Production, Consumption, Prosumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 10(1), 13–36. doi:10.1177/1469540509354673

[17]: Meehan, E. R. (2012). Gendering the commodity audience: Critical media research, feminism, and political economy. Media and cultural studies: Keyworks, 242-249.

[18]: Kaur, K., Arumugam, N. & Yunus, N.M. (2013). Beauty Product Advertisements: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Asian Social Science, 9(3), 61-71. doi:10.5539/ass.v9n3p61.

[19]: Xu, H.M. & Tan, Y.Y. (2020). Can Beauty Advertisements Empower Women? A Critical Discourse Analysis of the SK-II’s “Change Destiny” Campaign. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 10(2), 176-188.

[20]: Xu, Y. (2019). Reflection on the discipline of female body consumption under visual metaphors (in Chinese). Journal of Yichun College, 41(8), 50-54.

[21]: Zhou, Q.Y. & Sun, H.Y. (2020). "Constructed" Body—Influence on Female Body Aesthetics from the Perspective of Mass Media (in Chinese). Popular Art, 2020(19), 227-228.

[22]: Fei, X.T. (2005) "Common Beauty" and Human Civilization (Part 1) (in Chinese). Qunyan, 2005(1), 17-20.

[23]: Wallis, C. (2014). Gender and China’s Online Censorship Protest Culture. Feminist Media Studies, 15(2), 223– 238. doi:10.1080/14680777.2014.928645

[24]: Chen, Y. (2010). International Women's Day: The Special Field and Public Cultural Space of Chinese Women's Movement (in Chinese). Collection of Women's Studies, 2010(2), 41-47.

[25]: Kong, H.B. (1994). The spread of International Women's Day in China (in Chinese). Collection of Women's Studies, 1994(1), 47-50.

Copyright © 2021 Eliwise Academy. Unless Otherwise Stated