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Beyond the “Fragile Woman”: Identity, Modernity, and Musical Gay Icons in Overseas Chinese Communities

Chapter

Abstract

Chinese songstress Faye Wong’s “Fragile Woman” (“Rongyi shoushang de nüren, 容易受伤的女人”) is a sentimental tune coded with musico-textual messages of yearning and anguish. A 1992 hit in mainstream circuits of the Chinese-speaking world, the song has also come to be celebrated, as well as denigrated, by increasingly vocal gay communities in several overseas majority-Chinese territories. What are the qualities of this song, Wong’s voice, and her persona that have rendered the ballad so (debatably) favored? Where is Wong’s place in the construction of a growing canon of musical icons in the gay Chinese world? What does being an icon entail in such a context?

Keywords

Music Video Popular Music Social Mores Chinese Identity Overseas Chinese Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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