Beyond the “Fragile Woman”: Identity, Modernity, and Musical Gay Icons in Overseas Chinese Communities
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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?
KeywordsMusic Video Popular Music Social Mores Chinese Identity Overseas Chinese Community
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