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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blogger-activist Liumang Yan turns prostitute for a day to speak up for sex workers

Sulaiman Kamal | 11:03 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Outspoken blogger, feminist and activist Ye Haiyan (叶海燕), also known online as Liumang Yan (流氓燕 "Hooligan Sparrow"), is no stranger to controversy. Last year, she appeared nude along with three other women and dissident-artist Ai Weiwei in a picture entitled "One Tiger, Eight Breasts". 

The picture led police to probe Ai Weiwei for pornography, and angry netizens subsequently posted their own nude pictures in an online protest in support of Ai.

In order to dive into the world of rural sex workers so as to better understand and to speak up for them, Liumang Yan decided to become a prostitute for a day last week. 
To be more exact, she didn't exactly prostitute herself -- she offered sexual services free of charge to migrant workers in a dingy sex-shop where prostitutes are paid a paltry 10 to 20 RMB by each customer they serve. 

Along the way, she posted updates on Sina and Tencent Weibo, telling her followers about the hardships faced by the women she met, and the men she served.

Oiwan Lam of Global Voices has translated a selection of her tweets. Here are some of them:

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