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Behind closed doors

[ 2009-03-23 10:50]     字号 [] [] []  
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Behind closed doorsThere is a college town in suburban Nanjing, called Xianlin. Like most college towns across the nation, residents rent out apartments to students who want to get away from their dorm lives and enjoy some privacy. A unit goes for 30-100 yuan a day, varying according to demand. A student may patronize such a place to focus on his or her study or to have an intimate moment with a date.

In late February, someone in Xianlin posted a notice, titled "A letter to college students who rent rooms with dates", and it went like this:

"For a flash of pleasure, you have failed the expectations of your parents and teachers, and have failed to live up to be role models. You have passionate kisses by the roadside, in buses; you walk hand in hand into this neighborhood. Here's my advice to you:

Young students should develop correct morals, have dignity and self-love and strength. You should do what a student is supposed to do. You should have lofty ideals and a correct mode of thinking. Don't waste your education and a life of happiness because of immature romance.

Behind closed doors

We sincerely plead that female students resist the illusory temptations and male students don't use up your future happiness on ephemeral and shallow pleasures. If you love each other, please respect each other!

The bottom line of morality should be upheld by both sides!

We also caution the renters that you must love these kids. If they were your own children, would you want to see them walk into the rooms? Don't give them a hot bed for their foolish impulses for the sake of petty profits!"

The letter was signed: Parents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters who want to see you grow up, make progress and be happy.

We Chinese have a special way of talking, which makes it possible to address something at great length without mentioning its name. Whoever wrote this open letter (for the sake of simplicity, let's assume it's a he) wanted to yell: "Don't have sex! It's bad for you!" But he simply could not utter this crucial word. It's a dirty word that must be avoided at all cost.

First, let's clarify the legal issue: A typical student enters college at the age of 19. That means, he or she is already one year older than the legal limit for defining an adult. By the time he is in his senior year (22) and she is a sophomore (20), they can legally marry in China.

In other words, they can have sex as long as it's consensual.

Obviously nobody is suggesting the cop comes to get them. And the moral ground is much more slippery.

Behind closed doors

The above letter, after making its way to the Internet, has elicited an avalanche of feedback, which neatly falls into two categories: Those who support the letter agree that students nowadays must be awakened from their degenerate ways; and those who oppose him argue he is being too nosy. There is essentially no middle ground.

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