Not everyone appreciates Yang’s jokes. In December, an internet user who billed himself as a defender of equal rights between men and women initiated a campaign on Weibo asking his followers to report Yang to China’s top media regulator. The user, accuses Yang of “insulting all men” and “creating gender opposition,” and said Yang’s jokes are “harmful to the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Yang has refrained from making many comments on the criticism against her, apart from saying on Weibo earlier this month that stand-up comedy has become an increasingly difficult profession. Many of her fans defended her, saying she isn’t out to ignite a gender war, but is in fact an advocate for true respect between men and women.

Some pointed to a joke she told in December about her experience seeing a male gynecologist, which she turned into an account that was as poignant as it was comic.

“That is the first time when I was lying in front of a standing man, and both of us were completely at ease and had no non-relevant thoughts,” Yang said. “I felt I was no longer just a woman, but a human being that wanted to survive, while the male doctor had only one purpose which was to help me survive. When he asked how I felt, I said, I felt completely free.”

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