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Why Chinese women are falling for 'boys love' fiction

Fiction written by straight women, for straight women, has Beijing worried

While male-male romance might be taboo, danmei fiction, movies and web series offer Chinese women a place to escape the male gaze and forget about the duties expected of them in China's deeply patriarchal society.

NEW YORK -- "Oh my God, this is too sweet!" screamed Claire Liu, 27, both hands squishing her cheeks, her sparkling eyes fixated on a compilation video of actors Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan from the hit Chinese series "Word of Honor."

Adapted from the novel Faraway Wanderers, a danmei ("boys love") genre story where the male leads are romantically involved with each other, Liu has joined several WeChat fan groups that require passing an entrance exam establishing would-be members' knowledge of the finer details of the show's plot and characters.

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