On the Kim Lee and Li Yang Domestic Violence Story

Kim Lee's bruises as posted on Weibo
Kim Lee's bruises put a new face on her cross-cultural marriage to the founder of "Crazy English," Li Yang.

Just last month, I discovered a new celebrity couple in the cross-cultural community of Chinese men and Western women — Li Yang, the founder of Crazy English, and Kim Lee, his American wife. If only it weren’t because of revelations that Li Yang beat and battered Kim for many years.

If you’re in China, chances are you heard the news long ago. How Kim brought up the domestic violence by posting photos of her bruised body on Sina’s Weibo. That Li Yang admitted hitting his wife to the public, but then offered an unrepentant response.

If there was a “model Yangxifu” award, Kim Lee deserves it. She courageously shared her private turmoil with the public, starting a national conversation on domestic violence and spurring the Chinese government to reconsider dormant domestic violence legislation.

But Kim’s relationship with Li Yang could easily play into some of the worst cross-cultural marriage nightmares — and, I might add, negative stereotypes of Chinese men.

Of course, I don’t fault Kim for anything. She did the right thing. Still, a celebrity couple in the community of Chinese men and Western women in love makes the headlines… and, unfortunately, it’s for domestic violence. I couldn’t help but wonder — will some people come away with the wrong kind of message? Continue reading “On the Kim Lee and Li Yang Domestic Violence Story”