If #metoo has been big in the world, in China the same #woyeshi has been especially big. The civic movement grew so huge that it is looking for a peer in China.
The rulers are now trying to mute those scary sounds into silence.
China’s #metoo took off at the turn of the year 2017-2018 when living in the United States Luo Qianqian said publicly that his professor had tried to rape him during his studies in Beijing in 2004.
Fired for the professor
Professor Chen Xiaowu locked the door and accessed Luo Qianqiani, who was in the doctoral program. Luo said, crying, that she was a virgin, and the professor let her go. This is how Luo wrote on social media.
Several other women shared similar experiences with Professor Chen. He lost his professorship.
#metoon revealed a lot of sexual harassment from Chinese universities.
After that dozens of Chinese women have publicly stated their accusations against various harassers. They have received tremendous support on their country’s social media.
The rulers, the Chinese Communist Party, suddenly had a new kind of problem. It is used to silencing all civic movements that grow even bigger. But how do you silence a movement that no one leads and has no organization at all?
In the name of #metoon, new women with accusations were always pouring in. Anyone could leave – and did leave – to support them.
“It’s like a guerrilla war. You can’t cut off one head and destroy the phenomenon, ”describes a study of China’s #meto movement Dušica Ristivojević In a telephone interview from the University of Helsinki.
Alibaba fired for rape accuser
In the fall of 2021, a woman wrote on her employer’s Alibaba intranet that she had been raped by a higher-ranking colleague in a hotel room. The man would have first pressured him on a business trip and then forced him to drink almost unaware at dinner. Soldering of subordinates is common in China.
The woman reported the incident to Alibaba’s human resources department, but when nothing happened, she wrote on the intranet. Then it started happening.
The man was fired and arrested, but police did not find enough evidence for the trial. The woman was then fired from Alibaba. The company appealed to the dissemination of false information.
Even Chinese long-line feminists were initially amazed at the independent and unpredictable nature of #meto.
“I was a little shocked: someone is doing our job,” says a well-known Chinese feminist activist Xiong Jing in a telephone interview. He is also Ristivojević’s research partner at the University of Hong Kong.
Xiong cautiously estimates that so far “more than a thousand” people have been involved in the #metoo movement in China. Some have provided support to survivors of the harassment, others have made websites or graphics, and others have even provided legal assistance.
The movement is well-known in China, even among deep crowds, and sexual harassment has become a big topic of conversation.
“The best-known and largest business of all time in China,” Xiong estimates.
And the business didn’t just go online. When #metoon’s face rose Zhou Xiaoxuan came to court in Beijing, arrived in front of the courthouse without calling hundreds of protesters to support him.
# from metoo writing to court
In 2018, author Zhou Xiaoxuan (author Xianzi) wrote a long essay accusing a well-known television face of Zhu Jun from being seized.
Zhou had been an intern in 2014. According to him, Zhu had accessed the locker room and grabbed the horror-rigid young man for nearly an hour. When Zhou reported the matter to the police at the time, he was told to forget about it.
Television face Zhu filed a defamation charge against Zhouta. Zhou then prosecuted for violating her personal rights because the law did not yet recognize sexual harassment at the time. The case did not succeed in court.
Defamation proceedings are apparently still pending.
Ladies and many men were also excited to rise to the barricades online and elsewhere at a time when the Chinese state has been stifling and intimidating civil society more than for decades.
#Metoo has also been treated harshly. Active actors have been arrested, monitored and intimidated. At times, the word feminism was censored.
Those who have reported cases of harassment in public have been barked at, among other things, as enemies of China. Above all, their channel channels have been blocked so effectively that #meto’s public space has shrunk quite a bit.
The authorities have thus found a way to break the movement of many heads at the same time.
“There’s a setback going on,” Xiong says.
Forgiveness for the Association Director
Liu Li, who uses a pseudonym in public, was working for a charity whose well-known and widely respected leader Liu Meng harassed him for years.
In the summer of 2019, the court sentenced the boss to apologize to his subordinate. The verdict remained in a higher court.
#metoo has uncovered numerous cases of abuse from Chinese organizations.
Dušica Ristivojević considers the debate on harassment to be a rare embarrassment for the Communist Party. It revealed that in China there was no equality marketed by a male-led party, but a culture of exploitation in China as in the West.
It also turned out that exploitation is a sore point for Chinese women.
“# Metho things are personal and intimate, and many can identify with them. It cannot be explained that this is just some foreign influence. ”
In surveys of women over the years, the vast majority of both factory workers and college students have reported experiencing sexual harassment.
The singer accused of rape was arrested
Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu, loved in China, was arrested in August 2021.
A young woman had previously publicly claimed that Wun raped her when she was 17 years old and drunk. According to the woman, Wu had lured numerous young women into sex with various false promises.
As soon as the allegations came to light, numerous brands, such as Porsche and Louis Vuitton, terminated their sponsorship deal with Wun.
#metoo rose in China to new rounds in late 2021, when the tennis star Peng Shuai accused the former deputy prime minister in his update Zhang Gaolia coercion into sex.
“So I was wondering why there were no party officers in the # metoo cases. Now that’s finally coming and from the highest level, ”Xiong says.
The state managed to censor the case so well that quite a few Chinese know about Peng’s accusations. They are very embarrassing to the moral party.
Peng’s output made sexual harassment in China an even narrower topic of conversation. For example, an interrogation of sexual harassment allowed by lawyers the previous year has now become a prohibited activity.
The tennis star disappeared after the charges
Tennis star Peng Shuai published an article on Chinese social media in November 2021 stating that former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli had forced him into sex a few years ago and they had also had an extramarital affair.
The very flammable message quickly disappeared from the some, and Peng himself disappeared from public view for a long time. He has since issued statements asserting that he is well and disputing his former allegations of exploitation.
It may be that Peng can no longer speak freely what he wants.
Part women who have been accused of exploitation have lost their lawsuits. Courts don’t seem to believe them without eyewitnesses or written evidence of the harassment itself.
Women have also been subjected to defamation charges, as some men accused of exploitation have challenged their challenger. Evidence of defamation is easier to find, as #metoo allegations are often public writings.
There have also been doubts about the fairness of the trials, as the party will be able to obtain solutions of its choice from the court.
Especially fresh He Qianin the case may reduce women’s courage to tell #metoo about things.
The accuser was sentenced to compensation
In 2018, He Qian wrote an article on the Internet about how the now well-known journalist Deng Fei had lured Hen, who had once worked as a trainee, into a hotel room, stripped him naked and grabbed him.
Deng sued Hen and the woman who wrote the article with him for defamation. In early January, the court found the women guilty and ordered them to pay Deng compensation of 1,600 euros.
Although # metoo movement has got China pretty way licked, it has also changed China.
As a result, stronger protection for women from sexual harassment was enshrined in Chinese law. Universities and many other workplaces have improved their practices.
Many activists continue to work successfully against harassment but no longer just use the word #metoo.
Although #metoo may have been printed beneath the surface in China, it is still surfacing as new cases.
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