Over the last few months, many sexual harassment cases in the US have come out one by one. Many women have stepped out from the dark to speak about what has happened to them, bravely challenging the powerful figures that they used to be afraid of. It is time to say “NO.”
On the other side of the world, some Chinese women who have more exposure to international affairs have started to raise awareness of this issue, and look at what’s happening to themselves. China’s society as a whole, however, remains quiet. In fact, there is rarely any public discussion about sexual harassment here. An op-ed published shortly after the Weinstein scandal broke by China Daily, the government’s mouthpiece, argued that sexual harassment is a Western issue, one that doesn’t exist in China due to “Chinese traditional values and conservative attitudes.” (That op-ed has since been removed from China Daily‘s website.)
We disagree! There IS sexual harassment in China, and it is quite common.
We talked with our friends, and share some of their personal stories on today’s podcast. We also argue that there are several reasons why, when compared with the US on the issue of sexual harassment, Chinese society still has a long way to go:
• Severe lack of sex and gender education
• No legal and regulatory execution or environment to protect women who speak out
• Government control of the media limiting open discussion of the issue
So, as girls in the US enjoy newfound support, here in China we need to stand by each other, share our stories, raise awareness, and, most importantly, bravely say “No.”
Previous episodes of the Wǒ Men podcast can be found here, and you can find Wǒ Men on iTunes here.
Have thoughts or feedback to share? Want to join the discussion? Write to Yajun and Jingjing at [email protected].
Soundcloud embed (if you’re in China, turn your VPN on):