More and more women in China are talking about and are sharing their stories of sexual harassment. These women are using social media as a platform. They are calling out men who were sexually harassing them on public transportation.
There are several viral posts on Chinese social media where they are seen confronting those men who have ‘groped them’ on crowded trains and those who have taken advantage of women who had dozed off.
A video, which was posted in March on the Chinese version of Twitter was viewed more than 90,000 times. Another video, which was posted on Douyin (like Tik Tok) which was posted in May 2018 was also viewed several thousand times.
Many people chose to use the hashtag – “#咸猪手#” which in English can be described as ‘Pig Hands.’ This hashtag helps describe the vulgar behaviour that they have encountered.
An online user, who had used the subway, had written a post on Weibob (November 2018). The post said that a man who had been sitting beside her had put his hand on her thigh many times. The man then pressed up against her in pretence to be asleep. This incident had taken place on a Subway.
A few other people had demanded strong action and support from the local police. People say that the police was reluctant to intervene in incidents which were concerning sexual harassment. A video had gone viral in January. In this video a woman confronts her alleged harasser, and the members of the subway security look on helplessly. (Find the link to that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG2C2Z_f1J8&feature=youtu.be )
A measure has been taken to combat and reduce sexual harassment on public transport. Few cities, including Shenzhen, have employed special security teams to catch the offenders.
Li TingTing, also known as Li Maizi was imprisoned, along with four other people for 37 days. Their fault? They had planned protest against the sexual harassment which took place in public transport. Li Maizi added the fact that so many stories are shared on social media indicate that women in China are finally open and willing to talk about this issue.
“Most of the women who are harassed on public transportation don’t speak out in the moment. But now they’re starting to share these stories and are coming together on social media to support one another,” said Li.
Li also added, “Despite censorship in China, the #Metoo campaign is working because so many people are affected by sexual harassment. In 2015, people didn’t understand why we got arrested when equality between men and women is guaranteed in the constitution. We got a lot of support from within China and abroad. That’s when I realized that there was a global sisterhood and that, together; we could fight against sexual harassment.”
This movement that has started in China is showing that women are ready to speak up. It also shows that they will not accept sexual harassment anymore. More power to them!
Kavya Shah is an intern at SheThePeople.Tv