A subway company in Shanghai, China, thinks it is okay to blame women for “causing” sexual harassment.
“If that’s what you wear on a subway, then no wonder you will be sexually harassed! There are too many perverts riding the subway every day, and we can’t catch them all. Girl, you’ve got to respect yourself!”
No matter how people dress, they should not be touched or spoken to disrespectfully. Sure, some outfits will catch the eye more than others, but looking (and not leering) is where the interaction should stop. The fault for harassment lies with the harasser, not the target of the harassment.
CNN.com reports that “sexual harassment claims on the Shanghai subway rose in the month of June. Reports included instances of indecent exposure, lewd acts and attempts at taking pictures up women’s skirts.”
While I haven’t seen a study about sexual harassment on their transportation system, a 2002 survey of 200 citizens in Beijing, China, showed that 70 percent had been subjected to a form of sexual harassment. Most people said it occurred on public transportation.
So, Shanghai No. 2 Subway Company, don’t shrug your shoulders in the face of known sexual harassment on your train and tell “girls” to respect themselves. Instead, tell harassers to respect women.
Given the prevalence of sexual harassment on the subway, many people who saw the post were outraged. Via Tea Leaf Nation:
“@贺瑜-小鱼儿 exclaimed, “Even if she’s wearing a bikini, she should still be free from harassment! What is wrong with this subway line?” @指间_谁de旋律 blames the subway line for its inappropriate comment as well: “It is disgusting to hear this from an official Weibo! How does her outfit make her deserving of sexual harassment? Why should any outfit be considered as an invitation?”
The official account of Women’s Voice, an NGO for gender equality in China (@女权之声), was also outraged: “Sexual harassment is a crime! The subway line should try harder to be responsible for passenger safety instead of finding excuses for these criminals and blaming the crime on the victims!”
On Sunday, two young women launched their own protest at a Shanghai subway station. They each wore a “black veil over their face, stepped into a crowded subway station with signs that read, ‘I want my coolness under the sun, but not the pervert in the subway,’ and ‘I can reveal myself, and you cannot bother me.’”
Unfortunately, their protest was met with opposition. Their actions, however, have helped bring international attention to the issue, so in that sense, it was a success!Share on Facebook