China's Me Too movement experiences a tremendous resurgence-Sino-US

China's Me Too movement experiences a tremendous resurgence

Photo: Sohu

China's Me Too movement appears to be gaining momentum after several public figures in the country found themselves at the center of sexual assault scandals.

A 27-year-old legal worker who goes by the pseudonym Little Spirit on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo issued a post on Wednesday, saying Zhang Wen, a veteran journalist and online political commentator, had raped her after a banquet in May, an allegation that prompted six other women to accuse him of sexual harassment and groping.

In response, Zhang issued a statement the same day, denying the rape allegation, saying his affair with the accuser was "consensual".

Jiang Fangzhou, a prominent fellow writer and deputy editor-in-chief of the Guangdong-based magazine New Weekly, said on her WeChat account that Zhang had "groped" her at a meal on one occasion.

Among others, Yi Xiaohe, a journalist, and Wang Yanyun, a TV personality, said on social media that Zhang had made "unwanted sexual advances" toward them.

In his statement, Zhang said it was normal for men and women in intellectual and media circles to "take pictures together, hug and kiss each other after consuming liquor."

Zhu Jun, a CCTV Spring Festival gala host, was on Thursday accused of sexual harassment by an intern working on his show Artistic Life in 2014.

The intern, who remains anonymous, wrote about the incident with Zhu in a recent social media post.

She claimed that she wanted to interview Zhu for her internship program and that while they were in his dressing room, he molested her, according to her post. 

The day after the incident, she allegedly reported the harassment to the police. While police took down her information, she said, further action was never taken.

Days later, she paid another visit to the police station, inquiring about the case, and two officers tried to dissuade her from escalating the case.

Zhu has yet to respond to the allegation.

On Thursday, an academic at Communication University of China (CUC) in Beijing was accused by a student of sexual assault in 2016.

The university in a statement vowed to launch an investigation and deal with the matter with zero tolerance if confirmed.

A former professor at the same university was also accused of uninvited sexual advances in 2008 by an ex-student on Thursday.

On Sunday, a teacher named Chen Guochang at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in the city of Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong Province was accused by several female students of years of verbal harassment.

In response, the university issued an statement, saying it as zero zero tolerance toward such cases and will severely punish Chen if the accusation is proven to be true.

The series of accusations have triggered heated online debate about sexual misconduct and what constitutes consensual sex or rape.

On Friday, the hashtags "in the face of sexual assault, you should not be silent" and "no consent equals sexual harassment" were trending on Weibo, with around 100,000 posts between them.

Meanwhile, many netizens wrote comments under posts about sexual harassment on Weibo even if the content was immediately removed by the authorities.

Most of them expressed their wishes of holding those who "do bad things" accountable and urged the authorities to take immediate and effective measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the disadvantaged group in accordance with the law.

The Me Too movement came to China the first time after a professor at Beihang University in Beijing was accused of sexually harassing students.

His former student Luo Xixi shared her story on Weibo earlier this year, saying Chen complained about his marital sex life and attempted to have sex with her.

He hesitated when she told him she was still a virgin and begged him to not to do anything, Luo added.

The accusation led the university to fire Chen and triggered a series of sexual misconduct exposure in the following days.

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