Welcome to this issue of “Overseas Chinese Notes”. I am Rong Xiaoqing, a Chinese-language reporter based in New York. Every Thursday, we will interpret and discuss news hotspots from the perspective of the Chinese together, and analyze the highlights of the Times.Welcome to clickhereSubscribe or recommend to friends.
After Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai posted on Weibo that he was sexually assaulted by Zhang Gaoli, the former deputy prime minister of China, many people who care about the rights of Chinese women seem to be caught in a mixed emotion of sympathy and excitement. Many people worry about Peng Shuai’s situation, and the attention that this incident has caused has inspired some women’s rights activists because of China’s “Me Too” sport (this sport is sometimes called “Mi Rabbit” on social media. The homophony derived from “MeToo”) finally made a strong voice in the international community.Chinese feminist activist living in the U.S.Lu PinHe tweeted that, from Zhang Gaoli to Wu Yifan, Zhu Jun, and Liu Qiangdong, these celebrities exposed in this movement are just the tip of the iceberg, “but also’thank’ these people, it is their reputation that carries Mi Rabbit. The effect is farther away.”
Peng Shuai did not make any public comments after posting the original Weibo, and her account cannot be searched on Weibo at present. Zhang Gaoli did not make any public response to this. But regardless of whether her statement is true or not, and what her original intentions are, Peng Shuai has indeed brought China’s “Me Too” movement to the world.
China has always been alert to the feminist movement that may trigger grassroots rights and interests. It is not uncommon for related activities to be stopped and activists arrested. Because of this, although China’s “Me Too” movement almost started with European and American countries, it didn’t take long for the government to guard against it, and it lost room for growth. As a victim, women cannot escape being suppressed, “net violence,” and even prosecuted for defamation. They often have to lick their wounds in isolation and helplessness. Although the movement continued to develop under high pressure, it was unable to gain the attention and solidarity of the international community, and lost a large field of nourishment, and became a potted plant for survival in the cracks. Prior to this, although Wu Yifan, the star accused of rape, was Canadian, the lawsuit against Jingdong boss Liu Qiangdong for sexually assaulting Chinese students was filed in a US court. Zhu Jun, accused of sexual harassment by a former intern, was a well-known host of China Central Television. However, most of the people who pay attention to these events are Chinese, and most of the relevant discussions are conducted in the Chinese context. Chinese officials can basically grasp the trend of public opinion on the event with one hand.
At this time, Peng Shuai appeared. Of all the incidents in China that can be related to the “Me Too” movement so far, only this one can make the international community aware of the weight of both parties involved without much explanation. Not only because of Peng Shuai’s achievements on the tennis court, but also because of Zhang Gaoli’s political status in China, the international community’s attention to this incident has not diminished over time, but has increased day by day.
Of course, the focus of the international community is not just “Me too.” Against the background that the confrontation between China and the West is becoming more and more obvious, any trouble in China can easily be politicized. The international community did not trust China’s opaque system. The Chinese propaganda machine carried out a series of “fire extinguishing” operations on the Peng Shuai incident, but the result was to add fuel to the fire. The Western world’s calls for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics due to human rights issues have become more turbulent as a result. Some dissidents in exile even believe that this incident is closely related to the CCP’s internal struggle for power.
However, even if Peng Shuai was confirmed to be safe and sound and was allowed to speak independently in this political battle on the grounds of “#彭帅 Where”, ultimately, he couldn’t avoid a bottom line. As the WTA Tour CEO Steve Simon said after the release of the video of the IOC President’s video call with Peng Shuai: “This video does not change our call, that is, to conduct a comprehensive investigation of her sexual assault allegations. , Fair, transparent and uncensored investigations, this is our initial concern.”
This is also the common origin of the “Me Too” movement in China and all other countries-to conduct an open and thorough investigation of relevant allegations in accordance with international practices. This is the general expectation of the public for this incident, and it may also be the original intention of all sexual assault victims who mustered the courage to say “Me too”.
However, it is unclear whether the “meeting with international standards” in this way will be a blessing or a curse to the long-term fate of China’s “Me Too” movement. It is difficult to predict whether the Chinese government, which has always been tough in the face of international pressure, will launch an investigation, or whether it will eliminate the roots of the feminist movement out of concerns about the involvement of foreign forces. And what will happen to Peng Shuai’s future? What will happen to the fate of other ordinary Chinese women who have been sexually assaulted? These questions may be even more worrying.
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