Beijing [China], June 30 [ANI]: The recent attack on a group of women outside a restaurant in the Chinese city of Tangshan this month has yet again highlighted the pathetic state of women in a country, a media report said.
Footage from the barbecue restaurant's cameras on June 10 showed a man approaching a few women sitting at a table and placing his hand on one's back. When she objected, he started slapping and dragging her to the street by her hair. Other men then joined in, assaulting her female companions and leaving two women sprawled on the side of the street.
Even though the onlookers had reported the incident to the police immediately but it took them 15 hours to announce that they were going to arrest the suspects after the video went viral, The Geneva Daily reported.
Meanwhile, two of the women remain hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), officials said this week.
This incident had sparked strong criticism on social media, where users accused the police of not deploying enough resources to protect the women of the country. They also decried the general, deep-rooted sexist attitudes in Chinese society, where things are getting dismal for the women day by day.
It is worth noting that the women involved in this incident were out in a group in a well-lit public place and yet became victims of this horrific assault.
After this incident, state media outlet, 'The Paper' stated that in various instances, male assailants used to spend less time in jail than the women in hospital. While, Beijing Youth Daily, being a regressive society flagbearer, questioned, "Why women were out so late?".
An early article by the publication stated that the man had "chatted" with the women and then "both sides began to push and shove". Many other media outlets demanded improvements but failed to mention the dangers Chinese women face on daily basis.
Many attempted to eliminate the gender angle and claimed that this could happen to anyone, even to men. Lu Dewen, a sociology professor at Wuhan University, wrote, "The perpetrators in similar cases have not specifically targeted women, but rather target all weak people (including men)," according to the publication.
The initial police and media response also focused on the attackers' apparent links to local gangs and their criminal history instead of treating it as gender-based violence.
Huang Simin, a lawyer who has worked on gender violence cases, said it was important to consider other factors, such as gang violence or inadequate law enforcement but the role of gender could not be ignored. "We can analyse this incident from many angles including cultural, regional and legal. But at the heart of all these angles is gender. If we can't even admit that, then this problem will be very difficult to resolve," she said.
China is becoming a hostile place for feminist movements as well as the populace considers feminist women to be too aggressive and even "extremists". In this case, Chinese censors again deleted articles that argued the country had systemic sexism problems.
According to Guo Jing, a domestic violence caseworker in China, it is common for Chinese authorities to treat gender-based crimes as one-off incidents, put to rest by catching the accused.
According to the publication, these incidents are contradictory to their survey which records low crime rates and high levels of surveillance in the country. Many Chinese women are now questioning the societal values and the gender dynamics in the country for the first time.
"There are so many incidents that were not filmed. Violence against women, no matter what kind, in our society, is really nothing new," Feng, a feminist activist, said.
According to a 2013 UN study, more than half the surveyed men admitted to physical or sexual violence against their partners. Also, nearly half said they didn't mind using violence to defend their "honour". This is no surprise in a country that listed domestic violence as a criminal offence only in 2016.
Many Chinese women say the recent Tangshan attack attracted so much condemnation because the violence was so extreme. But the women in the country face such risks to different degrees almost daily. It may be a long time before violence against women in China is considered a serious enough offence to be stamped out completely. (ANI)