The story is always the same: officials find it too hard to tell men to control themselves and not sexually harass women, so they place the responsibility and blame on women instead.
In this instance, Chinese police have asked women to refrain from wearing revealing clothing on buses or subways. According to China Daily ,“Women should not wear minimal clothing, such as miniskirts or hot pants when taking public transportation and should call police promptly if they are sexually harassed.” In case women just can’t resist wearing hot pants on the subway, police suggest that women use shopping bags, newspapers, or magazines to cover themselves up.
Women are also instructed to “sit or stand on lower areas of the vehicle to avoid being photographed.” This is all in response to a rise in women being groped and filmed against their wishes on public transportation. The police have even been kind enough to ask bus drivers to remind women to cover themselves whenever they board!
These guidelines released by Beijing police also state that if anyone is caught sexually harassing a woman, they will face a punishment ranging from a warning to 15 days in a detention center. Yet although there are punishments in place, it can be difficult to enforce sexual harassment laws if you can’t apprehend the suspect. Furthermore, many people blame the victim anyway: a poll of 9,617 people taken by a social investigation center affiliated with China Youth Daily showed that 59 percent of those surveyed believe that the main reason for sexual harassment is scantily-clad women.
[Photo of miniskirt via Shutterstock]