Editor’s note: This article, translated from ifeng.com, is an opinion piece that represents the author’s own views on the possible causes for the alleged upsurge in sexual assault. Although the article starts out well meaning, unfortunately it quickly deteriorates into a disturbing justification peddling the tired and offensive ideas that paint women as accomplices in their own assaults and men as inherently violent sexual predators who are incapable of controlling themselves.
More disturbing, is the implication that men are resorting to rape because they have no other options: gender imbalances, prostitution crackdowns, unemployment and even women’s clothing are offered up as explanations, whilst the idea that the actual perpetrators should be held accountable is only mentioned in passing. There is also no attempt to assess the attitudes or circumstances which lead to sexual violence.
It needn’t be said that sexual assault is a violent act willingly committed against another person and is always first and foremost the fault of the person who decides to carry it out; we are posting this article to shed light on the circumstances and sexist biases that Chinese women are living under today-not only are they living under the threat of sexual assault, but they are being held accountable for it, whilst their attackers are offered justification and sympathy in the mainstream media.
Photo: Sociological Images
In China, crime rates have continuously increased every year over the past twenty years. The number of women that have been murdered has recently increased sharply and has nearly doubled over the past twenty years. Many violent crimes against women also include rape. Recently, stories about the rape and sexual assault of college students and underage girls have been spread in the media. Many other women are sexually assaulted by their bosses and harassed in public places. Sexual assault has become an increasing issue in China and more and more women are subject to these targeted crimes.
The increasing rates of violent sexual assault against women are extremely concerning. Violence against women is directly related to the stability of society. Women have continuously called for increased efforts to solve the problem of female sexual assault. Why are more and more women victims of sexual assault? There seem to be five fundamental reasons behind the recent increases in sexual violence in China:
1) An Increased Number of Bachelors
The increasing number of single men in China is one of the most fundamental reasons why women are sexually assaulted. There is a currently a serious gender imbalance within China and there is a larger number of men than women. In theory, there are at least 30 million bachelors right now in China. In reality, many women choose to remain single or celibate and therefore the number of bachelors may actually be higher. With such a large group of bachelors, how do they satisfy their sexual needs? This is no problem for married men, but bachelors must suffer alone. Women who are raped in China are mostly raped by bachelors. If the problems of 30 million bachelors are not addressed, then serious social problems and instability may occur. As the number of Chinese bachelors increase, the problem of sexual assault will also become increasingly serious.
2) Increasing Unemployment
In China, every year, more and more people become unemployed. This is another cause behind sexual assault as it also creates a large number of bachelors. The fundamental reason behind the large number of bachelors in China is, of course, first and foremost caused by gender imbalance in the Chinese population. However, the number of men who remain bachelors is ultimately decided by economics. Many men who are unemployed do not make enough money to support a family and are not able to find women that are willing to marry them. The overall Chinese economy is currently in a downward spiral and many businesses are going under. At the same time, the number of unemployed Chinese continues to increase. Unemployment rates are especially high for young adults right out of college. These unemployed young adults have nothing to do all day and often begin to become disheartened with society. These young men have no money and no romantic prospects and turn to crime in order to solve their sexual problems.
3） Crackdowns on Prostitution
Recent crackdowns on prostitution in China have led to increased costs for men who wish to pay for such services. There are sex workers in almost every corner of China. The roles of sex workers vary, but their general existence and work has had a large impact on Chinese society. The irreplaceable role of Chinese sex workers cannot be ignored, especially in terms of solving certain problems for lonely Chinese bachelors. However, in recent years, authorities have cracked the whip in combating prostitution and have adopted a zero tolerance policy. Because of this, a number of problems have emerged. There are still sex workers in China, but fewer clients because of the increased risk because of rising prices. The rising prices also mean that fewer men can afford to visit sex workers. Therefore, sexual violence has increased because of the crackdowns on prostitution.
4）Couples Are Separated Because Of Work
All over China, more and more couples are living separately because of work. Due to the unevenness of Chinese political and economic development, the number of migrant workers is continuously growing. In many cases, couples live separately and work in different regions. In some cases, the husband moves to work in a city while the wife stays home in a remote region. While couples are living separately, both still have the same sexual and physiological needs. Forms of sexual assault that stem from this phenomenon includes harassment of subordinates by bosses, and the harassment of women left behind by their husbands by village officials. This kind of harassment can easily lead to a sexual assault or violent events that can affect and ruin an entire family. A recent case in Yunnan over the recent Lunar New Year is an example of such a case. A bureau chief in charge of a tax office sexually assaulted a female subordinate. Government officials often attempt to take a mistress in addition to their wife. In this case, the women and her husband were living separately because of work, and her boss tried to take advantage of this.
5）Women’s Risqué Fashion
Skimpy fashion worn by women who do not quite understand modern fashion lead some men to get the wrong idea. There have been more and more reported incidents of women suffering in public from indecent remarks, harassment and sexual assault. Although the men who perpetuate the acts are the ones at fault, the increase of such behavior goes hand in hand with these “fashion mistakes,” made by women. Many young women believe that skimpier clothing is more fashionable which often has dangerous consequences. Men near them may be more likely to want them. Attraction between the sexes in a natural phenomenon. Therefore when women wear skimpy clothing or show their underwear in public they are more prone to be victims of harassment and even rape and sexual assault.
Therefore, China’s current gender imbalance combined with an increasing uneven distribution of wealth mean that in order to solve the problem of female sexual assault it is not enough to merely crack down on male perpetrators. We must think of ways to solve the imbalance of wealth and gender. Women should also work to increase their ability to protect themselves. These are the true fundamental ways to reduce violent sexual assault against women.
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Keywords: Sexual assault in China
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to you who mentioned Islamic nations, i suggest you to please go and see the rape statics in Islamic countries compared to china and western countries. and you will be shocked that there are almost no rape cases compared to western countries as the so called "developed" western countries are at the top in rape statistics according to their own surveys. you will will be shocked only by seeing rape cases in USA alone. why is that? did you ever think about that?
Oct 25, 2015 14:28 Report Abuse
why not teach all the men How to Masturbate then you may not have as much rape in China, i can think make some years ago some thing like this was going on in japen and in some way they had men going to Bukkake clubs, in the end some one was making money over it, and i would say if some one can make money in China they be in to that so, change the law some way to let men do Bukkake and then some people can make money and there will be less men wanting sex from some one in the act of rape, and it may solve things. hahah
Sep 17, 2014 23:58 Report Abuse
Guest2264842... Tell me if I've misunderstood you, but did you just imply that China is a caring state? Who exactly does it care for? And how does it show its compassion? In most Western countries people respect and care about each other, and the government provides public services like healthcare, welfare and university education. The US is an exception in regards to public services, but still does a lot more for its citizens than China. Rape and sexual assault are commonplace in China, but as the guest above me mentioned, the vast majority of crimes in China are not reported, investigated or recorded. Imagining that this situation somehow equates to social harmony is pretty far-fetched. Oh, and the Chinese state suppressing people doesn't make them happy or safe.
Sep 15, 2014 22:24 Report Abuse
there was a report last year printed in china daily addressing the same issues..sexual violence against women. the Chinese government seemed concerened to act on it. but nothing has happened. just crackdowns on porn, prostitution etc.. there is no in depth analysis of the social issues or attitudes that may give some clue as to how this problem can be fixed.. china is a huge country there may be some areas or social groups that have a higher incidence of rape. but we don't know as no real research is done looking into this. it will be a very complicated issue with many factors.
Sep 13, 2014 17:07 Report Abuse
You all keep repeating cliches like you can't understand anything but rigid femenist talking points. No one is saying women who dress provocatively deserve to get raped. The idea is that women can decrease thier chances of getting raped by not dressing so provocatively. By your logic, a father who doesnt want his daughter leaving the house showing a lot of skin would be a rape apologist. In reality the father is just looking out for his daughters safety because he knows showing too much skin can get the wrong kind of attention. There is nothing wrong with suggesting that grown women use the same common sense to increase thier own safety.
Sep 12, 2014 15:12 Report Abuse
This is an extremely short sighted solution. Do you think women don't get raped in Saudi Arabia or other countries where women wear burqas? Do you think that people didn't get raped in the thousands of years before short skirts were invented? Do you think a rapist, upon seeing a woman alone, will look at her and think, 'well her skirt is about two inches too long, I won't bother'. Do you think that rapists don't even think about raping someone until they see what they are wearing? Telling people that they can keep themselves safe by changing what they wear is misguided. These 'cliches' have been repeated because women are tired of being told how they should be preventing sexual assault, when men and women should be working together to work out why it happens and how it can be prevented. Most women in the western world growing up have been told by other people, school authorities and government publicity campaigns (in the UK anyway) 'don't drink too much because you'll put yourself in danger'- but when have boys ever been told 'don't drink too much because your judgement will be impaired and you might hurt someone' or 'don't drink too much because it's harder to judge whether someone is consenting or not'. Try to understand where they are coming from. also a lot of women who have been raped or sexually assaulted are feminists whose views you are disparaging. Try listening to what they have to say, and their experiences rather than assuming that you know better https://www.google.com/search?q=asking+for+it&newwindow=1&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Zq0SVNH1HIO3yATe1ICoAQ&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1440&bih=809#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=xwTWtApefEZmqM%253A%3BA1J4BdneXKz_JM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmedia-cache-ak0.pinimg.com%252F236x%252F16%252F50%252F2c%252F16502ce97cc6e4b460c0821f56a133b9.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.pinterest.com%252Fthelov3lybone5%252Fstill-not-asking-for-it%252F%3B212%3B320not-asking-for-it%252F%3B212%3B320
Sep 12, 2014 16:26 Report Abuse
I do know better. Its just common sense. Why don't you put your money where your mouth is. Tell your girlfriend to put on her favorite pair of crotchless panties, get wasted and ride the subway by herself late at night. If she gets sexually assaulted you can comfort her with your cliches.
Sep 12, 2014 17:09 Report Abuse
That's an extremely immature and unhelpful example- first of all I don't think that this is the most common situation in which sexual assault occurs. Even if a woman dresses in a conservative way and doesn't drink she is still at risk from being sexually assaulted by someone she knows or otherwise. Look at it this way- if a woman is on the subway alone late at night, not wearing crotchless panties and there is a man there who wants to sexually assault her, will her clothes save her? I don't think so. I also don't think it's reasonable to assume that a carriage of men, faced with a drunk and vulnerable woman will turn into sexual predators. If there is a person there who is the type of person to sexually assault someone, they will do it anyway. And if they wouldn't assault someone dressed differently, we should think about why he thinks it's more acceptable to assault someone according to what kind of clothes they are wearing. Could it possibly be because of the kind of mentality by default promotes the idea that if a woman isn't covering up, she's fair game? I understand where you are coming from but I think that it is a problem that most people's response to sexual assault is to restrict women, and think about what women can do to prevent it, rather than men, (not to brand all men with this, but the majority of sexual assaults are carried out by them). Extra caution is unfortunately necessary sometimes, but it's unacceptable when it's presented as a solution, without trying to deal with the larger problem. And by the way, 'if you don't want to get sexually assaulted, then you should cover up' is the biggest cliche of all.
Sep 15, 2014 13:39 Report Abuse
Harpo, see comment 12 to understand why I posted “(r)egardless of how a woman dresses AND acts, she doesn't deserve to be raped”; we were asked if we would say that. You raise a good point, but I've searched my soul on that topic and I won't be discussing pragmatic, precautionary behavior with anyone who doesn't first emphatically agree that criminals are solely to blame for crime, and that people have every right to be as carefree as I was when I started hitchhiking at the age of fifteen. No but's, people dress how they like and we are to appreciate it or look the other way. Look at it like this, women get together and discuss personal safety at length - practical shoes, self defense, whatever. But if someone writes an article haphazardly mingling prevention with causes of rape, then insensitive is too mild a word to describe this article. Seriously, you have to modernize your thinking before you can take part in public discussion on self-protection.
Sep 17, 2014 23:12 Report Abuse
The problem is the way of living in China.......people are so materialistic.....I read a girl wanted some iphone crap and she prostituted herself to afford them......guys in china think its normal to visit an informal massage place to get special services.....and having a mistress is common.....I think men and women should be equally blamed
Sep 12, 2014 11:27 Report Abuse
I think people are not really getting the contents of this article. The article is examining reasons for rape not justifying rape. If people talk about reasons why crime is increasing it doesn't mean they support crime.I'm also failing to understand why people's comments are reducing this discussion solely to skimpy dressing.
Sep 11, 2014 15:37 Report Abuse
The article puts forward convenient excuses for rape, that divert attention from the attitudes and behaviour of Chinese men. Why do they have these attitudes? Because they grew up in a society that devalues women. Why is there a gender imbalance in China? Because a lot of female babies are aborted, because Chinese society devalues women. Why does China devalue women? That's a question worth discussing, but Chinese people don't answer questions that require self-criticism. See, for example, this article.
Sep 11, 2014 16:50 Report Abuse
clothese worn today by women are psychologically developed to entice men to the edge...Ever heard sex sells..thisd oesnt justify rape but there are reasons...especially a migrant worker who hasnt seen his wife in months...the amount of touchy feely and showing off of ones gf....some men lose it.
Sep 12, 2014 08:07 Report Abuse
Then we must teach men that despite the fact that they are attracted to a woman,they still can't rape her. That they can't just 'lose it' and sexually assault people. That their sexual frustration isn't more important than another person's freedom and safety and basic human right not to be sexually assaulted. Even if a woman does want to look attractive, she still has the right to choose who she has sex with.
Sep 12, 2014 16:10 Report Abuse
rape i really hate that word,especially when its referenced to the victim whether males or female both. rapes are committed by psychopath-a decent, well educated and sober man will never commit it. by wearing different types of clothes does not mean a woman is inviting you for rape. its the man's brain which creates this illusion through her body language and commit this dirty thing. hope men can control their urges and dicks altogether.
Sep 11, 2014 13:31 Report Abuse
Exactly! A bunch of spoiled only children running around who have never heard the word "no" when they want something. Rich or poor, these kids are used to having their whole family and extended family cater to their every wish. So when the spoiled child grows up he feels entitled to anything he wants and has no idea how to deal with sexual rejection so he just takes what he wants.
Sep 12, 2014 10:37 Report Abuse
Eorthisio, good call on praising China to get the crowd on your side. When you address the moron the way you did, it allows the crowd to view the situation along the lines of "China is a great place and bastion of civilization but we have a few bad apples and this polite Mandarin speaking foreigner called out one of them. The foreigner is a nice guy and this moron is making China lose face by behaving like an animal." The real question is how they would have reacted if you had simply addressed his behavior for what it was. Would the crowd have become defensive and taken on the US vs. THEM mentality?
Sep 12, 2014 18:49 Report Abuse
This article made me angry, how can those selfish women dismiss the feelings of those who raped them! They are juat lobely bachelors with no one to love them. This article is madness. It is trying to justify rape. The last article looks like it was written by an extremist islamic cleric.
Sep 11, 2014 07:06 Report Abuse