China reels after a violent attack

China reels after a violent attack
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Islam News – At a barbecue restaurant in northern China, a man slapped a woman after she rebuffed him. Then, he and several other men beat her and other women at the table so brutally that two were hospitalized.

Graphic security camera footage of the attack on Friday in the city of Tangshan spread quickly on social media. Women shared their outrage and terror at the daily threat of sexual violence in China, where conversations about gender inequity are becoming increasingly common.

But the ensuing debate also showed the backlash to a growing feminist movement. Some played down the threat to women, suggesting that the incident highlighted general public safety concerns and the threat of gang violence. Weibo also deleted hundreds of accounts on its platform, accusing users of seeking to stoke enmity between genders.

Analysis: China’s government sees any independent activism as a potential challenge to its control. Feminist activists have been dismissed in court, sued or arrested, while state-owned news media has described the #MeToo movement as a foreign tool to weaken China.

Background: In January, people on social media similarly erupted in anger after a woman was found chained in a shack, but officials detained or censored some who pressed for more information. Last year, the tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared from view after accusing a former high-ranking leader of sexual coercion.

Source: The New York Times

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