While sexual harassment in the Chinese workplace is still prevalent, a leading sexologist reported that nowadays, more young women in China have been firmly voicing out their resistance against it by saying “no.”
Li Yinhe, a sociology professor and advocate of sexual freedom in the country, revealed that today’s young female employees are more confident than the previous generations who were generally more submissive. According to Li, these current generation of women are able to say “no” at the first sign of verbal or physical harassment, the South China Morning Post reported. She added that many of these girls grew up as an only child. Li also pointed out that being more tech-savvy aids them to be aware of using gadgets in collecting evidence against offenders.
According to the 2010 report by D.K. Srivastava published in the Harvard International Law Journal, Asia’s sexual harassment incidents have been steadliy increasing.
The research paper revealed that around 80% of Chinese female employees experienced harassment at some point in their career. In the United States, the figure is at 50%.
“More workplace sexual harassment cases are being reported in China than in previous years,” Li told SCMP. “An important reason is that Chinese women now dare to stand up to it.”
A recent victim from a major Chinese bank caused public outrage after she published all the harassing messages she received from her male manager.
In the highly publicized case, a China Minsheng Banking Corp deputy department head in Beijing reportedly sent several messages to a female subordinate and then later invited her to a hotel room and gave her threats about her job security if she refused his advances.
“I am not local, and I have no power, but I have my own dignity,” the woman replied before quitting her job. She then posted all the messages online.
According to Li, her case is an example that speaking up against sexual harassment is becoming more widespread
“Chinese people used to worry deeply about being accused of having a ‘lifestyle problem’– a euphemism for having a colorful sex life – but now not so many would think this is a serious issue,” she added.