You won’t be surprised to hear that China’s subway trains are crowded places. That’s made them popular with perverts, with female passengers reporting increasing instances of wandering hands during busy rush hours. This has sparked a row, but not the kind you might expect.
Earlier this week Shanghai’s Number Two Subway Line blamed the problem on women for not dressing more conservatively. On its Sina Weibo it posted a photo of a woman in a see-through dress with the message: “If that’s what you wear on a subway, then no wonder you will be sexually harassed! There are too many wolves riding the subway every day, and we can’t catch them all. Girl, you’ve got to respect yourself.” Predictably, many women weren’t impressed by the posting, accusing the train operator of sexual discrimination. A netizen noted: “According to this logic, it’s okay for every man in a swimming pool to take liberties with women.” An officer for Media Monitor for Women, an NGO, said “It’s improper for the company, as a maintainer of order in the subway, to criticise its women passengers, who are actually victims. We hope it can offer an explanation.”
As the debate raged on, the Shanghai Daily polled its readers: 68% said women should be able to “dress any way they like”, while 23% thought female passengers should “dress appropriately” when riding the subway.
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