Shanghai metro blames sexual harassment on women’s immodest clothing; netizens’ reaction

June 26, 2012Jing Gao16 Comments, , , ,

From Sina, NetEase

Shanghai Metro has triggered a national debate over the root cause of numerous recent sexual harassments on the city’s subway lines after its official microblog on Sina Weibo called on female passengers to dress appropriately.

On the evening of June 20, Shanghai No.2 Metro Operation, uploaded to its official Sina Weibo account a picture of a young woman wearing a black see through dress waiting for the subway train, with her underwear clearly visible, and commented, “Riding the subway train while being dressed like this, no wonder some get harassed. There are just too many wolves on the subway lines to kill them all…Girls, have some self-respect!”

The post immediately received a lot of flak for its sexist remark. Some netizens believe that whether to dress modestly or scantily is a matter of personal choice, and this gives no ground to anyone for sexual harassment. One Weibo user “大江Joe舅”said, if the law or the metro regulation does not prohibit her from getting dressed like that, then no one is entitled to lay the blame on her, “So according to your theory, it is okay that every man in the swimming pool takes liberties with women?”


Another Weibo user “雪天放晴”was even more straightforward with her criticism of Shanghai Metro’s message, “You are supposed to provide adequate safeguard to passengers. Don’t shirk responsibly, and never make excuses for offenders!”

However, many more netizens strongly agree with call. In a survey conducted by Sina Weibo, 30,661 out of 44,582 respondents, representing 68.8 percent, agree that women should know what they’re doing when they dress provocatively, and be aware of the consequences of wearing certain types of clothing.

“One should dress appropriately for the occasion in public. This is the basic common sense and ethic. So even this common sense is to be questioned? How absurd!” One net user wrote. He said that Shanghai No.2 Metro Operation’s suggestion is well-meant, and there is no need for them to apologize. Another user “@机场站王必磊服务团队” also wrote, “Look at those young men and women nowadays, wearing Low-cut top, super mini skirt, see through clothing, to name just a few, which must have sent some people the wrong signal and make them spin a fantasy. So while we condemn offenders, should we also reflect on the signals we are sending with out clothing choices?”


In response to the internet debate, two young women wearing black veils to mask their faces protested on Shanghai’s subway Line 2 with signs that read, “I can be slutty, but you can’t get dirty,” “I want coolness, not sexual predators.”

Net user “一Buddy一”offered his full support to this protest. He said that if some people is going to get away with their statement that scantily clad women lure men into committing the crime, “The ultimate result would be that each woman will not be allowed to go out unless she wears extremely thick and conservative clothing. In a normal society, even if a person is walking naked on the street, you can call the police, but you can never assault her. This is common sense.”

In the past two months, multiple Shanghai metro riders reported falling victim to or witnessing sexual harassment. In additional to groping, a man was arrested on June 13 for masturbating and ejaculating onto a female passenger’s leg on Shanghai’s Line 1. A week later, a man was caught red-handed exposing his genitals to fellow riders.

Some suggest that Shanghai offer women-only passenger cars during rush hours. But Shanghai’s metro operation replied that the overcrowding during rush hours and the inadequate number of cars have rendered the suggestion impracticable. Besides, gropers on the subway lines account for only a tiny fraction of riders. The demand for women-only passenger cars is not that strong.


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16 comments to “Shanghai metro blames sexual harassment on women’s immodest clothing; netizens’ reaction”

  1. Sam Reeves | June 26, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    As the post suggests, if women have to wear little clothing in order not to get sexually harassed then you’re putting the blame on them. All men know the line not to cross, and to say women should then cover themselves is unfair.

    I’ve managed really well not to sexually harass any scantily clad female all my life, I don’t see why others can’t.

    On the other hand, if it becomes a safety issue, then perhaps common sense should prevail. It still shouldn’t have to though, within reason.

    • 1stPrime | July 1, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      Lunacy…..Women should dress appropriately just like men should. Let a man walk around with his manhood in the open and see how people will respond. Dressing decently and respectfully, if not for yourself, then do it for others.

      What is wrong with people these days.

  2. Theodoros | June 27, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Do you think that clothes make a difference. Ask the Muslim women in full chador and face mask..they walk around and are pinched, pushed, grope and felt up in all manner of ways by the sexually frustrated and thoughtless men around their communities. The Islamic response has been extreme and cannot be furthered but it still hasn’t stopped Muslim men exhibiting their sexual frustration and inconsiderate behavior. Women are vulnerable to men end of so they must respond violently and shame their assaulter in public.

    • 1stPrime | July 1, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      Clothes do make difference and how one carries him or herelf, as well as behaves in public. Muslim attire tends to be too extreme as voyeuristic dressing or scantily clad attire.

      Behavior and dress attire go hand in hand. If you are depraved minded, then dressing lewdly doesn’t bother you and one doesn’t respect those around him or her. Makes a person a very sad individual who doesn’t know what proper and decent protocols are.

  3. Tong88 | June 28, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    The underwear and the bra is too visualize that is why it attract public attention lead to rapist. In China women wants to lure foreigner into sexual contacts because it’s easy money when working as a whore. In America you see the same thing girls standing on the streets to make a fast buck just to make a living. Many of the teenagers came from poor family unable to provide them with an education that is why they lead to being a call-girls. Many didn’t even finished high school so they don’t have a choice. There is a chance for everyone who had made a mistake to make correction. Being a whore forever will not work you will eventually be busted in some time on the streets.

  4. Rachel | June 28, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I was harassed once on a bus when I was in junior school.
    OMG – -I was so naive then that I even didn’t know what was that until told one of my male friends.
    These men are crazy..

    • 1stPrime | July 2, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      Women are equally crazy as well. Lewd behavior in public and wearing clothes lewdly encourages people to behave badly. Look if you do not want a fire to ignite, then don not light the match in the first place. When women choose to tantalize a man, be sure who is looking, because some one could be predator waiting for an opportunity to prey on a person as a result of her ignorance or stupidity.

      Just like the women not practicing self control, there are men who do not practice self control as well. It goes both ways. Both women and men have a duty to behave properly when in public. Private life is personal issue, except when it becomes public.

  5. Hua Qiao | June 29, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Reminds meof the infamous quote from the Muslim Imam when asked about harrassment and rape of women, he said “what do you expect? When you put meat in front of a dog, he eats.”

    • 1stPrime | July 2, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      What’s in the mind of the women when she dress lewdly and behaves badly in public? She bears just as much responsibility for her behavior as the male who behaves inappropriately.

  6. sixdiamants | June 29, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Every culture teaches young children to go to the toilet, use cutlery (or chop-sticks or fingertips for that matter), be polite, and much more. Short, we teach them to be civilised and suppress socially undesirable behaviour.

    Teaching young boys to respect women is a logical extension of civilisation.

    I am a man and father of two girls.

  7. Garth | June 30, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    These men are just a bunch of dirt bags. The other “men” on the subway should lay a beating on anyone that tries to molest any woman in public. That way they will think twice the next time and women will know they are safe. Why shouldn’t girls be able to look their prettiest when they go out, it’s you that benefit from their beauty. Would be a pretty boring ride with a bunch of die hard Muslim women in hajibs on the transit. I’ll take the hot young girls view and arrive at my destination with a smile on my face, thanks!

    • 1stPrime | July 2, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      The woman has to behave responsibly. If she doesn’t then she is asking for trouble. Two wrongs do not make a right. Everyone knows that dark natures exist within every person. Some of us practice restraint, whereas others do not.

      When a women wears clothes to entice, then she is taking a risk. Her choice to do so, but don’t expect every guy to help you when you choose to stir the pot intentionally. Everyone has a right to be protected from criminal behavior, I will protect anyone in any situation, but will find it difficult to provide assistance to a person choosing to intentionally bring trouble her way by not dressing properly or placing herself in danger without thinking about the merits of her actions and impact on others.

      It’s like. .. A cage to secure and protect a person from a lion, but the person opens the gate because he has a right to do so….guess what, I’ll leave the area and let him reap what he sows.

      Women need to think before they do and remember to do things in ways to avoid tempting fate. We are living in a society where wisdom of decency is being ignored these days.

  8. Brian | August 13, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    People who are abused in this life have abused in their past lives. The Karma wheel turns for us all.
    Blaming women leads to women blaming men. Politics decress that women will defend other women even if these other women are sexually abusive. In the case of Myra Hindly many femenists called for her to be treated with respect because she was a woman, they picketterd outside the high court for “equality” many men get felt up by women, many little boys get felt up too by women. It hurts the femenist cause to advertise this fact.
    So it helps it to advertise bad male behavior, it sells well for political reasons. We live in a world that tells us what to think, what to say and who to say it to. Its hereditary for cavemen to attract something for alternative reasons, are some women fodder for femenism? are gay men fodder for femenism? theres a lot of good men out there that reject evil, they are still persecutted by the angry mob mentality of all men are bastards, are all women bitches? no, only the cheap under privalleged morons.

  9. Zalora Malaysia | August 25, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    You are so interesting! I do not believe I’ve truly read a single thing like that before. So nice to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  10. Leena | May 31, 2013 | Permalink Reply

    Seriously people….there are people with mental illnesses out there who do not know the difference between right and wrong…Either way, you’re giving easy access. In today’s society where sex is constantly splashed in people’s faces, you think ALL men EVERYWHERE have a modicum of self control in EVERY circumstance??…Men KNOW that Rape is wrong…there are obvious LAWS against it, for good reason, yet LAWS do not stop men from committing rape. They are ONLY meant to make them GUILTY before a court of law for breaking them. So, why do MEN rape? Murder is ILLEGAL, yet people MURDER…

    When you have a SICK HEART, NO LAW will stop a man from committing a SICK ACT…Why make yourself an EASY target?

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