Chinese professor: Raping female escorts is less harmful than raping honest women
Li Tianyi, the 17-year-old son of a nationally known Chinese folk singer who holds the military rank of major general, has been charged with gang-raping one woman in February alongside four other teens. The case has been the center of attention in the past few months as it provides perfect fodder for social hatred in country marked by wealth gap and class divides.
17-year-old Li Tianyi (right) and his celebrity father (major general) and mother.
The public fury over the defendant and his privileged family has only got bigger since then when the Beijing police announced Li and his four friends were taken into custody for taking turns having sex, which netizens believed was the official whitewashing. Later, Li pleaded not guilty. His family even accused the female victim of being a bar girl, saying she worked at a bar.
Just when you think the Li family can’t possibly get into a bigger PR disaster, a Chinese professor defended the young perpetrator, which has riled up the online population.
Yi Yanyou, a law professor at the prestigious Tsinghua University, wrote on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, “The defense team emphasized that the victim was a bar girl. It does not mean a bar girl can be raped. Rather, it means a bar girl is more likely to consent to sexual intercourse. Even if he (Li Tianyi) did rape, raping a bar girl is less harmful than raping an honest and clean woman.”
Later, Professor Yi even ramped up his noise by writing, “A correction about my previous comment: Raping an honest and clean woman causes more harm than raping a bar girl, a night club girl, a female escort or a prostitute.”
His comments, having been shared more than 90,000 times, backfired heavily on the Internet.
They think there are low-class people and high-class people; there are decent jobs and indecent jobs. That’s how they get this conclusion: Raping an honest woman causes more harm than raping a hooker. If this conclusion holds water, than, you deserve to be unable to cast a ballot. You deserve to see your posts deleted. You deserve to fall a victim to forced demolition. You deserve to be beaten by chengguan. You deserve to eat gutter oil. You deserve to have your flight delayed. You just deserve it. Because obviously making cadres and officials eat gutter oil, drink dirty water, suffer from beatings and forced demolition causes more harm than making you do that.
Can we get the following conclusions based on Prof. Yi Yanyou’s logic: Robbing a rich guy is less harmful than ribbing a poor guy. Murdering a homeless guy or an old man is less harmful than murdering a wage worker or a young man. Murdering a professor is less harmful than murdering a principal. Murdering a Tsinghua law professor is less harmful than murdering a Harvard law professor?
Is a sex worker really cheaper than an ordinary person? Not necessarily. She sells her body, which is simply a form of labor. They disrobe, nevertheless it is way better than those dressed-up beasts who sell their soul. If the latter can enjoy lavish banquets, then the former deserve respect even more.
When a crime with details clearly available and without disputes over which law to apply surfaces, some people in the society are heatedly discussing the identity of the victim. This itself illustrates social degeneration and loss of civilization. It’s simply immoral. Discussing the harm of a crime based on the identity of the victim is a Nazi logic, a logic of enslavement. Its premise is: a crime, or even a murder, that targets certain groups, is acceptable, or even beneficial.