China, which has been hitting headlines for its anti-human stance and atrocities on minority communities, has again come to light after a contentious lesson on sexual harassment at a school has stirred online debate about victim-shaming.
Citing People’s Daily, CNN, on Monday, reported that the incident happened at a middle school in southern China last year. The topic included a mental health education class-- a session that is often touted as "sex education" classes.
How does a year-old photograph spark outrage?
However, the matter turned profound when several photos of the teaching material went viral on multiple social media platforms earlier this month. In the viral photos, it claimed that victims of sexual harassment "suffer because they dress flamboyantly and behave flirtatiously".
"Girls shouldn’t wear transparent or skimpy clothes and should avoid frivolous behaviour," it added.
Meanwhile, this prompted a huge rage on social media platforms, where people exhibited disbelief and oppugned China's deep-rooted conservative attitudes and gender inequality in a patriarchal society.
Local administration confirms photos are authentic
People took to the Chinese social platform Weibo, which has restrictions on posting anti-establishment views, and raised grave concerns over the dangers of victim-blaming and the ways women are often targeted regardless of what they wear in their society. In fact, this prompted the local education authorities to release a statement last week. They confirmed that the photos showed a lecture held at the school last April.
"After investigation, the photo reflected a special lecture held by Huaiji County No. 1 Middle School in April last year. There were some inappropriate expressions in the lecture courseware, which caused misunderstandings among netizens," roughly translates to the administration's statement.
"The County Education Bureau criticized and educated relevant personnel and ordered the school to carry out rectification, strictly implement the review mechanism of teaching lectures and courseware, strengthen education management, strengthen teacher training, and improve the level of education work," it added.
Chinese society does not accept women's bold clothing
It is worth mentioning this wasn't the first time such incidents occurred in Beijing. Earlier in November last year, a young woman was attacked by a man at a public toilet in Zhejiang, according to state media The Paper. Shockingly, on social media platforms, the victim was trolled saying "the woman of skimpily dressed". "What does clothing have to do with being beaten? Is that a reason for a crime?" her mother told the The Paper.