Zhou Xiaoxuan, a former TV intern, has emerged as a leading voice in the movement after accusing a star presenter of assault.
A former TV intern who has become an important voice in the Chinese #MeToo movement againstsexual assault and harassment vowed to fight after a court in Beijing ruled she failed to produce enough evidence in her harassment case against a featured presenter.
The former intern, Zhou Xiaoxuan , told supporters and reporters outside the Haidian District Court in Beijing that she would appeal after the judges convened pronounced against his request Tuesday evening.
Ms. Zhou claimed in 2018 that Zhu Jun assaulted her in a locker room four years earlier. Mr. Zhu denied this accusation and sued Ms. Zhou, and she counterattacked him. Their legal battles have become a central issue in China's growing movement against the sexual coercion of women.
The tribunal from Beijing rejected Ms. Zhou's case in a terse online statement that did not go into the substance of its claims. She had "given insufficient evidence to prove her claim that a certain Zhu engaged in sexual harassment," the court said.
Standing on the street outside the courthouse shortly after the ruling, Ms. Zhou - who is widely known in China by her nickname, Xianzi - said the judges gave him little opportunity to detail his allegations. She said they rejected her attorney's efforts to introduce what she said was supporting evidence, such as video footage from outside the locker room, as well as notes from 'interview with himselfs parents shortly after the episode.
“In the end, the court left us no space to make a statement,” a- she said in a 10-minute statement around midnight, oscillating between resignation and challenge.
"I think I did all I could ", she added. "I can 't put in any more effort. They didn ' t ask if I would appeal. I will, but I think I have already given this my all.
A small crowd applauded Ms. Zhou, some shouting, "Carry on.
Li Tingting, an activist for the gender equality in Beijing, said by phone that Ms. Zhou had been an "encouragement to many MeToo attendees." She added, "The impact of this case is more important than its outcome. Image Supporters of Zhou Xiaoxuan gathered in a Beijing court during a hearing in his case of sexual harassment. Credit ... Roman Pilipey / EPA, via Shutterstock
But Ms. Zhou faces many obstacles to get official attention for her complaint against Mr. Zhu, especially in an increasingly cold political climate, where officials are wary of any complaints outside channels they can strictly control.
His charges against Mr. Zhu burst onto the internet at a time when the Chinese government seemed surprised by the wave of complaints from women about sexual coercion by men. Many of the women who spoke out werestudents or young professionals who said that professors or supervisors had pressured them into having sex. Initially, the Chinese media were able to broadcast women's pent-up grievances about bad behavior that had been ignored by the authorities.
"People don't are not allowed to show their pain. and injuries, ”Ms. Zhou told The Times in an interview at the time. "Many women fear being seen as whiners.
She said that while working as an intern at C.C.T.V. in 2014, she was asked to bear fruit in the dressing room of Mr. Zhu, one of the network's most famous presenters. Inside the room, Mr. Zhu forcibly kissed and groped her, she said.
She remained largely silent on the experiment until 2018, whenhe global ferment against sexual harassment has increased. also took root in China, and she wrote a long story that spread across the internet after a friend of hers shared it. Image Zhu Jun, the host of CCTV, in 2014. He sued Ms. Zhou, claiming that she fabricated her account to slander him. Credit ... China Stringer Network / Reuters
"It is important for every girl to speak out and say what she suffered," she writes in the essay. "We need to make sure society knows that these massacres exist.
Mr. Zhu claimed that she fabricated her story to slander him. She then assertedthat he had violated his dignity. “Let’s be ready to fight,” she wrote online.
The China clamp handle
- Xi's warning: A century after the founding of the Party Communist, the Chinese leader said that the foreign powers " break their heads and spill blood "if they tried to stop its rise.
- Behind the Hong Kong takeover : A year ago, the city's freedoms were reduced at a speed vertiginous. But the repression lasted for years, and many signals were missed .
- One year later in Hong Kong: Neighbors are invited to denounce each other. Children learn to look for traitors. The Communist Party is remake the city .
- Charting China's post-Covid path : Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, is seeks to balance confidence and prudence as his country progresses while d other countries continue to fight the pandemic.
- A challenge for the global leadership of the United States: As President Biden predicts a struggle between democracies and their opponents, Beijing ist eager to defend the other side .
- "Red tourism" flourishes : New and improved dedicated attractions to the history of the Communist Party, or a sanitized version of it, are draw the crowds before the centenary of the party .
Since then, the Chinese Communist Party has decided to curb public protests and disputes over women's rights, and fewer such cases have surfaced on the Internet.
An exception was in July, when the font inmate Kris Wu , a Canadian singer from Chinapopular after an 18-year-old college student in Beijing accused him of offering young women like her career help and then pushing them into having sex. He denied the charges.
Mr. Wu was officially arrested last month on suspicion of rape. His case has become one of many scandals that have prompted the Chinese government to crack down on young celebrity culture and warn actors and performers to adhere to official rules of decorum.
Ms. Zhou was kicked out of Weibo, the popular Chinese social media service where her allegations against Mr. Zhu first spread. (Her lawsuit against her has yet to go to court.)
Chinese state media did not cover Ms. Zhou's allegations and trial. But news of Ms. Zhou's loss in court spread on Chinese social media on Wednesday. She was criticized by many reactions on Weibo, with some accusing her of fabricating her claims and acting as a pawn for forces hostile to China. Her supporters said that despite the setback she set a lasting example.
"I was very disappointed, but it didn 't hurt me. not surprised, ”said Zheng Xi, 34, a feminist in Hangzhou, east China. "His persistence over the past three years has educated and enlightened many people. Image Ms. Zhou's supporters in Beijing in December. Credit. .. Noel Celis / Agence France-Presse - Images