After much public outcry, the Chinese government wants to put an end to its longstanding tradition of publicly shaming criminal suspects. Which basically means the Chinese are becoming less Chinese. Because Chinese people love them some public shaming. (I mean, Me = Chinese, DISGRASIAN = A Public Shaming Site, hello?)
The NY Times reports that the demand for the end to public shaming arose out of sympathy for prostitution suspects:
The new regulations are thought to be a response to the public outcry over a recent spate of “shame parades,” in which those suspected of being prostitutes are shackled and forced to walk in public.
Last October, the police in Henan Province took to the Internet, posting photographs of women suspected of being prostitutes. Other cities have been publishing the names and addresses of convicted sex workers and those of their clients. The most widely circulated images, taken this month in the southern city of Dongguan, included young women roped together and paraded barefoot through crowded city streets.
The police later said they were not punishing the women, only seeking their help in the pursuit of an investigation.
The public response, at least on the Internet, has tended toward outrage, with many postings expressing sympathy for the women. “Why aren’t corrupt officials dragged through the streets?” read one posting. “These women are only trying to feed themselves.”
This expressed sympathy for prostitutes is consistent with an online survey conducted last year in China which found that people considered prostitutes more trustworthy than government officials, putting them third in trustworthiness behind farmers and religious workers(!). That prostitution and the Chinese government could be construed as binary opposites–trustworthy and untrustworthy, sympathetic and unsympathetic–has historical precedence. In 1949, when the Communists took over China, they attempted to eradicate prostitution–a capitalist evil–altogether. But as communist influence in the country has waned over the years, prostitution has been on the rise.
Shifting attitudes towards prostitutes and the treatment of prostitution suspects is also getting a nod of approval from human rights groups. And with China getting human rights props, I return to my earlier point: The Chinese are definitely becoming less Chinese.
Filed under: China, China To End Public Shaming, Chinese Democracy, Communist China, Human Rights, Prostitutes in China, Prostitutes More Trustworthy than Politicians in China, Prostitution in China, Public Shaming, Shame, Shame Parades, Walk of Shame
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