Sexual harassment in Chinese weddings

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By China Hush

On Feb 16th, a post on Jinringuanzhu.net (a well known Cantonese newscast’s online forum) revealed a shockingly unpleasant incident which happened during a wedding in Xinhui city, Canton province.  Nine girls of the ‘sisters’ troop’ (bridesmaids) were allegedly molested by the bridegroom’s escort.  The post was written by six of the victims with their own account of the sexual harassment they endured.

In traditional Chinese wedding customs, on the day of the wedding, the bridegroom and bride each have a group of friends who act as escorts. The bridegroom with his escorts must go to the bride’s residence in order to receive her.  But at the doorstep of the bride’s residence, the bride’s escorts will guard the door and ask the bridegroom for hongbao (an auspicious amount of money wrapped in a red paper bag) and demand that he pass some tests.  Only then will the bridesmaids allow the bridegroom to enter.  This is supposed to be a fun custom that was traditionally held to bring good luck.

However, as described in the post on Jinrnguanzhu.net, when the bridegroom’s escorts broke into the bride’s room, the terrified bridesmaids had to run for the washroom and lock the door.

A bridesmaid who was too slow to get in the washroom was pinned down to the floor by the bridegroom’s male friends who grabbed her chest and touched her private parts.  Then the bridegroom’s friends burst open the washroom’s door and molested the girls inside.  The molested girls cried and asked them to stop but in vain.

More shocking though, is that the relatives and the newlyweds were right at the scene.  They saw how the bridegroom’s friends molested the terrified bridesmaids and how the bridesmaids cried for help.  But they didn’t stop the men or interfere in any way.  After the bridegroom’s friends were done with their despicable practice, the newlyweds continued the wedding ceremony as if nothing had happened.

The victims have now reported the incident to the local police and are still waiting for further investigation.  The newlyweds tried to give the victims a few hundred yuan im an out-of-court settlement, but this was rejected by the victims who protested angrily, “They don’t treat us as human-beings but like whores, with no dignity!”  One of the victims said in the post that she still couldn’t sleep and had nightmares as a result of the attack.

The post is followed by pages of comments.  Unfortunately, from these comments, it turned out this unpleasant and exasperating practice is now popular in the region like Xinhui or the nearby cities.  Many netizens claimed that they had or heard similar cases.  Some of the comments translated are as follows:

brianlv ip:113.109.131.* 2011-02-25 12:23:50

“呢D行为早几年系鹤山已经流传了好耐,搞到现在结婚的都没有人愿意当姐妹仔的了,潜规则.报警基本上没有用的,因为他们当中都有个人出头搞定的。建议下次有类似的事发生,被侵犯的团结起来,砸左部花车再报警,看他们怎么结婚,不搞次大事出来那些恶习是不会退的········”

This kind of practice has been popular for a while.  Consequently few are willing to be bridesmaids at weddings.  Reporting it to the police won’t do any good, because eventually one of those guys will stand out and settle things down.  I suggest next time this kind of thing happens, the victims should gather together, smash the wedding car and call the police … see how they can manage to marry … If you don’t make a big deal out of it, those despicable practices will never disappear …

123 ip:113.78.69.* 2011-02-25 13:34:05

“上述所讲的事情。我都遇过一次。09年的时候。我去参加堂家姐的婚礼。我做伴娘。20几个姊妹。他们哪些根本是有意来侵犯我们的。

竟然遭到毒手的是新娘的亲妹妹。实在太可耻了。

当时我们都有话当场报警的。但是都是遭到男方的种种拒绝。

唉。实在太可怕了。、”

I had that experience once too.  It was in 2009, I was attending my cousin’s wedding.  I was the bridesmaid.  We had around 20 girls in the sisters’ troop.  Those guys came especially to molest us.  My cousin’s sister was the victim.  It was awful!  We wanted to call the police at the time, but people from the bridegroom’s side refused with all kinds of excuses.  Oh, it was an awful experience …

The bridesmaids come to show their support and blessings for the couple but in return receive such terrible treatment and the couple’s indifference to assaults on their dignity.  Whoever commits such disgusting offences should definitely be punished by law.  A happy wedding custom should by never be taken advantage of by people with such bad intentions, and put young women into a situation where their rights and dignity can be trampled on in such a despicable way.

 

Origininally published and translated by China Hush