DECEMBER 14, 2015 12:45 PM
Women talk about gender in protests and politics in Hong Kong
By Emily Man & Julian Ng
Feminist scholar Luk Kit-ling, chairperson of the Association for the Advancement of Feminism, believes the attacks on women in protests are both political and gendered.
“It is political in the sense that the attack is to scare and deter people’s participation. It is gendered because it uses sexual violence and sexual harassment to rule out women in their civic participation.”
Luk believes sexual attacks always adhere to the dominant ideology of society at large, whether the attacks are on women or on men.
“Women attract more attacks in the public arena as they are assumed to be domestic and belong to the private domain,” Luk explains, adding that the attacks on women suggest that the female body is a passive object and that women live their lives as objects for another’s gaze.
Luk says negative comments help construct a view of the female body as something vulnerable, as a source of horror and shame rather than as a source of pleasure, fertility and empowerment.
Even positive comments, such as calling a female protester a “goddess” impose certain standards and expectations of femininity on all women.
“It is important to diversify femininities and to liberate people from their gender boundaries, even for men,” she adds. “Sayings such as ‘real men should be defending Mong Kok’ also address gender boundaries that are supported by the patriarchal society.”
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