A government worker in China who said her boss was sending her harassing texts proceeded to do what many-a-worker-worldwide would love to do, when she hit him several times with a mop. She also threw books at, and tossed water into, his face. The whole thing was captured on 14+ minutes of video, the New York Times reports.
The woman, identified as Zhou (her surname), can be seen attacking her boss at occasional intervals throughout. She says that he sent her unwanted messages on three occasions, and that others at her workplace got similar unwanted advances. She also says she’s reported him to police.
As for that boss, identified as Wang, he never gets up from his desk chair at any point in the video, which you can see below. Instead, he puts his fingers over his face, tries to apologize, and says that the messages were a joke.
For the purpose of watching Wang get beat by the mop this video is longer than necessary. But it happens multiple times at the beginning (up through 1:33) then again slightly past the midway point (around 8:21) and then again near the end (around 11:55). She also starts throwing things at him around 12:38.
It’s not clear when this happened. Zhou filed a police report last week that accused Wang of harassment. Also ,the video began to circulate around the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo this week.
According to NYT, the general internet reaction amongst social media users in China was satisfaction at what they saw as confrontation against a person in a position of authority in a country that has few workplace protections for sexual harassment.
In 2005, a law was introduced in China that intended to prohibit sexual harassment and allow workers to report their employers. Successful lawsuits are reportedly rare due to most cases coming down to witness accounts without tangible evidence.
The Times also interviewed a “prominent Chinese feminist activist,” Lu Pin, who said the video’s popularity could be chalked up to pent-up anger towards harassers who are able to operate without consequences.
“Most of the time, women are forced to stay silent because it is hard for sexual harassment to be investigated,” Lu said. “This woman took matters in her own hands to protect herself; that her behavior is gaining so much attention is a reflection that there aren’t better ways.”
As for Wang, Chinese state media says he was the deputy director of a government poverty alleviation agency. They report that an internal investigation learned of his “life discipline problems.” He was fired.
As for Zhou, she was not disciplined. Officials did say that she had a “mental illness,” though that wasn’t elaborated upon.