Woman goes viral for beating employer who harassed her with mop on video

A female government worker in China has gone viral after a video circulated on social media showed her using a mop to beat her male boss who she accused of repeated harassment. 

The woman, who The New York Times identified by her last name, Zhou, can be seen in a 14-minute long video on Chinese social media platforms walking into her boss’s office before dousing him with a bucket of water. 

She then grabs a mop and uses it to repeatedly hit her boss, identified as Wang, who can be seen in the video attempting to hide behind his fingers. 

Later on in the video, Zhou removes multiple books from Wang’s desk and throws them at his head. 

The video has been viewed millions of times. 

The Times reported that Zhou says Wang sent her unwanted text messages on three separate occasions, and also made unwanted advances toward other women in the office. 

Wang attempts to say in the video that the messages were meant as a joke, though Zhou continues to yell at him — she can be heard making a call and accusing her boss of assault. 

The woman while on the phone says that she had already reported Wang to the police. 

While it is not clear exactly when the incident occurred, Chinese state news media reported that Zhou filed a police report last week against Wang, who local outlets have identified as the the deputy director of a government poverty alleviation agency in the Beilin district of Suihua, a city in Heilongjiang province. 

State-run news agency Xinhua reported that an internal investigation determined the man had “life discipline problems,” and was subsequently removed from his role. 

The Times reported that Chinese officials said the woman did not face any punishment for her actions, noting that she had an unnamed “mental illness.” 

Zhou attracted widespread praise on social media, with many commending her for taking action against her boss’s alleged advances in a country where many harassment claims go unreported. 

Prominent Chinese feminist activist Lu Pin told the Times in an interview, “Most of the time, women are forced to stay silent because it is hard for sexual harassment to be investigated.” 

“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,” the activist added. 

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While Chinese law prohibits sexual harassment and requires employers to take actions to prevent inappropriate behavior in the workplace, activists have argued that these policies are rarely put into practice, and women in recent years have become the target of retaliatory lawsuits from their accused harassers. 

The Times reported in 2019 that between 2010 and 2017, there were just 34 Chinese lawsuits filed related to sexual harassment in the workplace, and half of these were filed by people accused of harassment who said the accusations unfairly harmed their reputations.

Tags #MeToo; sexual harassment China New York Times Social media Viral video Workplace harassment

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