Home / Opinion / Opinion Line

Tradition of wedding banter is no excuse for sexual harassment

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-13 07:47

A BRIDESMAID IN XI'AN, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, decided not to call the police or press charges against two male guests who sexually harassed her at a wedding. Beijing News commented on Monday:

A video in which two wedding guests can be seen molesting the bridesmaid at the wedding has gone viral on the Chinese internet, provoking public anger at the disgraced men's behavior and deep discussion over the sexual banter that is a traditional characteristic of Chinese weddings, which as shown in the video can easily get out of hand.

In China, bridesmaids are often subjected to sexual harassment at wedding banquets. Many of them, including the one in Xi'an, choose to do nothing after being sexually harassed, because the ill-behaved male guests are friends of the newlyweds.

That custom of silence has, to some extent, emboldened some male guests at wedding celebrations to cross the line from using to abusing their right to celebrate the occasion. The so-called celebratory tradition then becomes nothing but sexual harassment, which is punishable according to the law.

For some reason the Xi'an bridesmaid, although traumatized mentally and physically, decided not to take any action against the two men who molested her. But it does not change the fact that she was the victim of sexual harassment and the offenders should be held accountable in line with provisions of the Criminal Law and the Law of Punishment for Public Security and Administration.

Brides and grooms and their families who host wedding celebrations have to make sure the "fun" does not overstep the boundaries of decency. Otherwise, wedding celebrations could well become bitter, embarrassing memories. Extra legislative efforts are also called for to set the bottom line for wedding traditions.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours