每日英語跟讀 Ep.K605: Taiwan Witnesses MeToo Movement Surge Following Netflix Show
Taiwan has recently experienced a surge in allegations of sexual harassment and assault, triggered by a Netflix show that many believe has sparked a local MeToo movement. In the past two weeks, over 90 individuals have come forward, accusing people from various sectors across the island. Initially centered on politics and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), where several senior officials have resigned, the allegations have now spread throughout Taiwanese society, targeting doctors, professors, sporting umpires, and YouTubers. Notably, a Polish diplomat was accused of sexual assault by a think tank researcher.
For many women in Taiwan, this moment has been long-awaited in a society that has otherwise received global praise for its progressive politics and commitment to gender equality. President Tsai Ing-wen, the first female leader of the island, has offered an apology and pledged to implement reforms. Dr. Liu Wen, a social commentator from Taiwan's Sinica Academia, stated that the magnitude of these revelations is unprecedented, with underlying issues in different industries being exposed simultaneously for the first time.
The movement's inspiration can be traced back to a local TV drama called "Wave Makers," which aired on Netflix in late April. The show revolves around Taiwanese political staffers working on an election campaign. A pivotal scene in the series, where a young female aide confides in her mentor, a party spokeswoman, about the sexual harassment she endured from a male colleague, has been credited as the catalyst for Taiwan's MeToo moment. This scene resonated with viewers, prompting them to speak out against similar experiences.
The response to these allegations has been significant given Taiwan's emphasis on gender equality. President Tsai promptly acknowledged the victims' experiences and expressed gratitude for their bravery in coming forward. Recognizing the need for societal education, she offered apologies on behalf of her party, emphasizing that those speaking out are victims, not troublemakers. With Taiwan approaching a presidential election in January, the MeToo movement holds particular importance. William Lai, the chairman and candidate of the DPP, apologized for the party's shortcomings and called for reforms to strengthen sexual harassment laws, promising not to let the matter be overlooked.
This ongoing MeToo movement signifies a critical time for Taiwan's efforts to address gender and sexual abuse. Although some people appreciate the conversations sparked by the TV show, skepticism remains regarding lasting change and the availability of supportive supervisors in real life. As the movement unfolds, Taiwan faces both a reckoning and an opportunity to effect meaningful progress in combating sexual harassment and assault.
Reference article: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-65875474