Chinese actress Jiang Mengjie has been praised for sharing she was the victim of upskirting and was blackmailed over footage that circulated of her.
Upskirting – involving a device such as a camera phone to take explicit images underneath a victim’s clothing without permission – often goes undetected.
Jiang Mengjie told her eight million followers on social network Weibo the video had been filmed “many years ago”.
She found out after her staff spotted comments about the footage online.
Jiang commented that a friend had subsequently sent her a video, leaving her feeling “angry and disgusted, along with a feeling of powerlessness”.
‘Not Our Fault’
“Some web users have told me that videos have been posted to many groups… and the number of views has exceeded one million,” she said.
Jiang further revealed that she had begun receiving private messages blackmailing her over the footage “saying that they would send the video to major film and TV companies and brands, and ruin the rest of my life”.
She said that she contacted the police, who have informed her the suspect who blackmailed her has been detained, and she would be “notified in time of their punishment”.
She told her followers: “as a public figure, maybe I can make more people pay attention to such vicious incidents by taking a stand.
“It is not our fault that we have been secretly photographed. Our lives should not be affected by this kind of thing.”
‘Sisters Should Not Suffer in Silence’
Jiang Mengjie has won huge praise for telling her story online. Her post has been a viral talking point on Weibo, with Wednesday’s posts on the story receiving over 500 million reads. Her post on Weibo has received over 600,000 likes.
Many have commended her for speaking out, and have condemned the “arrogance” of her blackmailer, and his “perverted” behaviour.
“He should be ashamed… why does he think he can ruin someone for the rest of her life?” says one user, receiving over 25,000 likes.
“You are really brave,” another user says, and another adds: “Sisters should not suffer in silence when they encounter such a thing.”
Some have observed, however, that Jiang’s position in the public eye means that video that has circulated beyond her control may leave her feeling “persecuted”.
Many users have urged other women to “take up their legal weapons” and have criticised notions of “victim-blaming”.
The Sixth Tone news website said in 2020 that upskirting and voyeurism is a “common concern among women in China, as there are no laws prohibiting the sale of hidden cameras”.
Secretly filming others has generally resulted in sentences no longer than 10 days, meaning that many Chinese women had “started wearing an additional layer of clothing to deter judgmental comments and would-be voyeurs”.
Source : BBC News