A Chinese gold medalist was asked about her “masculine” appearance, prompting outrage.
After Gong Lijiao won China’s first gold medal in an Olympic field event on Sunday, a state media reporter asked about his “masculine” appearance and life plans, triggering a heated debate on the restrictive discourse surrounding women.
Gong, a four-time Olympian, placed first in the women’s shot put with a personal best 20.58 meters (67.5 feet).
An interview broadcast on the public broadcaster CCTV on Sunday included a controversial sports correspondent’s observation: “Gong Lijiao makes me feel like a male woman.
The reporter, Lu You, then asked about Gong’s future plans: “Before, you were a male woman for the sake of the shot put. But as you move forward, can you be yourself?
Gong, 32 years old, hemmed and hauled. “If I don’t work out later I might lose weight and then get married and have kids,” she said. “The path one should take in life.”
The segment continued with a videographer and Lu asking the athlete if she had a boyfriend, what she was looking for in a partner, and if she or a potential partner would be better at arm wrestling.
On Weibo, a popular microblogging platform, a Gong talk page and the question, “Is marriage the only thing we can discuss about women?” had been viewed nearly 300 million times Thursday, generating more than 140,000 messages.
Many netizens criticized the CCTV journalist’s questions, comparing them to those asked by curious relatives. Others have asked why a gold medalist is subjected to a stereotypical investigation.
A trendy article said that men are just not good enough to marry Gong, adding, “The talk about women is not just about marriage and physical appearances. There are also dreams and success.
Gong replied to the message from his official Weibo account. “It says completely what I think! ” she wrote. “Thank you!”
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