An incident in China, in which a group of high-school students drugged a lesbian teenager in an attempt to normalise her, has sparked debates online due to its homophobic nature. The incident took place in the eastern city of Huangshan on March 3 but was only confirmed on Tuesday by the local educational authority.
A Chinese news agency reported that the girl was targeted since she was lesbian, but the authorities declined to comment on the real motive.
The local educational board and police confirmed in separate statements that a group of male students mixed the substance in a glass of water. When the girl found out about it, she posted it on Weibo, the equivalent of Twitter in China.
The issue has gained a huge popularity by Thursday and the topic received nearly 30 million views and 200,000 comments.
“It happened during my class break,” the NBC quoted the student as saying in the post, which was was later deleted. “When I drank the water, I never thought my classmates would drug me. They wanted to see me embarrassed but I was lucky the drug didn’t work.”
The local educational authority said that the boys responsible for the act were punished and the girl accepted an apology for their deed. However, the officials declined to name the aphrodisiac, saying it was bought from an adult shop.
Wei Tingting, a feminist activist who was detained last year for planning a protest, told the NBC that the act was “insulting to women.”
“They are so young but what they did is so terrible,” Wei added. “Schools should strengthen education guiding students to respect women.”
Though the act doesn’t qualify for a criminal offense in China, a poll conducted on Weibo showed that 90 percent of the 120,000 people thought the punishment was “too soft.”
“I can’t believe this happened in a high school. I am so sorry about the girl. What her classmates did is unforgivable,” said a Weibo user.
The ABC News reported that new guidelines announced by Chinese Psychiatric Association no longer consider homosexuality a pathological condition. The guidelines, which are to be issued next month, will stop the trend of treating homosexuality as abnormal.