Tangshan incident: public opinion and the society, psychology and ethics behind it (I)

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Author: Chairman rabbit source: tuzhuxi (id:chairman rabbit)

Recently, there seem to be relatively few major international events; There are many local social events, which occupy most of the public attention. So I’m going to talk about some social things. It’s just “casual talk” and “gossip”, just personal feelings.

Let’s talk about the Tangshan incident first. First look at the event itself, and then look at public opinion.

First of all, let me talk about my views on the event itself. Mainly around the beating incident itself.

1. accidental or frequent events?

This incident, in broad daylight, was a group fight. Was it an accident or a common incident? I tend to think that it is an accidental event – we do not experience and witness it every day, and it cannot be connected with our daily life. I mean for most Chinese people. Of course, my “sampling” may not be “complete”. There are shooting incidents in the United States, and even campus scenes are common. Are American shootings more accidental or more common than such group fights? In my opinion, from the perspective of public memory and experience, shooting cases in the United States are more common, which is a collective trauma to the public. Therefore, contingency is a basic judgment of events.

Critics who focus on specific issues and pan system will never be satisfied with “accidental” events. If it is just an accident, there is no need to continuously track and raise the issue. Therefore, they must think that this is a “common event” – such as violence against women (even in general); For example, the black and evil forces are believed to have collusion and corruption with local governments; For example, it is believed that the higher level of the system exists in the shielding and concealment. In short, their basic logic is that such incidents must be the “tip of the iceberg”, pointing to more serious, systematic and common problems. I totally disagree with this judgment.

2. individual cases still have social problems

Individual cases refer to a few hooligans who are not good; The social aspect means that many people have problems. They are complicit or accomplice, so they hide larger and deeper social problems. For example, if all the people in this case participate in the beating, or the onlookers do not act, that is a social problem. The Tangshan beating incident, I think, belongs to an individual case, that is, it encountered several bad people. In the end, as long as these bad people are brought to justice, the problem can be solved to a certain extent.

If it is a case of abduction and trafficking of women, and there is such a case that the whole village, from officials to villagers, shelter and conspire together, it is different in nature. It is a social problem. In addition, local officials not only fail to stop bad habits, but also obey or even help them. That is a typical social problem.

It is obvious that the nature of social problems and individual problems is completely different.

3. female perspective / dimension: violence against women

This public opinion event has a particularly important dimension when it broke out, and may be an overwhelming dimension, that is, the female perspective: the followers pay special attention to the female gender identity of the victims, understand the whole event from a gender perspective, and believe that this violent event reflects the discrimination and frequent violence against women in Chinese society / culture, hoping to emphasize the necessity of women’s rights protection and promote women’s rights and interests.

First of all, the victims are women. The source of the mob’s provocation also belongs to sexual harassment. Women must be an important dimension to understand the incident.

So should we simply define and understand the Tangshan beating incident based on gender issues? Is this label enough to cover the connotation of the whole incident of violence against women?

Although gender is an important factor and provides an important perspective and dimension, gender is not the whole of the event: the gender identity of the victim is neither a sufficient condition nor a necessary condition for the occurrence of violence.

The non sufficient condition refers to that the female identity of the victim itself will not automatically and inevitably lead to the result of violence. The violence must be related to the scene. We’ll talk about this later.

Non essential conditions refer to the fact that mobs may also commit violence against other groups, including men and all other groups that they consider vulnerable. Women are not the only victimized group, but the object of this specific incident is women (of course, this does not mean that they do not bully women on weekdays)

From a simple male perspective, gender is a dimension, but violence may be more important: this group of people is a group of local ruffians and evil forces, who have been making trouble all year round. They can fight anyone, not only women, but also men. When you see these people, you’d better take a detour. Don’t provoke them (especially after drinking). You must avoid conflicts with them.

4. male perspective / dimension: violence against the weak

Men encounter such incidents and see the problem from different angles.

First of all, if in such a scene (hot pot shop, slightly drunk or slightly drunk), the male group will also have conflicts. It’s just that the conflicts are different. They may be bumped, pushed, impolite, or something else. The two sides are at loggerheads and want to fight.

But the average man will make an immediate assessment from whether the other side will do it, whether his own side has a chance of winning if he does it, the price he may pay, and so on. If the other side has a large number of people, but the comers are not good, the other side has few people, and has no combat power, and the other side has no special background advantage or “home court advantage” (“you force my brother to come right away” “do you know who I am” “), it will immediately decide to move away. The male perspective is usually simple and rough, which is based on the assessment of power, and will not affect his judgment because of other irrelevant attributes.

On the contrary, women are different: the girls concerned may think that in such a specific situation (a restaurant, a group of people, many to many, do not know each other, and there are many bystanders), gender factors can give themselves additional protection and empowerment. Therefore, in the same scene, the man may be counselled, while the woman will give two mouthfuls or even push and shove with the other party to show no weakness. Please note that this is not to say that several female victims should bear any responsibility for the results of violence, but that the response of these female victims to the mob is in line with their expectations of each other’s behavior, within the reasonable assessment range of their social norms. To put it bluntly, these girls do not believe that each other will beat women in broad daylight.

What does that mean? In fact, it is just the opposite: women are protected to a certain extent.

In fact, other vulnerable groups will also be protected. One is a child, the other is an old man. The difference is that children are less likely to be involved in conflict in such scenes; The old man was weak and would not conflict with the hooligans who made trouble, so the fire could not be lit. However, if the thugs hit the elderly, children or other vulnerable groups – such as the disabled – I believe the social response will also be great, but the label, definition and connotation of the event have been changed – “a violence against the elderly, where is our tradition of respecting the elderly?” and “beating the disabled, this society has never had any respect for the disabled”, “We can also start beating minors, and the world has been reduced to what extent.”. Even the abuse of pets will cause many people’s disdain, “such a big city can’t accommodate a cocky dog.”.

Only by beating a man can this incident be reduced to simple violence. At that time, other identities of men may be revealed. For example, a delivery boy, or an apprentice working in a restaurant, or a work study student, or a father who works hard, and so on. These special identities may arouse people’s sympathy.

But if the victim is a woman, violence is defined as violence against women. When critics continue to expand the problem, gender issues even surpass violence itself.

But on the contrary, can we see the gender dimension from the male perspective?

In fact, it can be seen that men will think that it is really scandalous for several thugs to dare to beat up women in broad daylight. As the old saying goes, a gentleman is morally inferior if he does not start with his words, let alone bully the weak – this is the most despised.

This situation exists across society: in prison, rapists or murderers / serial murderers who pick on women are the most despised, at the bottom of the chain of contempt. Please note that this is not to say that men who hold this perception must believe in or advocate gender equality. They are firm supporters of feminism, but they have empathy to protect the weak and despise the behavior of bullying the weak. This is a very basic moral intuition of human beings, and it is also the cornerstone of the continuous development of human society. A few young women are just the weak in Tangshan; In addition to women, there are other weak people who jump out of this scene. The weak should be protected.

So in the final analysis, we still look at the problem from the perspective of power. Gender is a dimension that reflects power relations, a cut in, but not all.

5. other perspectives / dimensions

The focus here is mainly on the initial beating incident, and the “follow-up” circulated in the market will be ignored. As I have seen in my circle of friends and on the Internet, many people who are keen to follow such topics are followers of specific topics or critics of the system.

So we focused on the initial restaurant beating incident.

The Tangshan incident attracted extensive attention. Different people actually paid different attention to it, but the discourse was dominated by the theme of women (at least in the first two days of screen brushing).

But isn’t everyone looking at things from this perspective? Obviously not.

The male perspective has already been discussed. Now let’s talk about other perspectives. For example, what do young elite women living in big cities think of this problem?

The female perspective is not enough, because many elite women in big cities do not have a “sense of substitution” for such events, and it is not easy to find “connection” simply from the female perspective. The reason is that they may not see such scenes in their daily life and imagine their environment (“the next may be me”). They think that if such events are not stopped, they will affect every woman.

Therefore, they may also tend to think that the incident is “non recurrent”, and the more important theme word is “violence” itself.

What factors determine violence? Naturally, it is the level of education, education, class, etc. “these are a group of local ruffians and hooligans who are inferior and indiscriminate”, “have no culture”, “violence is really vulgar and does not respect women, but it is mainly because these people have no culture and are too low-level”. This is their perspective on the problem.

The other is the regional dimension. I think there is a problem in Tangshan. The scope of this attack is relatively large. It generally refers to people’s habits, culture, social organizations, government governance, etc. Many people said to me, “it seems that Tangshan is not a place to go” – this became their final summary of the incident.

But it can be seen that there are completely different interpretations of this kind of thing. Everyone sees different things because of their own identity, background and experience.

But what is common is that everyone hates violence, sympathizes with the weak, and hopes that justice will be done. This commonness is much more important than the differences, which is the real main line of this event.

6. issues dominated by women’s perspective

Although there are different understanding perspectives, women have always been the theme of the event (or at least for a time), which shows that in this event, the society is easier to take gender (rather than other elements and Perspectives) as the core dimension to understand and define this event. (“define this event by gender”).

This actually shows that the tolerance of contemporary Chinese society to such violence against women is very low; They also despise the bad habits that discriminate against women; The society has reached a certain critical point and exploded at that point. As soon as violence comes out, women / gender can become the mainstream perspective that overwhelms other analysis and exploration issues.

Here, I would like to point out that the “Chinese society”, “public opinion concern” and “public discourse” I mentioned all refer to the “circle of friends in first tier cities”.

In this group, women’s awareness of rights and interests is fully “awakened”. In fact, they do not need to be “awakened” again, nor do they need another oneortwo such events to “ignite”. Such public opinion events are not awakening women’s consciousness, but reflecting women’s consciousness.

At the same time, it also illustrates the status of female discourse in public issues.

(even when I write these things, I have to consider whether I will be attacked by feminists.)

7. Chinese society with low tolerance for violence

China has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world. Most people are far from violence in their daily life, and their safety index is very high. In my opinion, the main reason behind this is the data-based governance, which makes the crime cost higher and higher.

Beating people can make headlines in China. But I’m afraid it won’t make the headlines in the United States: the headlines in the United States are all super violent: for example, in the case of gun massacres, many people were killed in a dozen. Many of these cases also have the shadow of hate crimes behind them.

Because it is too violent, people usually focus on the violence itself. The motive of hate crime itself is difficult to become the subject that most people pay attention to.

Let’s assume that in the United States, if a person who hates women and specifically kills women (misogynist) shoots and kills sevenoreight women in a shopping mall, will the topic of public opinion be different?

There will certainly be no difference. In the end, the society still discusses gun violence and gun control, and it will be over in two days.

If a group of people beat up women, can they make headlines in the mainstream news?

I doubt it.

First, because the level of violence is not high enough. Americans are desensitized to violence and have a high tolerance (threshold problem).

Secondly, for individual / separate cases, the probability is defined by some topic tags.

——Extremists: met several misogynists who hate women;

——Racial / Ethnic Dimension: the vulgar customs of sub groups, such as Mexicans, blacks, Muslims, Asians

——Personal problems: if you are a middle-class white, it may be drugs, alcoholism, domestic violence from childhood, etc

——Psychological dimension: met several psychopaths/sociopaths, pure psychopathy;

——Gun violence: if a gun case is involved, gun violence is still a theme. Although it does not make headlines, it can become a case to support gun controllers

In short, it is impossible for such a beating incident to be screened nationwide in the United States: because violence is already a part of people’s lives, such a topic will not rise to social issues, let alone to institutional issues.

Gun violence is a universal and social problem in the United States. Guns can override all other themes. But even if they encounter the problem of gun violence, Americans will not raise it to a system problem, or a problem of specific political parties, politicians and interest groups.

Of course, it is extreme to compare the United States, but in any case, the Tangshan incident can be brushed on the screen in China, which shows that violence actually does not happen frequently, and the social tolerance for violence is very low. In this relatively homogeneous society with few violent incidents, it is easy for people to find “theme words” and “consensus” for a social event as an outlet for consistent expression of attitudes and emotions. In the Tangshan beating incident, it was the issue of women’s rights and interests. Of course, the security problems of ordinary people in front of the underworld and evil forces have also arisen.

The second part discusses the issue of public opinion: why there is public opinion, how to treat it, and so on.

(to be continued)

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