Suddenly all kinds of people in China are offering to sleep with the headmaster.
The unusual outpouring is in response to a recent spate of sex abuse cases, including that of a school principal who spent the night in a hotel room with four underage girls. Artists, activists, university students and police officers are photographing themselves - some nude and provocatively posed, some angry and menacing - with the message: “Principal, get a room with me. Leave the young students alone.”
The online campaign - mixing performance art, satire and outrage - has tapped into public anger over sexual abuse against children. It’s a problem in China partly because of a lack of sex education and partly because Chinese society has become unmoored from traditional strictures after decades of rapid economic change and social change.
Attitudes toward sex have become more lax, especially noticeable among powerful officials, often found to be cavorting with very young mistresses and prostitutes. Children are prone to the abuse because they have not been adequately prepared, and can be easily intimidated by teachers and other authority figures.
“Schools and parents have failed to instill in our children the sense of rights and to teach them how to protect themselves,” Xiong Bingqi, a deputy director of a Beijing-based education think tank. “If the children know about their rights, know they can call police if they are sexually assaulted and have the assaulters punished, it will sure deter the criminals.”