At Fujen University, the Catholic University outside of Taipei, the female students finally started a protest this week to put an end to the sexist and authoritarian practice of curfews for the female dorm. A group calling itself the FJU Cinderellas had staged the protest, which included one student going on a hunger strike -- nicely timed, since the end of the semester is only a couple of weeks away. The university agreed to stop the practice.
Regrettably, this urgent need to control female sexuality is not just a practice of the Catholic schools, but is widespread in Taiwan universities:
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧) cited a student survey as saying that 26 percent of universities and colleges in Taiwan have gender discrimination regulations in their dorm management, with Fu Jen being one of them.The students highlighted an important issue that appeared to be missing in the legislative discussion:
Liao, a senior student studying public health, began the hunger strike May 30. She said one more person would join her for the strike each day until the school answered their calls, which include abolishing the curfew system for girls' dorms, installing electronic door control devices, and lifting a roll call at the beginning of the curfew.What she means is that people from money can afford to rent a room and come and go as they please. People from the working class must accept controls. Gender equity issues are frequently class issues as well.
Other demands are to clearly define the authority of the nuns and girls' dorm keepers, and holding elections to select students to be in charge of dorm affairs.
The student leader argued that the curfew is not just a problem of gender equality, but also affects the rights of dorm tenants, most of whom are from rural areas and financially disadvantaged, who cannot afford a privately rented room.
Sadly, according to the Taipei Times, a DPP legislator urked up:
When asked by DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) how he would respond to students if he were the dean of Fu Jen, Pan said that he would probably issue identification cards to female students, granting them unlimited access to their dormitories via a card reader, provided that the time at which the students leave and return to their dormitories is recorded and forwarded to their parents.A longtime observer asked in an email discussion group a question that is already starting to occur to many minds: at what point will Tsai Ing-wen start being held accountable for the remarks of the slothful and regressive elements of the DPP, who are rolling along unchecked.
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