3rd October 2023 – (Hong Kong) In a recent post on Xiaohongshu, a popular social media platform, a mainland Chinese woman expressed her frustration after being subjected to unwanted attention from random men while standing alone on Temple Street for just three minutes. The incident has sparked discussions about the negative perceptions surrounding women’s appearance and attire in certain areas.
The post was shared by a popular mainland Chinese blogger known as “@BossLadyGandabenda” on Xiaohongshu. Titled “Being Mistaken for a Working Girl on Temple Street – Girls, Be Careful,” the blogger shared her experience of visiting Hong Kong with her husband and their plan to explore Temple Street. They decided to visit the street during the day to capture some memorable moments.
Upon arriving at Temple Street, the blogger took the opportunity to take pictures and check-in at the location. Her husband left briefly to make a nearby purchase, leaving her waiting for his return. To her surprise, within the short span of three minutes, several men, including foreigners, walked past her, eying her from head to toe. She couldn’t help but wonder why these strangers were giving her suggestive looks. It was only when she noticed a group of girls standing nearby that she realised she had been mistaken for one of them.
As soon as her husband returned, she immediately grabbed his hand, and they swiftly left the scene. Interestingly, her husband also shared his encounter while shopping, mentioning that he experienced unwanted advances from women who flirtatiously looked at him. Feeling perplexed, the mainland Chinese blogger exclaimed, “Wow, the prevalence of this industry is even more intense than I imagined… Well, let’s change our outfits tomorrow and experience Temple Street at night.”
The blogger’s choice of attire that day included a brown body-hugging maxi dress and a branded shoulder bag. Commenting on her post, netizens sympathised with her, stating that her outfit could easily lead to misunderstandings in that particular area. Some remarked, “It’s not your fault; it’s the district issue. That bag is so commonly associated with the profession,” “If you’re not aware, it does give that impression,” and “You’re so attractive, but please be cautious if you ever stop by Mong Kok; people will immediately approach you for business.”
Several Hong Kong girls also shared similar experiences, attributing the problem to the audacious gazes of local men. They advised that it was not the fault of the victims and suggested avoiding Temple Street altogether, as “local people can avoid it too.” They shared their own encounters, with one saying, “As long as you’re a woman and dare to stand on Jordan Street, you’ll be mistaken for a sex worker,” and another stating, “It’s fine. I once wore a simple short top and shorts, no makeup, and smoked on the roadside, but I was still approached…” The conversation served as a reminder for girls to prioritise their personal safety.