China's state television is notorious for its conservative image of women and families.

The station lived up to this reputation on Friday in an interview with the Olympic champion in the shot put, Gong Lijiao.

Gong had to be told by a young reporter that she looked like a man-woman.

She was asked what she planned to do later in life as a woman.

"As a woman?" Replied Gong surprised.

The reporter said, "I mean, for the shot put you are a man-woman, now you can be yourself."

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

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The cameraman wanted to know if she had a boyfriend, if she wanted to get married and have children.

And whether she would break his arm while arm wrestling.

Up to that point, Gong Lijiao had played along and gently contradicted, with sentences like: "In my heart I am a woman." When it came to arm wrestling, the 32-year-old athlete finally dropped out.

In a comment, The Paper newspaper accused the reporter of being “trapped in the value system of a patriarchal society”. Instead of appreciating the athletic achievements of Gong, her strength of will and willingness to make sacrifices, she asked how annoying washerwomen would do this. "No matter what you do and how much you achieve for your country when you are a woman, marriage is your ultimate goal in life," wrote the commentator.

The social compulsion to marry and have children is criticized by many women in China. That is why contributions to the interview under the hashtag “Is marriage the only topic you can talk to women about?” Were viewed more than 300 million times. A blogger for the Vision website accused the reporter of insinuating that Gong “it is difficult for her to get married because she does not conform to the traditional beliefs of a woman. In fact, there are only a few men who deserve the Olympic champion Gong as a woman. "

The shot putter then spread the comment herself with the addition: “That is exactly what I wanted to say. Thank you. ”Others thanked the country's Olympic champions for breaking gender stereotypes. Posts tagged with the hashtag “The Olympic Games have corrected my aesthetic standards” have been viewed a good 500 million times on Weibo.

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