Gong Lijiao after winning China’s first gold medal olympic field event On Sunday, the state news media reporter sparked a heated debate about the restrictive discourse surrounding women, asking about her “manly” appearance and life plans.
A four-time Olympic champion, Gong took first place in the women’s shot put event with a personal best of 20.58 meters (67.5 feet).
In an interview broadcast on state-owned CCTV Sunday, a sports reporter made the controversial observation: “Gong Lijiao gives me the impression of a masculine woman.”
Reporter Lu You then asked about Gong’s future plans: “You used to be a manly woman to be shot. But as you move forward, can you be yourself?”
Gong, 32, coiled and hairy. “If I don’t train later, maybe I’ll lose weight, then I’ll get married and have kids,” she said. “The road to walk in life.”
The episode continued with a cameraman, and Lu asked the athlete if he had a boyfriend, what he was looking for in a partner, and whether he or a prospective partner would be better at arm wrestling.
On Weibo, a popular microblogging platform, there is a talk page about Gong and “Is marriage the only thing we can discuss about women?” By Thursday, it had nearly 300 million views and generated more than 140,000 posts.
Many internet users criticized the CCTV reporter’s questions by comparing them to those of curious relatives. Others have asked why a gold medalist is subject to stereotypical investigation.
A trending post noted that men are not good enough to marry Gong, adding: “Discourse about women is not limited to marriage and physical appearance. There are also dreams and achievements.”
Gong responded to the post on his official Weibo account. “This totally says what I’m thinking!” Wrote. “Thanks!”