Over 30 years ago, a young woman named Adi in her early 20s was in a tragic accident that left her with the mind of an infant. Even though she had the body of an adult, she couldn’t care for herself or even express herself to those around her.
One day, a ‘barefoot’ doctor came to her village. This man had minimal medical training, but because doctors were so rare in the Chinese countryside, the villagers accepted his help. This man claimed he could help heal Adi. Her parents trusted him. Over time, the man began to claim that he was in love with Adi, a woman who could neither accept or reject his advances. Without even a basic understanding of what was happening to her, her parents consented to the wandering doctor’s marriage proposal. The man then began having regular intercourse with Adi, forcing her to have many children.
Adi, unable to communicate, did what she could to end her suffering, throwing herself into a lake near her house. But she was always pulled back, always forced back into the bed of her rapist.
For 30 years, Adi has been called the wife of her rapist. All the while, this putrid excuse for a human being forces Adi to act against her will. Since Adi cannot protest, some in the community believe that what the doctor is doing is a great thing, taking care of a mentally handicapped woman for over three decades. ““He is truly a responsible man. He took care of his wife for all these 30 years,” says one of the villagers. Yet no one but Adi knows the horrors she faces everyday, the pain she feels deep inside that she cannot express.
While this may sound like a horror story, it is actually true. The story of Adi’s rapist, a man who goes by the surname of Zeng, was recently told in the Shenzhen Daily. Of course, since Adi cannot speak for herself, the story was reported from his point of view. However, Adi’s story comes through clearly. A woman who does not have the mental capability to consent to marriage or sex was forced into both, and her attacker is viewed as a hero for spending his life taking care of her. The truth is that Zeng is a disgusting, abusive monster who needs to be in prison. Even though Adi is finally getting the help she needs for her mental condition, there are no efforts being made to remove her from the home of her rapist.
This is why China needs feminism, so that people can learn what consent means.