Originally posted by Jonathan Kaiman on June 15, 2016 for the Los Angeles Times—
“In June 2015, a restaurant declined to hire Gao Xiao as a line cook because of her gender. Men prepare the food, a restaurant employee told her; women only serve it. So Gao filed a lawsuit.
In the U.S., this likely would have been treated as a straightforward case of employment discrimination. In China, it earned her a visit from the police. Since the spring, authorities have threatened her, contacted her parents and harassed her landlord who, in March, evicted her from her apartment.
“My psychological condition wasn’t very good,” said Gao, a 27-year-old in Guangzhou who, like many young activists in China, goes by a nickname to avoid government reprisals. “Because there were so many obstructions; after launching the lawsuit I felt like I was under attack.”
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