Hong Kong Executive Council adviser Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun made waves during a radio interview on Monday by claiming young girls are giving free “comfort sex” to Hong Kong protesters to keep them motivated.
Law was responding to a listener who repeated a claim that has been circulating on pro-Beijing social media that very young girls have been “misled” into serving as sex toys for protest “warriors.” Although the gossip is unsubstantiated, Law claimed, “we have confirmed that this is a true case.”
“I am so sad for these young girls who have been misled into offering free sex,” she said during an RTHK radio program.
“There is evidence!” she insisted later in the show. “That is the daughter of a friend’s friend. That’s second-hand knowledge, but it’s direct and it’s real. The girl actually wrote a piece.”
The “piece” Law referred to is evidently the anonymous social media post that spurred the online “comfort sex” controversy. The post was purportedly written by a “14-year-old Hong Kong girl” and describes a brief flirtation with the protest movement quickly declining into a nightmare of drugs, alcohol, and group sex resulting in an unwanted pregnancy.
Law’s accusation prompted a literal “wait, what?” response from pro-democracy politician Avery Ng, who was also a guest on the RTHK show. Ng argued, in essence, that teenage boys have much easier and safer ways of meeting girls than wading into a hail of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.
Another caller to the radio show accused Law of credulously repeating “outrageous” disinformation spread by the Chinese Communist Party, which is known to be running a major online operation to discredit the Hong Kong protest movement.
The host of the show pointed out that discussions of “comfort sex” uncomfortably evoke the “comfort women” controversy from Japan’s brutal occupation of other Asian countries during World War II – a very hot topic of acrimonious debate between South Korea and Japan at the moment – as well as the Islamic State’s practice of sexual slavery.
Law pushed some more of the wrong buttons during the show when she dismissed some of the protesters as mere “actors.”
“I think it is nonsensical to see people crying, kneeling on the floor, claiming six lives have been killed at Prince Edward Station. This is all acting. The whole purpose is to incite anger and to encourage more people to come out to sustain the momentum of the so-called revolution,” she charged.
Fanny Law became a trending topic on Twitter in Hong Kong after her RTHK interview, and not in a good way. “Fanny Law’s spurious claims are disgusting on so many levels and also reveals she has a very screwed up attitude to sex where she sees it as something women ‘offer’ to men,” read a characteristic critical tweet.
Law appeared to back down in the face of controversy, perhaps in part because the social media post from the ostensible 14-year-old girl has disappeared and remains unverified, but then she doubled down on her claims in an interview with the South China Morning Post.
“People are free to decide whether or not to believe it. Of course, I can trace the origin of the information through a trusted friend’s friend who knows the girl, but to reveal more details would be traumatic,” she said.
“Preventive advice cannot be wrong. Girls have to be alert and stay away from alcohol and marijuana in gatherings with ‘new’ friends whom they only met in various protest activities,” she continued, as though she had merely been offering general advice to 14-year-olds that they should refrain from getting drunk and having unprotected sex with swarms of political activists.
University of Hong Kong political scientist Joseph Chan Cho-wai pointed out to the SCMP that Law initially spoke as if there was an epidemic of “comfort sex” keeping the protest movement fired up, rather than a single dubiously-sourced incident.
“She should explain if it’s just an isolated case or if it reflects a general phenomenon,” he advised.