A Woman a Week

A big hunt by police in Shanghai to find a female streaker who has so far evaded capture is ruffling feathers in the city and causing embarrassment in official quarters.

The phantom stripper is gaining notoriety by using the cover of darkness to pose nude at some of the city’s best known tourist spots.

Online photographs of the unrobed woman have been circulating for at least a week without being identified. The rumpus this display of nudity is creating can best be described as an amalgam of disgust and amusement among Chinese internet users.

City officials appear to be indifferent. The state-run Global Times announced last week that the police were investigating the nocturnal antics of the woman, whom it labelled ‘The Bum on the Bund’ – a reference to Shanghai’s historic waterfront district.

‘Though the woman’s face and private parts have been pixelated, it appears to be the same woman in all the photographs,’ the newspaper noted. The streaker’s late night escapades appear to have started on Hengshan Road, a busy thoroughfare in Shanghai’s former French Concession that is home to dozens of expat bars and the 1925 Community Church.

The photographs, which showed the woman reclining against one of the area’s unmistakeable London planes, were followed by raunchier shots taken near landmarks including the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Bund.

A lawyer’s view is that the woman could pay a high price for her ‘flirtatious and pornographic postures’ once apprehended. If found guilty of exposure in a public place, she would be likely to spend up to ten days in detention.

Instead of putting her in prison, I think she should be complimented on her initiative for giving Shanghai a taste of the city’s past glories – and in so doing bringing a flutter of harmless delight to those with more liberal views than the authorities, who take themselves much too seriously when confronting a trivial drollery.

For sheer entertainment value, I nominate this phantom streaker as my woman of the week. She obviously believes that her bodily assets are worth flaunting for the visual gratification of others. God bless her for her courage and generosity.

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