Hong Kong LGBTQ & Gender Politics & Protest

Women’s rights group condemns ‘sexist Viagra comments’ in LegCo election debate

A women’s rights group is accusing a Legislative Council candidate of making “sexist” comments during a televised debate on Sunday.

During the debate Grace Lam Yi-lai asked her opponent Yau Wai-ching if she and a localist ally used “100 Viagra pills” together. The Kowloon West candidate also referred to Yau as a “universal adaptor plug”.

Lam accused Yau, from the Youngspiration political party, of using Viagra with Ray Wong Toi-yeung of fellow localist group Hong Kong Indigenous. Police discovered Viagra pills and HK$530,000 in cash in an apartment where Wong was arrested following violent clashes in Mong Kok this February.

2:04: “the 100 Viagra pills… does [Wong] use them together with you?” asked Lam.

“What do [the pills] have to do with me?” responded Yau when Lam pressed her again on the matter. Later in the debate, Lam later suggestively called Yau a “universal adaptor plug”.

In a statement on Stand News on Thursday, the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (ACSVAW) said that Lam’s comments were “unacceptable, whether for the subject [of the attack] or for an observer.”

“Lam was not interested in discussing Yau’s political views… sex life and the female (and male) body should not be an obstacle to becoming a politician,” read the statement.

The ACSVAW compared Lam’s comments to a Twitter post made by United States Presidential candidate Donald Trump last May, in which he claimed that fellow candidate Hillary Clinton was unable to “satisfy her husband”. It also pointed to the criticisms made by Taiwan’s Kuomintang political party against incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen for being an unmarried woman, and therefore a “failure”.

Grace Lam Yi-lai

Grace Lam Yi-lai (right). Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

The issue of Viagra pills was initially raised by Simon Ho Chi-kwong, a candidate from Hong Kong Localism Power, during the televised debate hosted by RTHK. Ho asked Yau why her Youngspiration party accepted an endorsement from Hong Kong Indigenous, for whom Ray Wong is a spokesperson. Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung Tin-kei has been disqualified from the election next month.

Ho is known for sharply criticising other localist candidates for their “unrealistic” views. He alleged during the debate that the HK$530,000 found in the apartment where Wong was residing was “laundered money”.

Neither Lam nor Yau have publicly commented on the debate controversy.

Yau Wai-ching

Yau Wai-ching. Photo: Youngspiration.

Lam has run in various elections in Hong Kong since the 1990s. Among her various policy proposals, she is most well-known for advocating the criminalisation of adultery.

Yau, who ran unsuccessfully for a District Council seat last November, advocates self-determination for Hongkongers. Her Youngspiration party has proposed a number of policies with the aim of strengthening the city’s identity, including tests for new immigrants and Hong Kong history classes.

Separately, local paper Sing Tao Daily invited fashion designer William Tang Tat-chi to be a guest columnist last week to rate the appearances of six female candidates in the Kowloon West constituency.

Tang praised the appearance of Priscilla Leung Mei-fun of the pro-Beijing Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong as “refreshing”, and said that Claudia Mo Man-ching of the pro-democracy Civic Party “has an international look”. However, he also claimed that Yau Wai-ching, in a chequered shirt and jeans, looked like a “wet market woman”.

The full list of candidates in the Legislative Council election on September 4 can be viewed here.

Women’s rights group condemns 'sexist Viagra comments' in LegCo election debate