Six months after it began, Zheng Baichun's website (www.2n88.com), known for defending the rights of
er'nai, or mistresses, was deemed against the spirit of marital law by
a legal scholar, despite the fact that over 600 unfortunate women have resorted
to the website for help, wrote the Procuratorial Daily on Monday.
Zheng, a Beijing-based lawyer,
set up the website in June of this year offering legal services to any unmarried
women who had a stable sexual relationship with a married man who financially
supported them, or er'nai.
Part of a print screen of
the Zheng Baichun's website defending mistress' rights.
According to Zheng, the primary concern of his website is to defend the legal
rights of Chinese mistresses who are often afraid to rely on the law.
Mistresses are a vulnerable group. Many of them are either coerced or
convinced to become mistresses, and are often insulted or even beaten by
ungrateful men, are at the mercy of their wives impulses and suffer from social
discrimination. They are deprived of child support and suffer violations of
their right to property and privacy, Zheng told the paper.
"Compared with wives, who have a variety of channels through which to seek
help, mistresses have a more pathetic situation. They are afraid of claiming
their interests and rights, let alone turning to the court or women's
federation," Zheng said.
Besides fighting for mistresses' rights, the website also offers
psychological counseling. "The mistresses are often psychologically battered,
and face enormous social pressure from their friends and families. Some are
suicidal, others want to kill the 'ungrateful man' in their lives. We listen to
them, and help them find hope for the future," Zheng said.
"Whatever their role is, they should be entitled to the protection of their
basic rights as citizens," Zheng was quoted as saying. He added that those who
are mistresses solely for the money don't come to him for help.
Not everyone was impressed with Zheng's website, however, especially legal
Chen Yunsheng, a law professor with Beijing Normal University, said the
website went against the spirit of marital law.
"Er'nai is not a lawful status," Chen said.
He went on to say that as individuals, er'nai are entitled
protection of their rights, but once they identify as er'nai , their
status falls short of such protection, as existing law does not give them the
right to cohabitation.
Xia Chuanluan, a famous sociologist and professor with Peking University,
echoed Chen's opinion, claiming the website is legalizing the status of
er'nai, which may deliver a negative message to young women that it is
okay to be a mistress.
If the operator truly cares about the injured party, he should safeguard the
legal interests of the men's wives rather than their mistresses, Xia said,
suggesting the website be changed into one focusing on women's rights.
Wang Xingjuan, director of a Beijing psychological service center for women
took issue with the name of the website. "Even if the mistresses are entitled to
property and privacy rights, these rights do not originate from the status
itself. Therefore, it is inappropriate to say the website is defending the
rights of er'nai
mistresses. " Wang said.
Both Chen and Wang believe the awareness of independence, self-esteem and
love is the ultimate way out for mistresses.