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Taiwan KMT candidate says 'men better at standing guard, women better at makeup'

Taiwanese KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu says 'a man's life is his lower body; a woman's life is her upper body'

Han Kuo-yu.

Han Kuo-yu. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Sunday raised hackles at a rally in front of a women's organization when he said, "A man's life is his lower body; a woman's life is her upper body."

On Sunday, during a rally held by the pro-Han group the New Taipei City Women's League (新北市婦女後援會), Han said that "A boy can stand guard for two hours, but a girl can't handle it for two hours. But a woman can apply makeup for two hours in front of the dressing table without getting tired. Yet, if it was a boy, his arm might fall off," reported Formosa Television. Han then went on to say, "A man's life is his lower body; a woman's life is her upper body."

Han's metaphor could be either interpreted as meaning that men rely on their physical strength, while women rely on their appearance to make a living or that the two genders rely on their physical sexual characteristics. In response, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said, "This kind of unfair traditional view is unnecessary."

Tsai then called on Han to visit the army and see that women in uniform are just as capable of firing their weapons as their male counterparts. Chang Ming-yu (張銘祐), a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidate from Taipei's Xindian District, said that the metaphor used by Han was highly discriminatory, especially in the era of pursuit of gender equality, reported Formosa Television.

Chang stressed that in the modern military, women can be seen performing just as well as men: "Who says women have to sit in front of the dressing table?" A KMT candidate for president should not demonstrate such discrimination, said Chang.

DPP New Taipei City Councilwoman Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧) told the news station that Han is a man with "a dirty brain" and that he is always thinking about "that stuff." "Every time he speaks in public, he never utters serious words. It seems like he would be happier to spout words from a novel," said Wang.

As a female, Wang criticized Han for using a metaphor that will only cause more women to be looked down on by society. Treating voters with such demeaning language only repels them further, said Wang.