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Korean Feminism

Sexual Harrasment on Intercity Buses


Of course, I’ve never been sexually harassed on an overnight bus myself, but then I’ve never seen it happen nor heard anyone ever complaining about it either. Are things really as bad as this article makes out?

It’s Official: UNDP Says Korea Now Feminist Paradise (NOT April 1 Joke!)

(Source: unknown)

If there was only one statistic that best sums up contemporary Korean society, then that would be its “Gender Empowerment Measure” (GEM). Calculated by the UNDP, it is:

Is Divorce in Korea Finally Socially Acceptable?


Sorry for the lack of posts recently, and the very short notice with this one, but in an hour from now (7:45pm Korean time) I’ll briefly be on 101.3 TBS eFM’s evening show, talking about the title topic. For the details, see here, and note that unfortunately you can only listen live on Internet Explorer sorry.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace & the 2001 Equal Employment Opportunity Law: What Still Needs to be Done


With thanks very much to Marilyn for the translation of the following article from Ildaro (일다), I’ll quickly let it speak for itself:

고용불안 속, 직장내 성희롱 위협 커져

In the midst of employment instability, the threat of workplace sexual harassment increases

고용평등상담실 10년, 여성노동의 현실과 미래를 말한다(2)

The Gender Politics of Smoking in South Korea: Part 4

( Source )

“Smoking Among Men Drops to Record Low” reads a recent headline in The Chosunilbo, with only 39.6% of Korean men over 19 now doing so: a drop of 3.5% from a year earlier, and of 17.1% from 2003.

Resisting the Criminalization of Abortion in South Korea

( Source )

Like Lindsay Lohan says, some stories do indeed keep on growing. And the more I’ve learned about abortion in recent weeks, the more certain I am that if it doesn’t become a hot political issue for Lee Myung-bak in the remaining years of his presidency, then it certainly will be if not addressed by his successor.

Countering Sexual Violence in Korea (Updated)

Once again, Korea has gotten the lowest score of all high-income countries in a recent survey of gender-equality worldwide. And, at 104th out of 131 countries surveyed, it was bested by numerous much poorer countries at that.

Groping in Korea: Just How Bad Is It?

( Source: leftycartoons )

Not that I ever really did think that women should consider street harassment as flattering of course, but this cartoon is eerily effective in getting that message across. It’s no wonder that’s it’s received nearly 300 comments over at Sociological Images.

Fighting Sexual Harassment at Samsung: Part 3

( Source )

This post, about Lee Eun-eui’s successful suit against Samsung Electronics for sexual harassment by her boss and then being punished for reporting it, follows directly from Part 1 and Part 2. If you haven’t already, please read those before continuing:

Fighting Sexual Harassment at Samsung: Part 2

( “What? Sexual Harassment at Samsung Electronics?? Heaven Forbid!”. Source )

This post, about Lee Eun-eui’s successful suit against Samsung Electronics for sexual harassment by her boss and then being punished for reporting it, follows directly from Part 1. If you haven’t already, please read that before continuing:

Fighting Sexual Harassment at Samsung: Part 1

( Source )

Extremely important for its ramifications for Korean workplaces, frankly I’m amazed that I’ve been unable to google any English-language sources on the following sexual-harassment case at Samsung. Perhaps the Korean English-language media still feels intimated by the company, let alone the Korean-language one?

Reading “The Lolita Effect” in South Korea: Part 1

There are so many issues raised by 18 year-old Kim Hyuna’s (김현아) performance of her infamous “pelvic dance” (골반댄스) on last week’s episode of Quiz That Changes The World (세상을 바꾸는 퀴즈) below, that it’s difficult to know where to start.

The Gender Politics of Smoking in South Korea: Newsflash

( Source: Metro, Busan edition, 8 July 2010, p. 3 )

A quick newspaper report on Korean smoking rates that caught my eye.

Korean Sociological Image #42: Sunset for the Red She-Devils?

( Source: ROKetship. Reproduced with permission. )

Like Joe McPherson of ZenKimchi fame says of the above cartoon, either way, it’s a win for my gender, so I was surprised that this was the first time I’d ever really noticed this curious Korean social more.

The Gender Politics of Smoking in South Korea: Part 3

( Korea is 4th from right; source )

Apparently, Korea is pretty unique in its huge difference in smoking rates between the sexes: up to 10 times more Korean men smoke than women. Or do they?

Korean Sociological Image #41: Mothers of Warriors

( Source )

A quick question: who would you choose to sell hormone-treatment and anti-depression medication to middle-aged women?

Korean Sociological Image #40: As Pretty as a Picture?

( Source )

As any visitor to the country soon becomes well aware, Korea seems to be a society obsessed with appearance.

The Gender Politics of Smoking in South Korea: Part 2

A teaser for the next posts in the series (click to enlarge):

The Gender Politics of Smoking in South Korea: Part 1

( Park Soo-ae {박수에} in A Family {가족; 2004}; source )

As numerous expats can attest to, coming to live in Korea can be quite a jarring experience sometimes. But probably not as much as you’d expect, for Korea too is a modern, developed country, with institutions and services that match – nay, are often better – than equivalents in your home country.

Korean Sociological Image #39: Why are Koreans so into their Looks?

Gender Advertisements: What, boys can drink girly drinks now?

Korean Sociological Image #37: Like a Virgin?


The Grand Narrative in The Washington Post

( Source: RaySoda )

While the background will be very familiar to regular readers, I confess I was still intrigued when Washington Post reporter Blaine Harden emailed me about this last month:

With pressures high, South Korean women put off marriage and childbirth

Korean Sociological Image #31: Gender Roles & Korean Holidays

( Source: RaySoda )

With apologies to teachers of Korean children everywhere, tired of their proclivity for repeating the nonsensical foreign words found in Korean advertisements, there is actually much to be admired in KT’s recent olleh (올레) campaign.

Sexually Harassing Girls’ Generation: The Manufacture of Outrage

( Source )

“People in their 30s and 40s are emerging as the main cultural consumers, and Girls’ Generation specifically targets the men in that age group,” says Lee Soo-man (53), CEO and producer for SM Entertainment. (Chosun Ilbo, November 2008)

Korean Women Angry at Being Promoted Less Than Men

( Source: J David Allen )

A snapshot of some of the different forms of sexual discrimination experienced at Korean workplaces, from the January 15 edition of Metro Busan:

Korean Sociological Image #29: JYP and the Objectification of Women

( Source: 뮤지컬이야기 )

What’s wrong with this advertisement?

When I first saw it, I couldn’t really put my finger on it, other than noting the similarity to some iconic but controversial Robert Palmer music videos. Which was kind of ironic, considering what Park Jin-young (박진영) is putting his fingers on.

The Alphabetization of Korean Women’s Body Types: Origins

Kim Daul’s Death: A Sense of Perspective

I despise Korean netizens.

“Korean Women are Sexually Conservative”

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