A Growing Misandry in Korea

이다혜l승인2016.03.02l수정2016.03.02 00:28l344호 3면

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 Over the past few decades, a woman’s concept of the ideal man was simple; men with a nice smile, or tall men were the types of features women sought and they were mostly based on appearance. However, when we ask women about the ideal man nowadays, they are forced to add to their list of attributes, men who don’t visit websites such as Ilbe, Soranet, and DC in gallery. Some women go as far as to say they would rather date another woman than a man with interests in those types of sites. This growing misandry is understandable when you appreciate how much things have changed in our society.

  What is it about Soranet for instance, that makes women dislike its users so much? On December 26, 2015, Soranet was the subject of discussion on the Korean TV show ‘We Want to Know’- and was described as an illegal internet based lustful website. Members of Soranet invite other members to sexually assault unconscious women, and post photos of these women without their permissions or knowledge. On Soranet, these posts were taking place on daily basis.

  On November 14, 2015, a call was made to the police regarding a conspiracy to rape a woman at a motel in Seoul. A man invited members from Soranet to rape his own unconscious girlfriend.  After the sexual assault, photos and videos taken without the victim’s permission are spread on the internet along with her personal information. However, female victims don’t remember being assaulted because they are drugged unconscious, and as a result, they can’t provide detailed evidence to charge their attackers, who eventually go unpunished.

  The use of this site is not the only reason Korean women have a growing mistrust for Korean men. Violence against women is on the rise. Something as simple as paying for dates has brought about serious conflicts between couples. Some men say that they should ‘dutch pay’, but women claim that it is not important who is paying, but rather the person who can afford it that pays.  Then the other person can pay the next time. However, currently men normally pay for dates.

  Because of this, after a breakup, some men seem to think that the money he spent on dates was a waste and often complain how he ‘invested’ in his ex-partner. In one instance, the aggrieved man threw hydrochloric acid on his ex’s face and body to exact revenge.  Worse still, he got away with a light punishment for this unforgiveable crime by saying “I just did it because I love her.”

  Korea, with the highest crime rate against women in the world, has seen women’s repulsion towards men worsening. Women are standing up against the onslaught of assaults that can be seen online on a daily basis. Based on the increase in violence against women in 2015, new phrases are being coined relating to hatred against men. Where there used to be 2 expressions, there are now over 8,000 in use just over the last two months. ‘Han-nam choong’ what means a bug that lives in Korean man is the most commonly used phrase by women to mock Korean men.

  Korean men believe they are superior to women because they are physically stronger and have a lesser role in our patriarchal society. As a result, they feel it is acceptable to show an aggressive attitude towards a woman’s appearance. Accordingly, women’s hatred and mistrust of men is growing. The solution for this social phenomenon, which has its roots in sexual discrimination, is to accept that both sexes shouldn’t be treated with hostility, and should instead acknowledge each other’s rights and consider each other’s best interests.

  In most modern democracies in the world, the penalties for violence against women, especially in sex related crimes, are very high; but not in Korea.  The penalties often favor the assailants, rather than the victims. For our nation to be considered an advanced society, such crimes should be treated with heavy penalties, so that they will not occur again. Then, maybe the hatred and conflicts over sexual discrimination between men and women will begin to decrease.


이다혜  dankookherald@gmail.com
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