Author: Emily Singh

#MeToo in Korea: Professor Resigns Following Student Protest (SBS News)

Featured image and video clip by SBS News About 2,800 students at Ewha Woman’s University occupied their campus this Thursday (29 March) chanting pop singer Younha’s hit song “Comet” (혜성), casting light with their cellphones, and waving purple balloons. The following day (30 March), one of the a professor had resigned. A week ago, the #MeToo movement took to universities across South Korea. Accusations quickly surfaced against two professors at the College of Music and at the College of Art (one specialising in orchestral music and the other in sculpture), for having harassed not one but several students. Ewha students organised a taskforce which led to the mass protest on Thursday. Students also carried on the tradition initiated at the Gangnam Murder – using Post-Its to voice their anger. Post-Its in the video are seen to state phrases such as “You’re not a professor, you’re a sex criminal” “Don’t cast dirt on our music. Stop making music” “Out with sex criminals” “I don’t want to learn anything from you” “Go! To jail!” “Let this crime …

How healthy is South Korea’s LGBT community (literally)?

Dr. Seung-sup Kim of Korea University’s Department of Public Health Sciences and his team have been investigating the mental and physical health of LGBT individuals. The two-part project, entitled “Rainbow Connection” is a groundbreaking, comprehensive research into the LGBT community. For now, a journal article entitled “Health disparities between lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults and the general population in South Korea:  Rainbow Connection Project I” is available (on the LGB of LGBT), with a sample of over 2,000 individuals. A monograph on Part II, focusing on transgender health, is planned for publication in March 2018 (Korean). Key findings (numbers rounded to nearest digit): Lesbian and bisexual women reported poor health 1.80 and 2.24 times more frequently than women overall, while gay men and bisexual men do not show statistically significant differences; As compared to the general population, bisexual women showed the biggest difference in both mental and physical health issues, followed by lesbian women, bisexual men and gay men LGB adults, both women and men, reported significantly higher prevalence of musculo-skeletal pain (back pain, upper and lower …

Jesus

Originally posted on Matt Lemon Photography:
Snapshot(s)* from the biggest-ever Queer Parade at Seoul Plaza. Seoul, South Korea. © Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved. Despite a military crackdown on gay servicemen, politicians refusing to enact anti-discrimination legislation, and fundamentalist faith groups engaging in “Homosexuality Countermeasures”, South Korea has just witnessed its biggest-ever queer parade. A recap of the last six months in LGBT news. Not later, now! On July 15, 2017, members of Korea’s LGBT+ community and their allies came together for the biggest-ever Queer Parade, highlight of the annual Korea Queer Culture Festival (퀴어문화축제, KQCF). Now in its 18th year, the festival has seen its attendance skyrocket from some 50 people at the inaugural event in 2000 to this year’s turnout of a whopping 85,000 people. Not minding the, at times, torrential rain, the crowd first gathered at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall, before marching and dancing through Jongno-gu and Jung-gu. This year’s slogan – “There’s no LATER. We demand a CHANGE NOW!” 나중은 없다. 지금 우리가 바꾼다! – is a reference to an incident…

“For Vagina’s Sake” (2018)

“For Vagina’s Sake” is a documentary where women of all ages from South Korea and beyond gather to discuss what it means to menstruate, how to menstruate well, and why it has been taboo to discuss an everyday event. The film also shows the ingenious ways women have dealt with menstruation and menstruation products. Kim Boram, a first-time director, wanted to find the answers to a simple question: “Why do we use different menstrual products?”. Throughout her two-year shooting period, Kim learns how different women use different products: the sanitary pad reigns supreme in South Korea, while a Dutch woman has never used a pad but instead has used tampons since her first bleeding, one woman has not had her period for years thanks to an IUD, and others discover the menstrual cup. Women of different ages talk about how they dealt with or currently deal with their own periods. Older generations of women in South Korea tell youngsters how they used to deal with cloth pads: soaking the in their own urine, which also …

Seoulsearching Day 4: Yoeonhui-dong

Yeonhui-dong is best known for Yonsei University, the country’s prestigious private university, which was founded, like many others, in the 1900s by American missionaries. The school, while known for its liberal politics and vibrant student culture, also requires all students to enrol in religious studies courses (“Chapel” classes), regardless of their faith or study programme. Young South Koreans love coffee / There should be more dustbins in public spaces A giant Hello Kitty for a Hello Kitty-loving friend. I had to inform her that HK has proven to be inspired largely by Miffy/Ninjntje. Sunset on campus A view on Severance Hospital Yeonhui-dong is definitely part of Old Town Seoul. A stack of cartons which symbolise the elderly poverty issue in South Korea. See Korea Exposé’s “No Country for Old People” (14 Sept 2014, by Se-Woong Koo) and NPR’s “A Forgotten Generation: Half Of South Korea’s Elderly Live In Poverty” (10 April 2015). Cheap cool drinks for the hot summer Belgian beers seem to be making their way into South Korean hypermarkets Gone are the days …

Seoulsearching Day 3: Not In Seoul

(Pictures by Emily Singh) Militarymen out on a holiday. South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 must undergo a compulsory military service of between 2 and 3 years. They’re paid dismal wages, with one report estimating they’re paid less than a thousand won (0.80 euros) per hour. One of the first things I do when in South Korea is visiting my grandmother, who lives in Chuncheon. It’s an hour’s train ride away from Eastern Seoul, or an hour and twenty minutes with the subway. I prefer the train since it’s a double decker, and that just seems cooler. The price difference is quite big though – about 3,000 KRW for the subway and 6,000 KRW for the train. Sometimes I take the bus and end up passing places like this that I forget exist in Seoul. Or this. Somewhere in Yongsan. My aunt, who is a florist, has recently started looking after abandoned kittens she found near her shop. My grandmother, who is hyper-modern, hyper-capitalist, hyper-Catholic and also superstitious, obviously hates the …

The legacy of Kim Bo-mi, South Korea’s first openly lesbian student president

  Interview with Kim Bomi, 26 December 2015 Video from HuffPost Korea This is a follow-up post to my previous post on Kim Bo-mi’s election at Seoul National University (November 2015). Kim, the first openly lesbian student president at Seoul National University and in the country, discusses her coming out prior to launching campaign activities as both a symbol of resistance towards the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” atmosphere in South Korean society as well as to be true to herself. Her primary concern before making the decision to come out to the public was on how her family would be impacted by her decision, since everyone, not just her friends and family, would be able to know that she was lesbian. But in the end, Kim decided that it was worth taking the risk. She hoped that her example would encourage those who wanted to be true to themselves, while acknowledging that those who chose to keep their private lives private should have the right to do so – and it seems that she has …

Seoul National University Elects Country’s First-Ever Openly Lesbian Student President

Kim Bomi with HankyorehTV (23 November 2015) Seoul National University (SNU), the mecca of Korean higher education and a source of admiration/grief for many high school students, has been home to QIS (Queen in SNU) since 1995. Their website has a roughly translated English version, and is mobile-friendly. Kim Bo-mi, a 22-year old at the Department of Consumer Science, ran unopposed and was elected with 86.8% of votes on a turnout of 53.3%. Kim has previously served as Vice-President of the Student Council (VP). She came out four days before the voting period (16th- 19th November), to much press coverage and public appraisal.  She and incoming VP Kim Min-seok (Dept. of Political Science and International Relations) campaigned for the following items To ban human rights violations, i.e. sexual assault and harassment To ban Protestant organisations from evangelising inside the campus To promote basic civic knowledge, i.e. CPR To recognise male students’ absences caused by army drills as justifiable Kim Bo-mi campaigned this August and September for the dismissal of two SNU professor accused of inflicting sexual violence on …

Seoul by Erika Henell (May 2015)

S E O U L from Erika Henell on Vimeo.       Here’s a video of Seoul’s major tourist destinations and nightlife by blogger Erika Henell. I’ve been following her blog since a few years, and found out she recently visited Seoul. She often posts daily outfits and makeup tutorials inspired by Korean and Japanese celebrities (as of recently, Park Bom seems to be one of her faves), as well as cosplay and gyaru looks. The video provides a sneak peek into: Hongdae: Mecenapolis & street performances Gyeongbokgung Palace Myeongdong shopping center Korean food Namsan Tower Insadong Seoul Nightlife   This review was posted on 25 November 2015 on Blogger.