Author: Emily Singh

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.

Seoulsearching Day 2: In Sashimi We Trust 

During my two-week “research trip” to Seoul, I had one primary personal goal in mind: to eat a ton of fresh hoe (sashimi). So when my friend Y said that her friend N had a Noryangjin Sashimi Fest in mind, I hopped onboard. Here is the Large Sashimi Takeout box from one of Noryangjin’s many stalls. You choose a seller, the fish, the quantity, and they pack it up for you in a styrofoam box filled to the brim with ice cubes. We paid about 45,000 KRW for the Large box. Which came with three boxes of chobab (sushi), spicy cold noodles, fresh ssam veggies, plenty of soy sauce and pickled ginger and wasabi. We were four and couldn’t finish all of the sashimi. A round of Easter chocolates followed… Apparently Thai Milk Tea is all the craze at the moment. So here it is. And here is a random picture of one of our usual dinners.

Millennial South Korean Feminist Movements – Press List

“They say it’s a shame to be living in this strange country” “But we who fight are not ashamed of anything” (Picture from Womenlink) Here is a list of material covering millennial South Korean feminist movements. As a researcher, I am trying to compile a comprehensive list of academic literature, verified news articles and noteworthy opinion writing, and art projects on this topic. Please let me know if you feel something else should be added to this list at iamemilysingh@gmail.com 1. On Movements (Megalia, Womad, and others) Haengdonghaneun Megalia (Megalia in Action) 행동하는 메갈리아  (Anonymous, 6 Sept 2015 – 4 Dec  2015) http://timetree.zum.com/123516 Korean Feminism Reins In the Collective Power of the Internet  (Emily Singh, 8 Jan 2016) https://realkoreans.com/2016/01/08/korean-feminism-reins-in-the-collective-power-of-the-internet/ Megalia: South Korean Feminism Marshals the Power of the Internet (Emily Singh at Korea Exposé, 29 July 2016) https://koreaexpose.com/megalia-south-korean-feminism-marshals-the-power-of-the-internet/ “Megalia” seonghyang ttara womadeu, ladism deungeuro bunhwa (Megalia Splits into Groups Such As Womad And Ladism) – Retrieved from archive.fo ‘메갈리아’ 성향 따라 워마드·레디즘 등으로 분화 (Kim Seo-yeong at Kyunghyang Daily, 8 July 2016) https://archive.fo/20160724175513/http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201607082152005&code=940100#selection-1613.0-1613.27 In Defense …

Seoulsearching, Day 1: Homophobia

 On April 13th, the commander-in-chief of the Korean army was found guilty of ordering the army’s intelligence unit to “find the gays”: The army’s intelligence unit used fake IDs on Grinder and Jack’D to blacklist and interrogate gay soldiers, sexually harassing them in the process. (In response to the report which exposed the Korean army’s blacklisting, interrogating and sexually harrassing of gay soldiers) “Take me [into custody] too, I’m a gay woman” […] “Don’t say, ‘There aren’t any fucking faggots around me’, because I fucking am one, you fuckers!” “Dear Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea, I am ÜberButch, the cute queer fairy who protects love and justice in the world. In the name of justice, I won’t forgive you!” – From the sodomizing lesbian warriors <Enactment on the Management of Troops> Article 254 (2). A commander may not carry out active investigations on homosexual soldiers, i.e. though questionnaires in one’s sexuality, etc Article 254 (4). A commander may not ask for the collection of data proving [a soldier’s] homosexuality. Article 256 (1). …

A Night in Shanghai

  A Samsonite full of stroopwafels and chocolate Amsterdam – Frisian Islands -Denmark – Southern Sweden – Baltics – Russia – Mongolia – Beijing – Xian – Shanghai. In other words: Avoiding Ukraine. Good morning Shanghai! People ask me what the difference is between Korean, Chinese and Japanese food. You gotta try them to know. Spices, I say. The Chinese use the biggest variety of spices of the three. My poor Chinese skills telling me this is “Cold tea”, containing “water, white sugar, and black tea” A bento from FamilyMart. Smart that there’s two layers of packaging: one box for the rice, one for the sides. Korean bento makers should do this too. Sweet sausage: Chinese cooking sure is adventurous. “Tomato water”. Revolutionary. And confusing. Seriously. Who does this? Goodbye Shanghai. See you soon!

South Korea and Racism. Again.

Sam Okyere talks about racism in South Korea Just because you don’t know it’s called “being racist” doesn’t mean you’re not being one A couple of years back, I wrote about racism in Korea. Recently, Ghanaian-born South Korean TV star Sam Okyere’s JTBC interview has got South Koreans thinking about the issue of racism once again. Okyere’s experiences of racism, optimistic outlook, and integration in South Korean society echo those voiced earlier by Stanley Hawi in 2015. Racism exists in South Korea. There’s no denying this (There is racism in every society, no matter how”educated” or less “educated” their general population may be on the issue). It manifests itself in different ways: Here in South Korea, white women are labelled whores, because they are sexually liberated, so I, also a man, deserve to have a go at them. Korean women who date white men are seen as sluts, because they remind me of the government-sponsored whores we leased to the GIs. South Asian women are seen as subhuman, because we bought you, and thus you are a living doll, to …