All posts filed under: Feminism

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 …

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 …

Inside Korea’s Billion-Dollar Beauty Industry (i-D, 2016)

Episode 1 Grace faces Korea’s traditional beauty standards, and is wildly stared at by passers-by. She talks to a young Korean woman who embodies Korea’s obsession with beauty. “How would you feel if you could never wear makeup again?” “I will die” Episode 2 Grace talks to Korean tattoo artist Apro and gets passport photos of her made, heavily photoshopped so she looks ‘normal’ Episode 3 Grade sees Soljee, a young Korean woman, reveal her tattoos to her parents for the first time. Episode 4 Grace meets a gang member and asks about the relationship between gangs and tattoos in Korea. She also meets a young woman who’s getting her first-ever tattoo. After seeing the young woman’s tattoo, her father decides to get one.

Interview with BBC (August 15th, 2016)

South Korea gaming: How a T-shirt cost an actress her job http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37018916 I’ve been interviewed by the BBC for about thirty minutes regarding the recent Nexon incident and feminism in Korea in general. It’s interesting to see how news reporting works. I have to admit, the following quote isn’t what I’d have chosen to write out of that conversation, and it could use some elaborating, since the first sentence now makes it seem like I’ve had plastic surgery and that’s why I’ve taken my picture down – and it’s not clear why ‘Korean women are in such despair’. A blogger who writes under the pseudonym Emily Singh told the BBC she had taken her picture down from her own blog because she feared reprisals. She said that many Korean women were in such despair that they considered emigrating. But I’m happy to see the BBC is taking interest in feminism in Korea.

Feminists Protest Outside Nexon’s HQ Against Dismissal of Voice Actor Kim Ja-Yeon

  “All goods received at the protest against Nexon’s dismissal of CLOSER voice actor have been provided by feminist of feminist-friendly organisations. Nexon has only provided us with 20 bottles of water, and we haven’t touched any of them” (July 22nd, 16:36) Twitter user @imapine6 also stated earlier that “crowdfunded drinks and ice cream have been delivered to the protesters”, that “somebody has sent a coffee van and the protesters are enjoying cold coffee”,  and that the group were looking to close around 19:00, KST on Friday. My post on the Korean feminist movement Megalia has been referenced by a dozen online outlets over the Nexon incident – I hope to provide more insight on its impacts soon – such as the massive number of cartoonists and artists who have officially released support for dismissed actor Kim and/or Megalia and/or feminism. For now I’m travelling in Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Stuttgart. (Picture from Nexon Game Center)

Korean student speaks out against government hiring practice requiring interpreters to “look pretty”

“Why is it my duty to be pretty just because the President [of Korea] is coming to town? Image: JTBC News A Korean student currently studying in Paris has spoken out against absurd hiring conditions imposed at the 2016 KCON France held at AccorHotels Arena on June 2nd (the original message can be found on her Facebook account. A transcript is available via Kyunghyang Daily) Elodie Kim was hired as an interpreter at the KCON. But she was later demanded by KakaoTalk (equivalent of WhatsApp), to provide her measurements and a full-body photo. She asks whether they are indeed talking about the same job offer – that of an interpreter. The hiring agent replies “Yes, but looks are important”. Another student hired at the event is told that “You are hired as an assistant at an information booth for Korean SMEs. Looks matter as much as your [French] language skills”. Bibigo (Korea, US, UK), a Korean restaurant chain, has gone as far to highlight in red that their hiring requirements are “looks, French language skills, and …

Soranet officially shut down by owners

“We’re officially shutting down Soranet. The @soranet Twitter handle will also be closed. There are no plans to recover or to relocate our services, so do not let copycat websites trick you. We thank our users, who’ve shown so much love over the years” Soranet has officially announced that it will shut down its services, according to its official Twitter account (now closed). Read my coverage of  Korean women’s battle to shut down Soranet, which was not only Korea’s biggest porn hub, but also a breeding ground to underage prostitution, money laundering, extortion and most notoriously, revenge porn and gang rape. (Picture from Ize)

MAXIM Korea’s 2015 Blunder

In its September 2015 issue, MAXIM Korea’s cover depicted the images of a naked woman’s feet dangling out of a car boot, with the slogan “This is what a real bad man is like. How do you like me now?”. The photoshoot goes on to show the images, most likely of the female victim in the boot, looking up at the assailant, then being dragged in a plastic body bag. Korean women and the international media engaged in a fierce backlash against the magazine, who, following a drawn-out media battle, issued an apology. At one point, the Korean editor-in-chief posted a Facebook message saying “Jeez, if I wanted to glamourise sexual violence, we’d have cast So Ji-seop [instead of Kim Byeong-ook”, only to delete it after it caused further controversy. Only after an AVAAZ petition went viral and a spokesperson for MAXIM US issued a statement condemning their Korean affiliate did MAXIM Korea finally retract is defensive position. Link to Cosmopolitan UK coverage Link to Huffpost US coverage The Korean editor-in-chief promised to retrieve all copies of …