All posts filed under: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Seoul City paves way for a South Korean Welfare Model

The Seoul Metropolitan City (henceforth, “Seoul”) is paving its own path of social welfare beta-tests in a nation seldom recognised for social safety nets. South Koreans have been persistently demanding improvements in social welfare – notably the younger generations. The younger they are, the more they know that change is possible

“My Body My Choice” – My Story of Reproductive Privilege

Tomorrow I’m getting the second IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) of my life. Something going into my uterus is as personal as it gets, but as a researcher who should be starting a PhD on Sexual Health and the Internet in South Korea (one of the cases being the IUD) next year, it is, as we say: “The Personal Is Political”. With under 20mg of levonorgestrel, the Kyleena (and the Skyla/Jaydess) emits 1/10 the amount of hormones than do oral contraceptives. They’re cost-effective (130€ in NL and FR), and once they’re installed, they last five years – bringing their monthly cost to a mere 0.5€. For many women, they come with fewer side-effects than does the Pill. It is particularly effective for young and sexually active women because of its low failure rate and because of the convenience it offers. IUDs are offered fully free of cost to women under 21 years of age in NL and FR. *  *  * In France and in the Netherlands, I am free to choose a contraceptive method. I am …

Owner of Soranet, South Korea’s Biggest Porn Hub, Taken into Custody After Three Years on the Run

The Prosecutor’s Office states: “The [site’s] administrators illegally earned profits totalling tens of billions of KRW (approx. millions of USD/EUR) over the past thirteen years” An owner of Soranet, a man identified as Mr. Hong, was taken into custody on June 18th, 2018. He is one of four owners, two couples identified as the Hong family and the Song family. The owners are accused of not only distributing pornography, but also engaging in its production. They have been on the run, living in New Zealand and Australia, since the South Korean police launched an official investigation back in 2015. They’ve also appealed and lost the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s decision to confiscate their passports and to stop them from re-applying for one. The remaining three owners will be served subpoenas for investigation. The illegal website, which ran from 2003 to 2016, is known for brokering underage prostitution and drug trafficking, violence against women including genital mutilation and conspiracy in gang rape, defamation, and extortion (Read more about my account of Soranet’s activities here). The site …

Anti-Spycam Rally Shakes Up Seoul (by dotface)

On June 9th, 30,000 women gathered in the university district of Hyehwa to protest against the biased investigation practices of the South Korean police. The rally’s roots go back to May 2018, when a male nude model’s picture was illegally circulated on a single website. Within a few days, the woman who uploaded the picture was arrested. This incident is in stark contrast to the thousands of spycam videos and upskirt pictures (“molka”) of women which are taken by men and circulated through hundreds of social media and web channels, and which are chronically dismissed by the police as “beyond our scope of investigation”. The protesters are seen chanting slogans and carrying pickets such as “No Dick, a Criminal” and “A Dick, Not a Criminal”, “The South Korean Government Is a Co-Conspirator In Raising Sex Criminals” and “My Everyday Life Is Not Your Porn”.

[News] South Korean women rise up: An interview with Nayoung Kim

Nayoung Kim is a feminist academic and attorney whom I’ve had the privilege to meet and discuss feminist issues with. An unapologetic feminist, Nayoung has worked towards ending sexual and physical violence against women for nearly a decade. In this interview, you can find all the key issues South Korean feminists face today, from restricted reproductive rights (abortion being illegal), digital sex crimes (including revenge porn), the backlash against feminism in South Korea, and much more. “In every sector of South Korean society, women are assigned second-class citizenship and deprived of equal opportunity. South Korea has the highest gender pay gap among OECD countries, with women earning 63 per cent of what men earn in 2017. Only 56.2 per cent of women are employed. Women are grossly underrepresented in positions of power, holding only 17 per cent of seats in the National Assembly and 10.5 per cent of management positions in the private sector.” “In 2016, a study of 1,050 men revealed that 50.7 per cent had paid a woman for sex. This is a conservative estimate. K-Pop is …

[Documentary] Feminism Reboot (2018)

For this documentary on the feminist momentum, Korea Exposé has gathered several key actors in South Korean feminism, including: Famerz Femidangdang Femimonsters Feminism book cafe “Doing” Flaming Feminist Action Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center Shootingfemi Lee Min-Kyeong, author of Reclaim the Language and Reclaim the Heritage Im So-Eun Lee Eun-Saem Park Seihoi Director: Do Youjin Story and narration: Kang Haeryun Cinematography: Choi Jieun & Do Youjin Motion Graphics: Lee Subin  

The Racism in Government-Funded Korean Language Course Material

Looking to Learn Korean for Free? Well, Be Prepared for Some Racism I was going through Sejong Institute’s YouTube playlist to find useful material for my Korean tutoring classes. Then I found this. Let me take you down Racist Hill. Commentary at the bottom. The trope of Jeongnam, the Korean master of condescension, ends with him looking at the two black men’s shirts and pointing out “So, you’re the older brother? You look like it”. Here, the narrative is that the black men chose to play the Black Big Brother Trope. Although Jeongnam treats the three group of foreigners in the same condescending way, it is striking how explicitly racist the script is. Let’s look at the three groups of foreigners he interacts with. First, he meets the white American soldiers. With whom he has a brief exchange. This is done in informal/non-honorific language (반말). Second, he meets the Turkish man, “Abdul”. Although Abdul has a considerably more complex script compared to the other three groups, Jeongnam condescends him by (a) Telling him to fix his …

Free Health Check-Ups for Refugees in South Korea

Refugee Health: Check Migration to Asia Peace and Samsung Medical Centre are going to provide free health check-ups for asylum seekers, those with asylum status, and those with “humanitarian stay” status. Interpreting services and a shuttle bus to and from the testing centre will be provided. The check-up’s results and referrals will be issued. Snacks and drinks will be provided following the check-up. The event is organised by Samsung Medical Centre & Migration to Asia Peace (MAP), and sponsored by Shinhan Bank.   But Who Is a Refugee? “Humanitarian stay” visas (G-1) were created to grant stay to those who do not fall under the refugee status as defined by the United Nations (being able to prove that you personally are persecuted by the state, regardless of the the state of your country). In 2015, South Korea had twice as many G-1 visa holders than F-2 visas (residency) granted to refugees. Humanitarian stay visas differ from residency visa in the following ways: Issued for 1 year; can be renewed Cannot apply for employment unless they …

Seoul City Provides “Baby Box” and Vaccination Subsidies to Single Parents

Single Mothers Benefit From New Scheme – But Not All Through an initiative of the Women & Family Policy Bureau, Seoul City will become South Korea’s first municipality to offer single mothers in financial difficulties with 1 million KRW (approx. 800 EUR / 900 USD) worth of baby materials. The “Baby Box” will contain the following items donated by manufacturers and individual funders: A stroller Feeding bottles A baby sling Clothes Formula for infants Sleeping vests However, the supply is limited, and only 100 single mothers living in the Seoul Metropolitan Area with 80% of the median income will be able to benefit from the scheme. A Wider Vaccination Coverage Expands Number of Free Vaccinations for Children from 17 to 23 However, the City Government will provide a subsidy worth 240,000 KRW (180 EUR / 220 USD) for infant vaccinations, to children living with single mothers and single fathers. The subsidy covers vaccinations outside the 17 mandatory vaccinations. The 17 mandatory vaccinations for children (via Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  are as follows. They’re …

ARTE – Tous les internets – En Corée du Sud, les femmes à l’avant garde de #MeToo

Alternative title: Sind die Südkoreanerinnen der #MeToo-Bewegung einen Schritt voraus? / Les sud-coréennes sont-elles à l’avant-garde de #MeToo?   I had the honour to speak and share my research with Ann-Marie Kornek, a journalist specialising in technology and social issues at ARTE. Covering topics such as molka (spycams used for illegal porn), Soranet (the porn hub which hosted a number of illegal activities including illegal porn), and power harassment/rape (involving 2017 presidential candidate Ahn Hee-Jung and internationally acclaimed filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk), the episode explains what has been happening in Korea in the past three years, and what has changed (and is still changing). Kudos to the team at ARTE for their research, and for going through the graphic images of molka videos. I particularly appreciate how Korean names and words are written and spoken accurately (I’ve heard my share of Kim Young-Ooon and Zamzoong). Link to video ARTE:  Youtube: Facebook: Twitter: