Hollaback! Korea: A Determined Group Works to Fight Sexual Harassment

Hollaback! KoreaClick on the image to learn more, in my very first interview piece for Busan Haps.

If this is all you have time to read for now though, please note that they’re also having a discussion session on street harassment this Saturday in Seoul:

Join Hollaback! Korea in Seoul for a discussion about street harassment and how we can end it. Hollaback! Korea supporters will meet Saturday, February 8 from 2-4PM at Ben James coffee shop near Hapjeong station exit 5. Hollaback Site leaders from Seosan and Seoul will be present and welcome all members to participate in the discussion and/or share their stories for support. Hollaback! Korea supporters will strategize how to end street harassment in our communities.

Saturday, February 8, 2014 2:00pm until 4:00pm Cafe Ben James, Seoul Mapo-Gu, Hapjeong-Dong 411-5

See details and RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Alternatively, see their website, Facebook page, or Twitter for more information, especially on the possibilities of setting up a Busan branch—one of the few cities which doesn’t have one yet!

Busan Slutwalk, Sat Aug 31, 6-7PM, hosted by Don’t Do That

Busan Slutwalk 2013 Flyer 1

Update: I’ve just been informed that Slutwalk Korea and Don’t Do That are very different organizations, and that the latter — the organizers of Saturday’s event — advocate wearing more conservative dress than in regular slutwalks, arguing that participants who wear racier costumes run the risk of being charged with indecent exposure, and that toning things down would be more appropriate for a first event in Busan. Nevertheless, they accept short miniskirts, hotpants, croptops, and whatever slogans participants wish to write on placards.

Apologies if I’ve inadvertently misrepresented either organization, and I’ll update readers if any new information becomes available. Alternatively, please also check Korean Gender Café or Don’t Do That’s (Korean) Twitter feed.

Update 2: The Korea Times discusses the disagreements between the two organizations here, saying Slutwalk Korea has accused Don’t Do That of slut-shaming itself in its emphasis on conservative dress. I don’t know enough about either organization to comment sorry, but wager that any such accusation will have been greatly exaggerated to better fit the snarky tone of the article.

Original Post:

Reblogged with permission from Korean Gender Café:

Don’t Do That Campaign welcomes you to participate in a slut walk

I had a great chat today with organizers of Don’t Do That (성범죄인식개선캠페인 돈두댓), a campaign to change mindsets about sex crimes. The group is organizing a slut walk campaign in Busan and Seoul. I translated the information below and hope that readers will share it widely.

Don’t Do That is a voluntary group that comes together to raise awareness about sex crimes. Their site offers a lot of information and is a great resource.

Event in Busan:

On Saturday, August 31, 2013, 6PM ~7PM there will be a slutwalk hosted by the Don’t Do That (성범죄인식개선캠페인 돈두댓) Busan Team.

The walk will take place near Bujeon-dong, Seomyeon Subway Station (Line 1 & 2), Exit 1.

Participants will meet at the ally next to Judies Taehwa and march toward Lotte Department store. Please see the map below and spread the word~

For additional information about this event, please contact organizers via KakaoTalk ID jinamarna or via Facebook.

Here is a little map I made of the area in Busan where the slut walk will take place:

Busan Slutwalk 2013 MapThis is an image I found of Judies Taehwa storefront, participants will meet nearby at 6PM:

Judies Taehwa BusanFor more information about Don’t do that (성범죄인식개선캠페인 돈두댓) please check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Daum Café.

Please share the flyers below (James — I included one as the opening image):

Busan Slutwalk 2013 6PM Flyer 2

Busan readers, if you attend the event, I would really love to hear about it~ I wish I could make it out this time, but I can’t. Please share this event and support the cause.

Readers in Seoul, I will be sure to provide similar translation/map when I hear from the Don’t Do That Seoul Team.

Another group that may interest readers is Slutwalk Korea. Slutwalk Korea organized the first slutwalk movement in Asia in early 2011. They launched a number of events in global solidarity with the slutwalks that started in Toronto and all over the world that year. They have also hosted global solidarity events for Pussy Riot and on March 8, 2013 for International Women’s Day. They have a great Twitter feed and regularly post information related to sexual violence or slutwalk-type events in Korea ( I learned about Don’t Do That from a Slutwalk Korea Twitter post).

Posted by

(See here for a write-up of the 2011 Seoul event by Roboseyo, or the “잡년행진” tag and “Rape” and “Sexual Harassment” categories for related posts on this blog)

Update 3: Here’s a report of the event, written by one of the participants.

URGENT: International Day of Protest against Violent Abuse and Murders of Sex Workers

Korea Prostitution Violence Protest(Source)

I’ve just been asked to pass on the following. The organizers apologize for the last minute notice:

International Day of Protest against violent Abuse and Murders of Sex Workers
세계 성노동자 폭행 및 살해에 대한 항의의 날

On July 19th, 2013, people are gathering in 35 cities across the globe to protest against violence against sex workers.

Following the murders of Dora Özer and Petite Jasmine on the 9th and 11 of July 2013, sex workers, their friends, families, and allies are coming together to demand an end to stigma, criminalisation, violence and murders. In the week since the two tragedies occurred, the feelings of anger, grief, sadness and injustice – for the loss of Dora and Jasmine, but also for the senseless and systemic murders and violence against sex workers worldwide – have brought together people in 35 cities from four continents who agreed to organise demos, vigils, and protests in front of Turkish and Swedish embassies or other symbolic places. JOIN US on Friday the 19th at 3 pm local time and stand in solidarity with sex workers and their loved ones around the world! Justice for Dora! Justice for Jasmine! Justice for all sex workers who are victims of violence!


Main Website:
http://jasmineanddora.wordpress.com/

Seoul: http://jasmineanddora.wordpress.com/seoul

Meet at Yeo-i-yean Office (Center for Women’s & Cultural Theory) from 1pm
여이연(여성문화이론 연구소) 오후 1시

Bring pink roses and red umbrellas!
분홍 장미와 빨간우산도 준비해주세요!

Contact:  밀사 @Milsa_

Visit the Facebook Event Page

Quick Hit: Korean police blaming sex crimes on scantily clad women

Slutwalk Korea(Sources: left, right)

From the Korea Times:

The government is vowing stronger punishment on sex offenses. As a start, the Justice Ministry has rewritten the law to allow law enforcement authorities to investigate and prosecute sex criminals without a complaint filed from the victim.

But were loose laws ever much of a problem because the majority of our obtuse police officers are regressive enough to claim that some female victims simply had it coming?

The Korea Women’s Development Institute recently quizzed some 200 police officers in South Gyeongsang Province cities over their thoughts on sex crimes against women and the results were disturbing.

About 54 percent of the respondents supported the view that women who wear revealing clothing are somehow culpable in any attacks on them. Around 37 percent of them felt the same about women who drink and 21 percent about women walking alone at night. And 24 percent said they found it difficult to believe a victim when they don’t report the incident right away.

Read the rest at the link. Meanwhile, I’ll try to find the original KWDI report on the survey and/or related news article, and translate it for you by sometime next week.

Also, for anyone interested in the Korean Slutwalk (잡년행진), see here for information about the last two years’ events. I’ve been unable to find any information about this year’s, but do hope that one will go ahead. After all, as the police officers’ attitudes above indicate, unfortunately it’s needed more than ever…

Update: I’m No Picasso has a must-read response to the article.

“Cute Lines for Cute Girls”: Street Harassment Framed as Fun (Continued)

I’ve been asked by Jerry Liu, the maker of the “Cute Lines for Cute Girls” video featured 2 weeks ago, to ask what readers’ reactions are to the above video.

As explained by the makers of this one (Simple Pickup), “all the faces, we interacted with, which aren’t blurred were given consent forms because their reactions were too funny.”

What do you think?

Related Posts:

“Cute Lines for Cute Girls”: Street Harassment Framed as Fun

With her permission, here is a reader’s email I recently received. While I don’t usually post things that aren’t specifically Korea-related, I thought I’d make an exception this time!

Dear Mr. Turnbull,

I thought you might be interested in this video since your blog is about gender studies (Apologies for the long e-mail, but I want to explain myself thoroughly).

I was just curious about your and others’ thoughts on it. I remember watching the Korean street harassment video with the bikkis (nightclub workers?) and thought this was an interesting contrast. It’s not often that you can see a compilation quite like this.

One of my subscriptions posted a video called “Cute lines for Cute Girls” with the description “Everyone dreams of using corny but sweet pickup lines on random unsuspecting women. My friend and I show you the reactions we got :)” (My emphasis added)

I watched it and instead of making me smile, it just made me cringe. The video consists of him and his friend approaching random women in the street and in buildings with corny pickup lines. What made me uneasy is that I couldn’t help but see that some of the women did not seem to enjoy it. Sure, the background music makes it seem light-hearted and fun, but mute it and look at their body language. Some did have fun with it and laughed, but to me most 1) couldn’t walk away fast enough, 2) gave an uncomfortable laugh and smile (that “what the hell just happened” smile).

Korea Slutwalk(Source)

I think most people can see that whistling and making lewd comments are wrong. What complicates things and divides opinions is that these are “nice guys.” They are not your typical catcallers lurking in a doorway, but “regular, non-threatening” guys on the street. But does this make it ok? I would say not.

Perhaps I was wrong about the video, but his replies really disturbed me. Even if you do not agree with me about the video, the conversation we had was really telling about attitudes about street harassment today.

I don’t know if he’ll remove my comments or not, so I’ll paste the conversation here (my emphases throughout):

NSAM08 17x11_txt rep_v2.inddMe: I don’t know about this. I mean, you’re going after women you have no interest in other than to make a video so people can laugh at them. Most of them just laugh uncomfortably and walk away. This is like one step above cat-calling.

Him: Hey waterlily6782001, this is an exercise in overcoming false constraints that many individuals place on themselves. Also, many of these girls played along when they heard these lines because they were cool and fun girls who knew how to banter back. If anything, this is a great profile on the decent quality of women at University of Pennsylvania.

(Almost feels like he’s saying I’m not cool or fun or of decent quality because I do not like his “exercise”)

Me: Yes, I understand and I do like your other videos, but this one… From your videos, I don’t think you’re a mean person and I don’t think you ever intend to hurt anyone, so I wasn’t too upset. Yes, some of them bantered back, but can’t you see that some were also clearly uncomfortable? It’s just that when you have to deal with totally insincere guys chatting you up all the time as a dare or just to get a reaction, it goes from flattering to tiring.

Him: They could’ve been having a bad day; school could’ve been stressing them out. Even if our lines caused the discomfort, my friend and I were simply giving them compliments. If they can’t take a compliment, then their frame of mind needs work. For example, I love your constructive criticism. But I could easily have said, “This person is a hater. I should delete the comment.” But if I did that, we wouldn’t be having a great discussion. Frame life positively. You’ll be much happier =)

Me: Please read this, it explains it better than I ever could ^_^

I think what we have here is just that you, as a man, will never experience life as a woman. So it’s difficult to grasp that what you see as “compliments” can mean different things to different women. There’s just no way for me to make you fully understand, but I appreciate your replies and wish you the best. ^_^ (end)

Street Harassment Korea(Source: leftycartoons)

He implies that I’m 1) a hater 2) pessimistic and 3) unhappy because I do not like his video. I’ve read hater comments before and I thought my commentary was pretty tame. I’m also pretty sure haters don’t promote your videos on their blogs as I’ve done with his in the past (He did a student documentary on Asian male and white female relationships).

It was clear that I couldn’t make him understand, and he implies that he made no one uncomfortable (“Even if our lines caused the discomfort”). But you can’t tell me that the girl at 0:53 is not uncomfortable while she’s speeding past, head down, eyes averted, walking around him, and not even stopping. The girl at 2:10 is also clearly not amused even though you can’t see her face. Listen to her voice! I also wonder if the girl at 2:30 was really having fun having a guy 1) corner her at work and 2) continue to talk to her even after she emphasizes TWICE that she has a boyfriend.

This in particular really disturbed me: Even if our lines caused the discomfort, my friend and I were simply giving them compliments. If they can’t take a compliment, then their frame of mind needs work.

…which is probably the #1 argument guys have for when girls don’t like their advances. It’s a COMPLIMENT and if you’re uncomfortable YOU need to change. So if I don’t like a guy following me along the sidewalk giving me an insincere “compliment” I need to change my attitude.

Korea Slutwalk Newspaper(Source)

Do I hate compliments? No. I appreciate heart-felt compliments.

Do I hate jokes? No. I make them all the time.

Do I hate corny pick-up lines? No. In fact, they can be cute and are good ice-breakers.

What I do hate is a stranger who has absolutely no genuine or honest interest in me, and:

  • 1) cutting in front of me
  • 2) following me
  • 3) giving me a completely fake compliment just to see my reaction,
  • 4) walking away,
  • 5) laughing
  • 6) recording the whole thing, and
  • 7) posting it on the internet.

So what do you think? Do these guys get a free pass because they aren’t dirty old men hanging on the street corner?

Thanks for reading this long e-mail and have a good day!

James: What do readers think? I’m in complete agreement myself!

Update 1, Feb. 3: Just for everyone’s interest, here’s something I stumbled across in a review of a book on the history of online dating:

Of course, single people have always had means to boost their odds. You can move to a city, where the population of as-yet-unclaimed hearts will be larger. You can lower your standards to broaden the radius of your dating pool. You can also just toss out game 24-7 with utter indiscretion. One acquaintance likes to tell random women on the street that he thinks they’re beautiful. “Like 1 in 5 will slow their roll a little and give me a smile,” he says. “And like 1 in 5 of those stop and talk to me and let me hand them my business card. And like 1 in 5 of those actually call me.” I would assume that at least 2 in 5 women he approaches think him a frightening skeezball. And I think, for better or worse, he’s OK with that ratio.

Update 2, Feb. 5: See some related reading in “Korean Girls Be Scared of Me (And Every Other Dude)” at Gyopo Keith.

Update 3, Feb. 7: And some more in “How to Talk to a Woman Without Being a Creep” at Jezebel.

Update 4, Feb 14: Jerry Liu, the maker of the video, has asked me to ask what readers’ reactions to this one by “Simple Pickup” are.

Related Posts: