Korean Boys: “Wearing Hot Pants Says Something About You”

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A much more serious topic than it may sound, this article from Ilda Women’s Journal will definitely give you a renewed appreciation for the goals of the Slutwalk (잡년행진) movement.

Once it does though, unfortunately you’ll probably find yourself pretty frustrated with it too. For the author only really gives platitudes about the need for change, rather than provide any details about who those boys were, what they said exactly, and the sex-education program her and her colleagues were involved in.

But still, she’s right to be concerned about the messages children are receiving about sexuality when any elementary school boys both approve of and chastise attractive women for wearing revealing clothes. Let alone disallow “ugly” ones from wearing them:

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“못생긴 애들 핫팬츠 입지 말라”는 아이들 Children That Say “Ugly Girls Shouldn’t Wear Hot Pants”

여성의 노출’을 바라보는 십대들의 시선 Teenagers’ Views on Women Who Wear Revealing Clothes

So Yeong-mi, August 2010

(일다의 독자위원인 서영미님은 현재 십대들과 함께하는 성교육 프로그램을 진행하고 있습니다―Editor)

Editor: Ilda reader So Yeong-mi is currently involved in a sex-education program aimed at teenagers.

“선생님, 질문 있어요. 왜 여자애들은 그렇게 짧은 반바지를 입어요?”…“여자애들이 핫팬츠 좀 못 입게 해주셨으면 좋겠어요!”…“?????????”

“Teacher, I have a question. Why do women wear such short shorts?”…”If young women didn’t wear hot pants, that would be good.”

이게 도대체 무슨 문제란 말이지? 최근 들어 두 번이나 받은 질문이다. 고등학교 청소년 남자 아이들을 만났을 때 한번, 그리고 초등학교 남자아이들과 교육하면서 한번. 성장기 자신의 몸의 변화나 성관계, 임신/출산에 관련한 질문들이 대부분인 편이라 이 질문이 유독 기억에 남았다. 같은 반 여자아이들이 핫팬츠를 입지 말았으면 좋겠다니 이 무슨 말인가?

(Source, NSFW)

Why on earth are they saying and asking these things? This has happened to me twice recently. Once, from teenage boys at a high school, and the other from boys at an elementary school. Most of the questions I get are normal ones about their development, changes to their body, sexual relationships, pregnancy and childbirth and so on, but I especially remembered these. Why are boys saying that girls in their classes shouldn’t wear hot pants?

James – Because of the mention of female classmates, I’m assuming the boys were in mixed-schools then? But So Yeong-mi doesn’t mention how the girls reacted to such questions, an omission which hopefully means she taught the boys and girls separately.

뜬금없는 질문이 궁금해 스무고개 하듯 계속해서 질문을 주고받으며 질문한 의도를 파악하려 애썼다. 질문자는 한 명이었지만 반 아이들 모두가 동의하고 있었고 별로 웃기지도 않은 질문에 아이들은 자지러졌기 때문이다. 질문을 받은 내가 자신들 생각대로 웃어넘기지 않고 진지하게 계속 물으니, 나중엔 아이들도 제법 진지하게 맞받아쳤다. 그리하여 나온 결론은 같은 반 여자아이들은 핫팬츠를 입으면 안 된다는 것!

I was very curious why these questions came out of the blue, so I sort of played 20 Questions with the students to find out. Only 1 student [in each case?] asked, but all the other students thought it was hilarious, and they expected me to laugh along with them. I wanted to get to the bottom of that, and so later when they gave me feedback it emerged that they felt that girls in their classes shouldn’t wear hot pants.

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모자와 핫팬츠는 다르다? What’s the Difference Between Hot Pants and Hats?

“오크가 그런 걸 입는 게 말이나 돼요?” “Would Orcs Wear Hot Pants?”

판타지 소설이나 롤플레잉 게임에 주로 등장하는 괴물, ‘오크’족. 쭉쭉빵빵 몸매도 좋고 능력도 좋은 미녀캐릭터들에 비해 볼품이 없어 쉽게 무시당하고 힘만 센 캐릭터. 아이들의 설명에 의하면 이랬다. TV에서 연예인들이 입는 것과는 다르다는 것. 그건 당연히 ‘봐줄 만하다’는 것이다. 핫팬츠뿐만 아니라 미니스커트에도 역시 강한 불만을 표했는데, 이번에는 또 다른 이유를 제기했다.

As the students explained, in fantasy novels and role-playing games the monster that appears the most frequently is the orc. Unlike beautiful female characters, with great abilities and voluptuous bodies (and usually useless armor – James), orcs are essentially faceless characters that can easily be disregarded. What entertainers wear on TV is different though, and, of course, it’s worth watching.

But it’s not just hot pants that the boys had problems with girls wearing, but also miniskirts. They gave a second reason for that.

“옷이 그러면 그렇고 그런 거 아니에요? 위험할 수도 있잖아요.”

“Doesn’t wearing clothes like that say something about you? And it’s dangerous too!”

아이들은 여성인 내게 “선생님도 그런 옷을 입냐”며 “도대체 왜”냐고 야단이었다. 한 학생이 모자를 쓰고 있기에 “너는 왜 모자를 쓰고 있냐” 물으니 “그냥 좋아서”라고 가볍게 얘기했다. 그럼 “핫팬츠나 미니스커트를 선택해서 착용하는 것은 무엇이 다르냐” 물으니 “그건 당연히 다르다”고 소리친다. 적절한 대답이 없을 때 아이들은 대개 화를 낸다.

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The students asked me, a woman, “Do you wear clothes like that?”, and, in a critical tone, “Why on Earth do women wear those?”. So, to one student who was wearing a hat I asked “Why are you wearing that hat?”, to which he casually replied “Because I like it”. So then I asked “How is that different to choosing hot pants or a miniskirt”, and got the retort that “Of course it’s different!”, the student becoming angry that he didn’t really have a proper answer.

그날 종일은 아이들과 좀 더 많은 시간을 들여 ‘개인의 취향’에 대한 이야기를 나누었다. 서로의 취향을 존중하고 이해해야 하는 이유를 찾아보며 남/녀를 탈피한 다양한 관계 속에서 역할활동까지 해봤다. 그러나 그 날의 아이들에게는 이미 모자와 핫팬츠의 ‘선택’이 다르지 않다는 것을 이해시키는 것이 어려워 보였다. 너무나 견고한 그들만의 ‘패션철학’이 놀라울 따름이었다.

I spent all day with the students, and shared a story about personal tastes with them. Then we did roleplaying, breaking away from normal man/woman and girl/boy ones, in order to better understand and respect each other’s personal tastes. It was difficult to make them understand that wearing hot pants was a choice, no different to wearing a hat, and I was very surprised in how unwavering some of their attitudes to fashion were.

우연히 비슷한 시기에 만난 이 집단 아이들만의 문제였을까. 교육이 끝난 후 평가시간에 이 에피소드를 털어놓으니 유난히 남자아이들 교육을 진행할 때 그런 질문이 많이 나온다는 실무자들의 의견이 있었다. 예쁜 사람이 입으면 괜찮고, 아니면 안 괜찮고, 짧은 옷을 입으면 위험하고 야한 어떤 것이라는 10대 초반의 아이들의 논리. 고등학생 이상의 청소년 들을 만났을 때만 해도 성인과 비슷하게 생각해나가는 시기여서 그런가 생각했는데, 초등학생들에게서까지 강한 불만으로 표출되어 나오니 그냥 웃어넘길 일이 아니라는 생각이 들었다.

I wondered if this way of thinking was just confined to the groups of students I taught, so afterwards I asked other sex-ed teachers involved in the program, and they confirmed that they get similar questions and opinions from especially male students. The logic of boys in their early teens was that if pretty girls wear hot pants and so on it’s okay, but if they’re not pretty then it’s not, and that [in either case] such clothes are both too revealing and dangerous.

(Source)

Now, if I’d asked high school students and so on, who think like adults, then I wouldn’t have been surprised, but once I learned that even elementary school students are saying such things then I realized that this was no laughing matter.

고 민지점은 성인들이 갖고 있는 편견이나 고정관념들이 고스란히 아이들에게도 답습된다는 것이다. 또한 그 연령이 대폭 낮아졌다는 사실도 놀랄만한 일이다. 그 어린 학생들마저도 ‘여성’의 몸을 검열하고 있다는 사실에 주목하지 않을 수가 없는 것이다.

Children are picking up adults’ prejudices and biases, although it is surprising that they’re doing so at such a young age. And we can’t help but notice that even these children too think the female body is something to inspected and evaluated.

우리가 어떤 일을 할 수 있을까 What can do we do about this?

노출이 많은 옷을 입은 여성과 그렇지 않은 여성을 간단하게 이분화 시키고, 거기에 아름다움이라는 가치를 연결시킨 잣대로 평가하는 것은 아이들도 어른들과 크게 다르지 않았다. 다만 아이들의 용어로 표현하고 있을 뿐이었다. 이를 우스갯거리로 사용하는 아이들을 보고 있자니 솔직히 조금 화가 나기도 했다. 그리고 그와 동시에 우리 스스로 반성해야 될 때가 아닌가 생각해보게 됐다.

Children splitting women into simply those who wear very revealing clothes and those that don’t, and judging their value only in terms of their appearance, is little different from what adults do. But although the children just used these terms jokingly, to be honest I still got a little angry with them.

Yet at the same time, we really need to examine ourselves too.

대중매체에 대한 비판을 하려던 차에 최근 10대 청소년 연예인들을 상대로 60%가 신체 노출이나 과도한 성적 행위 장면을 강요했다는 기사들을 보게 되었다. 한 언론과의 인터뷰에서 가수 이은미는 음악성 보다 외적인 면에 더 관심을 갖는 사회 분위기를 우려하며, 성적인 면이 강조된 걸그룹의 노래, 의상, 춤에 환호하는 이 사회를 ‘몰상식의 극’이라고 표현했다. “초등학교를 졸업한지 몇 년 되지 않은 아이들을 벗겨놓고 대 놓고 섹시하다고 박수를 치거나, 꿀벅지, 꿀복근 같은 용어들을 사용하는 대중문화를 보면 소름이 끼친다.”는 것.

(Source: unknown)

I was about to blame the mass media, as recently I’ve read reports which say that 60% of female teenage entertainers have claimed to have sometimes been forced to wear revealing clothes and/or do sexual dances and so on. And in an interview of the singer Lee Eun-mi (James – Not one of those teenage entertainers; she was born in 1968), she said she was worried about a society that considered external appearance more important than musical quality for singers, where girl groups’ sexual dances, songs, and outfits where cheered…she used the term “thoughtless/careless”. She said “I freak out at the thought that just a few years after they graduate from elementary school, young male and female entertainers are being praised for taking off their clothes and being talked about in terms of their ‘honey thighs‘ or six-packs.

쏟 아지는 대중매체의 벗기기 논란은 새삼 어제오늘 일도 아니건만, 아무 손쓰지 않고 있었음에 반성하게 된다. 상품화되고 대상화되고 있는 여성들의 문제를 공공연히 문제 삼지 않았던 것이 일상생활에까지 주변 사람을 대상화하고 외모로써 평가하는 지금의 일을 만든 게 아닌가 하는 생각에서다.

But these trends in the media didn’t just appear overnight – they were allowed to flourish by the public’s inattention and lack of concern. This way, we have come to consider the commercialization and objectification of women as a normal part of our daily lives.

아 이들의 생각을 넓게 펼쳐주진 못할망정 오로지 외모로써 사람을 평가하는 우리 사회에서 우리가 어떤 일을 할 수 있을지 함께 고민해봤으면 좋겠다. 우리가 그동안 무심코 내뱉었던 말들이 아이들에게 어떤 영향을 미치게 될지 생각해보면서 말이다. 문제가 수면으로 드러난 지금이야말로 왜곡된 미와 과장된 외모 중심의 평가들로부터 벗어나 아이들에게 더 많은 관심을 가져야 할 때다. 아이들뿐만 아니라 사실은 우리 모두를 위해서 말이다.

It’s difficult to broaden children’s minds, but we do have to make an effort to stop judging each other on our appearances. We have to consider what has been the effect on our children of this focus, this excessive emphasis on appearance. Not just for them, but for society as a whole (end).

My post title aside, I don’t mean to generalize about all Korean boys, and given the author’s vagueness then what she says about them really needs to be taken with a grain of salt. So, to get a better overall picture, I’d really appreciate anything any teachers can tell me about what their own young students have ever said about such things (alas, it’s been a while since I’ve taught children or teenagers myself).

And to end on a positive note, was anyone else reminded of the above semi-response to such sentiments? Now I have a renewed sense of appreciation for that too!^^ (See here for a discussion of the song’s lyrics and meaning)

Should the Sexualization of Teens in K-Pop be Banned?

(15 year-old f(x) band member Sulli {최설리} in February 2010 Oh! Boy Magazine; source)

In short, “yes, but…”(!), as I explain in this opinion piece I recently penned for the Korea Herald. It’s pretty faithful to the original, for which I’m grateful, but unfortunately two crucial sentences on boy-bands got edited out at the beginning of paragraph 4. It should read:

This is why this discussion is overwhelmingly about girls. However, owners of boy-bands too have been affected by the ensuing pressure to make them stand out from their competitors. Add in Korea’s notoriously high levels of illegal downloading, ensuring that profits in the Korean music industry are overwhelmingly from concerts and commercial endorsements (and which explains why 75% of Korean commercials feature celebrities), then courting controversy with ever more provocative performances is a no-brainer really.

Still, only 800 words long even with those inserted, at best the article only gives an introduction to some of the issues involved really. For any interested new readers and old readers that haven’t already then, please read my post Reading the Lolita Effect in Korea, Part 2: The role of K-pop and the Korean media in sexual socialization and the formation of body image for a much more comprehensive discussion of those, and for the many caveats I would have liked to have added to the generalizations in the article!^^

Seniors Routinely Sexually Harass Juniors during “Membership Training”?

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When I first came to Korea in 2000, I soon got used to the notion that people should use nopimmal (높임말; respectful language) to their obvious “superiors”, such as their parents and bosses. But also to friends, even if they were just a year or two older? Call me a cultural imperialist, but I still balk at the notion that such people are genuine friends, and God knows what they’d make of the usually whiskey-fueled language my late friend and I, then twice my age, would use with each other (let alone what we usually talked about).

Still, it came as a real shock to hear students using it to some of their classmates at my university, even though the recipients were only just a few months older (I asked). In fairness, that didn’t happen at all at my wife’s university when she was a student, but suffice to say that I’m no longer particularly surprised when I hear of “seniors” taking advantage of “juniors” in various forms at Korean universities. And especially not on “Membership Training” (MT), which as you probably know involves a lot of drinking and various orientation and initiation rituals, as explained in the following report:

(As translator Marilyn notes, makjang means “extreme, in a negative way”, and is usually used to describe dramas where crazy things happen. Meanwhile, with thanks to SuzyinSeoul, the “OT” in the title means “Orientation Training”, one’s first MT)

(Sources: left, right)

막장 OT? ‘학내 성희롱’의 문제 보아야 / Makjang OT?  The problem of “school sexual harassment” must be considered

성희롱문제의 사각지대에 놓인 학생간 성희롱 / Sexual harassment among students is an unseen part of the problem of sexual harassment

얼마 전 인터넷 상에서는 서울 소재 모 대학의 신입생환영회가 논란이 되었다. 지난달 26일 인터넷 포털사이트 게시판에 “대학교 오리엔테이션, 이래도 되는 건가요?”라며 오른 글이 시작이었다.

Recently, the welcoming ceremony for new students at X University in Seoul has become a controversy on the Internet.  It was started by a post, titled “At a university orientation, is this really okay?” and put up on an Internet portal site’s message board on the 26th of last month [February].

성적 수치심 느끼게 하는게임시킨 선배들 / Seniors who make games that cause [juniors] to feel sexual shame

글 쓴이는 몇 장의 사진과 함께 “오리엔테이션에서 선배들이 후배들에게 성적으로 부담스럽거나, 수치심을 느낄 수 있는 행동들을 많이 시킨다”고 고발했다. 사진 속에는 남녀 신입생들이 몸을 밀착시키고 성행위를 연상시키는 동작을 취하는 모습들이 담겨 있었다. ‘게임’을 명목으로 강요된 것이었다. 글쓴이에 따르면, 술자리에서는 “정말 심한” 벌칙들도 많았다고 한다.

The writer of the post put up several pictures and charged, “At orientation, seniors force their juniors to do sexually embarrassing or shameful things.”  In the pictures, new male and female students press their bodies against each other and make sexually suggestive movements.   This was coerced under the pretext of a “game.”   According to the post’s writer there are also many “really severe” penalties at drinking parties.

(한 포털사이트에 성적 수치심을 느끼게 하는 ‘게임’을 강요하는 ‘신입생 오리엔테이션’ 문화를 고발한 글이 올라와 논란이 일었다.)

(Caption [to above image]: A post charging that a “new-student orientation” culture forces the playing of “games” that cause sexual shame was put up on a portal site and became a controversy.)

(Source)

문제의 사진들은 ‘막장 OT’라는 이름이 붙어 여러 게시판들로 퍼져나갔고, 몇몇 언론에서도 이 사건을 보도하면서 관련 학교와 학생들에게 비난이 가해졌다. 이후 사건은 해당 학교 총학생회가 사과문을 게시하는 선으로 마무리되었다.

The pictures were named “Makjang OT” and spread to several message boards, and as several media outlets reported on this story as well, the school and students involved were subjected to criticism.  After that, the student government at the university brought the incident to a close by posting a written apology.

이 사건은 인터넷 여론이 흔히 그렇듯 사건의 선정성에만 초점이 맞춰져, 관련 대학을 공격하거나 폄하하는 데에만 치중되었다는 인상을 준다. 그리고 논란의 열기는 금방 식었다.

As usual, public opinion on the Internet has focused on the sexual aspects of the story and so given the impression that it has only concentrated on attacking or disparaging the university in this area. Also, the heat of the controversy cooled down immediately.

이 사건이 문제인 것은 건전해야 할 대학 내 행사에서 선정적인 행위를 했기 때문이 아니다. 선배들의 권위를 내세워 신입생들에게 원하지 않는 성적인 행위를 강요했다는 점이 본질적인 문제다. 명백한 학내 성희롱이다.

The problem in this matter is not that there were sexual actions at university events that should be wholesome.  The essential problem is that seniors asserting their authority forced new students to do sexual actions they didn’t want to do.  This is unmistakable school sexual harassment.

(Source)

하늘같은선배 작아지는 신입생들 / New students that shrink in front of ‘god-like’ seniors

이제 막 대학을 들어온 신입생과 ‘선배’들 사이에는 막강한 권력관계가 작동한다. 대학생활에서 선배는 어떤 면에서 교수보다 더 어려운 존재다. 더구나 신입생 오리엔테이션은 이제 막 대학을 입학해 어리둥절하고 동기들과도 서먹할 때 치러지니 1학년들은 선배들 앞에서 심리적으로 위축되기 쉽다. 더구나 ‘전통’이라고 우기니 ‘참아야 되나’ 헷갈리기까지 할 것이다.

These days there is a strong power-imbalance operating between students who have just started university and their “seniors.”  In university life, relationships with seniors are more difficult than those with professors in every way.  Moreover, new-student orientations happen when students, having just started university, are dazed and still unfamiliar with their peers, so it is easy for first-year students to shrivel psychologically in front of their seniors.  Furthermore, seniors insist that it’s “tradition” so students become confused and think “Maybe I have to endure this?”

성희롱은 권력관계 안에서 일어난다. 이러한 속성 때문에 남학생이 많은 과, 권위주의적이고 위계질서가 강하게 잡혀 있는 과일 수록 신입생 환영회 때 이러한 ‘게임’을 즐기는 경향이 강해지고 ‘게임’의 강도도 높아질 것이라 추측할 수 있다.

(Source)

Sexual harassment arises inside power-imbalances.  Because of this attribute, it can be supposed that the more male students a department has and the more authoritarian and the stronger the hierarchical structure in the department, the stronger the tendency to enjoy this kind of “game” and the more intense the “games” are at new-student welcoming events.

시대가 변화한 부분이 있으니, 아마도 이러한 신입생 환영행사는 일반적으로 행해지는 수준의 것은 아닐 것이다. 그러나 아주 극단적인 예만도 아닌 것 같다. 관련 게시물들의 누리꾼 댓글에서도 비슷한 경험을 털어놓는 것을 심심치 않게 발견할 수 있다. 남성에게 구강성교를 해주는 여성의 모습을 연상시키는 동작을 하는 남학생들이 찍힌, 모 체육대학의 신입생 오리엔테이션 사진을 올린 이도 있었다.

Though there is the element of the changing times, this kind of new-student welcoming event probably isn’t common. However, it doesn’t seem to be an extreme example, either.  In the replies of the visitors to the message boards in question as well, it is not hard to find confessions of similar experiences.  There were also pictures from the new-student orientation at X Sport University [a university for athletes and coaches] which show male students making movements suggestive of women giving oral sex to men.

(Source)

대학사회, 성희롱 문제제기 여전히 어려워 / In university culture, making sexual harassment complaints difficult as ever

이번 사건을 문제제기한 학생은 학내 게시판이 아닌, 포털사이트를 이용해 글을 올렸다. 이는 문제의 ‘게임’이 ‘전통’으로 굳어질 수 있었던 배경과 관련된다.

The student who reported this incident used a non-university portal site to put up his/her post. This is related to the setting in which the “game” in question was allowed to become “tradition.”

지난 해 1월, 소위 ‘명문대생‘이 1학년 여학생들을 성추행한 사건이 논란을 일으켰다. 당시 한 피해자가 익명게시판을 통해 문제제기 하자 다른 피해자들이 나타나면서 피해자는 20여명까지 불어났다.

In January of last year, an incident in which so-called “students of a prestigious university” sexually molested first-year female students engendered controversy.  At that time, a victim made her complaint on an anonymous message board; other victims then came forward, until their number reached around 20 women.

왜 20여명에 달하는 피해자들은 성추행을 당하고도 입을 다물고 있을 수밖에 없었을까. 여전히 성희롱‧성폭력은 대학 사회 내에서도 쉽게 공론화하기 어려운 문제이기 때문이다.

Why is it that though the number of victims who were sexually molested reached about 20, they couldn’t do anything but keep quiet?  It is because even in university society, it is still difficult to publicly discuss sexual harassment and sexual violence.

(Source)

‘명문대생‘ 성추행 사건이 문제가 되었던 당시, 취업전문 포털사이트 ‘커리어’가 이틀간 대학생 768명을 대상으로 진행한 설문 조사에 따르면, 전체 여성 응답자 중 33.3%가 대학생활 중 ‘성희롱이나 성추행을 당했다’고 답했다.

When the “students of a prestigious university” incident became a problem, the job portal site “Career” surveyed 768 university students over the course of two days, and found that 33.3% of female respondents said they “have been sexually molested or harassed” during university life.

주된 가해자(복수응답)는 78.0%가 ‘선배’였다. 흔히 학내성희롱의 주된 가해자로 떠올리게 되는 ‘교수’를 지목한 대답은 33.3%였다. 대응방법을 묻는 질문에는 응답자의 66.5%가 ‘그냥 참고 넘겼다’고 답했다. 대응하지 않고 그냥 넘어간 이유는 ‘가해자와의 관계를 유지하기 위해서(66.9%)’가 가장 컸다.

The main perpetrators (more than one response possible) were “seniors,” at 78.0%.  “Professors”, who usually come to mind as the main perpetrators when one thinks of university sexual harassment, were pointed at by 33.3% of responses.  When asked how they dealt with it, 66.5% of respondents chose, “just bore it and moved past it.”  The biggest reason that they just let it go was, “To maintain a relationship with the perpetrator,” at 66.9%.

이렇듯 학생과 학생 사이에 발생되는 성희롱은 학내 성희롱 문제에 있어서 실질적으로 큰 비중을 차지하며 문제제기 하기도 어렵다. 그런데 교사와 교사, 교사와 학생 간 성희롱의 경우 성희롱 관련법의 규제의 대상이 되는 반면, 학생 간에 벌어지는 성희롱문제는 제외되고 있다. 따라서 학칙에 의존할 수밖에 없다.

Though this kind of student-on-student sexual harassment makes up a relatively large part of in-university sexual harassment, it is also hard to make a complaint.  Unlike in the case of sexual harassment between professors, or between professors and students, [public] regulations leave out sexual harassment that occurs between students.  Therefore, there is no choice but to rely on the school’s rules.

(Source)

그러나 성희롱을 ‘전통’으로 미화할 수 있는 대학사회에 이러한 미온적인 처치가 얼마나 큰 변화를 이끌어낼 수 있을까.

However, in a university culture that glamorizes sexual harassment as “tradition,” how big are the changes we can hope to effect to this kind of mediocre situation?

앞서 언급한 설문조사에서 전체 응답자 중 51.3%만이 성희롱 문제해결을 위한 대학 내 전담기관이나 담당자가 있다고 답했다. 대학사회에서 학생간의 성희롱이 사각지대에 놓여 있다는 사실을 이를 통해서도 유추해볼 수 있다. 관련 대책이 시급해 보인다.

In the survey mentioned above, only 51.3% of all respondents said that there was a special organization or officer for dealing with sexual harassment in their university.  Through this, as well, we can infer the fact that sexual harassment between students in university culture is not well-recognized.  Relevant measures appear to be urgently needed.

Writer: Park Hee-jeong (박희정), 3 March 2011.

(Source)

A disclaimer: I’ve never attended MT or even talked about it with students, so, students’ normal proclivities aside, I’m sure many or even most events are perfectly fine, and indeed Joe SeoulMan – ironically the source of one of the above images – has an account of a very nice, almost heartwarming one here. On the other hand, Extra! Korea argues that “it’s well-known among Koreans that sexual harassment is widespread at MTs”, and there’s certainly enough news stories in the Korean media to back that up.

What do you think? Have any readers attended MT themselves? Would you say that sexual harassment is indeed widespread at them, or is that just an impression created by the Korean media and *cough* bloggers, who tend to focus on the negatives?

(Thanks again to Marilyn for the translation)

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Sex and the University, Part 4: A Scared 19 Year-Old’s Ob-Gyn Experience

(Source: Dramabeans)

With thanks to Marilyn for translating it, allow me to present the fourth and final article in the Sex and the University series:

겁많은 스무살 기자의 산부인과 검진 체험기 / A scared 20 year-old reporter’s ob-gyn exam experience (19 in Western age)

대한산부인과학회는 지난 5월 ‘퍼플리본 캠페인’을 시작했다. 올해부터 매년 5월 셋째 주에 진행될 예정인 이 캠페인은 여성암 중 사망률 2위를 차지하고 있지만 비교적 잘 알려지지 않은 자궁경부암에 대해 알리고 검진율이 낮은 20~30대 여성들의 관심을 유도하기 위한 것이다. 김상운 사무총장은 “많은 여성질환들이 젊을 때부터 정기검진을 하면 예방효과가 크다”며 대학생들도 산부인과 검진을 받을 것을 권했다. 그러나 이러한 필요성에도 불구하고 많은 여대생들이 병원을 찾기를 꺼린다. 산부인과는 임신한 여성들만 찾는 다는 인식이 미혼 여성들로 하여금 산부인과 문턱을 넘는 일을 어렵게 만들기 때문이다.

Last May, the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology started the “purple ribbon” campaign.   This purposes of this campaign, planned to take place during the third week of May from this year [2010] on, are to raise awareness of cervical cancer, which, though the second deadliest of cancers that only affect women, is not well known, and to increase interest among women in their 20s and 30s, who rarely get screenings.  Secretary-general  Kim Sang-woon said, “If many female patients get regular screenings from a young age, there will be great preventative effects,” and recommended that university students get ob-gyn exams as well.  However, despite such necessity, many female college students are reluctant to visit a clinic.  This is because the belief that only pregnant women go there makes entering the ob-gyn’s office difficult for unmarried women.

(Source)

이런 상황에 놓인 여대생들을 대표해 10학번 새내기 기자가 직접 산부인과를 방문해 검진을 받아보기로 했다. 미혼여성을 대상으로 한 가장 기본적인 검진은 초음파 검사와 혈액검사라고 한다. 기자는 인터넷을 통해 신촌의 산부인과를 수소문한 끝에 신촌역 근처 S산부인과로 결정했다. 방문 전 인터넷사이트의 예약 게시판에 평소 생리통이 심했던 기자의 고충을 적고 예약을 완료했다.

Representing college women put in this kind of situation, this freshman reporter, who entered university in 2010, agreed to personally visit an ob-gyn and get an exam.  It is said that the most basic exam for unmarried women is an ultrasound and a blood test.  After asking around about Sinchon-area obstetrician-gynecologists on the Internet, I chose ‘S’ Obstetrics-Gynecology, near Sinchon Station.  Before going, I wrote on the appointment board on the clinic’s website that my problem was severe menstrual pain and booked my appointment.

예약한 날짜가 다가와 초조한 마음으로 병원을 찾았다. 산부인과와의 인연은 20년 전 태어나며 맺었던 것이 마지막이라 그곳에서 무슨 일이 생길지 도무지 감이 잡히지 않았다. 잠시 기다리자 접수대에서 이름이 호명됐고 전문의와 오늘 받을 검진의 기본적인 사항에 대한 이야기를 나눴다. 혈액검사는 난소암 유무를 가리기 위한 것이고, 초음파 검사는 자궁에 근종이나 난소에 혹이 있는지를 알아보기 위한 것인데 항문 또는 질을 통해 검사한다고 했다. 검진 받는 여성의 성관계 여부에 따라 추가적인 암 검사가 더해진다. 그렇게 접수를 마치고 이유 모를 공포에 휩싸여 호명되기를 기다렸다. 내 나이 꽃다운 스무살, 산부인과에 있다는 사실만으로도 이미 부인과 질병에 걸려버린 느낌이라 불안감은 점점 더 증폭됐다 (source, below).

The appointment date approached and I went to the clinic with an anxious heart.  My last connection to the ob-gyn had been made when I was being born twenty years ago, so I had no clue what was about to happen there.   After waiting a moment, my name was called by the front desk and I talked with the specialist [prob. the doctor] about the basics of the exam I would receive that day.  The specialist said the blood test would detect ovarian cancer, and the ultrasound would check for uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts; the exam would be done through the anal passage or vagina.  Contingent upon the sexual activity of the woman receiving the exam, additional cancer screenings are added.   In that manner, I completed my registration and then, filled with fear without knowing why, I waited for my name to be called.  I am a 20-year-old in the bloom of youth, but just the fact that I was at the ob-gyn gave me the feeling that I already had a gynecological disease, and my discomfort continued to increase.

먼저 초음파 검사를 받기 위해 탈의실로 가 아래를 모두 벗고 발목까지 오는 긴 치마를 입었다. 두려운 마음으로 검진실 문을 열자 특이한 모양의 의자가 보였다. 치과 의자처럼 생겼는데 다리를 벌려 고정하는 받침대가 추가된 형태였다. 좋지 않은 예감이 든다. 예감적중, 간호사가 의자에 누워 다리를 벌리라고 한다. 겁에 질려 검사가 아프냐고 묻자 간호사는 태연하게 “불편할 수 있어요”라고 대답한다.

First, in order to get the ultrasound exam, I went to a changing room, took off all of my lower-body clothing and put on a long skirt that reached to my ankles.  Fearfully, I opened the exam room door and saw a specially-shaped chair.  It looked like a dentist’s chair but with the addition of a rack to which spread legs could be fastened.  I had a bad feeling about that.  My feeling was right – the nurse told me to lay down on the chair and spread my legs.  Scared, I asked if the exam would hurt; the nurse calmly answered, “It may be uncomfortable.”

이윽고 냉철한 표정의 여의사가 들어와 초음파 검사 도구를 항문에 집어넣는다. 간호사 말대로다. 아프지는 않지만 확실히 ‘불편’했다. 마치 배변을 보고 있는 듯한 느낌이 몰려왔다가 사라졌다. 윤활제를 바른 탓에 시원한 느낌이 들었다. 기분이 묘하다. 이 와중에 그나마 여의사라 다행이라는 생각을 한다.

(Sources: left, right)

Before long, the female doctor entered with a dispassionate expression and put the ultrasound exam instrument in my anal passage.  It was as the nurse had said.  It didn’t hurt, but it was certainly uncomfortable.  A strong feeling that I was about to have a bowel movement came and disappeared.   Because of the lubricant spread [on the instrument], there was a cool sensation.  I felt strange.  At that time, I thought it was at least fortunate that it was a woman doctor.

누워서 눈앞의 스크린을 보자 나의 자궁과 난소가 보인다. 혹이나 다른 이상은 발견되지 않았다. 스크린을 보던 의사가 “생리하실 때 아플 것처럼 생긴 자궁이네요”라고 말했다. 산부인과에 온 목적이 해결되는 감동적인 순간, 내 몸에는 전혀 이상이 없으며 단지 ‘자궁 모양’ 문제였음을 깨닫는다. 산부인과에 진작 왔으면 불안에 떨지 않아도 되었을 것을. 며칠 뒤에는 “난소암 혈액검사 결과, 정상입니다”라는 간략한 문자가 도착했다. 모든 검사 종료, 이제야 안도했다.

(Source)

As I lay and looked at the screen in front of me, my cervix and ovaries were visible.  No cysts or other irregularities were detected.  The doctor, looking at the screen, said, “Your cervix looks like it would hurt during menstruation.”  At this emotional moment in which my purpose for coming to the ob-gyn was resolved, I realized that there was nothing wrong with my body, only a problem with “cervix shape.”  Also, that had I come to the ob-gyn earlier, I wouldn’t have needed to be anxious [about the pain].  A few days later, the brief text message, “Your ovarian cancer blood test results were normal” arrived.   At the end of all the exams, I finally felt relieved.

스무살 기자에게 산부인과 검사는 약간의 수치와 6만원이라는 비용을 수반한다는 점에서 그리 유쾌한 경험은 아니었다. 하지만 자신의 몸을 위해 한 번은 가볼 필요가 있는 것 같다. 기자의 경우 마침 결과가 좋아 적어도 5년 동안은 다시 이 경험을 하지 않아도 되겠다 싶어 안심했다. 그러나 부인과 질병에 가족력이 있거나 성관계 경험이 있을 경우 1년에 한 번씩은 산부인과에 가는 것이 좋다고 하니, 참고하면 되겠다.

Considering the slight shame and the 60,000 Won fee, the ob-gyn exam was not a very pleasant experience for this 20 year-old reporter.  However, it does seem that going once is necessary, for the sake of one’s body.  I felt relieved that I wouldn’t have to have this experience again for at least five years because the results happened to be good in my case.  Just know that if you have a family history of gynecological diseases or have sexual experience, though, they said that going to the ob-gyn once a year is good (end).

(Source)

A little disappointed with the reporter’s plan not to lose her virginity in the next 5 year however, a genuine waste of one’s youth(!), then let me end on a rather more lecherous note via the above image, found in passing while preparing this post. Indeed, with a cover that says “Reasons Women Have To Get On Top“, the book sounds intriguing, and now I feel like doing some translating of my own next week!^^

(For more in the Sex and the University series, please see Parts 1-3 on students’ levels of sexual experience and activity, on an interview with a sex columnist, and on students’ cohabitation culture respectively)

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace & the 2001 Equal Employment Opportunity Law: What Still Needs to be Done

(Source)

With thanks very much to Marilyn for the translation of the following article from Ildaro (일다), I’ll quickly let it speak for itself:

고용불안 속, 직장내 성희롱 위협 커져

In the midst of employment instability, the threat of workplace sexual harassment increases

고용평등상담실 10년, 여성노동의 현실과 미래를 말한다(2)

10th year of the Equal Employment Counseling Office, discussing female employees’ present and future

[편집자 주] 2001년 남녀고용평등법 4차 개정으로 고용평등상담실 지원제도가 도입된 지 10년이 되었습니다. 민간단체들의 고용평등상담실은 그동안 여성노동자들의 실질적 보호장치로 기능해왔으며, 여성노동자들이 처한 현실을 사회에 고발하는 창구역할을 해왔습니다. 일다는 여성노동자회와 함께 고용평등상담실에 접수된 상담사례를 통해 IMF 경제 위기 이후 후퇴 일로를 걷고 있는 여성노동의 현실과 과제를 살펴보고자 합니다. 필자 황현숙님은 현재 서울여성노동자회 회장을 맡고 있습니다.

우 리 사회의 성폭력 문제는 온 국민이 알게 된 끔찍한 아동 성폭행, 유명 정치인의 성희롱 등으로 자주 언론에 오르내리는 이슈가 되었다. 직장내 성희롱으로 고용평등상담실의 문을 두드리는 여성들의 호소 또한 가벼운 성적 농담이나 접촉을 넘어서 심지어는 강간에 이르는 경우조차 발생되고 있다. 직장내 성희롱은 그 자체가 미치는 정신적․신체적 악영향, 노동환경의 악화뿐만 아니라 일자리 자체까지 위협받게 된다는 데에 그 심각성이 있다.

[Editor’s note] It’s been 10 years since the Equal Employment Counseling Office support system was introduced through the 4th Amendment to the 2001 Equal Employment Opportunity Law.  During that time, the Equal Employment Counseling Offices of private organizations have been functioning as female workers’ practical safeguards and have acted as liaisons that report to society the realities that female workers encounter. Through the case consultations received in the Equal Employment Counseling Office, Ilda and the Women Workers Association intend to look at the realities and problems of women workers, who are losing ground after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.   Author Hwang Hyun-sook  is the current head of the Seoul Women Workers Association.

Through incidents of horrible child molestation, a famous politician’s sexual harassment, and others of which the entire nation is aware, our society’s problem with sexual violence has become an issue that often comes up in the press.  According to the complaints of women workers who’ve knocked on the Equal Employment Counseling Office’s door because of sexual harassment, there are also cases occurring that surpass light sexual jokes or touching to go as far as rape.  Workplace sexual harassment itself not only has bad mental and physical effects and worsens work environments, but is even of such a magnitude that jobs themselves [of victims] may be threatened.

(Source)

일자리 위협으로 이어지는 직장내 성희롱

“과장이 ‘피곤하지?’라며 손, 팔을 주물러 너무 불쾌하여 늘 가슴을 조이며 지냈어요. 어느 날 허벅지를 만지기도 하여 우울증에 시달리다가 문제제기를 하였더니 그 후 재계약을 하지 않겠다는 통보를 받았어요. 성희롱으로 실직하게 된 것 같아 너무 억울해요.”(2009년 상담사례, 계약직)

“사 장님이 자꾸 만나자고 하면서 ‘옆에 오면 가슴이 떨린다. 만나면 안고 싶고 무릎을 베고 누워 얘기도 하고 싶고 즐기고 싶다. 나를 받아 줄 수 없냐.”고 하더라고요. 남자에 대해 관심이 없다고 거절했더니, 부장을 통해 퇴사하라는 통보를 받았는데……“(2009년 상담사례, 2개월 근무)

성희롱 가해자가 사업주, 상사 인 상담은 매년 75~85% 가량이다. 가해자가 인사권을 직접 가지고 있는 경우가 많아 성희롱을 거부하거나 문제제기했을 경우에는 직. 간접적인 괴롭힘으로 스스로 그만두게 하거나 권고사직, 심지어 다른 사유를 들어 해고하는 사례들도 나타난다. 그래서 성희롱이 발생해도 공론화하기 어렵고 이를 은폐하도록 가해자가 권력을 행사하기도 한다.

Workplace sexual harassment extending to job threats

“My manager would ask, ‘Are you tired?’ and massage my hands and feet; it was so uncomfortable and I always went around feeling anxious.  One day he even touched my thigh and so while suffering from depression, I made a complaint; because of that I received notice that my contract wouldn’t be renewed.  I became unemployed because of sexual harassment – it’s so unfair.” (2009 counseling case, contract worker)

“The president of the company often asked me out and said ‘When you come near me my heart pounds.  If we go out I want to hold you, put my head in your lap and talk, and have fun.  Can’t you accept me?’  I refused, telling him I wasn’t interested in men, and through the general manager I received notice that I was to resign…” (2009 case consultation, working for 2 months)

Every year, about 75-85% of the consultations are ones in which the perpetrator of sexual harassment is the business’ owner or victim’s boss.  There are many cases in which the perpetrator is directly in charge of the company’s human resources.  Because of this, when the victim has rejected the perpetrator’s advances or made an official complaint, there have been cases in which the perpetrator may cause her to quit though direct or indirect harassment, urge her to resign, or even find grounds to fire her.  Therefore, even though sexual harassment occurs, making it public is difficult and the perpetrator often exerts his authority to conceal it.

(Source: unknown)

성희롱의 온상, 회식자리 남성중심 문화

“입 사한지 1주일 만에 본사 간부급 직원들과 회식자리가 있었어요. 간부들이 버릇인양 손잡기, 어깨동무하기, 허리 감싸기, 끌어안기, 볼 부비기……. 마치 간부들을 위해 여직원들이 대접하는 자리 같았는데 어렵게 입사하여 그만둘 수도 없고 어찌해야 할지……” (2007년 상담사례, 정규직)

“회 식 2차로 노래방에 끌려가다시피 갔어요. 술 마신 남직원들이 안으려고 해서 피했는데, 갑자기 뒤에서 끌어안더니 들었다놓았다하는데 과장, 계장 모두 묵인하고, 계장은 블루스를 추자고 하더라고요. 그래서 울면서 집에 왔는데 동기들도 다른 구청이나 동사무소 근무하면서 회식자리 성희롱 때문에 너무 힘들어 해요. 블루스를 춘 여직원한테는 잘해주고, 안 추면 욕하고 못살게 군다고 하더라고요.” (2007년 상담사례, 공무원)

회 식문화가 변하는 곳도 생겨나고 있지만, 회식자리에서의 성희롱은 지금도 일상적으로 일어나고 있다. 회식자리는 직장내 위계적 관계의 연속으로 상사의 기호에 맞추어야 하고 그의 요구에 따라야 하는 업무의 연속처럼 진행된다. 우리 사회의 남성 중심적인 문화, 위계질서가 이어지는 회식 문화는 여성들의 고용환경을 악화시키는데 일조하고 있다.

The hotbed of sexual harassment, office dinner male-centric culture

“I was at an office dinner with head office management-level employees only a week after joining the company.  The executives had habits of holding my hand, putting their arms around my shoulders and waist, hugging me, pressing their cheeks against mine…   It was like a place for the female employees to serve executives; it was hard to get a job here so I can’t quit and [don’t know] what to do…”  (2007 case consultation, regular employee)

“I went to the second [drinking-heavy] part of our office dinner like I was being dragged.  Male employees who were drinking were trying to hug me so I avoided them; suddenly I was embraced from behind and picked up and put down.  The manager and section chief overlooked everything, and the section chief asked me to slow-dance with him.  So I came home crying; also my peers who work at other district offices or dong offices have a really hard time because of sexual harassment at office dinners.  They say the female employees who slow-danced are treated well, and if you don’t dance they curse and treat you badly.” (2007 case consultation, government employee)

There are places where office dinner culture is changing, but sexual harassment at office dinners happens regularly even now. Office dinners progress similar to the  business itself, in which one must adjust to the preferences of a superior ahead of one in the workplace’s hierarchical relationships, and follow his demands.  Our society’s male-centric culture and hierarchy-connected office dinner culture lead to the worsening of women’s working conditions.

(Source)

친밀한 관계가 질곡인 영세소규모사업장 성희롱

“5 명도 안 되는 회사에서 근무한지 2개월인데 사장이 아침부터 술을 먹자고 하고, 남자친구랑 몇 번 하냐고 묻고 ‘나랑 애인 같은 거 하자’는 소리를 자꾸 해요. ‘이런 소리 들으려고 일하는 거 아니다’라고 말하면 무릎 꿇고 안한다고 하면서도 술만 마시면 또 그러니 일자리가 아니라 고문받는 자리 같아요.”(2008년 상담사례)

“연 말에 사장이 송년회를 가자고 해서 부담스러웠지만 가게 되었어요. 결국 2차까지 가게 되었는데 노래방에서 강제로 키스를 하고 옷 속으로 손을 넣어 몸을 만졌어요. 거부하면서 강하게 밀쳤더니 “난 사장이고, 넌 경리야”, “너 내일부터 나오지 마.”라는데, 다시 직장을 알아보면서 화도 나고 얼굴 보는 것도 두렵고 생각할수록 화가 나고 억울해요.“(2008년 상담사례, 사업주와 2명 근무)

영세소규모사업장의 성희롱은 가해자가 사업주인 경우가 많아 실질적인 법적 조치가 어려운 점, 성희롱 예방교육 특례조항 적용 사업장이라 예방교육이 실시되지 않는다는 문제점이 있다.

업 무적으로 둘만이 접촉하는 경우가 많아 사업주의 부당한 성적 요구나 사적인 친밀감을 성적 언행으로 표시하는 경우도 잦다. 성희롱을 거부하면 바로 그만두라는 통보를 받는 노동권 위협의 문제도 크지만, 매일 가까운 곳에서 얼굴을 마주쳐야 하니 버티고 싶어도 버티기 어렵다는 어려움이 있다.

Sexual harassment in a small business bound by close relationships

“I’ve been working for 2 months at an office that doesn’t even have 5 people in it; from the morning on the president suggests drinking together, asks me how many times I do it with my boyfriend, and keeps saying ‘Let’s date or something’. When I say, ‘I don’t work in order to listen to this kind of noise’, even though he gets on his knees and says he won’t do it [anymore], when he drinks, he gets like that again, so it’s like a torture chamber, not a workplace.” (2008 case consultation)

“At the end of the year, the president wanted to have an end-of-the-year party, so I went though it was annoying.  I ended up going to the second part and at a karaoke room he forcibly kissed me and put his hands under my clothes and touched me.  I refused him and pushed him hard so he said ‘I’m the president and you’re the bookkeeper’ and ‘From tomorrow, don’t come in [to work] anymore.’  I’m looking for another job and I feel angry and afraid of seeing his face, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get and the more unfair it feels.”  (2008 case consultation, office with company president and two people)

There are many cases in which the perpetrator of sexual harassment in a small business workplace is the business owner, so real legal measures are a challenge, and they are workplaces to which the Sexual Harassment Prevention Education Exception Clause applies, so there is the problem of prevention education not being implemented.

There are many cases in business in which two people only have contact with each other, so cases in which the business’ owner expresses his unjustified sexual demands or personal feelings of intimacy through sexual speech and behavior also frequently occur.  If victims rebuff the sexual harassment, the labor rights-threatening problem of immediately receiving notice to quit is serious, but there is also the drawback that because they have to see the other person’s face nearby every day, even though they want to endure it [keep working], enduring it is difficult.

(Source)

늘어나는 서비스직, 늘어나는 고객에 의한 성희롱

“고객센터에서 근무하고 있는데 외주업체 소속 강사가 메신저로 ‘만나자, 남자친구와 몇 번 했냐는 등의 말과 스킨십을 하는데 법적으로 어떻게 처리할 수 있을까요?” (2009년 상담사례, 텔레마케터)

“노 인돌보미 일을 하고 있는데, 고객이 70세인데 전직 교장이래요. 첫날부터 자꾸 몸을 밀착해오고 ‘젊은 사람이 곁에 있으니 내가 다시 남성이 되는 느낌이다’, 어제는 노골적으로 ‘아랫도리가 되살아난다’며 치근대 괴로워요. 어떻게 해야 할지…….“(2009년 상담사례, 45세)

고 용형태와 업무 방식이 다양해지면서 업무상 맺는 관계의 폭도 다양하고 복잡해졌다. 협력업체나 거래처 직원, 대인서비스직의 성희롱도 다양하게 나타난다. 그리고 간병이나 노인돌봄 같은 사회서비스 일자리가 늘어남에 따라 재가 돌봄서비스에 종사하는 여성들의 성희롱 피해상담도 늘어나고 있다.

Increasing service-industry workers, increasing sexual harassment by customers

“I work in a customer service center.  A supervisor [actually she uses the word for “lecturer” but I think that’s a mistake] affiliated with our subcontractor says things on Messenger like ‘Let’s go out’, ‘How many times have you done it with a boyfriend?’ and so on, and does skinship [touching like they’re in a relationship].  How can I deal with this using the law?” (2009 case consultation, telemarketer)

“I work in elder care.  My patient is 70 years old and says he used to be a school principal. From the first day he has often pressed up against me and said ‘Because there’s a young person at my side I feel like I’m becoming a man again’ and yesterday, saying bluntly, ‘My lower body is coming back to life”, he made pass at me; I’m really upset.  [I don’t know] what to do…” (2009 case consultation, 45-year-old)

As types of employment and ways of conducting business are diversifying, the range of relationships formed through business is also diversifying and becoming complicated. Sexual harassment of employees of subcontractors or clients, and personal service workers also presents itself in various ways.  Also, in line with the increase in social service positions like nursing or elder care, sexual harassment victim counseling for women working in in-home care is also increasing.

(Source)

성희롱은 사적인 일?

“남자 동료가 수시로 농담을 하면서 뽀뽀하자, 너도 밤일 할 줄 아냐는 등 수치심을 갖도록 하여 회사에 제기하였는데, 개인의 일이라고 개인적으로 대응하라고만 하는데……”(2009년 상담사례)

직 장내 성희롱은 안전한 환경에서 일할 노동권과 직접 관련이 있다. 그래서 남녀고용평등법에서도 직장내 성희롱을 금지하고 있을 뿐만 아니라, 사업주의 의무로 △직장 내 성희롱의 예방을 위한 교육 실시△성희롱 행위자에 대하여 징계나 이에 준하는 조치를 취할 것△피해자에게 해고나 다른 불이익 조치를 하지 말 것을 규정하고 있다. 그런데도 성희롱이 발생하여 이를 사측에 문제제기하면 위의 상담사례처럼 개인적인 일로 치부해 버리는 문제들이 여전히 일어나고 있다.

Sexual harassment is personal business?

“A male coworker often makes jokes and says, ‘Let’s kiss’, ‘Do you too know how to do night work [sex]?’ and other things to humiliate me so I made a complaint to the company.  They said it was personal business and just told me to deal with it privately…” (2009 case consultation)

Workplace sexual harassment is directly related to the employee’s right to work in a safe environment.  Therefore, the Equal Employment Opportunity Law not only prohibits workplace sexual harassment, it also stipulates, as the business owner’s duty, 1) implementation of education for the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, 2) disciplinary action, or taking steps in accordance with disciplinary action, against the perpetrators of sexual harassment, 3) not firing or taking other disadvantageous action against victims.  However, when sexual harassment occurs and is reported to the management, problems with it just being regarded as personal business, as in the case consultation above, are still coming up.

(Source)

고용평등상담실 통해 가해자의 공식사과와 징계 등 확보하기도

“부 원장님이 간호사들에게 안마를 해달라고 하거나 성적인 얘기도 잦아 힘들었어요. 며칠 전에는 맨발로 제 다리를 쓰다듬었는데 징그럽고 수치스러운 느낌 때문에 정신과 상담까지 받았어요. 그런데 고용평등상담실에서 도와주셔서 부원장은 공개사과와 감봉처분에, 병원 전체에 성희롱예방교육까지 실시하게 되었답니다!”

“과장님 성희롱 때문에 괴로웠는데 상담실에서 도와주셔서 공개사과도 받고 가해자는 다른 근무지로 전출되어 얼굴보지 않고 근무할 수 있게 되었어요!”

직 장내 성희롱 자체가 노동환경을 악화시키고, 이를 문제제기하면 해고나 불이익이 따르기도 한다. 그러나 다른 여직원들을 위해서라도 그냥 있을 수 없다며 이에 맞서 문제를 제기하는 여성들 또한 늘어나고 있다. 이렇듯 권리를 확보하게 되는 사례도 많았지만, 일자리 자체의 불안정이 갈수록 커지면서 적극적인 대응을 주저하는 경우도 많은 안타까움이 있다.

Securing perpetrators’ public apology, disciplinary action, etc., through the Equal Employment Counseling Office

“The vice director frequently asked the nurses to give him massages or talked about sex, so it was difficult.  A few days ago he stroked my leg with his left foot; because of the nasty and shameful feeling, I even got psychiatric counseling.   But the Equal Employment Counseling Office helped me so the vice director’s public apology and pay docking measure, and even sexual harassment prevention education for the whole hospital were implemented!”

“I suffered because of my manager’s sexual harassment, but the Equal Employment Counseling Office helped me so I received a public apology and the perpetrator was transferred to a different workplace so I don’t see his face and I’ve become able to work!”

Workplace sexual harassment itself has a negative effect on a work environment, and if one reports it, dismissal or disadvantages often follow.  However, the number of women saying that, for the sake of other women workers, they can’t just [let it] be and accordingly, making complaints, is rising.  In this way there have been many cases that secured rights, but regrettably, as the instability of jobs themselves increases, there are many cases in which [victims] hesitate to take assertive action.

(Source)

직장내 성희롱 문화? 이젠 바뀌어야

직장내 성희롱을 겪으면 그만두라고 할까봐 참고 견디거나, 문제제기하면 결국 피해자가 그만두게 되는 상황이 더 이상 반복되지 않도록 해야 한다. 지난 해 여성노동자회 고용평등상담실에 접수된 성희롱 발생 사업장의 78%가 성희롱예방교육을 실시하지 않은 것으로 파악되었다. 그러므로 사업장에서는 형식적이지 않은 예방교육 실시해야 하고 사내에서 발생하는 성희롱에 대하여 조사와 조치, 재발방지 대책 등을 마련하여 실시해야 한다.

그 리고 정부는 이런 사항들이 실질적으로 이루어지도록 적극적인 행정지도·감독을 해야 한다. 또한 남성 중심적이 아닌 성인지적 관점의 성희롱 인정, 영세사업장장의 성희롱 예방교육 지원 확대, 돌봄서비스노동의 성희롱 실태조사와 예방교육 및 대책 등을 마련해야 한다. 이를 통해 우리 사회와 직장 전반의 남성 중심적인 문화가 변화될 때 직장내 성희롱에 대한 인식과 대책의 변화 또한 이끌어낼 수 있을 것이다.

Workplace sexual harassment culture?  Needs to change now

We need to make it so that situations in which, if one experiences workplace sexual harassment, they hold back and endure it because they’re afraid of being told to quit, or in which if they report it, they end up quitting, are no longer repeated. Last year, 78% of the workplaces reported to the Women Worker’s Association’s Equal Employment Counseling Center for sexual harassment were places where sexual harassment prevention education had not been implemented.  Therefore, in the workplace, prevention education that is not cursory needs to be implemented, and for sexual harassment that occurs in-house, research, action, recurrence prevention measures, etc., need to be arranged and implemented.

The government needs to use assertive administrative guidance and supervision to make these remedies become reality.  Also, recognition of sexual harassment from a gender-sensitive perspective that is not male-centric, securing support for sexual harassment prevention education for the owners of small businesses, research, prevention education, and measures regarding the sexual harassment of care-industry workers, etc., have to be arranged. When, through these, both our society’s and all workplaces’ male-centric culture changes, they will also be able to lead to changes in the understanding of and countermeasures for workplace sexual harassment.

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Reading the Lolita Effect in South Korea, Part 1: The role of K-pop and the Korean media in sexual socialization and the formation of body image

A simply surreal video making the rounds at the moment. As explained by Lisa at Sociological Images, it:

…beautifully illustrates the socialization of children into particular kinds of worship. With hand motions, body movements, and facial expressions, this child is doing a wonderful job learning the culturally-specific rules guiding the performance of devotion.

Which led to a great deal of discussion at that site, but I’ll confine myself here to echoing Jason’s comment that it simply reminds him of his son picking up his own behaviors such as sweeping, and that the young girl:

…certainly isn’t worshiping here, but is just mimicking her parents and the other people around her. I can guarantee she has no concept of a deity.

But what has all that got to do with K-pop, let alone Meenakshi Durham’s The Lolita Effect? Well, because after reading all that, it was very interesting comparing my daughters’ own reactions to KARA’s Lupin just half an hour later. First, those of 4 and half year-old Alice:

Then with her 2 and half year-old sister Elizabeth:

Granted, perhaps you had to be there…and in which case I probably would have removed my laundry from the floor first (sorry). But I didn’t notice it myself, because at the time I was simply transfixed.

You see, along with dozens of other K-pop music videos, Alice and Elizabeth must have watched and “danced” to Lupin at least 20 times before that night. But that was the first time that Alice at least seemed to demonstrate that she not only remembered it, but actually knew it very well, and was performing repetitive actions that were recognizably part of the same dance…which she’d demand the chance to do 7 more times before going to bed.

Unfortunately for my paternal pride though, in hindsight she was neither simply copying the music video nor giving her own original interpretation of it: as confirmed by her teacher later, she’s preparing for a Christmas performance at her kindergarten soon, and – yes – she’ll be dancing to Lupin.

So what’s the big deal? After all, while I’m still translating the lyrics myself (or at least I was until my “study” got invaded), they seem harmless enough:

But what if the kindergarten teachers had chosen Mister instead?

Or something by the Wondergirls perhaps? Two weeks from now, might I have looked on in abject horror as my 4 year-old kept thrusting her bottom out at me while singing I’m So Hot?

(See here for the video; unfortunately, the owner has disabled embedding)

No, because first, no matter how much WonderBaby’s appearances on national television could be construed as widespread public acceptance of that sort of thing, my wife confirms that many other Korean parents would also have complained well before then.

But second, and most importantly, actually Alice has already been thrusting her bottom out at me like the Wondergirls, for about 3 months now.

Seriously: several times a day, she’d suddenly run up to me giggling when I was at my desk, quickly thrust her bottom out at me a few times, then she’d run away in hysterics. Fortunately, she seems to have largely grown out of it now, but not through any discouragement on my part, which just seemed to make doing it all the more amusing for her.

Why did she start in the first place? I’ve no idea, as although she could have seen that dance move virtually anywhere, she wouldn’t have had any idea what it represented, or what adults would think of it. Perhaps one of her teachers overreacted to her or one of her classmates doing it or something, after which it became fun.

But whatever the reason, does that mean that it’s hypocritical to have any misgivings about Wonderbaby then?

Hell no. But to counter the argument that it’s just clean harmless fun, let’s be very specific about what the problems with her dancing to So Hot on national television are exactly. I can identify 2 main ones.

First, there’s the fact that Wonderbaby quite literally invites the viewer to view her as a sexual person. Of course, she probably has virtually no idea of the meanings of what she’s singing, let alone the consequences. In which case, one might already reasonably ask what she’s doing there in the first place, and in cases like this it is usually this naive, unknowing projection of sexuality that adults tend to be most concerned with. As explained by Durham in The Lolita Effect:

…the signals that girls send out about their sexuality, often naively, in response to the prevailing media and marketing trends, [are] signals that adults fear will attract harmful sexual attention. As the columnist Rosa Brooks lamented in the Los Angeles Times, “old fashioned American capitalism…is busy serving our children up to pedophiles on a corporate platter”….

….These charges open up quite a can of worms. Can marketers in fact “serve” children up to pedophiles? Is there any real danger in young girls wearing low-cut, skimpy, or “trashy” clothes, or is this just a harmless fashion trend designed to raise parental hackles, like so many others in the past? Could it even be seen as a feminist moves towards embracing a femininity or “girliness” scorned by previous generations and linking it to power rather than passivity? (p. 69)

I’ll return to the last point later. But before I do, from the outset I want to put paid to the notion that even children that young are completely neuter and/or are unaffected by sex in the media:

For children to take an interest in sex is not out-of-the-ordinary or scandalous. Even toddlers “play doctor” to explore each others’ bodies and mimic intercourse, though scholars are still debating what constitutes “normal” sexual behavior in young children. Sex is a part of life, so it is bound to surface in different ways at different developmental stages; it is not cause for alarm unless there is harm or abuse involved. Of course, sexuality needs to be dealt with in ways that are appropriate for the age and maturity of the child, the cultural and social context, and above all, the ethical implications of the situation, but sex per se cannot reasonably be viewed as harmful to minors. (p. 68)

And in particular:

The conventional wisdom is that interest in sex escalates as children approach adolescence; this is a biological viewpoint that connects the hormonal shifts and physical maturation of puberty with an increased interest in sex. But now sexuality marks preadolescence and childhood, too, and for many adults, this is justifiable cause for alarm. In today’s world, children as young as eight report worrying about being popular with the opposite sex; first graders describe being sexually-harassed by classmates; and by middle school, kids are steeped in sexual jargon, images, and exploration. Sex educator Deborah Roffman argues that little girls start wanting to look good for others at age four….(p. 65)

Very few – if any – cultures have found ways of adequately and appropriately dealing with the inconvenient fact of child sexuality (let alone the media) but surely Wonderbaby’s example doesn’t help. Nor do the music videos discussed below with slightly older girls either, but which I only realized thanks to Barry Raymond, a friend of mine that used to live in Korea (and now with 3 daughters himself):

No, that’s not them: rather, it’s a screenshot from the music video for Bang! (뱅!) by After School (애프터스쿨), which I translated back in June. One of my favorite Korean songs, I was originally a little miffed when Barry criticized it because the inclusion of the young girls, to which I replied on Facebook:

I’m usually quite wary of that too Barry, especially in Korea, where people are generally very reluctant to admit that things like that can be problematic. But in this particular case I think their presence is fine personally, because they’re gone within the first 20 seconds or so, and don’t perform any dance moves that can be considered remotely sexual. So they’re clearly supposed to be decorations at the beginning, considered quite separate to the grown-up (sexual) women of the group.

His response:

The lyrics and dancing that make up the song and video are all about sex. To place a child at the beginning of that exploits them in a sexual way. How would you feel about a child appearing at the beginning of Bad Romance or some other Lady Gaga song. It’s a girl group exploiting itself on the basis of sexuality, at least in this song. That is their choice, don’t force it upon the clearly underaged girls that appear in the video or try to make it appealing to an underage audience.

Me:

Hmmm, you may well have a point there, which I admit I wouldn’t have considered if you hadn’t brought up imagining the same in Bad Romance; I wonder if that shows just how used to that sort of thing I am here?

(15 year-old f(x) band member Sulli {최설리} in Oh! Boy Magazine; see here {source})

And finally, albeit admittedly after my asking if I could post it here at some point(!):

According to Wikipedia… See More’s typology of child pornography, the type described as posing involves (allow me to paraphrase) ‘deliberately posed pictures (video) of children fully clothed, partially clothed etc. where the context and/or organization suggests sexual interest’.

The”Bang” video places two clothed girls wearing the exact same attire as the older models at the beginning of the video. The girls dance alongside the older models where the older models are dancing in a sexually provocative manner (the younger girls are not in my opinion dancing in a sexually provocative manner). It should also be noted that while the girls wear the same outfits as the older models the fitting of their outfits is not alarmingly provocative although the same outfit on the older models is certainly sexually provocative. So we have a situation where several sexually provocative models are juxtaposed with what appears to be virtually identical under-aged girls. This to me would constitute a context of sexual interest where the line between the older models and the younger models is intentionally blurred.

Further to this context would be the lyrics….and the title of the song, “After School” along with the school oriented marching parade uniforms. To me this video is unambiguous contextualized sexual exploitation of children.

Is judging the Korean media and Korean music videos with an assessment system developed by the Paedophile Unit of the London Metropolitan Police merely imposing a Western value system on Korea? You decide, although I’d wager that in fact the Korean police have a very similar system.

Either way, not much later one of After School’s subgroups – Orange Caramel –  did the same again with their music video for A~ing (아잉):

For the sake of providing sufficient warning of the slightly NSFW image coming up in a moment, let me take the opportunity here to point out that it’s not so much the lyrics and dance moves that are the issue this time (see here for a video with them), but more having a child in a music video “sugar-coated with sexual undertones,” with an “obviously pedobaittastic tone,” and with “kinky cosplay lolita outfits”, all as noted by Johnelle at SeoulBeats. And so much so, that this next screenshot…

…instantly reminded of this next image, which I’ve had on my hard drive for years, from God knows where. Not looking very closely at the small print before then, I’d always assumed that it was the cover of an erotic fiction book, but it actually turns out to be a poster for a pornographic cartoon:

(Source: unknown)

Continuing with A~ing though, just in case you think Johnelle and I are exaggerating:

And in particular, these costumes, which – correct me if I’m wrong – seem to serve no other purpose than to have one’s breasts spill out of them:

All good wholesome stuff. So like Johnelle notes, what’s with having a little girl dressed up in the same kind of vinyl red riding hood get-up as the women at the end?

So,  does all the above mean I’m advocating that girls should never be allowed to appear in sexually-themed music videos (and so on) then? Yes, I guess so.

But how to set a minimum age for that? After all, the upshot of everything I’ve written so far that any age limit would be somewhat arbitrary and artificial.

If I did have to to set an age though (and it would be very unrealistic not to have one), then I’d say that the age of consent would be the most logical choice. Unfortunately however, in Korea that happens to be as low as 13 (see here and here), even though the age at which one can view and perform in sexually-related material and/or have reliable access to contraception is 18.

Yeah, I don’t see the reason for the huge discrepancy in age limits either…which is not quite the same as arguing that any of them should be 13.

But that’s a subject for another post. In the meantime, one argument against any age limit on appearances is that the average age at which girls begin to menstruate has been dropping steadily since 1850, so much so that – in developed countries at least – they now enter puberty between the ages of 8 and 13. It would be a pity to deny girls the right to express their ensuing sexuality in popular culture, especially with female sexuality in general being repressed and/or literally viewed as evil for so much of human history.

(16 year-old Bae Su-ji {배수지} of Miss A {미쓰에이}. Source)

Yet the notion that the feminist sexual empowerment of girls and women is what primarily motivated the appearances of Wonderbaby, the girls in the After School videos, the tight pants of 15 year-old Sulli, and 16 year old Bae Su-ji’s pose above is simply absurd, and indeed there is solid evidence that most young female entertainers are in fact pressured to wear their supposedly empowering skimpy clothing (and dance provocatively) rather than doing so out of choice. But although such arguments have still been made in Korea nevertheless, the overwhelming public attitude is to stick one’s head in the sand and deny the existence of teenage sexuality at all (let alone child sexuality), as this Korean commentator complains himself.

And in a sense, this is the official Korean government position too, if the article “Swept up by Girl Groups” by Jeong Deok-hyun is anything to go by. You can find it on pages 44-48 of the March 2010 edition of Korea Magazine, the official magazine of the Korean Culture and Information Service (downloadable here), and about this specific part on page 48…

“The shadow of recession and nostalgia:  Some are so surprised by the elder generations’ enthusiasm for girl groups that they cannot help but mention the Lolita complex. Nevertheless, that would be an example of an exaggerated principle that remains from the past authoritarian era. In the course of shifting from a masculine-dominated era to one of feminine equality, the imposing frames of age and gender are being slowly torn down. The time has come in pop culture where a man in his 40s can cheer for teenage girl groups without being looked at suspiciously.”

…my friend Dr. Stephen Epstein, Director of the Asian Studies Institute at Victoria University wrote to me:

The logic here is almost comical: the empowerment present is not that it brings young women to a heightened sense of their own possibilities in the world (which is mentioned nowhere in the piece), but rather that pop culture commodification of sexuality has reached the point that middle-aged men now have the privilege of ogling teenage girls in bands without fear of embarrassment. Now that’s what I call empowerment….

(Source)

But again – and this bears repeating – its not girls’ sexuality itself that is the problem. Rather it is that:

…the expression of girls’ sexuality seems to be possible only within an extremely restrictive framework. Girls’ sexuality, it seems, has to comply with the markers of sexuality that we recognize, and it cannot be manifested, recognized, or mobilized in other, potentially more empowering and supportive, ways.

This is a form of mythmaking. When a concept as complicated, multilayered, and diverse as sex is reduced to expression through a single channel – the one involving lacy lingerie, skintight clothing, and the rest of what Ariel Levy calls “the caricature of female hotness” – it has to be seen as construction or a fabrication, in which the complexities of the subject are flattened into a single, authoritative dimension, and in which all other possibilities are erased.

So it is important to think about the ways in which girls are being coached to aspire to “hotness” by popular culture, and how the commercialized definitions of “hot” offer beguiling but problematic representations of sex that limit its vast and vital potential. (pp. 70-71, emphasis in original).

And that is the second major problem with WonderBaby’s appearance: how it already sets her on that path, and/or provides an example for others to follow. And while that is by no means a problem confined to Korea – Durham’s book alone is testament to that – it is taken to extremes here. As like I explain in Part 1, it is near impossible for a young aspiring female singer or actress to advance her career without doing “sexy dances” on numerous talk shows and entertainment programs:

And yet strangely, when 30-somethings (and above) do the same it is usually only as part of a big joke, as if they were suddenly neuter. Moreover, whenever a girl group’s music video features sexy dancing and lyrics that aren’t exclusively designed for a male gaze, then they have a very good chance of being banned from television, as anyone with even just a passing familiarity with K-pop can attest to.

But on a final note, one frequent complaint I have about most articles and blog posts on this subject is that they rarely explain why this is the case, nor why younger and younger women and girls are becoming more involved over time. And indeed, for all its popularity, even Durham isn’t as clear about this as I would like either, and I had to read her book several times to figure out what she actually means by “The Lolita Effect” exactly.

In short, it is the natural consequence of various industries’ (fashion, cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, diet-related, food, and so on) need to build, expand, and maintain markets for their products, which obviously they would do best by – with their symbiotic relationship with the media through advertising – creating the impression that one’s appearance and/or ability to perform for the male gaze is the most important criteria that one should be judged on. And the younger that girls learn that lesson and consume their products, the better.

Simplistic? You bet, and I’d be the last person to deny the role of a whole host of other factors, including – for one – the fact that basic biology makes women’s physical attractiveness a much more important factor in choosing a mate for men than vice-versa.

But do consider that: there is not a single country that did not also experience “housewifization” as a consequence of development; that in economic terms at least Korea is now officially the most consumerist country in the world, and much more so than the US (no, really); that comsumerism was explicitly conflated with national-security and anti-communism by the Park Chung-hee (박정희) regime of 1961-1979 (and very much still is); and finally that Korean women played a crucial role in that last, as that last link makes clear.

Given all that, then is anyone surprised that Korean women the thinnest in the developed world, yet actually consider themselves the fattest, and act and spend accordingly?

Correlation not always implying causation be dammed. And if nothing else, I hope I have at least persuaded you of that link with this long post!

(Source)

The “Reading the Lolita Effect in South Korea” series:

Sex and the University: Part 2

(Sources: left, right)

With thanks to reader Marilyn for translating it, here is the second of four articles on that theme that were recently published in the Yonsei Chunchu (연세춘추) campus newspaper:

대학생들, 신중하게 즐겨라, 섹스 칼럼니스트 박소현 인터뷰

University students, enjoy cautiously! Interview with sex columnist Park So Hyun

현재 「일간스포츠」에 ‘처녀들의 수다’라는 칼럼을 연재하고 있는 박소현 칼럼니스트의 원래 직업은 방송작가다. 연애칼럼으로 시작해 자연스레 섹스에 관련된 칼럼을 쓰고 있다. 저서로는 『쉿! She it!』『남자가 도망쳤다』가 있다. 섹스에 대해 거리낌없이 글을 쓰지만 보수적인 집안에서 자라 지금도 필명으로 활동하고 있다. 박 칼럼니스트에게 대학생들의 연애와 섹스에 대해 물어봤다.

Park So Hyun, whose column “Single Girls’ Talk” currently appears in ‘Ilgan Sports’, originally wrote for TV programs.  After starting with a dating column, she now naturally writes a column related to sex.  Shh! She it! and He Escaped are among her writings.  Though she writes openly about sex, she grew up in a conservative household and so even now uses a pen-name.   We asked Ms. Park about the love and sex lives of university students.

(Source)

Q. 설문조사에서적지않은수의학생들이연애에서성관계는필수적이라고답했습니다. 연애에서섹스가필수적이라고생각하시는지?

Q: In a study, considerable numbers of students said that sex is essential to dating.  Do you think that sex is essential to dating?

A. 동의합니다. 그렇다고 사귀면 무조건 해야 된다는 이야기는 아니고, 상대에 대한 마음의 깊이에 따라 신중하게 결정하는 과정이 뒷받침돼야겠죠. 섹스를 원하는데 사회의 기준을 따르느라 ‘하면 안 된다’라고 생각하거나 이를 억지로 참는 건 좋지 않다고 생각해요. 하지만 20대 초중반에는 성욕과 사랑을 구분하는 게 어려울 수 있어 섹스가 관계를 그르치게 되는 경우가 많을 수 있어요. 그러니 연애가 성숙해지고 나서 신중하게 결정하는 것이 필요해요.

A: Yes, I think so.  However, that’s not saying that it’s something you absolutely must do when dating, and it must be supported by a careful decision-making process according to the strength of your feelings toward your partner.  I think wanting sex but following society’s norms and thinking “Having sex is not allowed”, or suppressing it forcefully, is not good.  However, in our early to mid-20’s, separating sexual desire from love can be difficult so there can be many cases in which sex ruins a relationship.  Therefore, dating requires making decisions carefully after becoming mature.

(Source)

Q. 잡지를보면성관계에서의고민에서테크닉에대한조언까지성에대한정보가넘쳐나는데, 대학생들에게이런정보가도움이된다고생각하시는지?

Q: Because of worries about sex, magazines are overflowing with information about sex that even goes as far as advice about technique.  Do you think that this kind of information is helpful to university students?

A. 저도 가끔 의뢰가 들어오면 잡지에 글을 쓰기도 하는데, 그런 정보들에는 트렌드가 담겨있어요. 물론 테크닉이나 내 애인은 어떤 걸 좋아할지를 참고할 수는 있겠지만 결국 성적 문제는 자기 기준, 자기 인생관에 결부되는 문제예요. 트렌드보다 자신이 더 중요하죠.

A: If a commission comes in, I also sometimes write for magazines; that kind of information includes (is made up of?) trends.  Of course, technique or what my partner will like can be taken into consideration, but in the end sexual problems are problems linked to personal standards and outlook. One’s self is more important than trends.

(Source)

Q. 요즘젊은사람들의경향을봤을신기하거나놀라웠던점이있다면?

Q:  When you’ve looked at the tendencies of young people today have there been any amazing or surprising points?

A. 정말 사회가 많이 개방적으로 변한 것 같다고 생각이 든 게, 혼전섹스나 동거 같은 것이 많이 자유로워진 것 같아요. 전 30대 후반인데 제가 학교 다닐 때만 해도 그런 얘기 자유롭게 못했었거든요. 놀라웠죠. 책임이 뒷받침돼야 한다는 사실만 기억한다면 괜찮다고 생각해요.

A: The thing that makes me think that society seems to have really become more open is that things like premarital sex and living together seem to have become much more natural.  I’m in my late 30s and even just when I was going to school, we couldn’t speak freely about that kind of thing.  It’s surprising.  If you just remember the fact that responsibility needs to underlie it (it needs to be backed up by responsibility?), I think it’s okay.

(Source)

Q. 대학생들에게해주고싶은조언이있다면?

Q: Is there any advice you would like to give to university students?

A. 제가 처음 칼럼을 쓰기 시작할 때는 예전에 실패했던 경험들을 반성하는 느낌으로 많이 썼어요. 20대는 정말 실수할 수밖에 없는 시기라고 생각해요. 제가 자주 하는 말 중에 “나쁜 섹스는 빨리 잊어라”라는 말이 있는데 연애나 성관계에서의 실수와 자기 인생을 너무 깊게 연관 짓지 않았으면 좋겠어요. 물론 실수를 통해 깨닫는 바는 있어야 하겠죠. 하지만 그 실수에 얽매이지 말고 털고 일어나라는 거예요. 그리고 다시 한번 말하자면, 신중해야 해요. 저도 한때 남자들과 많이 자봤다는 걸 자랑스럽게 생각한 적도 있지만 결혼하고 나서 돌이켜보니 그렇게까지 할 필요가 있었을까하는 생각이 들어요. 자기감정, 욕구에 솔직해 자유롭게 관계를 가지는 것도 좋지만 절제할 줄 아는 미덕도 있잖아요. 그때는 멋있어 보이고 즐거울 수 있지만 뭐든지 얻는 게 있으면 잃는 게 있기 마련이에요. 가벼운 생각으로 결정했을 때는 후회가 반드시 뒤따를 수 있다는 것을 명심했으면 좋겠어요.

A: When I first started to write my column, I often wrote with a feeling of self-reflection on my past failed experiences.  I think that our 20s are a time when we really can’t help but make mistakes.  “Forget bad sex fast” is among the things I often say, and I hope that they don’t make (feel?) a connection between their mistakes in dating or sexual relationships and their lives too strongly. Of course, through mistakes we have to come to some realizations.  But don’t get tied up in the mistake, let it go and get back up.  And to repeat myself, you have to be cautious.  For a time I also thought with pride about the fact that I’d slept with many men, but after marriage, when I looked back, I wondered if going that far was necessary.  Being honest about your personal feelings and desires and having relationships freely is good,  but there is also the virtue of self-control.  At that time I looked cool and could have a good time, but if there’s anything to gain there’s certain to be something to lose.  I hope they keep in mind that if a decision is made without much thought, regret can certainly follow.

(Part 1, Part 3, Part 4)