Korean Gender Reader


A poster for the upcoming movie Plump Revolution, in which Lee So-jeong puts on weight for a man (Lee Hyeon-jin) whose ideal type is a plump woman. Hopefully, it will have more helpful social messages than 200 Pounds Beauty (2006) did!

Body Image/Health:

Lookism or Insecurity: Cosmetic Surgery in South Korea (Kim Yuri; video by Jean Chung)

— Unrealistic Representations of Women in G-Market Ads: Part 1, Part 2 (Kim Yuri)

In China, a Radical Solution for the Sunburn (The Atlantic)

Where is the ‘S-Line’? Male-Female Split in Netizen Opinion (Korea Bang)

Rainbow’s leader wins suit against plastic surgeon (Korea Joongang Daily)

When Idolizing Idols Goes Too Far (Seoulbeats)

North Korean women can wear trousers and high heels at last (Daily News)

Confessions of a Retoucher (gemmaruthwilson{dot}com)


MV Censorship to Hit Online Content Next Month (MTV-K)

New Regulation That Might Shake Up K-Pop World: Music Videos Require Review Before Online Releases (Soompi)

Korean Groups Declare War on Internet Pornography (Korea Bang)


School Employee Sentenced to 12 Years for Raping Deaf Student (Omona They Didnt)

Supreme Court puts to rest Korea University molestation case (Asian Correspondent)

Women’s rights group protests violence against women (The Korea Herald)

Odd Sexual Harassment Ruling Gets Mocked Online (Global Voices)

Korean police seek reforms to ‘prevent another Oh Won-chun’ (Asian Correspondent)

Man ‘Molests’ Girl at Driving Range, is Fined. Netizens Divided (Korea Bang)


Growing up with Banana Fever (The F-Word)

Touching the Opposite Sex in Korea (Seoulistic Videos)

The menace of ‘foreign peril’ media (Groove Korea)

Response(s) to the MBC report (Gusts of Popular Feeling)


The dangers of the call of nature (The Marmot’s Hole)


In Pictures: Korean Sex Workers’ Day (Research Project Korea)

Decriminalizing prostitution in Korea (The Korea Herald)

Seoul court rules to prevent posters advocating for gay rights (Korea Joongang Daily)

Korean prostitutes caught on tape in Tokyo (The Tokyo Reporter)

Can Korea ever accept homosexuals? (The Korea Herald)

When We Acknowledge Difference, Life Becomes a Festival: Participating in the 13th Korea Queer Culture Festival’s Parade (Ilda)


North Korea has Girl Groups Similar to Girls’ Generation? (Soompi)

Poor Treatment of Female Inmates in North Korean Gulags (Korea Bang)

Spotting Suicidal Tendencies on Social Networks (Technology Review)

The gentleman’s syndrome: A look into the real-life 40-something man-about-town (The Korea Herald)


To people who ask, “What is it that women’s organizations have done?”: The hate underlying the “__ Girl series” and criticism of women’s organizations (Ilda)

‘Strikingly’ few women in Asia’s top jobs (Rappler)

Seoul City initiatives to improve lives of women (Korea: Circles and Squares)

Park Chu-young’s Military Service Mess (The Diplomat)

Women can help save the Korean economy (The Dong-a Ilbo)

Lookism, Snarkiness, and Judgment at Work in Korea (The Unlikely Expat)

Income Gap between Men and Women Widens in Korea (Arirang)

The place of young women: Girl power up (The Economist; China)

New-fangled feminism: Self-dignified indeed (The Economist; China)

Pop Culture:

What’s it like to be women in Korea’s indie scene? (MTV-K; video automatically opens)

The Baddest Female Seoul City Ever Had: CL, artist of the year 2011 (Frank Kogan)

Photos of Tanned K-pop Band Spark Controversy over Skin Colour (Korea Bang)

A Gentleman’s Dignity: Dumped for Wearing a Sexy Dress (Lobotronic)

Only Caucasian Actress/Models Sought for B2ST MV (Omona They Didn’t; Asian Junkie)

4-Minute sings Hindi: Re-visiting cultural insensitivity and why society sucks (Angry K-Pop Fan)

Four Minutes to Build a Case for Cultural Sensitivity (Seoulbeats)

More on cross-cultural encounters: a response to Seoulbeats (Radio Palava)


Electronic Wristlet Rental Service for Children at Haeundae Beach (Busan Haps)

Turning One (Lee’s Korea Blog)

More Older Singles Are a Challenge for the Government (The Chosun Ilbo)

Many Prefer to Stay Single Forever (The Chosun Ilbo)

…Or maybe it should be titled Many have no choice but to stay single forever (Alleyways)

Should Mommy Blogs Be Censored? (Geek in Heels)

Dads of Reddit: How has having daughters changed your perception of women? (Reddit)

Asians Are Immigrations New Face (The New York Times; The Unlikely Expat; ROK Drop)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

7 thoughts on “Korean Gender Reader

  1. Surprised and disappointed about the Seoul court ruling to prevent posters advocating for gay rights – I thought Seoul authorities were more liberal-minded than that but I don’t exactly know the power structure and how these people got their jobs.


    1. Likewise. I’m a bit puzzled by the Seoul court’s logic as well: if I’ve read it correctly, they’re basically saying that protesting pulling the ads down and/or not allowing them in the first place (depending on the district) is an administrative rather than a civil matter, in which legal rights to equality and freedom from discrimination can’t really (or easily?) be brought to bear.

      Also, in response to this – “After the ad was displayed, there were hundreds of phone calls to the office complaining and protesting the ad, so it’s not likely we will permit such campaign ads in the near future,” added the official – it would be interesting to know how many phone calls exactly and how many different people made them (and there’s also a possibility that the official is exaggerating). It just reminded me of a case of one year in NZ in the 1990s when complaints about sexual content etc. on television seemed to skyrocket, but it turned out that it was just 2 people who had made the vast majority of those complaints.

      I can understand about the person putting the posters up being denied financial compensation though.


    1. Thanks for passing that on, and sorry that you couldn’t reply on the original post(s): for the sake of some house-cleaning, and dealing with some trolls, I’ve temporarily restricted commenting on posts to a maximum of 30 days after they go up.

      Update: Back to normal now! :)


      1. The poster is already sending signals. I just have no faith in this film sending any positive messages about being fat. Obviously I’ll wait for it to come out but nah. No faith.


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