Korean Gender Reader, December 15-21

Park Geun-hye(Source)

For anyone interested in my thoughts about the election result, Vishakha N. Desai at the Asia Society sums them up much better than I could:

The fact that so many Asian countries have accepted women as political leaders and heads of state long before Americans have managed to put a woman in the White House has led some observers to believe that it must mean Asian societies are ahead of the Western world in accepting women in leadership roles. The truth is far more complex than the simplistic observation that this automatically means women will benefit from such role models at the pinnacle of their power. In the case of Park, she may have earned the position on her own merits more than other female counterparts, but that doesn’t mean her leadership will bode well for women’s rights in South Korea or the region during her tenure.

See Tales of Wonderlost here and here for short but telling summaries of exactly what Park Geun-hye has done for women’s rights so far; National Public Radio and Arirang for people’s expectations of her in this regard; and Bloomberg for more on the paradox of why Asia leads the globe in the number of years women have ruled, yet also leads the globe in gender discrimination (Hint: Many of those leaders come from political dynasties). Also, I think it says a lot about a candidate’s and his or her party’s democratic credentials when they refuse to extend voting hours to allow more people of working age to vote, effectively disenfranchising them.

Other interesting reporting on the election include what it says about Korea’s rapidly aging population and increasingly large generation gap; and Roboseyo’s suggestions that Park Geun-hye should (but probably won’t) cut the government’s extensive ties to mass media (the role of biased reporting in the elections was also mentioned at Global Voices), as well as radically reforming the National Security Law.

Update: Seungsook Moon’s article at CNN is also a must-read.


Auditions in Gwangju for The Vagina Monologues – Feb 3 (Korea Maria)

Survey: How do you keep in contact with Koreans? (Loving Korean)

Body Image, Health

Korean Teens Ask ‘Please Rate My Face’ on Online Community (KoreaBANG)

Looking Pretty In North Korea (NK News)

Dueji and ‘Diet’ stamps: the importance of weight in Korea vs. the United States (Mapping Words)

Girl’s Day Yura’s cute tummy flab ‘looks good’ (Netizen Buzz)

Plastic Face — Grimes and Brown Eyed Girls (Frank Kogan)

Honesty is the Best Policy for B.E.G and Plastic Surgery (Seoulbeats)

Local lads slap on Korean makeup for K-pop look (Asiaone Showbiz)

“Beauty” According to Google (Tales of Wonderlost)

A Video about Fashion and also Beauty in Korea (Foreigner Joy)

The absence of help: a Korean girl’s testimony on recovering from an eating disorder (Mapping Words)

Meet 1912’s Perfect Woman: Pear-Shaped, 171 Lbs, Doesn’t Know Fear (Jezebel)

Samsung chip plant caused woman’s breast cancer, S. Korean gov’t agency rules (Monster Island; ILDA)

Censorship, Media

Teenagers’ Exposure to Sex in the Media (South Korea Human Rights Monitor)

Grab them while you can: Hara, HyunA, and Hyorin’s ‘Chum-Churum’ CFs to be taken down (Omona They Didn’t; Netizen Buzz; The Chosun Ilbo; allkpop)


New police guideline allows easier house searches (The Korea Herald)

USFK Soldier Sentenced To More Time In Korean Jail for Drugs Than A Korean Received for Rape (ROK Drop)

A Crackdown on Sex Crimes Against Children? What Crackdown? (Expat Hell)

Dating, Relationships, Marriage

Female Body Issues That Arise When Dating Asian Men (AMWW Magazine)

Christmas in Korea: It’s time for romance! (Seoulbeats)

How Did You Know He/She Was The One? (Geek in Heels)

On My Negative Dating Experiences With Chinese Men, and Why I Still Kept Smiling About China’s “Dating Scene” (Speaking of China)

Education, Parenting, Demographics

Apparently Being a Student-Parent is a “Colossal Blunder” (Omona They Didn’t)

Adoptee’s search strikes a chord (Korea Joongang Daily)

Why are Korean men estranged from their families? (The Korea Times)

Vietnamese Population on Rise in Korea (Arirang)

A day in the life of a Chinese kindergarten – in pictures (The Guardian)

Pregnant pause (The Hong Kong Standard)

Sex-Specific Toy Preferences: Learned or Innate? (Homo Consumericus)

Economics, Politics, Workplaces, Ladygate

Our New President: the Views of Korea’s Young Women (The Three Wise Monkeys)

Female business owners rank higher than men in particular areas (Korea Joongang Daily)

Justifying Conscription? (Sorry, I Was Drunk)

What Conscription Really Means for Koreans (Beyond Hallyu; update)

S. Korea to cut mandatory military duty by three months (Yonhap)

Closing the Gender Gap: A short PDF introduction (OECD)

Migrant workers report physical abuse, wage discrimination (The Hankyoreh; see here also)

51% of Japanese public thinks wives should stay home (The Daily Yomiuri)

Japan’s Suicidal Salarymen Are Dying for Work (Vice)

Global Times to leftover women: Find a gay best friend because no-one else will love you (Shanghaiist)

LGBT, Sexuality

I Will NOT Love You Long Time (Fuck yeah, feminists!)

Yet another sexy reason why robots will replace humans [NSFW] (io9)

Queer Links from the Week (The Kimchi Queen)

So I take it the classroom will be a homosexuality-free zone? (The Marmot’s Hole)

Reading List: Homosexuality in ancient and modern Korea (The Kimchi Queen)

More Men Kissing Men Please: The Need for LGBT Representation (The One Shots)

Here’s some news about the only gay men to exist in Korea (Omona They Didn’t)

Reading List: Queer North Korea (The Kimchi Queen)

Pop Culture

From Sexual to Sensual (Seoulbeats)

T-ara turns down alcohol cf but gets on board with Pachinko ad (Omona They Didn’t; Netizen Buzz)

What’s in a Logo? (Seoulbeats)

End of the Road?: Ten Rookies We May Not See Come 2013 (MTVK)

Koreaboo: Phase or Foe? (Seoulbeats)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

8 thoughts on “Korean Gender Reader, December 15-21

  1. No matter how complex the reasons behind Park Geun-hye’s victory are, this does prove that majority of Koreans is not AGAINST woman leading them.

    I don’t like the notion that she has a duty to fight for women’s rights just because she is a woman. She is a politician, not a women’s right activist. If we really treat men and women equally, then we should demand of all politicians, male or female, to fight for women’s rights, yet it is only coming up now because she is female.

    P.S. Thank you for the link to our survey.


  2. Re: voting hours, all students and government workers had the day off, and soldiers could vote on base. On the other hand many old folks closed market stalls and shops so they could vote. I really think the turnout relative to age had more to do with apathy than anything else.


    1. I wanted to make much the same comment. Not extending hours hurt procrastinators more than laborers.

      I’m less sympathetic to extending voting hours in a place like Korea where it’s a national holiday, except in exceptional situations (e.g., voting machines didn’t work and had to be replaced or repaired to get going, etc.).

      I voted in person for the first time since I was an undergrad, having voted absentee in California elections while in Seoul and then Honolulu. In Hawaii, unlike most of the US, election day is a holiday, and so there is much less sympathy for people who got their too late. We did have some polling places run out of ballots, with exceptions made for those extenuating circumstances.


      1. Sorry, but it isn’t a public holiday at all. While schools, government offices, and banks certainly do have to close, and, like Yu Bumsuk said, soldiers have no problem voting, for every other business it’s at the owner’s discretion. So, while it’s all well and good that small business owners and so on can close their stores if they choose, that doesn’t help those working for less civic-minded bosses.

        Loath as I am to quote Dave’s ESL as a source (my first Google hits), this and this should explain. Certainly, many hogwan teachers at least didn’t get any time off!

        But also, regardless of all that, don’t you think it would be a bit strange for there to be such a push for extended voting hours if the day were already a holiday?


  3. This article is wrong and I wasted my time reading it. More conservative nonsense. Pak Geun Hye is great for Korea and good for women too and Koreans had a lot of time to vote. This guy who wrote it sounds very nationalistic and too pro Korean to be trusted and should read about the plight of foreigners in South Korea.


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