Korean Gender Reader, March 9-15

La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Frank Dicksee 1902(La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Frank Dicksee, 1902; source)

“This picture is fascinating to me because of its portrayal of a powerful female character who doesn’t fall into any of the typical modern ‘Strong Female Character’ cliches.

The woman is the powerful, sexually assertive and threatening figure here, while the man is the more passive figure, visibly vulnerable to her. However, this portrayal of a woman as assertive and powerful doesn’t rely either on sexualizing her or on presenting that power in masculine ways.”

(Kawabilia, via Peppermint Kiss)


Congratulations to Lee on the birth of his son Alex! (Lee’s Korea Blog; update)

Bake Sale & Flea Market for The (Gwangju) Vagina Monologues at GIC on March 23 (KoreaMaria)


A review of Gaijin: Cultural Representations through Manga, 1930s-1950s, by Karl Ian Uy Cheng Chua (Dissertation Reviews)

‘Supporting unwed moms key to reducing adoption rate’ (The Korea Times)

Queer Links from the Week (The Kimchi Queen)

Cute Girls Finish First: Is aegyo a form of power? (Beyond Hallyu)

Reading List: The Works of Alexander Chee (The Kimchi Queen)


Equal Opportunity Sexual Objectification in K-Pop (Footnotes)

2013 Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men (Speaking of China)

Editor calls netizens out on their bullshit, netizens deny everything (Netizen Buzz)

The Price of Marriage in China (The New York Times)

Honors for female cadet at top military academy (Korea Joongang Daily)


Confessions of a Fangirl: Exotics, You Guys Aren’t Half Bad (Seoulbeats)

Is Korean defamation law too strict? (The Korea Herald)

More disgust with gender stereotyping in Korean workbooks (Hagwon Style)

Another student commits suicide over school violence (Netizen Buzz)

On Int’l Women’s Day: Celebrated in China, Forgotten in America (Speaking of China)


How valuable are stars in the Korean film industry? (Modern Korean Cinema)

Alarming Lack Of Women Scientists In South Korea (Asian Scientist)

Korean ‘Baby Box’ orphanage saves babies’ lives (Netizen Buzz)

Korean single mothers in the eyes of Korean men (Loving Korean)

North Korea attacks South Korea’s president’s ‘poisonous’ skirt (The Telegraph; The New York Times)


Controversial Book on Abortion in South Korea Triggers Debate (koreaBANG)

Military chaplain applicants rejected on ideological grounds (The Hankyoreh)

South Korea Struggles To Rein in Bullying, Student Suicides (Korea Realtime)

China’s top ten porn search terms might surprise you (SFW) (Shanghaiist; see Korea’s here and here)

‘Insufficient dress’ rule goes viral on Internet (Korea Joongang Daily)


Hating Sexual Minorities Is Not a “Right” (Ilda)

Korea reels over the suicide of high school student as more info on his abuse is revealed (Netizen Buzz)

The Secret Behind Girl Group Members’ Abs Is… (Soompi)

What managers actually do behind the scenes (Netizen Buzz)

Short Films: Suddenly Last Summer (지난 여름, 갑자기 ) and Going South (남쪽으로 간다) (The Kimchi Queen)


Corporal Punishment Getting Punished in Japan; Don’t throw pens at the kids! (Japan Subculture Research Center)

When Scandal Statements Go South (Seoulbeats)

What’s in a Scandal? (Always Rational K-Pop)

Plastic Island (The Korea Times)

MUST READ: Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams (Arstechnica)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

4 thoughts on “Korean Gender Reader, March 9-15

  1. Didn’t you hear about the sexist Samsung S IV Launch?
    Here is the full 50 minutes, So far I’ve only seen the first 20 or so minutes and not much has happened yet…

    “Samsung Galaxy S4: what the analysts (and others) say”
    From the professionals to the onlookers, reactions to eye-tracking, tilt-scrolling, language-translating – and stereotyping? – roll in
    “And finally, there’s some real anger directed not at the handset itself, but at the way that Samsung introduced it. Molly Wood, at CNet, was outraged by the “tone deaf and shockingly sexist” proceedings: “I don’t get offended very often. But Samsung’s long parade of ’50s-era female stereotypes, in the midst of an entirely other long parade of bad stereotypes, just put me over the edge. Oh, they announced a phone? You’d barely know it.”
    “Part of the target of her ire – given that, in her view, all the participants seemed like stereotypes, including the “tow-headed kid” who trotted on stage – was that at a time when Yahoo is run by a woman and Facebook’s second most senior person is also female, the women on stage were, well, ultra-stereotypical:

    “Samsung Puts Women in Their Place During Galaxy S IV Launch”
    The launch event for Samsung’s new Samsung Galaxy S IV phone verged on offensive when the emcee used a group of bridesmaids (pictured above) to illustrate all the woman things the phone can do, like cooking and weight loss and wedding planning — oh my. For example, Samsung used the gaggle in heels to introduce S Health, which, as the name suggests, uses sensors to monitor your health. As one of the women sipping wine on stage squealed, women would like this because… “weight!” And that was just the end of it. At one point, a burly man distracted a woman who used one of the photo features to take a pic of him. Then, he took off his shirt. In another demo, the women talked about how the air gesture controls would come in handy while cooking because of… “sticky fingers.” (Possible double entendre sex pun there?) At one point the phrase “while the women are cooling off” got thrown in there. Sigh.

    This kind of alienating-to-women stuff happens all the time at tech events and shouldn’t be taken as a surprise. And yet, it is a surprise. While it might seem like a way to draw in female customers, it’s just another reminder that tech is a dude’s club.

    “Samsung GS4 launch: Tone-deaf and shockingly sexist”
    “But you know what’s even better than better acting, better production, and better script-writing? Dumping the crappy female stereotypes in the first place. In fact, I would have settled for the “slightly better” scenario of including only 1 or 2 crappy female stereotypes. Once you get hit with 5, 6, 8, or 10 in a row, it really starts to feel a lot less hilarious.
    I started my journalism career as a sports writer. I’ve been in the tech industry for 14 years. I’m pretty good and used to being one of a few women in the room, and it generally suits me just fine because there’s never a line for the restroom and I can take it. But once in a while, once in a very rare while, something comes along that I just absolutely can’t ignore. And this show was one of those things.”


  2. “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”:

    Interesting interpretation of that painting in that it shows no awareness of the source poem, which carries the less-than-liberated warning that a sexually charming woman is bound to lead you to ruin alongside countless other men.


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