Generation Z Men Drive Growth of Cosmetics Industry | Be Korea-savvy
SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — The cosmetics industry is paying close attention to a surge in interest in makeup for generation Z men.

It is noteworthy that AmorePacific Corp., the nation’s No. 1 cosmetics company, on Friday launched its first male makeup brand, BeREADY, 74 years after its foundation.

One of the data sources that AmorePacific referred to for the brand launch was the “2019 Generation Z Male Survey” from the Consumer Trend Center at Seoul National University.

According to the survey, three out of 10 men in generation Z reported using face makeup more than twice a week. Furthermore, more than half experimented with colored makeup in middle school.

AmorePacific plans to introduce products specifically targeting generation Z men in rapid succession.

Meanwhile, Aekyung Industrial Co., a South Korean household goods and cosmetics maker which focuses on expanding the beauty industry, launched the SNEAKY brand last March.

Since most male consumers purchase cosmetics online, Aekyung opted for an online distribution network. Sunscreen and lip balm are currently the most popular products at the online store.

The sales figure backs up the interest of generation Z men in makeup.

Olive Young, a major health and beauty (H&B) chain store, has also launched sales of male cosmetics products. Sales of male tinted cosmetics rose 77 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier.

The figure surpasses the 40 percent annual growth rate of men’s makeup for the past three years.

Sales of base products such as cushions for men and BB and CC cream are also on the rise, up 43 percent in the first half from a year earlier.

“Not only cushion products, but also men’s color lip balm and eyebrow products are particularly popular,” an official from Olive Young said.

Ashley Song (ashley@koreabizwire.com)
Korean-men  Korean-cosmetics  Korean-male-cosmetics  Korean-male-beauty-ideals 
2 days ago
Misogyny in Lesbian Dating Exists | Teen Vogue
As prominent author and Cornell professor Kate Manne describes, “misogyny is the law enforcement branch of patriarchy,” meaning it punishes women who do not fit into its mold and rewards those who do. In essence, misogynistic ideals train and sculpt women into “perfect” prototypes. This is relevant to the lesbian community since, although many of us do not date men, we are still exposed to gender-based societal conditioning. Many of us, such as myself, were raised with misogynistic notions like “men chase women,” “men set the pace.” Sound familiar?

While others have explored how butch lesbians can emulate behaviors of misogynistic men, it’s actually women as a whole who have internalized misogyny and respond accordingly in lesbian relationships.

Since many of my profile photos included more masculine clothing, I discovered I was expected to take the lead in conversations, hookups, and plans. It was a struggle to express my preferences and detach the traditional masculine gender role from my style of dress. It seemed that in the minds of my dates, there was no question that I would assume this more dominant role — and I resented it. I felt this kind of judgement that was likely the result of heteronormative socialization deprived me of the ability to define myself. Women are expected to wait for a man to make the first move, and in my relationships I was the closest thing. At the same time, I lacked the confidence or the assurance that I was allowed to feel this way. I had no idea how to advocate for myself in this context. While I had taken to the streets to advocate for gun safety and climate action, my relationship rights seemed like an afterthought. It seemed easier to lobby Congress than communicate with my partner.

Why was it so hard for me to believe a woman could be hurtful too? After all, the entire point of feminism is to treat every gender equally. But, I felt viewing the behaviors of these women as hurtful would go against the “women supporting women” mantra and feminist ideals I held true. While I now know this is simply untrue, it was confusing to hook up with women while also being a woman.
lesbians  lesbian-dating  internalized-misogyny  gender-roles 
2 days ago
The Atom Bomb Inspired Louis Réard to Design the Bikini | Bitch Media
Designer Louis Réard was one of those people, and it was in the French Riviera that he noticed that, after an afternoon of sunbathing, women would sit up and roll down their two-piece suits to get better tan lines. Inspiration struck, and he soon designed a piece that revealed “everything about a girl except for her mother’s maiden name.” Réard debuted his creation, made from a scant 30 inches of fabric, at a Paris poolside press show on July 5, 1946. No model was willing to touch it, so Réard did the only sensible thing he could: He hired a Parisian showgirl named Micheline Bernardini to showcase it. Much to the shock of the press, she fit the suit into a matchbox that she was holding in the palm of her hand. The world was agog. There was pandemonium. Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe might have regularly worn two-pieces in pinup photos, but they never put their belly buttons on display.

From the moment it debuted, the bikini was a scandal. The Vatican declared the garment sinful, and it was soon banned across Europe, including Italy and Spain. Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, these days known as the land of thongs, banned the bikini from its beaches (along with something called “Hollywood kissing”). In the United States, public swimming pools put up signs with big red block letters spelling out “No Bikinis.” It was like a bomb went off, and people were scrambling to minimize its damage. But that was exactly Réard’s intention. He wasn’t the first designer to create the bikini; in fact, he was in an arms race with another French designer, Jacques Heim, to create the world’s tiniest swimsuit. Heim launched the Atome—named in homage to the tiny, newly discovered atom—which was small, but still covered the wearer’s navel. Réard dared to go even lower, and the bikini he revealed three weeks left Heim’s Atome in the dust.

...It seems that if men approved of the bikini, women would feel free to wear them. “I think the bikini is terrible,” a shopper named Mrs. Ronnie Hixson told the paper. She paused, then continued, “My husband doesn’t like them.” In 1961, stores reported selling about two bikinis a year—and those they sold usually came back because of disapproving parents or husbands. But the curiosity was there, and the women who did buy the small suits wore them to sunbathe in the privacy of their backyards or building rooftops. In 1962, The Tennessean shined a light on that secret with an article entitled “Bikinis Lurk Behind Those Fences, Men!” The two-piece became an underground movement, where women got to tinker with the fashion away from the judgmental eyes of shop owners and pool going audiences. It took the United States more than a decade to warm up to the bikini, and even then, the swimsuit was still met with protests.
bikini  fashion-history  nudity 
3 days ago
To Create an Immigrant-Friendly Japan, Start with Education Reform | The Diplomat
The Japanese economy has been suffering in part because of an aging population, resulting in an extreme shortage of young labor. To compensate, Japan has begun actively allowing in foreign workers. Government data released in April 2019 show that the number of resident foreigners hit a record high of 2.22 million, 1.76 percent of Japan’s population.

Has Japanese society welcomed these foreign workers with open arms? Not always. Shunsuke Tanabe, a Waseda University Professor explains, “Many people in Japan think public security is getting worse as the number of foreign residents increases,” an attitude that leads some to discriminate against newcomers. Many foreigners living in Japan feel alienated, often experiencing verbal or even physical abuse. For example, according to a survey conducted by the Anti Racism Information Center (ARIC) in Tokyo, a human rights organization made up of scholars, students, and NGO workers, 167 out of 340 foreigners, including students, claimed that they have suffered from discriminatory acts.

Why is this happening? Although education is not often discussed in connection with immigration, the roots of the problem lie in the secondary school system, which elicits and encourages these types of discriminatory behaviors. The Japanese school system incorporates militaristic and conformist ethics and permits strong government control over education through textbook and curricula censorship. Regarding curricula, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) controls all K-12 educational materials. Schools have to follow guidelines called gakushu youryou, which tell schools what and how to teach — and which also excludes comprehensive humanistic education about topics such as human rights. Through this strong control, the ministry works to shape obedient students who will easily conform to social norms, not only in schools but also in their supposedly homogeneous society.

The conformity that is encouraged in Japanese schools not only stifles uniqueness and personal expression among Japanese individuals, it also helps to shape a social consciousness that is suspicious of outsiders. The Japanese school system is strictly education-focused rather than highlighting personality-building, and most schools from the junior high school level onward have unreasonably strict rules regarding appearance and behavior; students are regularly required to wear school uniforms and act in accordance with strict rules. There are very specific guidelines designed to maintain a conservative appearance, such as keeping clean-cut hair with a natural black color, wearing only white shoes and socks, no makeup (some schools allow natural makeup), no piercings, and so on.

Some rules regarding appearance have already caused problems related to the increasing foreign population and to mixed children in Japan. For example, many schools have tried to force foreign children, who do not have naturally black hair, to dye their hair in an attempt to avoid standing out too much. This seems a bit irrational; however, this is part of the education system’s way to maintain uniformity and peace in order to avoid possible cultural dissent. The conformist environment nurtured in the Japanese education system poses a direct challenge to immigrant or mixed students, but it also has a clear role in shaping the attitudes of Japanese adults in ways that are not conducive to creating a welcoming society for immigrants.

Another consequence of Japanese schools’ conformist tendencies, which fail to embrace differences, is that many students who appear or act differently from the understood norm can become victims of severe ijime (bullying). According to statistics from 2015-2016, the Japanese Ministry of Education claims there have been around 224,540 reports of school bullying. Japanese students show collective and group-centric behavior in their ijime process, targeting victims because they are different in one way or another. These students might be new to the school, slower at doing things compared to others, prefer being alone (which is considered strange in the group-centric school system), handicapped or ill, of mixed heritage, or poor, for example.

Even Japanese students who return from living abroad can be victims of ijime, “According to one study,” says Yoneyama, “two-thirds of 50 returnee children (kikokushijo) who responded to a survey indicated that they had been bullied because of their overseas experience—because of their English ability, lack of competence in Japanese, different manners, attitudes and ways of thinking.” If Japanese students are so inclined to discriminate against Japanese who have merely lived abroad, this suggests challenges for their future behavior with respect to immigrants hoping to integrate into Japanese society.

If Japanese policymakers really want to successfully promote immigration in Japan, it will require reform of some of their most fundamental educational institutions and practices, a dimension that receives too little attention in the current discourse. While taking in foreign workers who will potentially become victims of discrimination, the government needs to implement policies that will reform the education system to prevent unfair treatment toward people of difference by softening the strict and militaristic rules and by teaching its people to embrace diversity instead of over-conformity in the secondary school system.

Asia Dobbs is an M.A. student in Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa focusing on minority issues and the educational system in Japan. She is also a researcher working in the UH Manoa library’s Takazawa Collection where she manages materials related to leftist social movements in Japan. She holds a B.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Japanese-education  Japanese-conformity  Japanese-hierarchy 
3 days ago
[Editorial] Changing attitudes on sexual violence is the responsibility of everyone : Editorial & Opinion : News : The Hankyoreh
Indeed, while there have been multiple Supreme Court precedents in terms of “authority,” what really fueled the controversy over Ahn’s case was a misguided notion of “victimlike behavior.” Following her allegations, Kim had to endure a second form of victimization. She faced nonstop questions about whether the assault was not really an “affair.” The court in the first trial cited Kim’s actions the day after the assault as a basis for concluding that her testimony was not credible. In contrast, the second court acknowledged that her testimony was “consistent” and stressed that “the idea of ‘victimlike behavior’ is a narrow perspective” – sounding the alarm over the kind of re-victimization that is so rife in South Korean society. It also clearly stated that “gender sensitivity” should be actively considered when examining a victim’s testimony. This means that while the credibility and consistency of testimony should come under scrutiny, consideration in sexual assault trials should also be extended the full context and circumstances, including the situation faced by the victim and his/her psychological state and relationship to the accused. When the Supreme Court stated that the “actions shown [by the victim] around the time of the crime are not actions that would never be observed in a victim,” it could be seen as having underscored that the standard of “victimlike behavior” for determining the truth of a sexual assault has been mistaken.
Korean-Me-too  Korean-rape  Korean-sexual-violence 
5 days ago
Over 2,000 booked for dating violence in July, August
The National Police Agency said Friday that 4,185 cases of dating violence were reported between July and August during a two-month crackdown.

Of those reports, 2,052 led to suspects being booked and 82 led to suspects being detained.

Physical assault was the most common type of abuse reported, accounting for 64.1 percent of the complaints. Forcible confinement was next, accounting for 9.6 percent of the reports, followed by breaking into homes at 5.5 percent.

The largest percentage of accused people, 35.7 percent, were in their 20s. Those in their 30s accounted for 24.5 percent, while 19.4 percent were in their 40s and 13.4 percent were in their 50s.

By employment status, 25.7 percent were unemployed, 14.6 percent worked office jobs and 9.2 percent were self-employed.

According to the agency, police made efforts to protect victims in 1,926 cases during the same period. These efforts included patrolling and installing closed-circuit TVs around the victims’ residences, providing location-tracking devices and guiding victims to shelters.
Korean-rape  Korean-date-rape  Korean-sexual-violence  Korean-sexual-assault 
6 days ago
aegyo
'Be Melodramatic' isn't new in its plot, being a meta drama that portrays how a drama is made, but what is new is that it shows how work in South Korea is gendered. Like this scene where society requires women to perform 'aegyo' & emotional labor to appease the men they work with
aegyo  Korean-gender-roles  Korean-workplaces  Korean-workplace-culture  Korean-hierarchy 
13 days ago
Korean education
ROK experienced rapid shift from "test-centric" to US-style "resume-centric" admissions over past 20 years. These hasty reforms had predictable results: education, once an engine of social mobility in Korean society, has become another self-preservation mechanism of the oligarchy

https://twitter.com/AskAKorean/status/1166429226138050560

Stated differently: facing international criticism as a mechanical and test-driven educational system, S Korea transitioned to US-style, "holistic" college admission, which resulted in the true purpose of the US-style admission: favoring the privileged class.

https://twitter.com/oranckay/status/1166460887009333248

A member of the Yonsei-founding Underwood family once told me, “Many criticisms of Korea’s universal standardized testing are fair, but the rich bitch samonims (his words) hate it because for a few hours each year all kids are equal and they can’t bribe anyone.”
Korean-education  Korean-inequality  Korean-hierarchy 
13 days ago
What Is the #KuToo Movement? | JSTOR Daily
Ayako Kano, a professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that emphasizing the health problems of wearing heels for extended periods of time could be beneficial to the campaign. “Could a law banning the requirement be passed? Maybe—if the negative effects to women’s health become a widely shared concern,” Kano said in an email correspondence. “If there is an effort to make it a public health issue (like with smoking in the workplace) then we might see some change.”

Ishikawa summarized the problems of mandatory heels with two major points. First, an emphasis on gender and dress code unnecessarily takes precedence over people of different genders doing the same work. Second, while wearing heels is considered appropriate and polite, manners shouldn’t prevail over efficiency and women’s health. Ishikawa is often seen photographed wearing fancy dresses and flowing skirts paired with sneakers—a way to rebel against society’s rules.
Japanese-Me-too  Japanese-Ku-too  Me-too  Japanese-feminism  Japanese-women 
14 days ago
Named and shamed: Parents not receiving child support are resorting to extremes to get their due-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily
Kim Jun-hee, 42, divorced her husband 16 years ago due to domestic violence. Her ex-husband paid her his court-ordered child support three times, then asked to see his children. When they met, he demanded that the children take a DNA test, saying that he could not trust whether they were actually his children. Since that meeting, he has not given any money to Kim or their children.

In early June, Kim joined Park Ji-young (alias) as she staged a protest against her ex-husband in front of his residence in central Seoul. Park posted a request to the members of the online community “For Childcare: Child Support Solution Association,” asking for support - five members joined, including Kim. According to Park, her ex-husband has never paid his mandatory child support or met with his children since their divorce 11 years ago.

“I have tried literally everything that I can, but there’s nothing I can do but stand outside his house like this,” said Park. “This whole building is his, but the court can’t force him to pay me because he turned over the legal possession to his parents. So legally, he’s broke, even though he flies off every weekend for golf trips.”

According to Kim and Park, there is no realistic way to force ex-spouses to pay child support if they evade their duties. From the moment they decide not to pay and ignore the court’s decision, there are many ways for them to escape but no way of forcing them to carry out their legal duties.

For instance, if the noncustodial parent transfers their legal possessions and assets to someone else’s name, then the court cannot order them to pay because they have no money to their name. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family can request the Commissioner of the National Tax Service or the head of the local government to “garnish the estimated amount from [their] national and local tax refund” - yet, if the official amount of money they earn is zero or close to zero, then there’s nothing that can be done. Another step could be to file for the court to seize the tangible properties from inside their house, but again, the court cannot track anyone down if they flee their house or change their address.

In total, there are seven official legal steps that one could take to get the noncustodial parent to pay up, but there is a way out of each of them.

“Protesting outside your ex-husband’s house is difficult and even terrorizing,” said Kim. “But we do it, because it’s the only thing we can do. If anyone says that they are going to hold a protest, we make time to help each other out.”

One way that a number of divorced parents have resorted to is listing their uncooperative ex-spouses on a website called Bad Fathers. The website, which was founded in July 2018, shows the list of “bad parents” who refuse to pay child support for their children. Their name, picture, date of birth, region and other useful information for people to recognize them are posted on the site. There are currently 59 “bad fathers,” nine “bad mothers” and 14 “bad Kopino fathers” on the site.

While the managers of the site stay anonymous, Koo Bon-chang, 56, is the public face of Bad Fathers. He helps parents list the names of their uncooperative former spouses and assists with protests. As a result, Koo had been reported by 15 people listed on the website for defamation and was charged with a 5 million won ($4,330) fine in May. The Korea Communications Commission did not shut down the site, however, stating that “its benefit to the public is bigger than the damage inflicted onto each individual.”

Koo founded another site called Kopino Father in 2015 to find Korean fathers who desert their Filipino child and wife. According to Koo, although it is technically illegal to post someone else’s personal information online without their permission, it’s perhaps the only way.

“We have had around 300 bad parents who have been reported to the site,” said Koo. “Of that number, 100 people have reached out to say that they will pay if we erase their names from the list. We try calling them before we actually post their names. And we’ve had about 40 cases solved just by telling them that we are going to post their names on the site. It’s called Bad Fathers because four out of five people who don’t pay [child support] for their children are men.”

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family last year, 1.53 million households, or 7.5 percent of all households in the country, are single-parent households. In a survey of 2,500 single-parent households conducted by the gender ministry, 73.1 percent answered that they have “never been given child support” from their ex-spouses since their divorce. While 5.7 percent said that they were paid for a period but had not received any money recently, only 15.2 percent were receiving regular support from the other parent.

“There are regulations that are supposed to help people receive their money, but it’s practically of no use,” said Jung Yu-jung, president of the civil organization Child Support Solution Organization. “There are people you can make pay, whose reputations are crucial in maintaining their jobs. Others, who don’t care, do all they can do evade the law - and it works. And because there’s nothing that can be done, the members [of the organization who have not been paid] resort to risky means like posting the other person’s name on Bad Fathers, or protesting outside of their workplace or homes.”

Jung herself is a mother who has not been paid child support since her divorce 12 years ago. She did not know her ex-husband’s whereabouts until when she registered for a government support program for single parents. “I got a call [from the district office] saying that we were not qualified, because the person obligated to provide financial support to my family - my ex-husband - had seen a rise in his income. That was the first time I had heard news of him,” she said.

The government created a state-run organization called the Child Support Agency in March 2015 after the Act on Enforcing and Supporting Child Support Payment went into effect to “exclusively [support] the enforcement of payment of child support to the custodial parents and [establish] policies for administrative and financial support,” according to Article 4 of the Act. The agency provides various services, such as legal consultations and emergency financial support, and took on 117,000 cases from March 25, 2015 to December 2018.

Yet, the existence of the agency has not made a significant change, as it must function within the confines of the law and there is no way for them to do anything more than provide support and do what many custodial parents have already tried.

“I had such high hopes when the Child Support Agency first opened,” Jung said. “But when I sent them all the papers and files for them to find my husband and make him pay, they actually sent all the papers back to me saying, ‘There’s nothing that can be done.’ I’ve tried everything within the boundaries of the law, and it’s now just up to me to depend on my ex-husband’s conscience to pay us voluntarily.”

Recently, 14 representatives of the National Assembly put forward a bill to amend the Act on Enforcing and Supporting Child Support Payment in order to: seize a noncustodial parents’ drivers’ license if they do not pay their court-ordered child support; prohibit them from leaving the country; make the names of the parents public; and enforce criminal punishment. The bill has yet not been passed.

“There are regulations regarding these situations, but they are not without their limitations,” said Lee Eun-yeong, an attorney at Soongin LLC. “For instance, if the indebted person avoids the court’s [letter] delivery, or they earn less than the legal amount of money that can be seized, then the court cannot force them to do any more than that. That is why people are calling for the government to reveal the names of those people who intentionally evade their duties, like the way they do with business owners who do not pay their employees or execute criminal punishments.”

Lee added, “Unlike other types of debts, child support is directly linked to the children’s rights to survival, and thus should be treated differently.”

Koo appealed the prosecutor’s decision made in May and he is still awaiting the date of his hearing.

“It’s going to be a hearing that will put two rights against each other - the childrens’ right to survival and the parents’ reputation,” Koo said. “Those who report me for defamation obviously put their reputation as individuals first. But this is a case in which the child’s right to life should be put first […] I actually hope to shut down the Bad Fathers website. I hope that the bill is passed, so that there is no reason for it to be there. That way, we will all be happy.”

Kim, a custodial mother, added, “This isn’t about my rights. Couples can break up for whatever reason. But regardless of everything, children need to be taken care of by their parents. I do my part as a mother, but he’s not doing his. They need their fathers’ care and it’s their right.”

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]
Korean-divorce  Korean-single-parents  Korean-single-mothers  Korean-defamation  Korean-libel  Korean-law  Korean-child-custody  Korean-child-support 
15 days ago
Past The Sheen & Into The Underbelly: A deep dive into the K-pop industry [long read]
A Different Industry Structure

The majority of Korea’s major acts are signed to four companies: Big Hit Entertainment, SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment. What differentiates these companies to the labels we have here is they discover, sign and train the talents in a range of things while also owning the production and publication of the music. Whereas agencies in Australia and the US will jump on board once the act has reached a certain level of popularity, these agencies start grooming stars before they are known by anybody. In 2008, The IFPI spotlighted the rise of all-encompassing 360-degree deals in the industry but in many ways, SM Entertainment has been doing this since its inception in the ‘90s.

These agencies are not only focused on music. They are essentially creating brands that can sell merchandise, appear on television and promote Korean tourism. And it’s working. According to South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service, those four companies earned approximately US $1 billion last year. Streaming revenue continues to rise but it’s the prominence of physical music that makes the market so interesting. Acts often release multiple physical formats of an album because it’s a collector’s item rather than a practical purchase. According to the IFPI Global Music Reports 2019, physical music revenue fell by another 10.1% globally, however, South Korea saw a jump of 28.8%.

These agencies know that K-pop extends far beyond the music and they are consistently offering merchandise and experiences to the fans. SM Entertainment has cafes and merch stores in Seoul, lined with pictures and models of their ‘Idols’, as the stars are referred to. You can also eat treats featuring lyrics by their artists and drop cash on a huge array of physical products. YG Entertainment also has restaurants on top of golf academies, a fashion brand, a cosmetics brand and even an in-house modelling agency.

Mobile is also becoming a very important part of the K-Pop market. Just last month, BTS launched their first mobile game BTS World which debuted alongside a soundtrack featuring Charli XCX, Zara Larsson and Juice WRLD. It’s the first move following South Korean mobile giant Netmarble’s acquisition of almost a quarter of BTS’ agency Big Hit Entertainment for $190 million. They are now Big Hit’s second-largest shareholder. Meanwhile, SK Telecom has partnered with SM Entertainment to work to introduce Artificial Intelligence technology into K-Pop. It’s the same telecom company that teamed with SM, Big Hit and JYP to develop a music sales platform to rival existing streaming platforms.

It’s not just telecoms that are getting in on the action. In 2016, Alibaba bought around $30 million worth of SM shares with plans to use K-pop acts to help launch and promote its music division Ali Music. In 2014, Louis Vuitton’s private equity arm, LVMH announced it was investing $80 million into YG Entertainment, assisting the agency’s move into the fashion business.
K-pop  celebrities  celebrity-endorsements  Korean-celebrity-endorsements  Korean-celebrities 
15 days ago
South Korea's controversial 'life-size' sex doll imports
Truth be told, there are no studies about the effect of sex dolls on its users or any possible links between sex dolls and sex crimes, according to Kathleen Richardson, director of the Campaign Against Sex Robots and a professor of ethics and culture of robots and artificial intelligence at De Montfort University. However, Richardson believes that sex dolls are still likely to do harm.

“We live in a commercial world that has been set up for men, primarily, to access women’s and children’s bodies,” she said. “I think we can go one step further and say these people [sex doll consumers] are less likely to have empathy for women, they are less likely to be concerned about sexual assault and they are less likely to be concerned about women’s safety.”

“The very origin story of these dolls come from a very objectified viewpoint of women. For those reasons, I think it’s always going to be problematic,” Richardson added.
sex-dolls  Korean-sex-dolls  Korean-sexuality  Korean-sex-shops  sex-shops 
15 days ago
Blocked in Business, South Korean Women Start Their Own - The New York Times
Ms. Park is one of a new wave of Korean women who are starting their own companies. Frustrated in their climb up the corporate ladder in a male-dominated business culture, they choose to find another way up.

“In education we are equal to men, but after we enter into the traditional companies, they underestimate and undervalue women,” said Park Hee-eun, principal at the venture-capital firm Altos Ventures in Seoul. “Women are disappointed with the working culture, so they want to make their own companies.”

...Only about 10 percent of managerial positions in South Korea are held by women, the lowest among the countries studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, while the gap in pay between men and women is the widest.

These biases infect the start-up sector, too. Building a new enterprise is a risky endeavor in any circumstances, but South Korean women often are not taken seriously by male bankers, executives or even employees.

...But female entrepreneurs still face hurdles in a business world where hardly any women are senior bankers or executives.

Kim Min-kyung found herself in the uncomfortable position of discussing Luxbelle’s lingerie with venture capitalists who were almost exclusively male. “They don’t even understand that fitting a bra can be a business,” she said.

She was rejected so often, she said, “my confidence hit rock bottom.”

The networking and schmoozing that entrepreneurship often requires can be no less awkward. One of Ms. Kim’s investors, an arm of the Lotte business group, offered her office space at a business incubator. The male manager joined the other entrepreneurs there in after-hours beer-drinking outings, a common practice for office colleagues in South Korea. But Ms. Kim wasn’t invited, and was too shy to ask to go.

“If female entrepreneurs want to network with different people, they have to be assertive enough to put themselves right in the middle of the boys’ club,” she said. “It takes a lot of courage among female entrepreneurs to do that, and they find it difficult to start that process.”

...In 2016, she hired a senior manager from a Seoul brokerage firm to augment her start-up’s local expertise. But, Ms. Lee said, he had trouble accepting the fact that his boss was a woman. On one occasion, Ms. Lee felt he undermined her authority in front of the entire staff. When she raised the issue with him privately, she said, he apologized but then made his discomfort clear.

“He said, ‘I think I’m not seeing a woman boss,’” Ms. Lee, 39, recounted. The employee left after only three months.

Many men in South Korea “are not used to seeing a women in power, women who are making decisions, or women as a partner,” Ms. Lee said. “They’ve only seen probably one female executive in their whole lifetime.”

...Ms. Park is continually confronted by discrimination, she said. During meetings with businessmen and even her own colleagues, she is a constant victim of sexual innuendo and jokes, she said, but feels helpless to do anything about them.

“This sort of sexual harassment happens on an everyday basis,” she said, “and the men don’t think it is a big problem.”

The problems are all too obvious at the Energy Nomad factory. As Ms. Park’s meeting with her senior operations manager progressed, he dropped the honorifics in the Korean language appropriate for a chief executive and instead addressed Ms. Park as if she were a younger subordinate.
Korean-feminism  Korean-hierarchy  Korean-workplaces 
16 days ago
Mercury Taints Unknown Number of Skin-Lightening Beauty Creams - Bloomberg
https://twitter.com/crystalpher_/status/1166842343242133504

Crystal Tai
@crystalpher_
Asian women are the world's biggest consumers of skin-whitening products. But some cosmetics are unregulated and carry unhealthy levels of lead. @SheridanAsia
's illuminating report on tainted products in the Philippines. #skincare #asia #cosmetics
skin-lightening  skin-whitening 
17 days ago
'I refuse to regret waking up a day older': Ashton Applewhite's fight for age pride | Science | The Guardian
“I went to a matinee, so it was all old people,” she says, grinning widely as she absentmindedly tousles her hair, the brown roots showing. “When it finished, everyone left via an escalator. I looked down and there was not a grey head to be spotted. I suddenly thought: ‘This is one way we collude, en masse, in making ourselves invisible as older women – and that’s a real problem, because when people are invisible, so are the issues that affect them’.”
aging  confidence  body-image  elderly  labels 
17 days ago
Court upholds school's decision to sack professor for defaming 'comfort women'
The Gwangju District Court has upheld a school's decision to dismiss a professor who made offensive remarks about victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery.

A statue symbolizing "comfort women" installed in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Korea Times file

A former professor of Sunchon National University was fired in October 2017 for inappropriate comments by telling his class, April 26, 2017, that some Korean women probably knew exactly what they were signing up for and volunteered to become "comfort women," choosing to go because they had "skills."

"Considering his position as a national university professor, he committed a serious crime of spreading false information and defaming the comfort women," the court ruled.

The professor, identified by his surname Song, was also sentenced to six months in prison after Sunchon Nabi, a civic group supportive of the former sex slaves, accused him of spreading false information and defaming the victims, who were forced to work as prostitutes in brothels for Japanese soldiers before and during World War II.

During his first court hearing, Song said the words were not intended to defame the women, and he just wanted to put an emphasis on the women who were lured into following Japanese soldiers during the wartime, considering the overall context of the class.

However, the Gwangju High Court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the six-month jail term with the university's decision to dismiss him from a professor position.
Korean-comfort-women  Korean-history  Korean-sacred-cows  Korean-defamation  Korean-law  Korean-libel 
18 days ago
Seoul City Offers Unmanned Parcel Lockers for Women - The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea - National/Politics > National
August 28, 2019 08:27

Women living in Seoul alone have access to a special parcel service where they can pick up their packages from a secure locker in a public place if they don't feel safe opening the door for a delivery at home. The lockers can now be used to send parcels.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has 232 of the machines, mostly located in residential areas with a large number of one-person households.
Korean-singles  Korean-single-households  Korean-rape  Korean-sexual-assault 
18 days ago
What Percentage Of English Words Are Derived From Latin? - Everything After Z by Dictionary.com
About 80 percent of the entries in any English dictionary are borrowed, mainly from Latin. Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. In the vocabulary of the sciences and technology, the figure rises to over 90 percent. About 10 percent of the Latin vocabulary has found its way directly into English without an intermediary (usually French).

For a time the whole Latin lexicon became potentially English and many words were coined on the basis of Latin precedent. Words of Greek origin have generally entered English in one of three ways: 1) indirectly by way of Latin, 2) borrowed directly from Greek writers, or 3) especially in the case of scientific terms, formed in modern times by combining Greek elements in new ways. The direct influence of the classical languages began with the Renaissance and has continued ever since. Even today, Latin and Greek roots are the chief source for English words in science and technology.
English  Greek  Latin 
20 days ago
The Hourglass Figure Is Not a Sign of Fertility and Health | Psychology Today Ireland
I have attended a number of conferences over the last four decades, and I have been impressed by many talks I’ve heard. I have often returned home inspired not only by how much we had learned about human nature but also humbled by how much there was to learn.

I recently attended the 31st annual meetings of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES). Over the years, attendees at this conference have included some of the most brilliant people on the planet (including E.O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Leda Cosmides, Sarah Hrdy, Steven Pinker, and Napoleon Chagnon).

The HBES meetings have always been especially impressive, and the conference last week once again showed just how much I have to learn.

When it's good to find out you're wrong

There is a particularly troubling misconception about science, and it is one that has continued to be advanced even by highly educated academics, including many professors in the humanities and social sciences. That misconception is that scientific beliefs are a simple matter of individual choice and personal taste. On that view, there is no such thing as scientific progress, only a historically arbitrary sequence of paradigm shifts, or changes in what it’s hip to believe today.

But in fact, the hallmark of a scientific approach is the attempt to use rigorous methods to discipline our biases, to overcome our particular preferences about how reality should be, and to force us to objectively consider evidence that reality might, in fact, be a bit different than we were wont to believe.

It is not that scientists are not prone to all the same biases and preferences as everyone else, but if they are doing their job properly, they find ways to force themselves to objectively consider the evidence for or against those biases and preferences. (see the Science of Antiscientific Thinking)

So, it should be particularly satisfying for a scientist to change his or her mind in the face of evidence. But because of all our strong biases, the new evidence has to be solid and convincing.

Thus, I was delighted when I heard UCSB anthropologists Steve Gaulin and William Lassek give a plenary address that actually changed my mind about something I had previously believed.
From Singh 1993 in JPSP, which is an APA journal that permits up to 3 figures to be used in descriptions of the research
Dev Singh's classic study found that men were most attracted to women with waist-to-hip ratios of .7
Source: From Singh 1993 in JPSP, which is an APA journal that permits up to 3 figures to be used in descriptions of the research

Here’s what I believed: “Women with relatively low waist-to-hip ratios (around .7) tend to be healthier and more fertile, and to have healthier children.”

I believed that so strongly that I actually said those exact words in my social psychology textbook (Kenrick, Neuberg, Cialdini, & Lundberg-Kenrick, 2019). And I was not alone in believing this, in fact, it was the explanation offered by Dev Singh, who pioneered in demonstrating that men are strongly attracted to women with relatively low waist-to-hip ratios.

But Gaulin and Lassek’s talk presented evidence that led me to completely change my mind. And then they made it easier to swallow by presenting evidence that strongly suggested another adaptive reason for men’s strong preference for women with hourglass figures (aka a .7 waist to hip ratio).

So, what’s going on? According to the evidence presented by Gaulin and Lassek, and published in a pair of recent articles in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, it is actually healthier for a woman to carry a little extra body fat, even when that fat is stored on her midsection. Furthermore, women with a bit more overall body fat are actually more fertile (Lassek & Gaulin, 2018a; 2018b).

If not health and fertility, what makes a low waist-to-hip ratio attractive?

Is men’s attraction to women with narrow waists simply maladaptive then? No. According to Gaulin and Lassen, narrow waists relative to hips are a signal of mature youth (that distribution of fat is found in women in their early teens; younger girls have narrower hips relative to their waists; older women have wider hips, but also more fat deposited on the waist, especially after they have borne children). Once a girl reaches puberty, she begins to distribute a particular type of fat on her hips and thighs – omega 3 fatty acids. That fat is especially important for her potential offspring's brain development.

The hourglass figure is a signal not that a young woman is now maximally fertile, but that she has not yet had children, and is likely to give birth to healthy children with large healthy brains. In traditional societies, those births are likely to occur almost a decade after the age of the most attractive waist-to-hip ratios.

So, a young woman with .7 waist-to-hip is not so much fertile as nubile (in the sense of having reached puberty, but not yet having borne any children).

The fact that men are inclined to choose women with that particular body shape, Gaulin and Lassen argue, is an indication that our male ancestors were in it for the long run. If they were only seeking partners for the short-term, they would choose slightly older partners with a bit more body fat, who were likely to be maximally fertile over the next few months. Instead, men’s preferences indicate that they are choosing partners who have reached puberty, but who have a maximum number of remaining reproductive years.



References

Kenrick, D.T., Neuberg, S.L., Cialdini, R.B., & Lundberg-Kenrick, D.E. (2019). Social psychology: Goals in interaction 7th edition. Boston: Pearson

Lassek, W. D., & Gaulin, S. J. (2018a). Do the Low WHRs and BMIs Judged Most Attractive Indicate Higher Fertility? Evolutionary Psychology, 16(4), 1474704918800063.

Lassek, W. D., & Gaulin, S. J. (2018b). Do the Low WHRs and BMIs Judged Most Attractive Indicate Better Health? Evolutionary Psychology, 16(4), 1474704918803998.

Singh, D. (1993). Adaptive significance of female physical attractiveness: Role of waist-to-hip ratio. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 66, 298.
hourglass  hourglass-figure  WHR  waist-hip-ratio 
20 days ago
Parental child abduction becomes a diplomatic embarrassment for Japan ahead of G-7 - The Washington Post
TOKYO — A year ago, Vincent Fichot came home to an empty house in the Tokyo suburb of Setagaya. The Frenchman’s wife, 3-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter had vanished. All he had done, he said, was suggest that he might want a divorce.

He hasn’t seen or heard from his family since, and every effort to contact his children has been blocked by his wife, the courts and Japanese police.

“Abduction is child abuse,” he said in the course of several interviews about his case.

Tommaso Perina, an Italian resident of Tokyo, said his wife took their two children for a break at her parents’ house and a few days later decided she wanted a divorce.

Perina hasn’t seen his son and daughter since August 2017. Although a Japanese court granted him visitation rights, his wife has refused to accept the order, and has moved. The police will not tell him where she now lives, he said, or even talk to Italian Embassy officials.

“It’s not that I’m fighting for my rights. I’m fighting for my children’s rights, because they have every right to be with both of their parents,” he said.

Jeffery Morehouse was living in Washington state, where he had won permanent custody of his son, Mochi. In June 2010, he dropped the 6-year-old off with his Japanese mother for a visit; she promptly took him to Tokyo.

Japan’s government refuses to help, even though its consulate in Portland, Ore., played a key role in the kidnapping by issuing the boy a passport in just one day. The last words Morehouse heard from his son, more than nine years ago, were, “I love you, Daddy.”

The three men are among hundreds of foreigners and hundreds of thousands of Japanese parents who have been kept apart from their children by Japan’s distinctive child custody laws, and they are leading campaigns, one in the United States and two here in Japan, to push for change.

Morehouse has briefed members of Congress six times, most recently in May, and has set up Bring Abducted Children Home, a pressure group representing what he says are more than 400 American children who have been abducted by a Japanese parent.

Fichot and Perina, who continue to live in Japan and whose children were abducted here, have helped raise awareness in Europe. Last year, 26 E.U. ambassadors wrote a letter pleading with Japan to respect the right of children to see their parents.

In June, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Fichot and other French fathers and raised their cases with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, describing their situation as “unacceptable.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also spoke with Abe about Italian parents’ rights at the Group of 20 meeting in the Japanese city of Osaka in June. Now, with French and Italian media outlets taking up the issue, the two European leaders are under pressure to speak up again when Group of Seven leaders meet in Biarritz, France, starting Aug. 24.

Last week, Fichot and Perina, along with seven other fathers and one mother, and on behalf of 14 children from the United States, Canada, France, Italy and Japan, filed a formal complaint to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council arguing that Japan was grossly violating the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.

But it is not only, or even mainly, foreigners who suffer: Lawyer Akira Ueno says tens of thousands of Japanese children a year are effectively kidnapped by one parent, who then cuts off contact with the other parent. The second parent — often but not always the father — has no recourse to the authorities for help seeing their children, he says.

Japan is unusual among developed nations in not recognizing the concept of joint custody. Instead, courts give custody to one parent, applying what is known as the “continuity principle” — if the child is settled in one household, don’t disturb him or her. Not only does the law not punish a parent who absconds with a child, it rewards them: Once the new household is established, the court unfailingly awards custody to the “kidnapper.”

Ueno says the problem is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Traditionally, children are not viewed as individuals with rights, or as belonging to their parents, but as the “property of the household” where they live. As soon as children move to a new household, the estranged parent becomes an outsider, with no right to disturb the new one.

Japan’s Justice Ministry says its rules are designed to work in the best interests of children, and that when marriages end badly, it is more practical to give one parent the sole authority to raise their children. But studies show that depriving children of access to one of their parents can be traumatic and psychologically damaging, says Noriko Odagiri, a professor of clinical psychology at Tokyo International University.

“Children feel like their father abandoned them, that he doesn’t love them anymore,” she said.

Young children suffer behavioral problems and from a feeling of hopelessness, she said. Teenagers often drop out of school, and many have low self-esteem.

An “uncountable number” of Japanese parents who are deprived of their children suffer in silence, Ueno said, while politicians who defend fathers face criticism from an unlikely coalition of conservatives, who believe women’s place is in the home, and women’s groups defending victims of domestic violence.

Japan, unlike the United States, has no system for evaluating domestic violence accusations, according to Ueno and Odagiri. As a result, such accusations are routine in divorce cases, and although they seldom stick, they buy the accuser vital time to deny their spouse access and establish effective custody, experts say.

Seiichi Kushida, an opposition lawmaker, says anyone accused of domestic violence is in practice treated as a perpetrator. The fear of stigma, including trouble with employers, is a big reason men don’t fight for joint custody and don’t speak up, he said.

Fichot and Perina were both accused of violence and were able to disprove the claims. Fichot produced receipts, bank statements and photographs to show that his wife was shopping and eating out during a two-week period when she claimed she was locked in the home, and a court ruled that the charges against Perina were false.

Still, in July, a court denied Fichot’s claim for custody. The judge ruled that his wife, having had sole care of the children for more than a year, was more involved in their education and had more of their affection.

Kushida said momentum for change is building. In February, in a response to Kushida in parliament, Abe finally acknowledged that “children would want to see their father and their mother” and asked the Justice Ministry to look into the issue.

Japan signed the Hague Convention in 2014, a move that should have allowed for repatriation of children found to have been kidnapped overseas, but did not enforce its provisions until recently.

The State Department says progress is being made, with new legislation being drawn up to improve enforcement, and 32 kidnapped children returned to the United States since 2014. Still, it remains “highly concerned” about enforcement and about the fact that Japan declined to apply the convention to the “sizable number of cases” that predate 2014. Abductions are also still happening, with eight new cases, involving 16 American children, recorded last year.

None of that helps Morehouse, whose son was kidnapped before 2014, or Fichot and Perina, whose children were taken inside Japan and to whom the convention doesn’t apply. Nor does it help any of the hundreds of thousands of Japanese parents and children whom the system has forced apart.

Morehouse is frustrated that President Trump has, on Abe’s insistence, advocated strongly for Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, meeting their families and raising the issue with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but has not done so for hundreds of stranded American children.

The president “ran on a statement and policy of ‘America First,’ ” he said. “He ought to put American kidnapped children first, and bring them home from Japan and other countries.”

Akiko Kashiwagi contributed to this report.
Japnese-divorce  Japanse-child-custody  Japanese-families  Japanese-law 
22 days ago
Japanese Students Call out Universities Over Lagging Attitudes Toward Sex Crimes | The Diplomat
After a series of sexual assaults against female university students, student groups in Japan are pressuring universities to take more action to prevent sexual violence and deliver a safe student environment.

Sexual harassment during job hunting and sexual assaults taking place at club activities are typically treated by universities as a personal problem rather than a structural issue affecting student well-being. A Japanese Ministry of Education survey of 1,091 universities in 2018 revealed that only 55 universities answered they had been contacted by students concerned about sexual harassment in job hunting.

“Job hunting” refers to the recruitment schedule of major corporations targeting final year college students. The selection process is fierce as students compete to snag a graduate position with a guarantee of lifetime employment. Students are encouraged to leverage alumni contacts in the hope of getting a head start. But female students can fall prey to male employees who take advantage of students eager to seek career advice. Some feel pressure to comply with the extra attention out of fear of having their applications binned.
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Currently, the law obliges companies to take measures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, with specific initiatives offered by a Ministry of Labor guidebook. But the recommendations remain nonbinding and don’t cover students during recruitment selection rounds.

Although the Ministry of Labor is considering expanding the guidelines to cover students, the effect may be limited. According to a survey taken by the Ministry of Labor in 2017, 35 percent of big companies who responded said they did not take any of the countermeasures listed in the guidelines, such as setting up sexual harassment consultation desks.

A questionnaire by Business Insider Japan revealed that 50 percent of the 236 women interviewed experienced sexual harassment while job hunting. Of that number, 70 percent responded they had no one on campus to consult about the issue.

A grassroots organization called “Chabudai Gaeshi Joshi Action” (translated as “Turn over the table ladies”) is leading a petition to step up the level of action taken by universities. The group demands educational activities for students on sexual consent and proper outlets for students who currently have nowhere to turn after experiencing sexual harassment.

The group was founded in 2015 after the spread of the global #MeToo movement to urge universities to take responsibility in providing guidance to prevent sexual crimes and lessons in making sexual assault statements both on campus and in the job recruitment process.

A job hunting networking app designed to help students contact alumni is being blamed for putting women at risk. While the scale of the problem is still unknown, recruiters say using apps is becoming a popular method to make connections. In March, Metropolitan Police arrested a male employee from the major trading house Sumitomo on allegations of rape after he invited a student for drinks when she reached out through the app. The man was dismissed and the company offered a public apology and also introduced guidelines minimizing staff contact with job seekers. Another case involved a male employee from construction firm Obayashi Corporation who was arrested in February on sexual assault charges after connecting with a student through the app.

Similarly, one former student described persistent harassment from a male employee from human resources who first offered to correct her resume and then proceeded to ask whether she had a boyfriend and if she enjoyed drinking alcohol. When she refused an invitation to dinner, the harassment escalated to 10 emails a day asking her to go to a hotel together and phone calls late at night.

The problem of sexual harassment and assault is not limited to the job hunting process, however. After continuous excessive drinking and sexual assault arrests involving Japan’s prestigious Keio Universities, a public statement was issued on their homepage in November last year stating it was “regrettable” and they “sincerely hope students behave responsibility as individuals and will encourage students to continue to study hard.” Some students lashed out at the lack of an official stance against sexual violence and concrete measures to prevent similar incidences from happening again.

In June, student groups at Keio University and Sophia University organized a symposium inviting student activists and guest speakers to share proposals on how universities can conduct sex crime prevention and educational activities. Fourth-year Keio student Koyo Tani launched a petition with the support of 300 teaching staff and alumni, collecting 897 signatures to persuade her university to take action. Following the symposium Keio University says they are currently considering countermeasures.
sexual-harassment  Japanese-sexual-harassment  Japanese-women  Japanese-feminism  Japanese-workplaces  Japanese-universities  Japanese-academia  Japanese-workplace-culture 
22 days ago
Meet the 20-something dude secretly writing some of the best feminist erotica
But still, isn’t it hard to write female pleasure without having, well, female anatomy?

I’m going to be honest and say that I actually try to skirt around specific anatomical sensations and go for more emotionally resonant stuff. It’s funny, but traditional erotica is more personal and effuse rather than clinical, and successful erotica often doesn’t even describe things explicitly in detail because that tends to be boring. It’s more interesting to read emotion-based work because it makes it easier for readers to step inside the first-person character.
Romance  romance-writing  romance-fiction  female-gaze  female-sexuality 
22 days ago
The Easy Confidence of Asian Baby Girl Sets an Example for Us All — Mochi Magazine
The ABG look seems to have evolved from the surge of YouTubers and influencers who largely owe their success to the likes of Michelle Phan, Lindy Tsang (Bubzbeauty), and Jen Chae (frmheadtotoe)—Asian women who were key players in the advent of YouTube celebritydom circa 2008. In those early golden days of YouTube, Asian American women suddenly had access to the cosmetic education denied to them by prominent beauty publications catering mainly to white women, and the effects have been long lasting.

The ABG look, most often donned by East Asians, usually involves a full-coverage foundation, gleaming highlighter, well-defined brows, colorful eyeshadow, false lashes, and full, matte lips to complete the look. It’s a stark contrast from traditional Asian beauty standards, which are notoriously conservative in their expectations of women in both manner and appearance. The physical differences between members of the East Asian diaspora and their Asian counterparts have, for the most part, always been distinct: Asians living in Asia tend to have paler skin and wear makeup that veers more toward a cute and youthful look, while Asians living abroad are usually more tan and have adopted makeup styles more popular in Western culture, such as smoky eyes and more defined contouring. ABG culture heightens this contrast by directly defying those traditional Asian standards in its unabashed glamor.
Korean-beauty-ideals  Asian-American-beauty-ideals  labels 
23 days ago
It’s Never Going to Be Perfect, So Just Get It Done - The New York Times
So here’s a grand, wonderful irony: I started writing this newsletter in early June.

I’d come back to my meager Google Doc every few days, reworking the same few sentences, each time thinking I was finally ready to finish. But I never really made any progress — I wanted it to be just right, and I fell into an editing and re-editing spiral. But, of course, just right is a mirage that never materializes, and that mirage prevented me from … actually finishing this newsletter.

Is the prose here any better for all of that incremental faux-progress? Probably not! I wanted it to be, but I know that if I had just gotten it done when I wanted to, instead of examining every word with a microscope, I could’ve saved myself a lot of unnecessary stress (and actually hit my self-imposed deadline). And that needless obsession with perfection is kind of the whole deal: By agonizing over tiny improvements in our work — if they even are improvements — we prevent ourselves from achieving the actual goal of, you know, doing the work.

“At some point, we must remind ourselves, any changes we make to a creation no longer make it better but just different (and sometimes worse),” Dr. Alex Lickerman wrote in Psychology Today on the topic of just getting things done. “Recognizing that inflection point — the point at which our continuing to rework our work reaches a law of diminishing returns — is one of the hardest skills to learn, but also one of the most necessary.”

He added that “overworking something is just as bad as failing to polish it.”

By now, you’re probably thinking of that quote attributed to Voltaire: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” And yes, that’s the idea. But we all know that, so what’s the way around it?

One solution is a take on a topic longtime readers of this newsletter will recognize: the M.F.D., or the Mostly Fine Decision. (Patent still pending.)

The M.F.D. is the minimum outcome you’re willing to accept as a consequence of a decision. It’s what you’d be perfectly fine with, rather than the outcome that would be perfect. The root of the M.F.D. lies in the difference between maximizers and satisficers. Maximizers relentlessly research all possible options in a scenario for fear of missing the “best” one, while satisficers make quick decisions based on less research.

But here’s the key: Somewhat paradoxically, research has shown that satisficers are more satisfied with their decisions than maximizers are.

In other words, just getting it done — whether that’s a decision you have to make or work you have to do — will leave you more satisfied than if you had agonized over the task in the pursuit of perfection. Even better, you’ll actually finish.

“Easier said than done,” you’re probably thinking. True. So here are two strategies that might help you out.

First, embrace the magic of micro-progress: Rather than looking at tasks, projects or decisions as items that must be completed, slice them into the smallest possible units of progress, then knock them out one at a time. This strategy relieves the pressure of thinking we need a perfect plan before we begin something — after all, if your first step is “open a new Google Doc for this week’s newsletter” and not “pick a perfect topic, write a perfect lede and have a perfect organization,” you either have achieved that micro-goal or you haven’t. There’s no gray area.

Second, reframe the way you think about the things you have to do. Focus far less on the end result, and far more on the process — this allows you to be aware of the progress you’re making, rather than obsessing over the end result of that progress. As the writer James Clear put it, “when you think about your goals, don’t just consider the outcome you want. Focus on the repetitions that lead to that place. Focus on the piles of work that come before the success. Focus on the hundreds of ceramic pots that come before the masterpiece.”

In the end, just do the work. It won’t be perfect, but you’ll be far happier, and it’ll be done. And done is better than perfect ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How do you get around roadblocks to finish things you’ve obsessed over? Tell me on Twitter at @timherrera.

Have a great week!
procrastination 
24 days ago
'Providing free menstrual products to all teenage girls in Seoul'
If the bill passes the council next month, all female residents between the ages of 11 and 18 will be given special cards or mobile vouchers that can be used to buy sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups. Kwon believes the current system of providing menstrual products to teenagers from low-income households is "patronizing and discouraging" to applicants of an age group that is sensitive to being singled out for their economic disadvantage in society. Instead, the provision of menstrual goods should be framed as a basic right of its own.

"Half of society's members bleed every month for two-thirds of their lifetime without any choice," Kwon said. "And until now, this basic condition has been alienated from public discussion as something embarrassing that the individual must take care of on her own, even hide."
periods  social-welfare  Korean-social-welfare 
24 days ago
Why do some waiters squat when they serve a table? - Quora
Sam Radion
Updated Jan 25

This is a psychological trick and once you have noticed it once you’ll start noticing it forever!

Squatting at the table puts yourself on the same level as the diners. It allows you to look them straight in the eye rather than looking down on them and humanises you as “Sam your server”. “I like Sam, he seems friendly, lets’s give him a bigger than normal tip”

And that’s what it’s all about in this instance - money.

It may be to get a bigger tip or it may be to ensure you feel comfortable at the restaurant and come back again and again to buy food, it’s a business after all.

Some servers are naturally good with people and will do this automatically, some are told to do it in training. The trouble is, now you’ve started noticing this behaviour, you’ll start noticing all the other psychological tricks that are used on you…

That’s sweet, the server drew a smiley face and wrote ‘thanks’ on my bill

The server touches your shoulder or upper arm

The server gave their name

The server repeats your order back to you (builds rapport)

The waitress is wearing a red t-shirt (only seems to work on waitresses serving men)

The server said that the dish you chose was their personal favourite too

The server told you they had a special offer for only one couple tonight and they chose you

The bill came with a small gift for you (a small free liqueur, a sweetie or chocolate) - receiving a gift means you should give a gift, i.e. tip.

And don’t start on all the psychological tricks employed on menus like boxing out the highest margin foods
psychology  waiters 
24 days ago
[TOPPLING THE TROPES] Portraying women’s multitudes: Female characters have long been confined to certain roles, but many are pushing back-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily
Avid moviegoers may notice some tropes that have become increasingly popular in local films over the years. There always seem to be some roles that are reserved for certain kinds of people, or certain topics that call for certain types of characters. Whether true or not, some stereotypes seem to grow stronger with every film.

Are these tropes representing the truth? Or are they only reinforcing stereotypes or impressions people have that may not be totally accurate? Through this series, the Korea JoongAng Daily will take a look at some of the popular tropes in local films and take an in-depth look at how they affect the communities of the people they portray.



“There aren’t a lot of chances for actors like me,” said actor Kim Hye-soo during a press interview in August 2012, after the premiere of the local film “The Thieves,” in which she plays a skilled thief who goes by the pseudonym “Pepsi.”

“The local film industry centers around male-led narratives and films. So female actors are left with sub plots or roles that merely support the male characters. If we are left with cliche female characters, it doesn’t matter who plays the role as long as she ‘looks pretty’ - why would anyone want to play such a role?”

Like Kim, veteran female actors like Son Ye-jin, Jeon Do-yeon, and Jo Min-su have appeared in films after a few years away from the big screen and given interviews in which they make similar points: not enough scripts come to them, or when they do come, the characters are not as interesting as they hoped for.

Further research into female-lead films in recent years proves their point: Of the top 25 local films at the box office in recent years, only eight had a woman as the top-billed actor in 2016. There were three female-led films in 2017 and seven in 2018.

Organized by the Korean Film Archive, a special exhibition titled “The Bad Women, The Weird Women, The Dope Women” hosts screenings and special talk programs with film and culture critics to discuss how the female characters have evolved throughout the century-old history of local films. The Korea JoongAng Daily had the chance to interview some of the experts about how far local films have come, and how much father the industry needs to go.




이미지뷰
Female characters played by actors Ra Mi-ran, Kim Da-mi and Kim Hye-soo from films “Miss & Mrs. Cops” (2019), “The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion” (2018) and “A Special Lady” (2017). [CJ ENTERTAINMENT, WARNER BROTHERS KOREA, KIDARI ENTERTAINMENT]
Gender Divide?

Ever since the recent wave of feminism swept the country, gender polarization has been a constant topic of conversation in all matters of society, including films.

When “Captain Marvel” and “Miss & Mrs. Cops” - both female-led flicks - hit the local box office, reviews from viewers on Naver were split pretty starkly by gender: men gave the films scores of 4.34 and 1.99 out of 10, while women praised both works and gave them scores of 9.05 and 9.31, respectively.

Some of the comments criticized the films for offering highly “unrealistic” portrayals of women because of the way the heroes and detectives fought on screen, while others said that the characters lacked motivation for their actions.

“[The radically different approaches to these films] just show how far the two genders have grown apart,” said film critic and researcher at the Korea Media Rating Board Kim Sun-ah. “Female characters are appearing with roles that govern or rule the law such as police detectives - traditionally framed to be jobs for males - and directly resolving problems with their own hands.”

“I think that men feel threatened in a way,” film critic Cho Hye-young agreed. “They feel that [women are] intruding into territories that have typically been dominated by men.”

However, Son Hee-jung, another culture critic and a researcher at The Center for Women’s Culture and Theory (CWCT) sees it differently.

“I see it as a process of change,” said Son. “It looks as if disputes exist because of the stronger voices that demand more female characters and protest against the sexual objectification of female actors. But we have always seen male-centered flicks or TV shows without raising questions [until now]. Audiences have begun to see things differently. What was considered normal before is now unnatural or strange to their eyes.”


Unfamiliar territory

“It seems that it’s very difficult for women to enter the public sphere in the movies,” noted Kim. “Their stories are usually within the domestic sphere of maternal love, romantic love, personal revenge or jealousy.”

Recent action films such as “The Villainess” (2017) or “A Special Lady” (2017) featuring Kim Ok-vin and Kim Hye-soo face similar setbacks: No matter how powerful they are, the women’s motives are driven back to domestic spheres and the love they feel for their children or partners.

“If women act outside of the cliches of maternal love, critics disapprove of the narrative, arguing that they lack inspiration or probability,” said Son. “So when ‘The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion’ (2018) was released and portrayed a seemingly innocent, young girl with extraordinary supernatural powers fighting the ultimate evil, the film faced criticisms that the main character, Goo Ja-yoon, lacked a motive for her actions. But what if a boy embarked on the same adventure? Would the critics have been more easily persuaded by his motive?

“It’s interesting to see local films like ‘Miss & Mrs. Cops’ and ‘Miss Baek’ come out where women’s impulses are driven by reasons outside of maternal instincts,” observed Son.




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From Left: Son Hee-jung, Kim Sun-ah, Cho Hye-young
A new generation?

All three critics agreed that in order for female narratives to succeed, more women need to be involved in the film industry.

According to annual reports published by the Korean Film Council, the number of women participating in the making of local commercial films is ridiculously low. In the fields of directing, producing, scriptwriting and filming, the percentage of women is well below 50 percent, with the highest percentage being in production and scriptwriting. In those areas, the number did not exceed 30 percent as of last year.

“For what we can do right now, [the film industry] needs to enforce film policies regarding gender equality,” Son said. “I heard that overseas, in countries like Australia, Sweden and the U.K., the movie industries have effectively enacted protocols and a number of award-winning films by female directors have been made as a result. Likewise, we need to take a look at the ratio of women on the crews of local films and advocate for gender equality, encouraging works by the female directors to be released in theaters.”

In the long term, Cho says that education on media literacy is relevant in changing the current lack of female narratives.


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“We need to go back to the beginning, from when children begin reading fairy tales,” commented Cho. “In my film class, a lot of my students tell me that they are writing scripts with female narratives, but they’re stuck. They confide that they don’t know how to develop their female characters, or how the characters would act rationally in the plots. This is because they grew up only learning about and watching [stories] about men.”

Overall, Cho contends that women need to realize and talk about their diversity to create more colorful and dimensional female characters that can appeal to female audiences.

“Throughout history, women have been viewing women through a male [perspective] that has been considered to be the mainstream,” said Cho. “When we begin to perceive our differences from our perspective, I believe new possibilities will rise in the film industry, which can create new communities, conflicts, or solidarity [amongst women].”

Son also encouraged filmmakers to step forward in making more diverse kinds of films.

“I know that genre films are conservative and can be difficult to move forward,” said Son. “People go to see certain genres, for instance, comedy, because they expect a good laugh. But that doesn’t mean they want to see a repetition of the same narratives. They want something in the middle, where they can expect to see what they want but also make room for creators to take a step outside of the conventional patterns. And I believe that freedom is enough for the industry to develop multi-dimensional characters that can impact the audience.”

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]
Korean-actors  Korean-movies  Korean-female-actors 
25 days ago
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