Hyuna shares a photo of her weight on the scale ~ Netizen Buzz
Mixed feelings: dangerously low weight, but posted because she's GAINING weight
K-pop  Korean-body-image  Korean-girl-groups  Hyuna 
5 hours ago
Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - The Atlantic
Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fears of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fears of turning in something terrible. But I’ve watched a surprising number of young journalists wreck, or nearly wreck, their careers by simply failing to hand in articles. These are all college graduates who can write in complete sentences, so it is not that they are lazy incompetents. Rather, they seem to be paralyzed by the prospect of writing something that isn’t very good.

“Exactly!” said Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, when I floated this theory by her. One of the best-known experts in the psychology of motivation, Dweck has spent her career studying failure, and how people react to it. As you might expect, failure isn’t all that popular an activity. And yet, as she discovered through her research, not everyone reacts to it by breaking out in hives. While many of the people she studied hated tasks that they didn’t do well, some people thrived under the challenge. They positively relished things they weren’t very good at—for precisely the reason that they should have: when they were failing, they were learning.
talent  writing  procrastination  imposter-syndrome 
3 days ago
Ladies & The Law: The Case That Recognized Hostile Workplace Sexual Harassment - Savvy Tokyo
The only disappointing feature of this early decision was that the court reduced the amount of damages that it awarded to K., finding her culpable as well because of her strong reactions to H.’s behavior—demanding an apology, becoming angry and defiant, refusing to discuss the matter calmly. This judgment by the court indicates an unconscious bias, that a woman needs to be calm and demure—dare I say, “lady-like”—, even when standing up for herself. That bias, which many still hold today, is unfortunate. It likely slows social progress in this area.
Japanese-law  Japanese-sexual-harassment  Japanese-workplaces 
3 days ago
A neuroscientist explains why evangelicals are wired to believe Trump's lies
One reason Trump supporters believe his lies comes from a basic fact about the brain: it takes more mental effort to reject an idea as false than to accept it as true. In other words, it’s easier to believe than to not.

This fact is based on a landmark study published in the journal PLOS ONE in 2009, which asked the simple question, how is the brain activated differently during a state of belief compared to a state of disbelief? To test this, participants were asked whether or not they believed in a series of statements while their brain activity was being imaged by an fMRI scanner. Some sentences were simple and fact-based (California is larger than Rhode Island), while others were more abstract and subjective (God probably does not exist). The results showed the activation of distinct but often overlapping brain areas in the belief and disbelief conditions. While these imaging results are complicated to interpret, the electrical patterns also showed something that was fairly straightforward. Overall, there was greater brain activation that persisted for longer during states of disbelief. Greater brain activation requires more cognitive resources, of which there is a limited supply. What these findings show is that the mental process of believing is simply less work for the brain, and therefore often favored. The default state of the human brain is to accept what we are told, because doubt takes effort. Belief, on the other hand, comes easily.

This troubling finding makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If children questioned every single fact they were being taught, learning would occur at a rate so slow that it would be a hindrance. But this fact could be just as easily applied to both the political left and right. So how does it explain why conservatives, specifically evangelicals, are so easily duped by Donald Trump?

For Christian fundamentalists, being taught to suppress critical thinking begins at a very early age. It is the combination of the brain’s vulnerability to believing unsupported facts and aggressive indoctrination that create the perfect storm for gullibility. Due to the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to be sculpted by lived experiences, evangelicals literally become hardwired to believe far-fetched statements.

This wiring begins when they are first taught to accept Biblical stories not as metaphors for living life practically and purposefully, but as objective truth. Mystical explanations for natural events train young minds to not demand evidence for beliefs. As a result, the neural pathways that promote healthy skepticism and rational thought are not properly developed. This inevitably leads to a greater susceptibility to lying and gaslighting by manipulative politicians, and greater suggestibility in general.
Trump  fake-news  media  psychology  Christians 
6 days ago
Why Do Men Harass Women? New Study Sheds Light On Motivations : Goats and Soda : NPR
But there are a couple of things that stand out about street harassment in the Middle Eastern areas, according to the Promundo report. In the Palestinian territories, Morocco and Egypt, young men with secondary-level education were more likely to sexually harass women than their older, less-educated peers.

The researchers were surprised by the findings. Generally, men who have finished high school or college hold more enlightened attitudes toward women than those who have had no primary school or schooling at all, says Barker, who has studied men and gender equality in over 20 countries.

Barker and El Feki suspect that factors contributing to the behavior include the region's high unemployment rates, political instability and pressure to supply their family's daily needs. About half the men surveyed, for example, said they felt stressed, depressed or ashamed to face their families. Perhaps harassing women is a way to assert their power, suggests Barker.

These young men "have high aspirations for themselves and aren't able to meet them," he says. "So they [harass women] to put them in their place. They feel like the world owes them."

In a place like rural Egypt, the situation is easy to understand, says El Feki. "It speaks to the mind-numbing tedium of being a young man [there]," she says.

They can't find work. They can't afford to marry. They're stuck living with their parents. There is nothing to do. "They're in a suspended state of adolescence," she says.

The harassment is also a way for young men to "get their kicks," says El Feki. When the men in the survey were asked why they sexually harassed women in public, the vast majority, up to 90 percent in some places, said they did it for fun and excitement.

That is not how women see it. "It's not fun at all," says Saleh. "It's a nightmare."
harassment  street-harassment  misogyny 
7 days ago
A viral video of a politician, Kim Moo-sung, and his suitcase shows what's wrong with male entitlement in South Korea — Quartz
https://www.facebook.com/groups/koreanfeminism/permalink/1300854896636102/

Megan Sheila This reminds me of seeing the young women at my work being forced to do the heavy lifting during our school outings. The smallest of the bunch carrying heavy boxes of snacks and water or setting up sports nets and hard to reach banners while the older men in the admin just stroll ahead completely satisfied and never offering a hand to help. So disgusting to watch those men

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170615000596
Korean-hierarchy  Korean-men  gapjil  ajosshis  gabjil 
7 days ago
Diet makes historic revision to century-old sex-crime laws | The Japan Times
Japan revised its sex crime laws for the first time in more than a century on Friday — a historic move that broadens the definition of rape, lengthens prison terms and makes prosecution possible even if those who claim they are victims don’t press charges.

A package of amendments unanimously approved by the Upper House in the final hours of this session of the Diet represents the first shake-up of Japan’s sex crime laws, which have remained effectively untouched since their inception in 1907.

“Japan’s current legal system doesn’t protect people who went through the most unbearable experience human beings could possibly imagine,” Jun Yamamoto, a survivor of childhood molestation, told the Upper House Committee on Judicial Affairs prior to the revised laws’ passage.

For the most part of her adolescence, Yamamoto said she was sexually abused by her own father, who would periodically creep into her bed and fumble her breasts and buttocks.

The Diet also passed a supplementary provision stipulating that the revision will be revisited three years after taking effect.

With Friday’s update, the definition of rape — which has traditionally been limited to vaginal penetration by a penis — will be expanded to include forced anal and oral sex, thereby recognizing that males can be rape victims. The minimum sentences will be raised to five years from three, while rape resulting in death or injury will from now on entail a minimum six years in prison, up from the current five.

Offenses such as rape and indecent assault will become prosecutable even if those who claim they are victims do not file formal complaints.

Adults who have taken advantage of “guardianship” roles to sexually abuse children under 18 will face rape and indecent assault charges even if they don’t resort to “violence and intimidation” — currently a prerequisite for convicting sex offenders — in assaulting their victims.

The revision will also cover the robbery-rape law, which has applied only to offenders who commit robbery first and rape second. The law will no longer hinge on robbery preceding rape, and will put offenders behind bars for a minimum of seven years.

Although a major step forward, Friday’s revision still leaves many issues unresolved.

Critics such as Yamamoto want the “violence and intimidation” prerequisite deleted because they say it is out of touch with reality. Rapists, they say, can easily overpower their targets without using force because they are often too scared to put up a fight.

Moreover, some critical changes proposed by a panel of outside experts in 2015 went excluded from the amendments submitted by the Justice Ministry during this Diet session.

Among the unresolved issues is the question of whether the statute of limitations for rape, currently 10 years, should be scrapped or at least lengthened if victims are juveniles. Some people say that it is often the case that by the time minors come to grips with abuse and are prepared to seek justice, they have already run out of time.

Calls for creating a new law banning spousal rape were also unheeded.

The age of consent for sex in Japan will remain notoriously low at 13, too, meaning that sex with people that young won’t be considered a crime if it can be established that the sex was consensual.

“If you’re sexually abused, you’re not treated as human. You just become a belonging of your offender,” Yamamoto, who herself was first molested when she was 13, told the Diet committee. The nightmare, she said, lasted seven years.

“That’s when our souls are killed.”

The revision of the sex crime laws caps months of tumultuous debate in the Diet dominated by conflict of interest scandals linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, as well as the contentious conspiracy bill that skipped usual Diet procedures to be rammed through the legislature by his ruling coalition. The session is set to wrap up on Sunday.

Furor over the allegation that Abe helped finance an ultra-nationalist kindergarten run by Osaka school operator Moritomo Gakuen dominated Diet deliberation before April, denting his Cabinet’s support rate.

A separate, ongoing allegation over Abe’s alleged involvement in the opening of a new veterinary department at a university run by his close confidant, Kotaro Kake, led to the prime minister being forced to explain his false denials at the Diet on Friday.

On Thursday, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito coalition steamrolled through the Diet a bill to revise the anti-organized crime law, with a view to cracking down on the planning of as many as 277 crimes. Although ostensibly an attempt to better counter terrorism, the revised law, critics say, could be abused by the law enforcement to impinge on various civil liberties, such as the right to privacy.

The Diet also enacted one-off legislation that will permit Emperor Akihito to abdicate the Chrysanthemum throne, making him the first monarch to do so in 200 years.

The legislation designed to outlaw smoking in pubic institutions such as hospitals, schools and municipal offices, however, ended up not being submitted to this Diet session after the health ministry failed to win approval of the LDP.
Japanese-law  Japanese-rape 
10 days ago
South Korea Government Accused of Using Defamation Laws to Silence Critics - The New York Times
By Choe Sang-Hun

March 5, 2016

SEOUL, South Korea — In late 2014, months after 304 people died in the sinking of a South Korean ferry, a leaflet began circulating with a scurrilous rumor about President Park Geun-hye: that she had failed to respond swiftly to the disaster that day because she was having a romantic encounter with a former aide.

Was Ms. Park, the flier asked, now cracking down on her critics in an attempt to keep that scandal from coming to light?

For Park Sung-su, an antigovernment campaigner who had distributed the leaflet — and who is not related to the president (Park is a common surname here) — the consequences soon followed. He was arrested and later sentenced to a year in prison, on charges of defaming the president and staging illegal protests against his prosecutors. He was freed in December after eight months, when a court suspended his sentence.

No evidence supporting the rumor has been produced, and prosecutors said they had investigated and found it groundless. But however dubious the leaflet might have been, opponents of the government say Mr. Park became another victim of the very thing he was denouncing: the government’s use of defamation and other laws to silence its critics, which rights advocates say is on the rise.

Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Committee warned against South Korea’s “increasing use of criminal defamation laws to prosecute persons who criticize government action.” Freedom House, a rights group based in Washington, criticized “the increased intimidation of political opponents” under Ms. Park, who took office in 2013.

“The government is especially sensitive about defending the personal reputation of the president,” said Park Kyung-sin, a professor of law at Korea University who has researched the issue.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression. But defamation laws here carry penalties that include prison — up to three years for comments that are true and up to seven for statements considered false — if they are deemed not in the public interest. Critics say the distinction is vague and opens the door to abuse by prosecutors.

The government’s use of the laws against critics predates Ms. Park’s presidency. During the five-year tenure of her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, 30 such cases were filed, 24 of them criminal and six civil, according to People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, an influential South Korean civic group. But under Ms. Park, the trend increased considerably, with 22 cases filed in her first two and a half years in office, the group said. Of those, 18 were criminal prosecutions.

“They don’t seem to care whether they win these cases,” the group said in a recent report, noting that the officials often lose in court. “The real purpose is to create a chilling effect among people criticizing and scrutinizing the government.”

Ms. Park’s office rejected such criticism, saying all democratic rights were protected.

Charges that her administration was suppressing political rights sprang up almost as soon as Ms. Park — whose father, the military dictator Park Chung-hee, ruled South Korea with an iron fist during the 1960s and ’70s — assumed office.

In 2013, the National Intelligence Service, a powerful spy agency that her father used to torture and silence dissidents, moved to disband an outspoken progressive party. The agency arrested the party’s leaders on charges of violating the Cold War-era National Security Law, which bans activities deemed pro-North Korean.

Distrust of the spy agency deepened after it was accused of interfering on Ms. Park’s behalf during the 2012 presidential campaign. A former director of the agency, Won Sei-hoon, was convicted of running a team of officers who posted comments online criticizing Ms. Park’s rivals before the election. In 2014, agency employees were convicted of fabricating Chinese immigration documents to concoct a spy case against an ethnic Chinese refugee from North Korea.

When human rights lawyers and journalists brought those tactics to light in 2013, saying the agency was resorting to old habits of coercion and faking evidence, counterintelligence officials responded by filing defamation cases.

The government’s use of the defamation laws became a diplomatic issue when Japan complained after the 2014 indictment of Tatsuya Kato, a journalist from the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, for reporting the rumor about Ms. Park and her former aide.

An opposition lawmaker, Park Jie-won, said the indictment had embarrassed the country. “It’s prosecutors who should be indicted for defaming South Korea,” he said.

Mr. Kato was acquitted in December. But Mr. Park, the lawmaker, has been charged with defamation after airing suspicions that the former aide and others close to the president had arranged for favored officials to be promoted. Presidential aides sued six journalists from a South Korean newspaper for reporting similar allegations, which Ms. Park’s office denied.

Besides the defamation laws, the government’s use of the National Security Law has long been seen by international human rights groups, as well as the United States State Department, as a threat to free speech. Since 2014, a Chinese student and a Korean-American lecturer have been deported for comments seen as sympathetic to North Korea. Longstanding fears of the North, especially among conservatives, have stymied efforts to repeal or revise the law.

Attempts to amend the defamation laws have also been unsuccessful. Last month, the Constitutional Court struck down a proposal to ban defamation charges in cases where the supposedly defamatory comment circulated online is true. Bills that would bar government officials from filing defamation cases have stalled in Parliament.

Ms. Park’s governing party has pushed what it calls antiterrorism legislation through Parliament after her office warned of possible terrorist attacks from North Korea in the wake of the North’s recent nuclear test. Opposition lawmakers say the bill would give the National Intelligence Service, which has a history of illegally wiretapping politicians, journalists and others, more power to monitor not just terrorism suspects but also government critics, particularly online.

“I can never support this attempt to place a dog collar on the people,” Eun Soo-mi, an opposition lawmaker who was once tortured by the spy agency, said during a 10-hour filibuster against the bill, which was approved but has not yet become law. (Thirty-eight opposition lawmakers, some referring to Big Brother, from George Orwell’s novel “1984,” filibustered against the bill in a series of speeches for a record eight days.)

The government’s policing of the Internet, a popular channel for antigovernment grievances, was already an issue under Ms. Park. In 2014, after months of withering criticism about how she had handled the ferry disaster, Ms. Park warned that some of it had gone “too far.” Prosecutors soon announced a crackdown on “false or defamatory data in cyberspace.”

Kakao Talk, a popular smartphone-based messenger service, then admitted that it had been cooperating with the police and prosecutors to collect the online chat records of thousands of users, including antigovernment demonstrators. Last month, a court ruled in favor of one of those protesters, concluding that the inspection of her records was unlawful because it had been conducted without her knowledge.

Such rulings aside, critics argue that South Korean prosecutors and judges have largely failed to protect the public’s rights, often because they want to earn the favor of politicians who can promote them.

“People are lamenting that there are no watchdogs, but only dogs,” Kwon Seok-cheon, a columnist for the newspaper JoongAng Ilbo, recently wrote.

Park Sung-su, the activist who spread the rumor about the president and her former aide, made use of the same metaphor after police officers raided his home. He called them “running dogs for the government,” later throwing dog food at the gates of police stations. In April, he was arrested on the charge of staging an illegal rally and then interrogated after he and several other activists had shouted, “Bow wow!” in front of a prosecutors’ office.

“They kept asking me what was the political meaning of ‘bow wow,’ ” he said.
Korean-law  Korean-defamation  Korean-libel 
13 days ago
How the lingerie industry is shifting its focus to female empowerment - The Globe and Mail
Nathalie Atkinson



Canadian-made Bullyboy lingerie is trying to subvert the conventions of lingerie marketing.

Carine Zahner/Bullyboy Lingerie

“Women should be wearing lingerie for their damn selves,” Rihanna told Vogue when she launched her Savage x Fenty lingerie brand in the spring. Accordingly, the label’s 17-minute romp at New York Fashion Week in September was set up as a series of interactive installations – more like performance art than a runway. It celebrated a diverse mix of models with many body shapes and sizes, including two visibly pregnant models. Women cavorted and posed in the lingerie, presenting the pieces as something to empower women.

The show is part of the movement that has slowly been unfolding over the last half of the decade, one that’s putting the focus of the lingerie industry on the wearer and her point of view.

Vanessa Warrack, designer of the Canadian handmade lingerie collection Bully Boy, is also intent on subverting the cultural, sexual and social conventions of lingerie marketing. Her company’s latest artistic campaign explores the role of the seen and the unseen and challenges the muse and maestro relationship – the historic idea of masculine creative genius and passive feminine muse.

Warrack commissioned the new short films from filmmaker Nadia Litz, and the five Canadian women who star in the ads are all creators themselves, from comics artist Misbah Ahmed to singer-songwriter Ralph. All were chosen, according to Litz, “because the idea of casting female creators as ‘my muses’ meant that we were already trying to rearticulate the status quo.”



Bullyboy's artistic campaign challenges the muse and maestro relationship – the historic idea of masculine creative genius and passive feminine muse.

Carine Zahner

Contrast that with the model lineup revealed for the upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, later this fall, all archetypes of tall, thin and leggy coquettes who work a slick, snappy strut. It’s increasingly out of sync with both the prevailing cultural mood and other marketing campaigns around diversity and female empowerment, and consumers have noticed. It’s no secret that the retailer has been losing ground in sales in the past year, and ratings of 2017′s televised catwalk extravaganza were down 30 per cent from the previous year to fewer than five million viewers. The lingerie giant’s narrow vision of sensuality, which has historically focused on what men find sexy, is clearly in need of a change.

It’s the last bastion in a tradition long overdue for disruption – if the corset was a long-time instrument of women’s oppression, so was the industry’s advertising. In her book on the cultural history of the corset, for example, Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, considers advertisements from the 19th century in which the images are “almost certainly directed at a masculine gaze.” An 1880s corset advertising image by Landauer Brothers of New York, for example, depicts a woman in her boudoir putting on her lingerie and comes with instructions on how to fold it for best viewing, making it an erotic Victorian-era trading card for men. And even in cases where advertising images presume a female viewer, Steele says the subject has still “internalized the vision of herself as a spectacle for others’ eyes.”

When lingerie imagery wasn’t about erotic entertainment, it was about conforming to the dictates of style (as shaped by men). “Without foundations, there can be no fashion,” is how Christian Dior put it a century later. The designer had a vested interest: He had a side business selling women the undergarments designed to suit and support his radical new silhouettes that required modifying underpinnings (what a 1947 Life magazine called “waist-pinchers”) to flatten the abdomen and cinch the silhouette.

Diversity, inclusiveness and female empowerment aren’t limited to the marketing imagery; it’s also about the assortment of items on offer. Comfort is key in brands that directly counter the body insecurity of push-up bras and Spanx by touting that they don’t compress or reshape. Intimates brand ThirdLove tackles diversity not only in breast size but breast shape – with algorithms to help women find the perfect bra fit. Size inclusivity is a key message for brands, such as the Nude Label and Toronto-based Fortnight. What’s sexy now is body positivity.

And positivity is more important than ever with lingerie sales on the rise. According to a recent Zion Market Research report, the global lingerie market will reach US$60-billion by 2024. In Canada, sales of women’s lingerie are also increasing, last year hitting an estimated $2-billion.

“Lingerie is an opportunity for the seduction of self,” Cora Harrington declares in the pages of In Intimate Detail, a guide for how to choose, wear and love lingerie. The burlesque performer turned lingerie designer’s new book includes chapters on each component – bras, underwear, hosiery – demystifying each piece, from explaining seams and sizing methods to care and storage.

Harrington likens underwear to a powerful secret identity. “Unlike all the other things you may need to wear to make others happy, lingerie can truly be about dressing for yourself,” she writes. “It is a signal that you love yourself enough to take out the good stuff and feel special even on the most mundane of days.”

This reckoning with representation and inclusion not only challenges the cycle of product and marketing that’s been built on the priorities of the male gaze, it takes it out of the picture. What’s left is for and by the women who wear it.
lingerie  bras  female-gaze  lingerie-advertising 
15 days ago
Why isn't the Confucianization story known in Korea?
By Mark Peterson

I have spent several weeks writing about the transformation of Korea in the late 17th century. I have outlined seven major social practices that were completely turned upside down at the close of the 17th, and into the 18th century. And these are not insignificant social events: the disinheritance of daughters, dropping daughters from ceremonies, dropping daughter's posterity from genealogies, the all-consuming desire to have a son, and adoption of a son if one is not born, the location of the marriage at the husband's father's house, and the establishment of "clan villages" where everyone in the village is a member of the patrilineage, except for the women ― these were fundamental developments that changed Korea forever.

So fundamental were these changes that Korean society today looks back at the "traditional family system" ― meaning this Confucianized system ― and thinks that it has been this way "forever," or for at least as long as we can know. This is wrong. The Confucianized family system is relatively recent ― only 300 years or so. And it covered an indigenous Korean system that was much more harmonious, less exploitative of women, and in many ways similar to the modern family organization found in Korea today, and in most Western countries.

Yet women's organizations have looked to the West for inspiration and role models, ignoring the examples of the society of Shin Saimdang in earlier years in Korea.

I have argued in previous articles that Korea should look into its own roots to find answers to questions about how to treat women justly and fairly and equally, in today's society.

But today's article has another point. Why is this documented, easy-to-find transition so ignored in Korea today? Why is it not in the textbooks? Why don't people know about it?

I can only speculate. I don't think it is anything sinister. I don't think the Sungkyunkwan (the headquarters of Confucianism in Korea) or Confucians in general have conspired to hide the truth from the wider population. I don't know why the educational community has missed this. But they have.

I wrote a book on this Confucianization process in the mid-90s. It was published at a good American academic publishing house ― Cornell University ― "Korean Adoption and Inheritance: The Creation of a Classic Confucian Society." The book was based on my PhD dissertation at Harvard. And in the late '90s, in a desire to see this research disseminated in Korea, wanting my Korean colleagues, friends, students, everyone, to know about this, I worked with a wonderful young graduate student, Kim Hyejeong , who was then between her master's degree and a Ph.D. at Sogang, to get the book translated into Korean. In Korean it was called "The Emergence of Confucian Society" ― "유교사회의 창출."

My hope was that it would be read, and textbook authors and editors would read it and incorporate its findings into the textbooks.

It hasn't happened.

Why? I don't know the answer. I need to publish a piece in a Korean newspaper and see what people will say. But I have my suspicions. Again, I don't think it's anything sinister; there's no willful conspiracy afoot. I don't think it's laziness, although that could be part of the answer.

I think the answer is the high school exam ― the suneung siheom. I don't know how the science portions of the exam are written, but I suspect the history part ― and maybe literature and English and some other parts ― is written from the perspective of "truth never changes." More specifically, since history is history, and it's what happened long ago, it doesn't change. And if the exam is changed, reflecting a different interpretation of history, then there would be trouble. Because the exam is the standard. And we see what was written, after the fact, in previous exams, and if something new is added, it will shake up the whole system. How can a student prepare for the exam if he can't look at last year's example. And the textbooks are similarly locked-in. No changes in the exam.

I don't know. I'm asking you, dear readers, if you know.
Is the examination system so rigid, and so inflexible that new knowledge cannot be added. Such would seem imponderable. Yet, that is what I have seen.

The fact-based study of my own, and several other scholars, shows clearly that society changed in the late 17th century. It is then that we see the roots of the so-called bugye sytem ― the patrilineal social organization of traditional Korea.

It is, historically, a fairly recent phenomena. To know that makes a huge difference in how we see society and social change today. Yet, Korea has willfully ignored the evidence and most people assume that the traditional family system, the bugye system, has been around from a point in time that we cannot find? It's not true, but that's what most people think.

Mark Peterson (markpeterson@byu.edu) is professor emeritus of Korean, Asian and Near Eastern languages at Brigham Young University in Utah.
Korean-history  Confucianism  Neo-Confucianism  Korean-families  Korean-hierarchy  Korean-feminism 
17 days ago
1% of domestic violence suspects get jail: lawmaker
Only 1 percent of domestic violence suspects are sentenced to a prison term in South Korea, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Rep. Lee Jae-jung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said the ratio is based on audit data from the National Police Agency. The data show that more than 160,000 suspects have been arrested on the charge of domestic violence in the past 3 1/2 years.

Lee, a member of the National Assembly’s Public Administration and Security Committee, said 164,020 suspects were arrested between January 2015 and June 2018, with only 1,632 put behind bars.

About 75 percent of domestic violence victims were women, and the ratio of repeated domestic violence has been on a steady rise in recent years, Lee said, citing audit data.
Korean-domestic-violence 
18 days ago
Why Rainbow Cake Architecture? – The Dissolve
When you look at these buildings, you can see that basically all of them are one-story buildings. One of the concepts used to calculate urban density is the floor area ratio. In Hanyang, the floor area ratio was only about 30 to 40 percent of what it is now. That floor area ratio isn’t for what we would now call a city. It’s just a village. A big village.

...

You can interpret this in different ways. You’ll definitely hear the whole “Koreans must not love their history, culture, and tradition. Hundreds of years old buildings are well preserved in Europe, so why are Koreans…” Prior to the advent of the automobile, Europe had already created high density cities with an average number of six stories per building, which was enough for the cities to turn into modern cities. So it’s impossible to compare Korea and European countries.

Then there are people who say, “Well, it’s hanok’s fault.” They argue that people should’ve developed four or five-story hanok in the Joseon dynasty. So why didn’t we? Because Joseon Korea was a country with the traditional four classes (scholars – farmers – artisans – traders). Joseon was fundamentally an agricultural country, and thought little of commerce.

How could the economy grow in a country like that? So we didn’t need high-rise buildings or high density cities. At the time, people were probably able to lead sufficiently comfortable and luxurious lives, in their own ways.

...

It’s like how we were physically in cities but we yearned to be in the countryside. One of the reasons for that is that up until my generation, a lot of us were not originally from cities. Most of the urban population consisted of people who weren’t originally from cities, and even if they were from cities—and even now when you look into it—only a few of us have actually had the true urban experiences.

...

Seoul is not a high density city

Seoul might look like a high density city, but it’s not. The average floor area ratio in Seoul is about 160 percent, compared to the average floor area ratio in European cities such as Barcelona or Paris, which is about 250 to 260 percent. You might ask, “How is that possible when there aren’t many high rise buildings?”

Just as we have recently, and painfully, realized that society does not become affluent with an increase in the number of affluent people, it is not important to raise one end of the normal distribution in order to raise the average. You have to raise the middle section. It’s the same for the average urban density. The number of high rise buildings does not affect the average urban density.

Korean cities are too horizontally expansive. As a result, Korea has become a society with the longest commuting time among OECD countries. There are many different factors that determine the quality of life of the members of society, but in my opinion one of the most important factors is the amount of time one can have to oneself.
Seoul  Korea-cities  Korean-architecture  Korean-apartments  Korean-public-transport  Korean-history 
18 days ago
No pain, no gain - Maternity culture in Japan
THE Mejiro Birth House in a northern district of Tokyo is eerily quiet: no babies crying, no wails of women in labour. That, explains Yuko Hoshino, the chief midwife, is because it is empty. Only four to six babies are born there each month, compared with 14 to 16 a few years ago. The problem is not just Japan’s low birth rate. “Fewer women want a natural birth today,” she says ruefully. “They go with doctors in hospitals rather than with midwives in birth houses.”

The culture of maternity in Japan is slowly becoming more like the rest of the rich world, but several practices differ. Women are generally treated as fragile during their pregnancy. But during labour itself they are expected to suffer. Painkillers are doled out sparingly, if at all. Doctors say growing numbers of women are keen to have an epidural (an anaesthetic injected into the spine), but few obstetric centres, hospitals included, offer them, and almost never outside normal working hours. The payment of ¥420,000 ($4,053) that the national health-insurance scheme makes towards the cost of having a baby would not typically cover one, anyway.

For most women, however, the issue is neither the cost nor the longer time it takes to recover after an epidural. Local Buddhist tradition holds that women should embrace the pain of natural childbirth. The experience is said to prepare them for the challenges of being a mother and to encourage bonding with the baby. Yoshimi Katsube, who is 35, says her parents criticised her when she told them she would be having an epidural at the birth of her first child. Nonetheless, she plans to have one again when the baby she is now expecting is born.

More fathers attend births than used to be the case, but many still don’t come into the delivery room. “My husband will come to the hospital, but we have yet to decide whether he will come into the room,” says Mayuka Yamazaki, who is expecting her first child this month. “I am not sure if I want him to see me like that.”

In most countries, the received wisdom about what women should do in pregnancy relies as much on the local culture as on science. Expectant mothers in France drink wine and eat pâté, for instance; their American counterparts see this as one step short of infanticide. In most places pregnant women would be steered away from raw fish, but not in Japan. The main obsession, however, is with body temperature. While Western mothers-to-be are advised not to get too hot, those in Japan are told to keep warm. They happily bathe in hot springs but avoid ice cream and chilled water. Restaurants offer blankets to pregnant women, even in the height of summer.

One element of the standard advice for pregnant women in Japan is worrying, however. The country has a high and rising proportion of underweight babies, defined as 2.5kg or less at birth. In 2015 9% of babies were underweight. One reason, says Zentaro Yamagata of the medical department of University of Yamanashi, is that women do not put on enough weight during pregnancy. Doctors advise their patients to put on no more than 6-10kg, compared with 11-16kg in Britain.

The government, which is keen to push up the fertility rate from the current 1.5 children per woman to 1.8 to slow the shrinking of Japan’s population, might ponder all this. The causes of Japan’s demographic decline are many and to some degree intractable. But making childbearing a less forbidding experience could not hurt.
Japanese-childbirth  Japanese-families  Japanese-motherhood  Japanese-parents  Japanese-body-image  Japanese-hospitals 
18 days ago
Report says out-of-wedlock birth rate lowest in Korea among OECD states
South Korea has the lowest rate of out-of-wedlock births among advanced countries, primarily because of ingrained conservative social values, a report said Monday.

The report published in the latest quarterly by the Statistical Research Institute put the country’s childbearing rate for unmarried women at 1.9 percent in 2014, the lowest among member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Japan was next at 2.3 percent.

The figure for Korea compares starkly with 56.7 percent for France and 54.6 percent for Sweden. The average for 27 OECD countries was 40.5 percent.

“The reason why the rate is low in South Korea and Japan is because of conservative values,” the report said.

The rate was 0.9 percent in 2000, 1.5 percent in 2005 and 2.1 percent for the 2010-2013 period.

Other statistics in the report showed that there were roughly 1.53 million single-parent households in the country as of the end of 2017, or 7.8 percent of all households. Among them, there were 22,065 unwed mothers compared with 8,424 unwed fathers.

A survey about attitudes toward divorce showed changes over the past decade. In 2006, 19.5 percent of survey respondents answered that divorce was out of the question, regardless of the cause. In 2016, the number fell to 9.5 percent, according to the report.

When asked whether a divorce was better if there was a good reason, 14 percent responded yes in 2016 compared with 6.8 percent in 2006. (Yonhap)
Korean-demographics  Korean-birthrate 
19 days ago
'Nursing students forced to take pants off in enema training'
It is hard for the selected students to say no, because refusal means their group cannot participate in the training, the accuser said. Also, the students feel reluctant to leave a bad impression by speaking up against the professor because students have to encounter the professor for the rest of their time in college, she added.

"Students in nursing school have a tight schedule that is already fixed from the start of the term. They cannot graduate when they do not engage in the assigned classes and with professors," Choi said.

A majority of students in other nursing schools and medical schools were astonished by the practice, while citizens showed mixed responses.

"Many feel humiliated when showing their anus to nurses even as patients. It is absurd that nursing school students have to just endure the humiliation only because they are nursing school students," a blogger said.

But another agreed with the professor's instruction. "If the students do not practice enema training like this, it means a patient will become their first guinea pig. What patient will want to get an enema from a nurse who has never done it before?" an internet user wrote.

Another internet user wrote: "There are manikins and other tools to practice administering enemas. This is like sexual assault, causing such humiliation. The professor should become a guinea pig him or herself, setting an example for the students."

According to a survey by the Korean Nurses Association and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, nearly 70 percent of the nurses said they have had their rights violated in the workplace.
Korean-hierarchy  Korean-nurses  Korean-doctors 
19 days ago
Number of mid-aged single-person households in South Korea on the rise : National : News : The Hankyoreh
Kang Hyeon-jung (pseudonym), a 45-year-old office worker, has lived as a bachelor in a one-person household for 20 years.

“It’s not that I made up my mind from the beginning to stay single, but somehow I’ve reached my mid-40s and I’m still alone. At this point, I’ve gotten used to living alone, and I don’t feel like I definitely have to get married in the future,” Kang said.

He started out in a studio apartment, but he currently lives in a three-room villa with a separate living room. As he spent more time living solo, his living space gradually expanded. “I have a lot of books, so I use the biggest room as a study, and I use the small one as a bedroom. Since I live alone anyway, I can adjust the space to meet my needs,” he said.

The single-person household, which used to be defined by young people or seniors whose spouses had passed away, has gradually expanded to include more people like Kang: middle-aged individuals of economic means. In 2000, the number of single-person households in Korea fell to 2,220,000. Last year, that number had more than doubled, reaching 5,620,000. In the past 15 years, single-person households have also soared from representing 15.5% of all households to 28.6%. As the number of single-person households has rapidly increased, the age groups and marital statuses of those included in the category have shown more variation.

On Sept. 28, Statistics Korea released a report on the changing status of domestic single-person households since 2000, titled “The Current State and Characteristics of Single-Person Households.”

The most noticeable change is the increase in middle-aged, single-person households between ages 45 and 64. In 2000, the number of households that fell within that age group was at 539,000, but by 2015, that number had increased to 1,618,000. That means the percentage of single-person households in this age group shot up from 24.2% to 31% in the same time period.

In comparison, the age group from 25 to 34, which used to be the representative ages for single-person households, dropped from making up 24.8% of the total in 2000 to just 17.6% in 2015. The shift in the makeup of single male households was particularly large, with the percentage of men between ages 45 and 64 increasing from 21% of all male single-person households in 2005 to 36.1% last year.

“It seems the biggest reason is that those who don’t insist on the necessity of marriage have reached middle age,” said Yang Dong-hee, the National Statistical Office population census chief. In reality, the number of single-person households comprising both men and women over the age of 45 who have never married increased from 53,000 in 2000 to 446,000 in 2015.

But while the number of middle-aged, single-person households is on the rise, the percentage of women between the ages of 65 and 74 who live alone decreased from 23.7% in 2000 to 16% last year. “Given that life expectancy for men is increasing, there are fewer elderly women between the ages of 65 and 74 who are living alone after losing their spouse,” the statistical office explained.

Differences between mid-aged and elderly single-person households

There are stark differences in the marital status of middle-aged and elderly single-person households, when they are divided into the categories of unmarried, married, widowed or divorced.

While the number of never-married single-person households is on the rise among middle-aged individuals, the number of elderly who are living alone due to divorce has sharply increased. Up until 2010, the main type of single-person household among 45- to 54-year-olds were those who had divorced, at 36.1%. But by 2015, divorced single-person households were surpassed by those who had never married, at 36.3%.

In 2000, the number of single-person households that had resulted from divorce among 65- to 74-year-olds fell to 3%, but that number increased to 16.2% by 2015. In 2000, nearly all single-person households among this age group fell into the widowed category, at 90.6%, but by 2015, that number had fallen to just 70.2%.

Separation by death has decreased, but with divorce on the rise it seems as though the shifting numbers represent a change in the situation for elderly couples.

Changes in the housing situation

With the cost of housing also on the rise, the primary form of housing for single-person households is also changing. In 2000 many owned (32.1%) or leased (30%) their own houses, but in 2015, only 16% are able to lease a house, with a greater proportion of those who lay down a deposit and pay a monthly rent (36%).

In 2000, the percentage of single-person households who lived in a home with four or more rooms (including the living room) was 12.2%, and in 31.1% in 2015. These percentages can be read as resulting from the higher proportion of individuals 45 years and older among individuals in single-person households, as such individuals presumably have the financial capacity to live in a larger space.

The number of single-person households living in one-room homes decreased from 33.1% to 27.2% in the same period. However, the changes manifest differently according to the age group. For those in the 45 to 54-year group, the proportion of single-person households living in homes with three or more rooms increased. However, for those in the 25 to 34-year group, the proportion of those living in one-room homes increased. In this contrast, we can observe how the dramatically rising housing costs has placed a much greater burden on the younger generation in terms of housing.

By Bang Jun-ho, staff reporter
Korean-single-households  Korean-singles  Korean-demographics 
20 days ago
Science Says Toxic Masculinity — More Than Alcohol — Leads To Sexual Assault | FiveThirtyEight
Take a 2015 study that followed more than 700 men through four years of college. This research categorized the men into four groups based on the frequency of sexual assaults they reported committing and how that frequency did or didn’t change over time — low frequency, high frequency, trending toward lower, and trending toward higher. Alcohol use was always higher among the men who committed more assaults than among those who committed fewer, but trends in assault weren’t tied to trends in alcohol use. For instance, among men who reported committing fewer assaults over time and men who reported committing more assaults over time, each group drank less as seniors than they did as freshmen. But the men who committed fewer assaults over time also reported falling rates of impulsivity, hostility toward women, and beliefs that supported rape. The men whose rates of assault were going up, in contrast, reported a growing sense of peer support for forced sex, peer pressure, pornography use, and hostility toward women.

That makes sense if you think about it, Parrott said. After all, we know that not all men who drink, even excessively, commit sexual violence. Even men who do commit sexual violence don’t do it every time they drink — and will also do it sober. Effectively, alcohol isn’t an excuse. “We don’t want to say, ‘Well, he was drinking so that’s why he assaulted her. It’s not his fault,’” he said.
sexual-violence  rape  alcohol 
21 days ago
Opinion | America Made Me a Feminist - The New York Times
I used to think the word “feminist” reeked of insecurity. A woman who needed to state that she was equal to a man might as well be shouting that she was smart or brave. If you were, you wouldn’t need to say it. I thought this because back then, I was a Swedish woman.

I was 9 when I first stepped into a Swedish school. Freshly arrived from Czechoslovakia, I was bullied by a boy for being an immigrant. My one friend, a tiny little girl, punched him in the face. I was impressed. In my former country, a bullied girl would tattle or cry. I looked around to see what my new classmates thought of my friend’s feat, but no one seemed to have noticed. It didn’t take long to understand that in Sweden, my power was suddenly equal to a boy’s.

In Czechoslovakia, women came home from a long day of work to cook, clean and serve their husbands. In return, those women were cajoled, ignored and occasionally abused, much like domestic animals. But they were mentally unstable domestic animals, like milk cows that could go berserk you if you didn’t know exactly how to handle them.

In Sweden, the housekeeping tasks were equally divided. Soon my own father was cleaning and cooking as well. Why? He had divorced my mother and married a Swedish woman.

As high school approached, the boys wanted to kiss us and touch us, and the girls became a group of benevolent queens dispensing favors. The more the boys wanted us, the more powerful we became. When a girl chose to bestow her favors, the lucky boy was envied and celebrated. Slut shaming? What’s a slut?

Condoms were provided by the school nurse without question. Sex education taught us the dangers of venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancy, but it also focused on fun stuff like masturbation. For a girl to own her sexuality meant she owned her body, she owned herself. Women could do anything men did, but they could also — when they chose to — bear children. And that made us more powerful than men. The word “feminist” felt antiquated; there was no longer a use for it.

When I moved to Paris at 15 to work as a model, the first thing that struck me was how differently the men behaved. They opened doors for me, they wanted to pay for my dinner. They seemed to think I was too delicate, or too stupid, to take care of myself.

Instead of feeling celebrated, I felt patronized. I claimed my power the way I had learned in Sweden: by being sexually assertive. But Frenchmen don’t work this way. In discos, I’d set my eye on an attractive stranger, and then dance my way over to let him know he was a chosen one. More often than not, he fled. And when he didn’t run, he asked how much I charged.

In France, women did have power, but a secret one, like a hidden stiletto knife. It was all about manipulation: the sexy vixen luring the man to do her bidding. It wasn’t until I reached the United States, at 18, and fell in love with an American man that I truly had to rearrange my cultural notions.

It turned out most of America didn’t think of sex as a healthy habit or a bargaining tool. Instead, it was something secret. If I mentioned masturbation, ears went red. Orgasms? Men made smutty remarks, while women went silent. There was a fine line between the private and the shameful. A former gynecologist spoke of the weather when doing a pelvic exam, as if I were a Victorian maiden who’d rather not know where all my bits were.

In America, a woman’s body seemed to belong to everybody but herself. Her sexuality belonged to her husband, her opinion of herself belonged to her social circles, and her uterus belonged to the government. She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.

In the Czech Republic, the nicknames for women, whether sweet or bitter, fall into the animal category: little bug, kitten, old cow, swine. In Sweden, women are rulers of the universe. In France, women are dangerous objects to treasure and fear. For better or worse, in those countries, a woman knows her place.

But the American woman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment she proves it. In adapting myself to my new country, my Swedish woman power began to wilt. I joined the women around me who were struggling to do it all and failing miserably. I now have no choice but to pull the word “feminist” out of the dusty drawer and polish it up.

My name is Paulina Porizkova, and I am a feminist.

Paulina Porizkova, a former supermodel, is the author of the novel “A Model Summer.”
feminism  Sweden  Swedish-feminism 
22 days ago
(1) Humans of Seoul - Posts
"해외에서 대학을 나오고, 한국으로 돌아왔어요. 이제 일을 찾는데 구직 자체가 힘들기도 하고, 한국 기업 문화도 잘 안 맞는 거 같아서 걱정이에요. 술이나 회식문화도 그렇고, 한 번은 제가 면접을 보러갔는데 차렷 경례를 시키더라고요. 면접 볼 때 표정에 아마 나왔을 거예요. '아 이 회사 가고 싶지 않다.' 일을 찾는 것도 걱정이고, 찾아도 걱정이고..."

“I came back to Korea after graduating from university abroad. I’m looking for work now, but I’m worried both because the job market is tight and because I think Korean company culture doesn’t fit me well. I don’t really like the culture of drinking or after-hours company dinners, and one time when I went to do a job interview, they even made us stand at attention and bow. You could probably see this expression on my face during the interview: ‘Ah, I really don’t want to work at this company.’ I’m worried about finding a job, but also about what will happen after I do find one...”
Korean-workplaces  Korean-workplace-culture  Korean-hierarchy 
22 days ago
Single-member families account for 28.6 pct of S. Korean households
The percentage of those living alone has been on a sharp rise for decades, hitting the 20 percent mark in 2005 for the first time. It was 4.8 percent in 1980.

It became the most common household type in South Korea, making up 27.2 percent in 2015.

Last year, two-person families accounted for 26.7 percent of all families, followed by three-member families with 21.2 percent. Traditional four-member families placed fourth at 17.7 percent.

The rise in the number of one-person households seems to be closely related with a no marriage and late marriage trend in South Korea.

The number of South Koreans getting married fell to the lowest level in 2017, as young people delay marriage amid a prolonged economic slowdown.

The number of people tying the knot came to 264,500 in 2017, down 6.1 percent, or 17,200, from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. The figure is the lowest since 1970, when related data began to be compiled.

Many young South Koreans are seen as delaying marriage as they cannot find good paying employment amid a tough job market.

The data showed that the average age of South Korean men getting married reached a record high of 32.9 years in 2017, compared with 31 years in 2006.

It also showed that the average marrying age of first-time brides stood at 30.2 years in 2017, up from 27.8 years in 2006.
Korean-demographics  Korean-single-households  Korean-marriage 
22 days ago
Sexy selfies may be lucrative – but they won’t overthrow the patriarchy | Phoebe-Jane Boyd | Opinion | The Guardian
https://www.facebook.com/theguardian/posts/10157146054116323

“A woman must continually watch herself,” is a John Berger quote you might remember if you studied art at school, or if you like watching bad 70s fashion in action on YouTube. The theory (from his 1972 documentary series, Ways of Seeing) goes, “from earliest childhood [each woman] has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually … how she appears to men is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life … This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves.”

It’s a useful quote to pull out if you’re writing an essay about the ubiquity of naked female paintings throughout history. It also works well as an answer to the question asked by a new academic study this week, “Why are there so many sexy selfies of women everywhere these days?”

The subject of female vanity has been a preoccupation in the creation of images, and in their analysis, for centuries. Before think pieces about the prevalence of women posting #sexy stuff on Instagram, there were male artists at the salon exhibiting paintings of women looking into mirrors to see their own tits. There was Celebrity Big Brother’s Hardeep Singh Kohli disapprovingly asking Chloe Ayling if she felt objectified while glamour modelling this month. Early Woman might have been tutted at for scratching a likeness of her pubes into a rock – we don’t know for sure; no one’s proved it yet.

Berger’s “Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at” is a fair summary of societies that create and distribute so many images of naked women (ours). An updated but similar conclusion being put forward now, from the realm of scientific study rather than art theory, comes from Dr Khandis Blake of the University of New South Wales.

For Blake, the reason women post so many sexual selfies on Instagram goes like this: “These behaviours are completely rational, even adaptive … it’s all about how women are competing and why they’re competing … When a young woman adjusts her bikini provocatively with her phone at the ready … think of her as a strategic player in a complex social and evolutionary game. She’s out to maximise her lot in life, just like everyone.”

It’s as it ever was, then. Female flesh is offered up to be looked at. Offering it up to be looked at can bring rewards for the women who take part. That’s the glamour industry, that’s pornography, that’s pole dancing. That’s women parlaying their followers on Instagram into brand sponsorships and appearances on Eric Andre Interviews the Hot Babes of Instagram. What’s new is how Blake and her colleagues frame this. Apparently, it’s not about the power of the straight male gaze, or patriarchal pressure. It’s about economics.

In analysing 68,562 selfies on Instagram and Facebook tagged with words like ‘“sexy” and “hot” from 113 countries across the world, Blake’s study concluded that women are more likely to post sexy selfies in places where “economic inequality is rising, and not in places where men hold more societal power”.

Being a woman who looks a bit like Garth from Wayne’s World, I don’t make money or climb social hierarchies with sexy selfies. But I would very much like to scrape my coins together to pay for a ticket to the place Blake knows where there’s no gender imbalance. It sounds great. Where is it? Can someone draw me a map?

To back up the (very established by now) point that sexual images of attractive women have value – monetary and social – without factoring in why they have that value ignores the important bit. Yes, women who use this strategy to gain influence and money shouldn’t be shamed for narcissism, considered stupid, or pitied – we’re all operating in a system that offers certain options to us, and working to gain reward.

But what created the system? That young woman pulling her phone out to post a picture of herself pouting in a bikini is working within a structure – one that’s been passed to her through time. She didn’t create it, and doesn’t have full control over it, not really. And that isn’t a #hot or #sexy thought, but, then, being faced with the reality and limitations of longstanding patriarchal structures never is, is it?

• Phoebe-Jane Boyd is a content editor for an online media company
selfies  nudity  empowerment 
25 days ago
Body positivity catches on in Korea: Celebrities are opening up about their image to an audience eager to listen-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily
There is a look pushed by Korean mass media as the ideal female body: large eyes, thick eyelids, a sharp nose and white skin on top of a slim, glamorous body. It is the look of many singers, actresses and even reporters who appear on television.

Now, with the advent of Me Too and a burgeoning feminist movement in Korea, women in entertainment are feeling the freedom to speak out publicly against the media’s unforgiving beauty standards, helped by an audience of Koreans, especially young women, who are craving a conversation on the issue.

Last month, comedian Lee Yeong-ja appeared on the Olive variety show “Bob Bless You” wearing a swimsuit. There was little remarkable about the act other than that Lee was fat by Korean standards.

“People tell me I’m confident, but that’s not it,” she said later on the KBS talk show “Hello Counselor.” “I don’t think I have a nice body, either, but even if I keep failing, I’m going to fight against this social stigma and fight against my pride.”

Obesity has long been a punchline on Korean television. Common shticks ridiculing the overweight - which often involve fat female comedians - include a boyfriend struggling to carry his girlfriend, a man ejected off the ground by the light tap of a heavier woman and fat people crying when their food is taken away.

The jokes have become cliches, but they continue to sell, which explains why Lee’s simple act of wearing a swimsuit was interpreted as bold.

On another show, the JTBC music program “Hidden Singer,” last month, Korean-American pop star Ailee spoke candidly about her struggle with weight loss.

“I was so sad that I had to go on a diet to be on stage, even though I’m a singer,” Ailee said on the show. “I was really depressed because when I sang with a skinny body, I might have looked good, but I couldn’t show 100 percent [of myself].”

“I just decided not to care about it anymore,” the singer said, tearing up. “I’m so happy now. I think it’s more important to be satisfied with my own singing, to love my own body.”

Lee Na-young, a professor of sociology at Chung-Ang University and renowned Korean feminist scholar, said celebrities are more confident about speaking publicly on body image thanks to the social movements that sprung up in the past year, including women coming forward about sexual misconduct in the workplace, protesting hidden cameras in public facilities and calling on other women to break free from the “corset,” the idea of grooming for the gaze of others.

“A new feminist wave has been set forth,” Lee said, “and women have started to say that they will be treated as human beings, not sexual objects. The mass media, which is very sensitive to the trend, seems to have embraced this.”

A JTBC drama that began airing on July 27, “Gangnam Beauty,” directly tackles the subject of plastic surgery and lookism in Korean society. The main character, Kang Mi-rae, feels mistreated because of her appearance and decides to get cosmetic surgery, only to be ridiculed later for looking artificial. Another character, Hyun Soo-a, Kang’s rival in school, becomes obsessed with her looks when she is deemed the most beautiful girl in the school.

The drama has stirred the public for its honest discussion of beauty standards and their hypocrisy. The first episode had a 2.9 percent viewership rating, but the most recent episode, aired on Sept. 1, recorded 5.4 percent. Viewers have praised the show for its thoughtful approach.

“The mass media still embodies a mechanism that arouses lookism,” culture critic Kim Kyo-suk said, “but a new phenomenon of defying conventions with feminism has taken place.”

“Social media and mass media have instigated a certain standard idea of beauty,” said Lim Myung-ho, a professor of psychology at Dankook University. “Younger people have a stronger urge to follow idols, so they tend to have a very narrow and singular standard of beauty. The media needs to present more diverse beauty standards.”

BY NOH JIN-HO [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]


나 뚱뚱하다, 그래서 뭐?…외모 지상주의에 반기 들다

한국의 외모 지상주의는 유별나다. 아름다운 외모를 추구하는 것이야 어느 사회건 마찬가지겠지만, '아름다움'이 획일적 기준으로 나열되는 정도가 한국은 유독 심하다. 이에 앞장선 건 단연 대중매체였다. TV 속 걸그룹은 하나같이 쌍꺼풀 짙은 큰 눈에 오뚝한 코, S자 몸매를 하고 있다. 숱한 광고는 여성을 ‘마른 체형을 가져야만 하는 존재’로 각인시켜왔다. 임명호 단국대 심리학 교수는 “한국은 경쟁적이고 성취 지향적이라 대부분 자존감이 낮다”며 “이러한 환경에서 외모는 즉각적 평가가 가능한 가치가 되고, 한국의 발달된 SNS 문화와 매스컴은 획일적 외모를 강요하며 따르도록 부추기고 있다”고 말했다.

그랬던 한국의 대중문화가 ‘외모 지상주의’에 반기를 드는 걸까. 최근 들어 한국 사회에 공기처럼 퍼져 있던 ‘외모 지상주의’의 굴레를 깨고, 이를 비판하는 모습이 잇따른다. 여성 시청자들은 이에 적극적으로 호응하며 지지를 표하고 있다. 그 선두에 선 건 개그우먼 이영자다. 지난달 9일 포털사이트의 실시간 검색어를 장악한 키워드는 ‘이영자 수영복’이었다. 그간의 기준으로 봤을 때 전혀 연관 없어 보이는 이 두 단어는 호기심을 불러일으키며 이날의 온라인 이슈를 모두 집어삼켰다.

올리브TV 예능 프로그램 ‘밥블레스유’에서 멤버들과 단합대회를 떠난 이영자는 야외수영장 앞에서 주저 없이 흰 반바지와 쥐색 티셔츠를 벗어 던졌다. 그리고는 흰색·검은색이 얽혀 인쇄된 수영복으로 몸매를 한껏 드러내더니 수영장에 몸을 던졌다. 이영자는 수영복 입은 모습을 공개한 이유에 대해 “나보고 당당하다고 얘기하는데 그거 아니다. 나도 내가 무척 괜찮은 몸매라고 생각하지 않는다”며 “끊임없이 져도, 사회가 갖고 있는 인식과 나의 자존심과 싸우고 있는 거다”라고 말했다.

한국사회에서 ‘뚱뚱함’은 희화화의 오랜 소재였다. 코미디언들은 자신의 뚱뚱함을 내세워 자기 비하 개그의 소재로 삼길 주저하지 않았다. 뚱뚱한 여자친구를 안고 힘들어하는 남자친구, 뚱뚱한 여성이 살짝만 때려도 남성이 멀리 날아가는 식의 개그는 이제 클리셰가 됐음에도 여전히 반복된다. 이 같은 상황에서 이영자의 수영복은 그의 말처럼 “사회가 갖고 있는 인식과의 싸움”이다.

최근 이영자만큼이나 화제가 된 이는 또 있다. 가수 에일리다. 지난달 5일 JTBC 예능 ‘히든싱어’에 출연한 에일리는 다이어트에 대해 이야기하던 중 울컥했다. 에일리는 “가수인데 무대에 서려면 어쩔 수 없이 다이어트를 해야 한다는 게 슬펐다”며 “마른 몸매로 노래를 할 때 100%를 보여주지 못한 느낌이라, 보기에는 좋았지만 사실 제일 우울했다”고 말했다. 끝맺은 말은 울림이 더 크다. “그래서 저는 신경 안 쓰기로 했어요. 스스로 너무나 행복하고 제 노래에 만족하는 게, 자신의 몸을 가장 사랑하는 게 더 중요한 것 같아요.” 방송 이후 관련 기사와 영상에는 “지금 모습도 충분히 예쁘고 아름다우니까 앞으로도 노래 더 열심히 해달라”(지**)는 응원이 이어졌다.

이나영 중앙대 사회학 교수는 “강남역 살인 사건 이후 새로운 여성운동 흐름이 형성되며 ‘성적 대상이 아닌 온전한 인간으로서 대접받겠다’는 여성의 인식이 강화됐다. 트렌드에 민감한 대중 매체가 이를 수용한 것으로 보인다”며 “이 때문에 남성이 원하는 여성상을 깬 걸크러시가 주목받고, 남성 중심의 예능 시장에 여성 연예인들이 최근 자주 모습을 드러내고 있다”고 말했다.

트렌드에 민감한 드라마 또한 외모 지상주의의 문제를 화두로 던지고 있다. 웹툰 원작의 JTBC 드라마 ‘내 아이디는 강남미인’은 작품 전반에 걸쳐 이 문제를 걸고넘어진다. 못생긴 외모로 고통받던 강미래(임수향 분)는 결국 성형수술을 하지만, 이번에는 ‘강남미인’이라는 비아냥에 시달린다. 강미래를 괴롭히는 자연미인 현수아(조우리 분)도 외모에 집착해 스스로를 숨기고 옥죄는 모습을 보여 결국에는 모두가 외모 지상주의의 피해자라는 점을 드러낸다. 첫 회 2.9%(닐슨코리아 기준)였던 시청률은 최근 5.0%까지 오르며 상승세를 타고 있다. 드라마 인기에 힘 입어 웹툰도 재연재되며 주목받고 있다.

김교석 대중문화평론가는 "대중매체에서 외모 지상주의를 조장하는 메커니즘은 여전하지만 기존 관습에 대한 반발과 페미니즘 등의 흐름으로 형성된 비판적 인식을 바탕으로 이러한 현상이 틈새를 비집고 나타나고 있다"고 말했다. 임명호 교수는 "외모 지상주의만을 과하게 추구했던 흐름에 대한 반대급부적인 성격이 있다"며 "어린 세대의 경우 아이돌과 자신을 일치화하려는 욕구가 강해 외모에 대한 기준이 더 좁고 획일적인 경향을 보인다. 미에 있어서도 다양성을 제시하는 미디어의 역할이 중요하다"고 말했다.

노진호 기자
Korean-body-image 
25 days ago
Netizentown: [Article translation] "I am chubby, so what?... The fight against lookism"
https://m.news.naver.com/rankingRead.nhn?oid=025&aid=0002847230&sid1=103&ntype=RANKING

Korea's superficialism is extraordinary. As in any society, pursuing a beautiful appearance is present, but the degree of 'beauty' uniformity is particularly severe in Korea. It is definitely the mass media that took the lead. Each girl group on TV has large double eyelids, big eyes, a slim nose and S shaped waist. Many advertisements run with the tag 'women must be thin.'
"In a competitive and achievement-oriented Korean society, appearance has become a value that can be immediately assessed," said Professor Chung Sung-Ho of Dankook University.

Korea's pop culture, however, has been rebelling against "superficialism" recently. Female viewers are also positively responding. The lead is Lee Young-ja, a broadcaster. Lee Young-ja's swimsuit was the keyword that controlled real-time search words on portal sites on August 9th. Lee Young-ja revealed her figure in a swimsuit at an outdoor swimming pool. Lee Young Ja said after that: "You tell me I'm proud but that's not really it. I also don't think I have that good a figure. However at the risk of losing, I am fighting against society's perception and my pride."

In Korean society, the term 'fatty' is a long standing source of comedy. Comedians do not hesitate to use their own "fatness" as a subject of self-deprecating gags.
A boyfriend struggling with an overweight girlfriend, a chubby woman hitting a man lightly and he flies away... these are still comedic tropes repeatedly used eventhough they're cliché by now. This is the kind of "battle against society's perception" that Lee Young Ja means.

There is another celebrity who became a hot topic last month besides Lee Young Ja. It's singer Ailee. Ailee was on JTBC "Hidden Singer" and talked about dieting. "I was sad that I had to go on a diet to be on stage. It was nice to look at but it was the most depressing feeling when I sang in my skinny body." Those last words resonated the most. "I've now decided not to care. I am happy with myself, I am happy with my songs. I think it's more important to love your body."
After the broadcast, an online outpouring of support followed "You are beautiful as you are now, please show us more good singing from now on."

Lee Na-young, a sociology professor at Chung-Ang University, said: "After the murder case at Gangnam Station, a new wave of women's movement has been formed, and women's perception that they will be treated as a person rather than a sexual object has been strengthened. It seems that the trend-conscious media has accepted the idea."

(The murder case they're referring to is the "2016 Seochodong public toilet murder case" which was the start of the anti misogyny movement in Korea. You can read more about it here: Misogyny in South Korea: Murder in Gangnam & Murder at Gangnam Station: A Year Later, & LA Times Article)

In recent years, there has been a body positivity movement centered on civil society in the U.K. and the U.S., and it has also been popular in advertising and marketing areas that have quickly adopted it. The U.S. underwear brand, "Aerie" took the lead in the trend by using a woman with an unaltered body, and sales increased 33 percent in the first half of the year. In Korea, the interest in women's human rights has increased since the murder in Gangnam Station in 2016, and women's rights movements such as Mee Too and -Tal Corset (Take off your corset) have emerged.
You can read about Tal Corset here: "Women in South Korea are fighting back against unfair beauty standards, and getting rid of the things that constrain them."

The recent KBS2 'Superman Returns' case shows the public's perception that has become strict about lookism. Park Chu-ho's family appeared on the air on the 19th. The production team made comments on Park's four-year-old daughter, titled "Highly beautiful," and narrator Do Kyung-wan said, "She looks better than Suri Cruise in my eyes." "She is art, art". After the broadcast, many viewers expressed their displeasure: "Park Na Eun is a cute kid so Park Na Eun is cute, why pit her against Suri Cruise" and "Why would you put a standard of beauty on her, are we even doing this to little kids?"


Trend-sensitive dramas have also raised the issue of lookism. The JTBC drama 'My ID is Gangnam Beauty' deals with this issue throughout its entire work. Kang Mi-rae (Lim Soo-hyang), who was suffering from an "ugly look", eventually undergoes plastic surgery, but this time she suffers from the sarcastic treatment of the "Gangnam Beauty" tag. Hyun-ah, a natural beauty that haunts Kang, is also shown as being obsessed with her appearance, revealing that everyone in the end is a victim. The ratings rose to 5.4 percent from 2.9 percent and both the drama and the webtoon are experiencing popularity. (Article about a woman pursuing the Gangnam look)
Kim Kyo-seok, a pop culture critic, says: "The mecanism that promotes superficialism still exists in the media, but resistance to existing customs and the emergence of feminism is an emerging reaction to counter it."
Professor Lim Myung Ho adds: "There is a negative side to the current trend of appearance obsession. Young people tend to have a narrower and more uniform standard of appearance as they have a strong desire to harmonize with idols. The role of media to promote diversity is just as important in beauty."
Korean-body-image 
25 days ago
저출산 시대, 여성 징병제 논란… 여성이 군대 가면 평등해질까,
http://www.womennews.co.kr/news/114561

이 글에서 가장 강조하는 싶은 바는 이것이다. 여성이 군대에 간다고 해서 평등이 이뤄지지는 않는다. 오히려 그 반대를 의미한다. 그것은 군대라는 특수성 때문이 아니라 역사적으로 남성 직종의 여성 진출과 그 논란은, 언제나 그 직업이 더 이상 남성에게 매력과 자원이 되지 않을 때다. 쉽게 말해, 한국사회에서 가장 군인의 지위가 높았던 1950년대에 군인은 근대화의 선두에 있었다. 당시 군인은 대개 엘리트로 우선적으로 미국 유학 등의 기회가 주어졌다. 그럴 때 여성의 군 입대는 절대로 사회적 의제가 되지 않는다.

This is what I want to emphasize the most in this article. Equality does not happen if a woman goes to the army. Rather, it means the opposite. It is not because of the particularity of the army, but historically, the advancement of women into male occupations and the controversy is always when the profession is no longer attractive and resourceful for men. In short, in the 1950s, when soldiers were the most soldiers in Korean society, soldiers were at the forefront of modernization. At that time, the soldiers were mostly elites, giving them the opportunity to study in the United States first. At that time, female military enlistment is never a social agenda.
Korean-military  Korean-conscription  Korean-demographics  Korean-feminism 
25 days ago
Ed Whelan, Judith Butler, and the Crisis of the Elites - The Atlantic
Their motives here are also similar: Eminent friends are being taken down at the peak of their professional career by someone who is, in their world, a nobody. It’s outrageous, and it has to be stopped. And if, by so doing, you defame a classmate of Kavanaugh’s, accusing him of attempted rape, or effectively threaten to obliterate a graduate student’s career by lending a mob of literature professors the imprimatur of the MLA, so be it. That is the point and that is the sin: the willingness to stomp hard on a defenseless little guy in order to protect your highly privileged pal.

...Butler and Whelan deserve credit for admitting their mistakes and apologizing. But there is not much evidence that they have thought about the broader point here. The issue goes well beyond the graduate student and Kavanaugh’s classmate who got an undeserved accusation. It is, rather, the broader setting that caused two eminent people to choose tribalism, hyper-ideology, and personal attachment over fairness, a moderate willingness to withhold judgment, and merest decency.

If Whelan and Butler were ever to meet and to look at each other closely, they would realize that they are looking in a mirror, and they should not be pleased by what they see. And those who will insist in response to this article that it is outrageous to compare Whelan to Butler, or Butler to Whelan? You have conclusively proven my point.
US-hierarchy  elitism  hierarchy  privilege 
25 days ago
How Puberty Kills Girls' Confidence - The Atlantic
The change can be baffling to many parents: Their young girls are masters of the universe, full of gutsy fire. But as puberty sets in, their confidence nose-dives, and those same daughters can transform into unrecognizably timid, cautious, risk-averse versions of their former self.
girls  girlhood  puberty  childhood  parenting  body-image  gender-socialization 
26 days ago
100 Women: How South Korea stopped its parents aborting girls - BBC News
For every 100 baby girls born in India, there are 111 baby boys. In China, the ratio is 100 to 115. One other country saw similar rates in 1990, but has since brought its population back into balance. How did South Korea do it? Yvette Tan reports.

"One daughter is equal to 10 sons," was the message desperately being promoted by the South Korean government.

It was some two decades ago and gender imbalance was at a high, reaching 116.5 boys for every 100 girls at its peak. The preference for sons goes back centuries in Korean tradition. They were seen to carry on the family line, provide financial support and take care of their parents in old age.

"There was the idea that daughters were not regarded as part of their own family after marriage," says Ms Park-Cha Okkyung, the executive director of the Korean Women's Associations United.

The government was looking for a solution - and fast.

In an effort to reduce the incidence of selective abortions, South Korea enacted a law in 1988 making it illegal for a doctor to reveal the gender of a foetus to expectant parents.

At the same time women were also becoming more educated, with many more starting to join the workforce, challenging the convention that it was the job of a man to provide for his family.

It worked, but it was not for one reason alone. Rather, a combination of these factors led to the eventual gender rebalancing.

South Korea was acknowledged as the "first Asian country to reverse the trend in rising sex ratios at birth", in a report by the World Bank.

In 2013, the ratio was down to 105.3, a number comparable to major Western nations such as Canada.
Rapid urbanisation

Monica Das Gupta, research professor in sociology at the University of Maryland who has studied gender disparity across Asia, says factors other than legislation are likely to be the most significant in accounting for this change.

A legal ban can "dampen things a bit", but she points out that "seven years after the law [was instituted] sex-selective abortions continued".

Rather she attributes the change to the "blistering pace" of urbanisation and industrialisation in South Korea.

While the country was predominantly a rural society there was great emphasis on male lineage and boys staying at home to inherit their fathers' land.

But in just a few decades a large part of the population has moved to living in apartment blocks with people they don't know and working in factories with people they don't know, and the system has become much more impersonal, Dr Das Gupta says.

China and India, though, still have a stark gender imbalance, despite India outlawing, and China regulating against, sex-selective testing and abortions. So why is that?

Dr Das Gupta believes that in China this may be because until last year, the rule that your household registration - known as the hukou system - remained in the village where you were from, regardless of the fact that you might work in the city, meant that there was still an emphasis on male lineage and land ownership, but that this should now start to shift.

But she also stressed that the change is not always linear. As people gain economic advantage they have better access to sex-selective testing and have fewer children, which actually then puts greater emphasis on their gender.

In India in 1961, there were 976 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of seven. According to the latest census figures released in 2011, that figure had dropped to a dismal 914 and campaigners say the decline is largely due to the increased availability of antenatal sex screening, despite the fact that both the tests and sex-selective abortion have been outlawed since 1994. They say that in the past decade alone, 8 million female foetuses may have been aborted in the country.

But she argues that several factors in India are slowly having a trickle-down effect on attitudes to women including media representation of women functioning in the outside world, and legislative changes enforcing equal inheritance rules and requiring one-third of elected positions be reserved for women.

While South Korea may have rebalanced its population, this does not necessarily equate gender equality, Ms Okkyung argues.

"Even though Korea has a normal gender ratio balance, discrimination against women still continues," the 47-year-old says. "We need to pay more attention to the real situations that women face rather than just looking at the numbers."

Women in South Korea face one of the largest gender wage gaps amongst developed countries - at 36% in 2013. By comparison, New Zealand has a gap of some 5%.

"Nowadays women go to university at a higher rate than men in South Korea. However, the problem starts when women enter into the labour market," Ms Okkyung explains.

"The glass ceiling is very solid and there is a low percentage of women at higher positions in offices."

One of the reasons it is harder for women to compete in the workplace is because they are expected to devote their time to both work and family.

"One example is that working mothers have a dilemma, as children in elementary schools come home early after lunch. Therefore, mothers who cannot see a sustainable future in the workplace tend to quit their jobs," says Ms Okkyung.

Dr Hyekung Lee was one of the few Korean women in her generation that did find workplace success.

"I have been very lucky that I was brought up in a very enlightened family. My family had three girls and two boys, and all were given the same support for education," says 68-year-old Dr Lee, who is the chairperson of the Korea Foundation for Women, the country's only non-profit organisation for women.

"But when I became a full-time faculty member in my university, I had to be the only woman professor in my department throughout my 30 years there."
Moving ahead

Generally, attitudes towards women have improved as today's Korean men become more educated and exposed to global norms.

They also inevitably mix with women across all spheres of life, in workplaces, schools or social circles, something that perhaps was not so common decades ago.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Having children makes it hard for women to compete in the workplace, partly because of school hours for younger children

It is amongst the older generation that many still cling on to the preference for sons.

Emily [not her real name], 26, recalls that growing up as an only child, she was always treated equally by her grandparents - until her step-brothers were born.

"I only noticed the difference when my brothers came," she said. "Then I realised that they would never do stuff like the housework."

"My birthday is also one day before my father's so my grandparents didn't allow me to celebrate it because as they said: 'How dare a girl celebrate a birthday before her father?'"
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption How long will South Korea's women take to catch up?

"I think Korea is at that transitional phase that people are more aware now than previous generations, but it's still not quite equal compared to Western countries," she says.

"I've had friends tell me I can only keep my career if I stay single, and others tell me I've chased away men because I was too bossy on the dates and took the initiative."

She also notes that there is also a substantial difference in attitudes towards women in bigger cities and smaller towns.

"Cities like Busan are more traditional. I've had friends from Busan get a culture shock when they come to Seoul," she says. "In the capital, things are more progressive."

Yet she believes change will come.

"Women in Korea need to be aware that there is gender discrimination," says Emily, who is now studying in the Netherlands. "I didn't know until I left - I thought the way things were was just how they were."

"It's not until you expose yourself to other cultures that you start to question your own. I think things will change, but it will take a lot of time."

Additional reporting by the BBC's Geeta Pandey and Yuwen Wu.
Korean-demographics  Korean-sex-ratio  Korean-abortion 
26 days ago
In South Korea, real business gets done in brothels and karaoke joints | Public Radio International
“Ten-pro” salons hold the most prestige as essentially the private dens of aspiring celebrities, who sometimes linger in Seoul’s finest hotels and bars, seeking a wealthy patron with the help of a trendy club. There are the “15% bars” where the establishment takes a 15 percent cut of the hostess’s earnings, followed by “full salons” where customers dish out for all services up front. The cheapest in the hierarchy, the “hardcore room salons,” can get you a lap dance, body shots, and maybe some action, he said.

Not all clients can dish out loads of cash, in which case they turn to an array of lower-priced hangouts you can read about it here, if you’re really curious.

Higher-end haunts can be exclusive, turning away people without invitations and foreigners, who tend to find their niche in US Army districts.

The government report added that the amount spent on sexual services has been declining over the past five years. But that doesn’t stop South Korea’s highly educated female professionals from crying foul.

“As long as this kind of executive-level sexual corporate entertainment culture is seen as the norm,” said a programmer at a multinational electronics company who asked not to be named, citing the ire of her employer, “it's obviously assumed that women won't be willing to participate, and that can definitely exclude them from certain opportunities."
Korean-sex-work  Korean-sex-workers 
26 days ago
The idea that women are cyclical cuckolders bites the dust - Evolutionary psychology
ONE of the more intriguing findings in the field of evolutionary psychology over the past two decades has been that ovulating women are more strongly attracted to men with faces that have pronounced masculine characteristics, such as wide jaws and heavy brows, than to men who do not have such traits. Other research suggests men with highly masculinised faces have strong immune systems, a desirable trait in children, but also tend to form weaker long-term bonds with romantic partners, and are thus more likely to desert and leave the mother, both literally and metaphorically, holding the baby. Logic therefore suggests that a woman’s ideal evolutionary strategy is to mate with such men in secrecy, while duping less masculine (but better bonded) males into believing that the resultant offspring are their own—thus garnering reliable help in raising them.
Nearly a dozen experiments have yielded results which seem to confirm this theory, yet sceptics have criticised many of these studies as flawed. Some had small sample sizes (many with fewer than 40 participants), so their results are statistically dicey. Some determined ovulation dates by asking women to report when they last menstruated. These are problematic both because cycle lengths vary and because women are often unsure about when their last cycle concluded. Some measured women’s hormone levels only once, rather than several times, and then compared how different women at different stages of their cycles responded to faces, rather than comparing how the same women at different stages of their cycles responded.

To try to settle the question once and for all, Benedict Jones of Glasgow University has run an extensive study that tries to eliminate these flaws. The result, as he reports in Psychological Science, is that he has found no compelling evidence that women prefer different sorts of men during different parts of their menstrual cycles.

Dr Jones and his colleagues arranged for 584 heterosexual women who were having their menstrual cycles monitored to look at male faces that had either had their male features exaggerated or had had them minimised. This large number of participants meant that the issue of a small sample size yielding potentially unreliable results would be dealt with. To dispatch the problem of estimating women’s hormone levels from self-reporting their position in the menstrual cycle, Dr Jones arranged for all of the women to have their saliva sampled and analysed for hormones between two and 15 times during the experiment. To make sure he was comparing like with like, he had his participants come in for between two and 15 weekly test sessions, so that the same women’s preferences for masculine men at different points of their menstrual cycles could be compared directly.

As for the revealing of the faces themselves, women were presented with a paragraph asking them to imagine they were looking either for the type of person who would be attractive to them in a short-term relationship, like a one-night stand, or a long-term relationship, such as marriage. They were then shown a pair of faces (one more masculine than the other) and asked to rate which was more attractive.

All told, Dr Jones found that women’s masculinity-preference scores were not related to their reproductive cycle. Specifically, he and his colleagues could not find any statistically significant relationship between the levels of any hormones and preferences for more masculine faces. The idea that evolution encourages women to engage in cyclical cuckoldry was certainly an intriguing one. But, as Benjamin Franklin put it, one of the greatest tragedies in life is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts.
ovulation  evolutionary-psychology  mating-strategies  human-attractiveness 
4 weeks ago
Scientists must keep fighting fake news, not retreat to their ivory towers | Fiona Fox | Science | The Guardian
I am sorry to see Jenny Rohn penning her last piece for the Guardian’s science blog network (“I was deluded. You can’t beat fake news with science communication”). I have enjoyed her columns and often shared the links. But I cannot agree with her swan song.

Rohn uses her last post to question whether her seven years of blogging has made the slightest difference to public attitudes to science and concludes that it probably hasn’t. Her despair follows a now familiar trope in science: that in our “post-truth” society no one is listening to mild mannered science writers trading in facts and evidence. Instead the masses are in thrall to what Rohn calls the “enemy camp”, the anti-science brigade who lamentably “picked up the pen as well” and use it to peddle dangerous lies.

In our polarised times I question the wisdom of lumping the critics of science together into an “enemy camp”. Opponents of science come in many shapes and sizes as do their motivations and the quality of their arguments. I also wonder whether name calling is the best way of wining them over; Rohn tells us of “fascists, charlatans and propagandists” whose lies are then tweeted by “anti-vaxxers, racists and nutters.”

Mostly what I question is Rohn’s certainty that no one is listening to scientists. As Carl Sagan said, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” and Rohn describes herself as a writer who specialises in evidence based communication. So where is the evidence that the public buy lies over the truth in science? And why is this the starting point of so many of the debates I have attended on post-truth and fake news?

I am seeing plenty to reassure me that the public are more discerning. The latest trust ratings showed once again that scientists remain near the top of the list of most trusted professionals with 83% of the public trusting scientists to tell the truth (compared with only 17% who say the same of politicians). Soon after Michael Gove’s infamous charge that the public has had enough of experts, the Institute for Government published a poll showing that 85% of people want politicians to consult professionals and experts when making difficult decisions, and 83% want government to make decisions based on objective evidence.

If you focus on specific issues it’s also hard to see why some are so adamant that everyone is blindly soaking up lies over facts. Other countries have had big problems with vaccination fuelled by the kinds of campaigns Rohn is talking about, but in the UK MMR rates have steadily recovered after our own crisis and in parallel with the growth of anti-vaccination noise on social media. I am not saying there is no problem here; the Science Media Centre exists to counter misleading reporting of science and we are as busy as ever. But I think something more nuanced and complex might be happening than Rohn’s bleak scenario allows for.

Some will no doubt refer me to the research evidence on cognitive bias and a number of widely cited experiments that appear to show that presenting the facts make no difference to those who have made their mind up. Worse still, some studies show that the noble pursuit of debunking facts might even make things worse, the so-called “boomerang effect”. But even here there are some rich discussions taking place with some social scientists now questioning whether the findings have been overstated.

Rohn’s tentative conclusion is that science writers like herself should maybe retreat from the public space and try to change things through “more private and targeted channels”. I really hope she doesn’t. The last two decades has seen a remarkable cultural shift in science with more and more researchers viewing it as part of their role to engage with public concern on issues from GM crops to climate change to over-medicalisation. Time and time again I have seen scientists challenging misinformation on these subjects to good effect.

We are approached every day by journalists seeking the very best experts to comment, and the daily news is awash with scientists speaking from the evidence. Rohn may feel they don’t win every battle, and I would be first to agree. But a world where scientists are absent from the debate would be far worse, and we would all be the poorer for it.

No one said this was going to be easy – and I am open to Rohn’s claim that it might be getting harder, or at least more bruising. But that’s all the more reason for Rohn and her fellow scientists to hang in there. Now would be the very worst time for scientists to return to their ivory towers.

• Fiona Fox is the CEO of the Science Media Centre
fake-news  media  science-communication  science 
4 weeks ago
Blue collar Koreans in their 50s have most accepting attitude toward Yemeni asylum seekers : National : News : The Hankyoreh
Results confound assumptions that younger respondents would be more tolerant

Refugees have become one of the most hotly debated topics in South Korea since the arrival of around 500 Yemeni asylum seekers on Jeju Island. But no previous specifics were available on public opinion in terms of whether South Koreans support or oppose the humanitarian acceptance of the asylum seekers and where they stand in the refugee debate.

Working with the non-profit public research network Public View and the polling organization Time Research, the Hankyoreh conducted a deliberative web survey of 700 adult men and women across South Korea on Aug. 26 and 27. The result showed blue collar progressives in their fifties to be relatively accepting of refugees. Among respondents, 76.7 percent agreed with a restrictive approach including segregation – still substantially outnumbering the 23.3 percent who favored a more accepting approach.

The segments that showed the most accepting attitudes toward refugees included blue collar workers (production and services), respondents in their fifties, and those leaning progressive. While an accepting approach was favored by only 12 percent of students and 23 percent of stay-at-home mothers, 30.5 percent of respondents working in production and service positions showed accepting attitudes.

By age group, more support for an accepting approach was found among respondents in their fifties (37 percent) than younger ones in their twenties (11.9 percent) and thirties (17.6 percent). The results appeared to conflict with prevailing notions that more humanitarian attitudes would be found among white collar workers and younger people.

People in production and service sectors more likely to encounter foreign workers

“It appears that more accepting attitudes on the refugee issue were shown by production and service workers, who have more opportunities to encounter foreign workers than those in other job classes,” said Time Research president Park Hae-seong.

Rather than simply asking individuals to state their positions for or against something, a deliberative web survey involves asking about changes to their position after they have heard a counterargument. Respondents in the survey were presented with six arguments opposing their own position; an examination showed no major changes in the general public opinion situation.

The proportion of respondents favoring a restrictive approach dipped slightly from 76.7 to 74.1 percent, while the proportion favoring a more accepting approach rose from 23.3 to 25.5 percent. Of the 700 respondents taking part, 90 (12.8 percent) showed at least one change of opinion during the deliberation process.

How emotions and realistic arguments sway opinion

In terms of the arguments that changed respondent minds, those who favored an accepting approach toward asylum seekers were most often swayed by the position that there was “no reason to accept refugees when South Korea is already accepting a large number of economic migrants and North Korean defectors.”

Other arguments that proved strongly persuasive included claims that “the acceptance of refugees from other cultural spheres could harm social unity” and “the influx of refugee applicants could take jobs away from South Koreans.”

Two arguments proved effective in changing the minds of respondents who favored excluding asylum seekers: the positions that “inflows of refugee applicants and other foreigners represent an unavoidable global trend, and the institutional groundwork needs to be laid for coexistence with international residents” and that “South Korea too has a history of refugees migrating to other countries in the past due to the Japanese occupation and Korean War.”

The results suggest respondents were swayed by the realist position that the refugee issue can no longer be avoided and an emotional appeal noting Koreans’ own history as refugees.

“The fear that there will be social conflict and jobs will be taken away if foreigners come into the country is not a realistic fear, but one based on imaginary worries,” said Hankuk University of Foreign Studies law professor Cho Jung-hyun.

“Rather than climbing on the bandwagon of public opinion against [accepting] refugees, the government should be leading the way in establishing a system to lay the fears to rest,” Cho argued.

By Lim Jae-woo, staff reporter

Please direct comments or questions to [english@hani.co.kr]
Hell-Joseon  Korean-racism  Korean-refugees  Korean-xenophobia 
4 weeks ago
17th century quiet revolution
By Mark Peterson

I've previously written about the changes in the late 17th century and listed seven major features of social life and family organization that changed. I've written that these changes affected every aspect of social life in Korea. It was a revolution. But the revolution was not with bloodshed and chaos, but rather was a quiet revolution that changed everything.

Why did it happen? What caused Korean society to disinherit daughters, leave daughters out of the ancestral ceremonies, drop the details of a daughter's life and posterity from the genealogy, look by all means to have a son, and adopt a son from within the patrilineage if a son was not born, marry only at the father's house (no longer recognizing an option of marrying at the bride's home, and thus creating villages of "men-related-to-men-by-men." They created a system where women were invisible and only useful in biologically producing a son.

Why?

That is the question and I'm not sure I understand it completely, but I understand part of it. In fact, three parts of it.

As I see it, three forces came together in the late 17th century to bring about these radical changes. First was the natural growth of Confucian scholarship. Second was a population crunch. And third was the international situation involving the demise of the Ming dynasty, the headwaters of Confucianism. Let's look at each of these in turn.

When Confucianism came into Korea in the middle of Three Kingdoms Period, around the fourth century, it came in as a set of ideas, a philosophy really, from China. At that point, China and Korea had radically different societal organizations. China was "patrilineal," meaning inheritances were passed from father to son, without the involvement of mothers and wives. Korea, on the other hand, had a bilateral system, meaning sons and daughters shared inheritances. We also call this system one with "partible" inheritances, meaning the inheritance was divided, not kept as one whole, as in the patrilineal system. So, Korea accepted the philosophy without the practice. Or rather, they modified the practice to match their social reality. Specifically, when the Chinese Confucians wrote of performing ceremonies to the ancestors, they did so from their own frame of reference _ the eldest son performs the ceremonies, and they wrote it that way. But to the Koreans, that did not fit. The eldest son had no special role or recognition; rather, all the children worked together, and in fact took turns hosting the ceremonies. That made more sense to them given their equal division of inheritances from ancestors.

Korea began, therefore, to practice "Korean-style Confucianism."

But as the years went by, particularly reaching the high point of Confucian philosophical studies in the mid-16th century ― this was the time of Toegye Yi Hwang and Yulgok Yi I who are now featured as the figures on Korean money ― the contradiction between philosophy and practice began to be discussed, not as a unique feature of Korean Confucianism, but as a problem, a deficiency, in Korean Confucianism. And there was more and more discussion of "doing things right."

At the same time, Korea began to reach a population breaking point. We know of Korea today as one of the more densely populated places on Earth, but it was not always so. In the Silla period (57 B.C. ― A.D. 935), and Goryeo period (918-1392), and up through the first half of the Joseon period, there was land to spare. The population was not stressing the land; there weren't famines in times of bad harvest years. But somewhere in the 16th century this started to change. Now, with bad harvest years, there were famines and deaths. The population had reached a saturation point.

We see this in other countries. In times when inheritances are divided equally, but the population grows to a tipping point, there is motivation to change to a system of putting all their eggs in one basket, so the main household can survive in times of hardship. Primogeniture is one such basket ― meaning the property goes to the eldest son, but there is in some societies "ultimogeniture," where property goes to the youngest son or daughter (if the society is matrilineal). Korea opted for primogeniture. Why? Because Confucianism was sitting there with that as the answer.

The arguments over how Korea was out of step with the classics now had real importance ― now was the time to get in line and to adopt the principles that Confucius had long been teaching.

And the final step, the demise of the Ming dynasty, meant the death of the "older brother," from a Korean point of view. And now Korea was the more-civilized country, when compared with the barbarian Manchus that had taken over China and set up the Qing dynasty. This was all the more reason for Korea to do the "right" thing, and fully Confucianize. And thus the "now" I've been addressing, the late 17th century was the time of the full Confucianization of Korea.


Mark Peterson (markpeterson@byu.edu) is professor emeritus of Korean, Asian and Near Eastern languages at Brigham Young University in Utah.
Korean-patriarchy  Korean-Confucianism  Korean-Neo-Confucianism  Korean-history  Korean-sexism 
4 weeks ago
Storyville: Tokyo Girls review – probing the sleazy story of the Japanese ‘idol’ industry | Television & radio | The Guardian
‘I want to keep my innocence until I leave my school uniform behind,” sing a small group of Japan’s 10,000 teenage girl “idols” on stage. It is a lyric that, alas, loses nothing in translation. They sing in front of an audience made up of younger teenage girls hoping to become idols themselves one day soon, and of otaku – middle-aged men who have (often) given up their jobs in order to follow their favourite girls from concert to concert, hoping for …

Well, therein lay the substance of last night’s Storyville: Tokyo Girls (BBC4), which attempted to probe the depths of the Japanese psyche via its increasingly public manifestation in the idols-otaku relationship. Otaku shower their idols with handmade cards, presents and flowers, and spend thousands of pounds a month on tickets that will buy a minute of time, and maybe a handshake, at the meet-and-greet events with the performers afterwards.

“Idols use social media to lure fans to their handshake events,” says economic and industrial analyst Masayoshi Sakai. “Historically, a handshake is a very sexual gesture – only in the last few decades have they become acceptable.” Before the idols were born, then, he does not say, but well within the memory and experience of the otaku. “From the artists’ point of view, it’s very innocent.”
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The story shifted to show all facets. There was sex and sleaze, definitely. But there was sadness, too. Koji, 43, a devotee of 19-year-old Rio, seemed to have the most insight into his obsessive condition. He noted that he used to dream of being an explorer but ended up an electronics reseller. He admired Rio’s determination and hard work. “There are so many things I’ve failed at … It’s been a mediocre life.” He is emblematic of the hit to economic and individual confidence – salarymen’s in particular – that occurred after the country’s 90s boom ended.

Where do men traditionally turn for comfort and confidence-boosting? Women. The idol industry is many human impulses – so common, cross-culturally, that we think of them as innate – writ large and commodified utterly. The yearning for connection but only so far, for relationships without risk. “They choose girls who are guaranteed not to challenge or hurt them,” notes journalist Minori Kiatahara. “These men never try to hold hands with regular women. They think they should be loved and accepted without making any effort.” Youth is hankered after, fetishised, partly because of sex, partly because of sadness. It is turned into tickets and sold, piece by tiny piece.

Kyoko Miyake’s film did a fine job of portraying the complexities of the otaku mindset, but skipped perhaps too lightly over the fact that for some fans (albeit younger themselves – mostly in their 20s, here at least) the idol-attraction seemed to take overtly paedophiliac form. “Their selling point,” said one man at a performance by a band made up of young girls, “is that they’re not fully developed. If they were older, they wouldn’t interest me.” I suppose you could congratulate him on his honesty as you threw him into a pit.

And I would have liked to know, where exactly the thousands of dollars a month the otaku spend goes? The idols themselves seem to see their work as a stepping stone to fame rather than lucrative in itself, so I suspect they see little of it. Innocence takes many forms, and the game is rigged in so many ways.
Korean-ajosshi-fans  Korean-uncle-fans  Japanese-ajosshi-fans  Japanese-uncle-fans  Japanese-girl-groups  Japanese-Lolita-effect 
4 weeks ago
Women Smash Glass Ceiling in Foreign Service - The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea - National/Politics > National
Women outnumber men among successful candidates in the foreign-service exam, and their numbers are still growing.

In this year's test, whose results were announced last Thursday, 27 of the 45 successful applicants were women. The youngest was a 22-year-old woman.

The proportion of successful female candidates peaked at 70.7 percent in 2016, dropped to 51.2 percent last year, but rose again to 60 percent this year.

All the candidates will go through a year's training at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy.

Given the increasing proportion of women, the Foreign Ministry could become the first government agency with gender parity at the top.

It already has its first female foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, and the overall ratio of women to men has increased sharply from 29.3 percent in 2012 to 37.1 percent last year.

The number of senior female officers like division and bureau chiefs is also increasing rapidly. As of late last year, 15 of the ministry's 72 division chiefs were women. The number of women in the top ranks is still small at 11 out of 290, but more women are being promoted all the time.

And the increase is changing the work culture. "We now have fewer chances to have after-work drinks as the proportion of women and the number of female division and bureau chiefs is increasing. A distinct line is being drawn between official and private matters," a male foreign service officer said. "Now we don't have to work needless overtime, and we feel freer to stop work for the day and take a vacation when we want."

But personnel officials are complaining that it is difficult to find substitutes for female diplomats who take maternity leave.

There had also been grumbling from male officers that women were reluctant to work at overseas missions in remote or troubled areas. But a female officer in her 30s denied it. "It's an old wives' tale," she said. "In fact many female officers are raising children alone overseas, away from their husbands."
Korean-sexism  Korean-feminism  Korean-glass-ceiling  Korean-workplace-culture  Korean-working-parents  Korean-working-mothers 
4 weeks ago
Why Japanese Men Still Don’t Get It: Structural Roots of Sexual Harassment | Nippon.com
The problem is that a disregard for the dignity and value of women is built into the very fabric and systems of our society. Japanese corporations continue to demand an open-ended time commitment from their core (management track) employees (on the assumption that someone else will take care of the home and children) while treating everyone else as temporary help. The government talks about encouraging women’s full-fledged participation in the labor force, but the percentage of female employees classified as temporary or part-time, and thus excluded from the core of the workforce, continues to rise. Meanwhile, pregnant women are routinely pushed to resign or harassed into quitting. While our leaders pledge to marshal their policy resources to tackle Japan’s low birthrate, Japanese women are being penalized for having children, and growing numbers are sinking into poverty.

In this way, the underlying systems of Japanese society continue to deny women their right to work and live. The incidents that have grabbed headlines in recent months may strike some of us as bizarre anachronisms, but until Japan’s discriminatory systems are reformed, such sexual harassment will surely continue.
labels  label-making  Japanese-labels  Japanese-sexual-harassment 
4 weeks ago
Is Newscaster Hair Going Extinct? | InStyle.com
Esther Katro was 22 when she landed her first job as a reporter at a local TV station in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The recent graduate loved the thrill of breaking news and being on air. But when she was out chasing stories in the college town, people kept mistaking her for a student. She went to her news director for advice, and his response had nothing to do with developing her fledgling reporting skills. “He was like, ‘You have to cut your hair to look older,’” she recalled.

Katro hated the idea. She’d had long, dark hair flowing well past her shoulders for her entire life. But she desperately wanted to be seen as professional. So she booked an appointment at a local salon.

“I remember sitting at my desk in Arkansas and Googling ‘short anchor hair,’ and seeing what came up,” she said. “I went [to the salon] and told them ‘I want to look older; give me a sophisticated cut to my jawline.’”

If you’ve ever tuned in to your local 6 o’clock news, or simply stared mindlessly at the CNN feed blaring on the screen by your airport gate, you’ll recognize the cut Katro got that day: hair that falls between the chin and collarbone; sleek strands are blown out to perfection, not a flyaway in sight. Light layers and a heavy coat of hairspray lift the roots and frame the face in all the right ways. It’s neither too big nor too flat, the texture magically landing somewhere between a helmet and a halo.

It's a favorite among Fox News personalities, like Martha Maccallum, Shannon Bream, and Ainsley Earhardt; you'll see it on Megyn Kelly who's now at NBC. It's not partisan — it's everywhere, from big networks to small local outfits, no matter the anchors' preferred look. “It didn’t match my age,” Katro says, “but it was a professional cut.”

It’s the omnipresent anchor bob. And it’s no coincidence. The longstanding homogeneity of on-air hair, from Topeka, Kansas to Trenton, New Jersey — reporters and industry veterans say — is by design.

The Cardinal Rules of On-Camera Hair

Hair isn’t the only way in which women are held to high aesthetic standards on TV, but it’s one of the most shapeable — and ubiquitous — elements of the newscaster uniform. So what are the so-called rules of on-air hair? Anchors, reporters, and industry experts interviewed for this piece laid them out: Wear your hair down, in a smooth style that hits at the collarbone or above. Updos and complicated styles are a no, as are drastic color changes. Youthful appearance is key (better dye those grays away!). A bit of wave is okay (and increasingly popular at some stations), but ringlets and kinky curls are not.

It's not just perception, either. Researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, analyzed more than 400 publicity images for local broadcast journalists and found that 95.8 percent of female anchors and reporters had smooth hair. About two-thirds had short or medium-length cuts. Nearly half of the women were blond. Zero had gray hair. Just one black woman in the UT study sample wore her natural curls.

The style standards are a result of longstanding requirements that female reporters not only do their jobs, but “fulfill larger audience expectations of what women are supposed to look like,” says Mary Angela Bock, a UT assistant professor and lead author of the study. That ideal look “is stereotypically heteronormative, not overly sexy, and predictable.”

Sometimes, anchors’ contracts even go as far as explicitly preventing women from changing their appearance without a manager’s approval. Stations frequently hire consultants to help increase viewership, and they make recommendations on hairstyles in addition to news segments and set design.

Kamady Rudd, now an anchor at ABC affiliate WZZM in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recalls being asked during multiple job interviews whether she’d cut her hair into something that more closely resembled an anchor bob (her current station didn’t make such a request). Consultants have told her to tease her roots to add body. “It’s one cut for everyone,” she says. “They want you to be trendy, but not too trendy. They want you to look nice, but not too nice. It has to be on this really fine line.”

Even when it’s not an explicit order, the message to women in the industry is clear. “It was always one of those things where it was like, 'We’d really like you do to this,'” she says. “I’ve never known anyone where it was an ultimatum, it was just highly suggested.”

Jana Shortal, now an anchor and reporter at the NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis, also felt those messages acutely throughout her early career. “One of the first things they’ll tell you as a woman in broadcast is you can’t have curly hair,” says Shortal, who, as you might guess, has naturally curly hair. “It wasn’t that I had this big, bad, mean boss-man telling me I was ugly every day. There were slight suggestions that I would hear that were like, ‘You do realize this is a visual medium?’”

Barbara Allen-Rosser, a TV-news veteran who now works as an image consultant for on-air talent, says the point of hair guidelines is to keep viewers focused on the actual news.

“I think the key to hair on television is that’s the last thing you want to notice when you’re a viewer. It’s under control, it’s got style, it’s on-trend,” she says. “We want hair to be there and to look great and to be consistent, but it's not the focal point. If you’re telling a story, you don’t want people looking at your bangs."

But dismissing certain styles as “distracting” can also amount to discrimination, especially when it comes to women of color in the industry. “You’ll do better with straight hair,” says Brittany Noble Jones, a digital and broadcast journalist who is black and who relaxed her natural hair for years. For many like her, the expectation isn't just that you'll conform to a certain anchor bob — it includes replacing your hair's natural texture with something else.

For women of color, the overt sexism of the industry's beauty standards is layered also with racism. “We’re trying to look like a white person, basically,” Noble Jones says. “We’re trying to fit into their newsrooms. These newsrooms were not created for us.”

And then there’s the audience feedback. Nearly all of the women interviewed for this story said they had received negative feedback about their appearance from viewers.

“Viewers write in, or call in and complain, and yell about the way women look in way disproportionate numbers compared to men,” says Kelly McBride, a senior vice president at the Poynter Institute who consults with newsrooms and runs journalist trainings across the country. “The expectation for women to look young and pretty with smooth skin and smooth hair — and to conform to this very narrow standard — is so disproportionate. Men are allowed to be bald. They’re allowed to have curly hair. They're allowed to have straight hair; they're allowed to have hair that’s a little bit longer, a little bit shorter. They have so much more range of acceptability.”

Just because stations are dictating how their on-air personalities should look, does not mean that they’re footing the bill for beauty treatments. And upkeep is costly.

Noble Jones spent years straightening her natural hair with chemical relaxers and, later, wearing weaves, while working at stations in Tennessee, Michigan, and Missouri. The treatments would set her back hundreds of dollars, no small cost given the pay local reporters often make (in 2017, the average starting salary for a local TV journalist was $29,500). “It’s very, very expensive.” Noble Jones says. “In TV news, sometimes you have to choose between getting your hair done and getting makeup, and eating — because you have to have this look on TV.”

After her initial cut, Katro went to the salon every four weeks to keep the bob “perfectly in shape,” at a cost of $85 a month. For a while she was getting "babylights," because a stylist told her the subtle highlights would add the appearance of volume under bright studio lights. She keeps extra bottles of sprays, shine serums and dry shampoos at her desk and in her bag for touch ups on the go — all paid for out-of-pocket.

Around the time of the birth of her first child in 2016, Noble Jones decided it was time for a change. She was working at a station in Jackson, Mississippi. Her contract stipulated that she needed to run any changes in appearance by the station for approval, so when she returned from maternity leave, she asked her boss if she could start wearing her natural hair. He signed off. In late March of 2017, she went to work without straightening her hair for the first time in eight years. The move received coverage — and kudos — from national outlets. But after a month, she says, she got word the station wanted her to go back to straight hair. She says her boss told her that “natural hair was unprofessional... the equivalent of me going to the grocery store in a baseball hat.” The following year, her contract wasn’t renewed.

Jones, now freelancing in New York, is currently wearing box braids. To her, the ability to express herself (and stop damaging her hair) is no longer negotiable when it comes to finding a job.

“Some of my mentors told me, ‘If you get braids you’re losing all hope of going back on TV...you’re crazy if you’re going to get on air with the hair like that,’” she says. “But at some point you have to stand up and say, ‘I can’t do that anymore.’”
Breaking the Mold

Diversity and representation in general — whether gender, race or appearance — at the station level has started to (slowly) improve. But serious shifts, especially when it comes to beauty standards for female talent, will require changes at the top.

“The decision-makers in most broadcast situations are men. And I feel like what we need is one … [more]
hair  newscasters  beauty-ideals  gatekeepers  role-models  white-beauty-ideals 
4 weeks ago
Han
Rachel Park/박민희
‏ @RachelMinhee

Hot take: I REALLY dislike the Korean concept of "han/한/恨 as a uniquely Korean cultural phenomenon or sentiment. To be sure, Korea has a long history of trauma and suffering and I am not trying to deny or minimize this, nor the feelings of anger and resentment caused by this

But to say that ONLY Koreans can feel han, that it is something inherent to their fundamental identity, is just a way of minimizing difference and promoting ethnic nationalism - a kind of narcissistic worldview that depends on "othering"

Moreover, it's become a kind of Orientalist concept - so many TV shows/new articles/travel shows on Korea mention han to somehow imply the exotic nature of Korea and this romantic mystique without ever actually going into the detailed, complicated history that is Korea

Han is too often used as a cheap, easy, and false anthropological tool where things like Korea's drinking culture, love for singing, violence in movies, etc. is all just dismissed as part of "han" and it denies the possibility for nuance and debate. This has been my TED talk.


Jeff Holliday
‏ @slimjinpyo
13h13 hours ago
Replying to @RachelMinhee

This sounds similar to what some linguists call the "No word for X" phenomenon. If you'd like to read about some other examples, here is a nice archive: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1081
Han  Jeong      Orientalism 
4 weeks ago
63 percent of Korean unwed mothers can’t afford medical treatment: study
The study also showed that many of the mothers were battling against social prejudice against unwed motherhood.

More than 80 percent of them said they were “criticized” for deciding to raise their child alone without a spouse, while 27.2 percent said they have been pressured by their employers to quit after becoming pregnant.

A total of 11.6 percent said they have been asked to leave schools for being an unwed parent.

Only 11.7 percent of the surveyed mothers were receiving child support from the fathers of their children.

Among those who were not receiving any support, 42.9 percent said they did not wish to be in contact with the fathers of their children, and 12.9 percent said they no longer had contact information of the noncustodial parents.

Nearly 90 percent of South Korean children adopted abroad since the 1970s were born to unmarried women. A number of researches have shown that many Korean unwed mothers have been virtually forced to give up their children to international adoption.

Currently, failing to pay child support is not a criminal offense in South Korea.
Korean-parents  Korean-single-mothers 
5 weeks ago
In South Korea, opposition to Yemeni refugees is a cry for help - CNN
Earlier this year, 550 Yemeni asylum seekers landed on the resort island of Jeju, putting many South Koreans in the unfamiliar position of being forced to accept outsiders who many believed had no right to be there.
As has become second nature in South Korea's young democracy, residents turned to democratic instruments to vent their dissatisfaction. Protestors took to the street to demand the deportation of the refugees; hundreds of thousands more signed an online petition calling for them to be removed.
The rest of the world reacted in outrage to the alleged racism of the Koreans. An op-ed in the New York Times claimed that the incident "shows how deep xenophobia runs (in Korea.)" The Japan Times published an article highlighting the Trump-ian overtones of the Korean opposition to the asylum seekers.

The prevalence of xenophobia -- literally, a fear of the outsider -- in Korean society is not to be underestimated or excused. It is an instinct born of monoculturalism and calcified by the experience of occupation and war. And, as even the Korean government has occasionally acknowledged, it remains a powerful force in our politics.

However, xenophobia alone cannot account for the Korean opposition to the Yemeni refugees. And attempts to narrow our explanation to an accusation of bigotry risk overlooking the structural factors at play in this crisis.
Here, a puzzle reveals a deeper nuance. Polling estimates that between 49% to 56% of the general Korean population oppose granting asylum to the Yemeni refugees. But, in a surprising result, the opposition among Korean youth in their 20s and 30s are considerably higher -- 70% and 60%, respectively.
Speaking with young Koreans, what I hear is less a crude expression of racism than a frustration with the conditions of life in Korea. There is one word that comes up again and again: yeoyu (roughly, breathing room.) It's what they don't have; it's what they want.
In a situation that President Moon Jae-in described as a "crisis" and "disaster-like," youth unemployment in Korea has soared since 2013 and has now reached a 19-year high: as of July, 338,000 Koreans aged 25-34 were unemployed, up from 285,000 in July 2015.
The conversation in Korea now circles the question, how do we avoid a repeat of Japan's "Lost Decade?"

Among the Korean youth, bleak economic prospects coincide with reduced confidence in the political system. Young people helped elevate Moon Jae-in to the presidency, partly on the strength of his promise to tackle youth unemployment, and have seen little progress to date. They are a generation accustomed to disappointment by their political leaders: of Moon's three immediate successors, two are behind bars, and the third was committed suicide after facing corruption allegations.
The precarious economic and political conditions in Korea take an invasive toll on the personal lives of its youth. The number of marriages in South Korea fell to a record low in 2017, with many young Koreans delaying marriage until they find stable employment.
This generation of Koreans call themselves the "Sampo Generation" (three resignations generation) who have given up on dating, marriage, and having children. Many of them call the country in which they live, "Hell Joseon" or "Hell Korea."
The dissatisfaction among the Korean youth is difficult to understand on the basis of objective measures alone. It is as much a product of frustrated expectations, as it is of high unemployment or low marriage rates.

This was a generation of Koreans born, decades after Armistice and the rapid economic growth of the 1960s and 80s, to a stable and industrialized country. The sacrifices of their parents and grandparents were calculated to bear fruit in their lives.
Growing up in newly prosperous Korea, millennials made sacrifices of their own. They withstood one of the most stressful education systems in the world, and took out student loans to pay for college. The bargain they made with Korea's fierce meritocracy was simple: in exchange for our hard work, give us security and prosperity -- in a word, yeoyu. This is the basic compact that, in the eyes of many young Koreans, is breaking down.
This is the domestic context in Korea into which the Yemeni asylum seekers arrived. Against this background, some Koreans viewed the asylum seekers as interlopers who threatened to take the relief that justly belonged to them.

"I am a national of the Republic of Korea," reads one sign at an anti-refugee demonstration in Seoul, "the people of our nation come first."
The philosopher Martha Nussbaum once wrote, "anger becomes an alluring substitute for grieving, promising agency and control when one's real situation does not offer control." Under the xenophobic rage that the arrival of 550 Yemeni refugees inspired among the Korean youth, a deeper insecurity bubbles. You can see in their petitions the desire to regain control. You can hear in their shouts of protest, tucked away in the minor key, a cry for help.
Hell-Joseon  Korean-racism  Korean-multiculturalism  Korean-economy 
5 weeks ago
Girl Names for Baby Boys Aren't a Thing - The Atlantic
While parents who give their daughter a boy’s name might be trying to subvert gender norms, such a name is only desirable—connotations of “strength” and “coolness” are what Satran says some parents are after—because masculinity is seen as desirable. So it’s considered perfectly fine for a girl to exhibit traits associated with masculinity, yet a “serious problem” when men or boys reveal “even a whiff of femininity,” says Brian Powell, a sociologist at Indiana University. He says this one-way exchange is typical of scenarios in which one group of people has a higher perceived status than another; just as with the “one-drop rule,” a legal precedent that originated in the 17th century and categorized those with any “black” blood as fully black, a higher-status group avoids taking on any traits of the lower-status group.

The gender associations of a name can have a big effect on how people are perceived. A 2001 study showed that women with “androgynous” names like Casey or Kerry were perceived as more masculine than those with traditionally feminine names, while men with such gender-neutral names were perceived as less masculine. Other researchers have found that girls with gender-neutral names are more likely to take advanced math and science classes in high school and that female lawyers with unisex names are more likely to become judges.

Laura Wattenberg, the creator of the website Baby Name Wizard, remembers what happened after she listed the name Riley under the girls’ section (as well as the boys’) of her book of baby names in 2005. “I got angry letters from parents who had named their sons Riley and were furious at me for ruining their son’s name by suggesting it was legitimate to name a girl,” she says. (By then, the majority of Rileys being born were girls, as is still the case.)

As Wattenberg told me, those parents were resisting the long history of certain names making the switch from male to female. “Traditionally,” she says, “unisex names or cross-sex name usage has always been a one-way street—that is, always been boys’ names being taken up for girls. I don’t think we realize how much it happened in the past.” She’s talking about names like Ashley, Leslie, Dana, Shannon, Beverly, and Shirley, all of which started off as male names. (Ironically, the only web page I saw suggesting girls’ names for boys included multiple of these originally-male, now-female names.)

What leads some parents to pick a particular male name for a female baby over another? One factor Wattenberg mentioned is phonetics—nearly all male names ending in a vowel sound are “fair game for girls.” She also pointed to the influence of celebrities: Dakota, a “rugged, Western name,” was popular for boys in the ’90s, but underwent a rapid gender shift when the first famous Dakota (Fanning) happened to be a girl. (Long before her, Shirley Temple is credited with having given parents a similar idea about her first name.) Celebrities’ own baby-naming decisions set examples too, as Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds named their daughter James, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis named theirs Wyatt.

Satran, of Nameberry, noted the influence of culture more broadly. Some of those Ezras, Lincolns, Austins, and Wyatts owe their names to today’s version of female empowerment, but some parents of the past have had similar thoughts. Satran cited, for instance, the “broad-shouldered power-suits trend” of the early 1980s, “when girls were first given names like Tyler or Jackson.”

Many of today’s parents of baby boys, though, do seem to be thinking differently about gender than the generation that preceded them. “Today we are seeing a quantifiable shift, that more boys are in fact being given unisex names than 30 years ago,” says Satran. She adds, “Parents might not be naming their boys Sue, but they’re naming them Robin, for instance.”

A trend in the opposite direction that Wattenberg has noticed, however, is the rise of “cartoonishly hypermasculine names like Jaxx and Ace and Titan” for boys. “There are more babies named Zeus than there ever used to be,” she says. Many parents seem comfortable giving their baby boys nontraditional names—whether unisex or über-masculine—but remain uncomfortable venturing into exclusively female territory.

Once upon a time, though, parents didn’t consider such things when deciding what to call the next generation. “Something that we don’t often realize today is that there didn’t used to be baby-name trends at all,” Wattenberg says. In the past, the inspiration for names was usually limited to one’s religion or relatives; in the early 1800s, nearly one in four girls and women in the United Kingdom were named Mary, and roughly one in five boys and men there were named John.

The late sociologist Stanley Lieberson theorized that, in the U.S., as the importance of one’s extended family and religion diminished, names were “increasingly free to be matters of taste.” Satran marks 1947 as a watershed year, when the name Linda eclipsed Mary as the most popular name for American baby girls, and after that, she says, “the balance tipped to more people choosing names because they liked them, because they were stylish or cute.” All of a sudden, parents found themselves choosing not just names, but also “deeper values or political ideals,” says Satran. From then on, a name’s gender associations became one of many criteria to be considered as parents brought their children into the world.

Which brings us to the present, and perhaps the future, of baby names. Nowadays, no name enjoys the dominance that Mary or John ever did, because so many parents seek out original names. “That means that names that had a traditional gender association are disappearing,” Wattenberg says, “and in their place are surnames [used as first names], word names, place names, just total new creations out of Scrabble tiles.”

This might seem to point to a future where names have no gendered history, and where a boy’s parents won’t be so alarmed when their son’s name gets tainted by femininity. But that’s not what Wattenberg has seen so far. “I’ve looked at what happens to those names over time, and the answer is they either disappear or they typically end up in one column or the other,” she says. In other words, gender norms will still force names to pick a side. They almost always do.
names  baby-names  male-default 
5 weeks ago
Please Don't Walk Away Next Time You Hear a Scream | ké radar
Imagine this. After a late evening golf practice, you light a cigarette and walk into the parking lot. Then, you hear a scream of a woman and see a pair of legs sticking out of one car. What would you do?

On June 24, a woman surnamed Kim was abducted and murdered after her golf practice in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. Three suspects, one woman and two men, allegedly forced Kim into their car as she was returning to her car, an Audi. One male suspect, the only one who has been arrested, reportedly said they had targeted Kim for robbery because she was a woman with an expensive car. They filled her mouth with a pair of stockings before duct-taping it closed, and bound her ankles and wrists. Her body was found a few days later underneath a bridge.

But her life could’ve been saved, if only the sole passerby had intervened or called the police. Instead he brushed off the scene as just another case of domestic violence. And in South Korea domestic violence still isn’t taken seriously, because it’s all too common, and considered a private matter.

South Korea is not a particularly unsafe place. The overall crime rate is low and the murder rate is among the lowest in the world, with fewer than one murder per 100,000 people each year. The global average, reported in 2013, was 6.2.

But when it comes to violence against women by romantic partners, it’s a different story.

According to Korea Women’s Hotline, a non-governmental organization that campaigns to end violence against women, in 2015 at least 91 women were murdered by their romantic partners while another 95 survived murder attempts. To put this into perspective, fewer than 360 South Koreans died from homicide that same year. The organization collected data only from news reports, meaning there may have been more victims.

The passerby’s indifference also shows South Koreans’ general perception of domestic violence: it’s none of my business.

While domestic violence that occurs behind closed doors is mostly out of authorities’ reach, even when it takes place in public, violence between partners is often deemed a private matter. As in the recent case in the parking lot, strangers often turn a blind eye to violence between a couple, and even when the police do get involved, some merely exhort the couple to reconcile rather than appealing to law.

In recent years, the government has been treating domestic violence as something more than a private issue. In 2011, the law to prevent domestic violence — enacted in 1997 — was revised to allow police to take measures when they identify a risk of recurring violence, including separating the offender from the victim and issuing restraining orders.

But acceptance of domestic violence and culture of silence are pervasive. Even victims regard the violence they suffer as a private matter, choosing not to report violence at home. According to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family’s 2016 survey on domestic violence, over two-thirds of domestic violence victims (both men and women) didn’t take action, while only one percent said that they asked for help. Female respondents who didn’t run away, physically defend themselves or ask for help said they preferred to just get through the moment, didn’t want to report their spouses, or were simply too ashamed to admit having suffered domestic violence. Among the small fraction of victims who did seek help, less than two percent went to the police. Shelters for domestic violence victims were also an unpopular option; less than one percent of victims said they had used such a shelter.

“Perceiving that it’s not just an ‘argument’ but ‘violence’ between two people in unequal power relations is essential. And the domestic violence act should be revised accordingly. The law was created 20 years ago to prevent families from breaking up. [But] the purpose of the act should be to protect the victim, not the family,” Byeon Hyeon-joo, the head of Women’s Human Rights Institute of Korea told Korea Exposé.
Korean-domestic-violence  Korean-rape 
5 weeks ago
She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink | HuffPost
It seems so unreasonable when you put it that way: My wife left me because sometimes I leave dishes by the sink.

It makes her seem ridiculous; and makes me seem like a victim of unfair expectations.

We like to point fingers at other things to explain why something went wrong, like when Biff Tannen crashed George McFly’s car and spilled beer on his clothes, but it was all George’s fault for not telling him the car had a blind spot.

This bad thing happened because of this, that, and the other thing. Not because of anything I did!

Sometimes I leave used drinking glasses by the kitchen sink, just inches away from the dishwasher.

It isn’t a big deal to me now. It wasn’t a big deal to me when I was married. But it was a big deal to her.

Every time she’d walk into the kitchen and find a drinking glass by the sink, she moved incrementally closer to moving out and ending our marriage. I just didn’t know it yet.

“Every time she’d walk into the kitchen and find a drinking glass by the sink, she moved incrementally closer to moving out and ending our marriage. I just didn’t know it yet.”

But even if I had, I fear I wouldn’t have worked as hard to change my behavior as I would have stubbornly tried to get her to see things my way.

The idiom “to cut off your nose to spite your face” was created for such occasions.

Men Are Not Children, Even Though We Behave Like Them

Feeling respected by others is important to men.

Feeling respected by one’s wife is essential to living a purposeful and meaningful life. Maybe I thought my wife should respect me simply because I exchanged vows with her. It wouldn’t be the first time I acted entitled. One thing I know for sure is that I never connected putting a dish in the dishwasher with earning my wife’s respect.

I remember my wife often saying how exhausting it was for her to have to tell me what to do all the time. It’s why the sexiest thing a man can say to his partner is “I got this,” and then take care of whatever needs taken care of.

I always reasoned: “If you just tell me what you want me to do, I’ll gladly do it.”

But she didn’t want to be my mother.

She wanted to be my partner, and she wanted me to apply all of my intelligence and learning capabilities to the logistics of managing our lives and household.

She wanted me to figure out all of the things that need done, and devise my own method of task management.

I wish I could remember what seemed so unreasonable to me about that at the time.

Men Can Do Things

Men invented heavy machines that can fly in the air reliably and safely. Men proved the heliocentric model of the solar system, establishing that the Earth orbits the Sun. Men design and build skyscrapers, and take hearts and other human organs from dead people and replace the corresponding failing organs inside of living people, and then those people stay alive afterward. Which is insane.

Men are totally good at stuff.

“She wanted me to figure out all of the things that need done, and devise my own method of task management. I wish I could remember what seemed so unreasonable to me about that at the time.”

Men are perfectly capable of doing a lot of these things our wives complain about. What we are not good at is being psychic, or accurately predicting how our wives might feel about any given thing because male and female emotional responses tend to differ pretty dramatically.

‘Hey Matt! Why would you leave a glass by the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher?’

Several reasons.

I may want to use it again.

I don’t care if a glass is sitting by the sink unless guests are coming over.

I will never care about a glass sitting by the sink. Ever. It’s impossible. It’s like asking me to make myself interested in crocheting, or to enjoy yardwork. I don’t want to crochet things. And it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario in which doing a bunch of work in my yard sounds more appealing than ANY of several thousand less-sucky things which could be done.

There is only ONE reason I will ever stop leaving that glass by the sink. A lesson I learned much too late: Because I love and respect my partner, and it REALLY matters to her.

I understand that when I leave that glass there, it hurts her — literally causes her pain — because it feels to her like I just said: “Hey. I don’t respect you or value your thoughts and opinions. Not taking four seconds to put my glass in the dishwasher is more important to me than you are.”

All the sudden, it’s not about something as benign and meaningless as a dirty dish.

Now, it’s a meaningful act of love and sacrifice, and really? Four seconds? That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing too big to do for the person who sacrifices daily for me.

I don’t have to understand WHY she cares so much about that stupid glass.

I just have to understand and respect that she DOES.

Then, caring about her = putting the glass in the dishwasher.

Caring about her = keeping your laundry off the floor.

Caring about her = thoughtfully not tracking dirt or whatever on the floor she worked hard to clean.

Caring about her = taking care of kid-related things so she can just chill out for a little bit and not worry about anything.

Caring about her = “Hey babe. Is there anything I can do today or pick up on my way home that will make your day better?”

Caring about her = a million little things that say “I love you” more than speaking the words ever can.

Yes, It’s That Simple

The man capable of that behavioral change — even when he doesn’t understand her or agree with her thought-process — can have a great relationship.

Men want to fight for their right to leave that glass there. It might look like this:

“Eat shit, wife,” we think. “I sacrifice a lot for you, and you’re going to get on me about ONE glass by the sink? THAT little bullshit glass that takes a few seconds to put in the dishwasher, which I’ll gladly do when I know I’m done with it, is so important to you that you want to give me crap about it? You want to take an otherwise peaceful evening and have an argument with me, and tell me how I’m getting something wrong and failing you, over this glass?

After all of the big things I do to make our life possible — things I never hear a “thank you” for (and don’t ask for) — you’re going to elevate a glass by the sink into a marriage problem? I couldn’t be THAT petty if I tried. And I need to dig my heels in on this one. If you want that glass in the dishwasher, put it in there yourself without telling me about it. Otherwise, I’ll put it away when people are coming over, or when I’m done with it. This is a bullshit fight that feels unfair and I’m not just going to bend over for you.”

The man DOES NOT want to divorce his wife because she’s nagging him about the glass thing which he thinks is totally irrational. He wants her to agree with him that when you put life in perspective, a glass being by the sink when no one is going to see it anyway, and the solution takes four seconds, is just not a big problem. She should recognize how petty and meaningless it is in the grand scheme of life, he thinks, and he keeps waiting for her to agree with him.

She will never agree with him, because for her, it’s not ACTUALLY about the glass. The glass situation could be ANY situation in which she feels unappreciated and disrespected by her husband.

The wife doesn’t want to divorce her husband because he leaves used drinking glasses by the sink.

She wants to divorce him because she feels like he doesn’t respect or appreciate her, which suggests he doesn’t love her, and she can’t count on him to be her lifelong partner. She can’t trust him. She can’t be safe with him. Thus, she must leave and find a new situation in which she can feel content and secure.

“The wife doesn’t want to divorce her husband because he leaves used drinking glasses by the sink. She wants to divorce him because she feels like he doesn’t respect or appreciate her...”

In theory, the man wants to fight this fight, because he thinks he’s right (and I tend to agree with him): The dirty glass is not more important than marital peace.

If his wife thought and felt like him, he’d be right to defend himself. Unfortunately, most guys don’t know that she’s NOT fighting about the glass. She’s fighting for acknowledgment, respect, validation, and his love.

If he KNEW that — if he fully understood this secret she has never explained to him in a way that doesn’t make her sound crazy to him (causing him to dismiss it as an inconsequential passing moment of emo-ness), and that this drinking glass situation and all similar arguments will eventually end his marriage, I believe he WOULD rethink which battles he chose to fight, and would be more apt to take action doing things he understands to make his wife feel loved and safe.

I think a lot of times, wives don’t agree with me. They don’t think it’s possible that their husbands don’t know how their actions make her feel because she has told him, sometimes with tears in her eyes, over and over and over and over again how upset it makes her and how much it hurts.

And this is important: Telling a man something that doesn’t make sense to him once, or a million times, doesn’t make him “know” something. Right or wrong, he would never feel hurt if the same situation were reversed so he doesn’t think his wife SHOULD hurt.

“I never get upset with you about things you do that I don’t like!” men reason, as if their wives are INTENTIONALLY choosing to feel hurt and miserable.

When you choose to love someone, it becomes your pleasure to do things that enhance their lives and bring you closer together, rather than a chore.

It’s not: Sonofabitch, I have to do this bullshit thing for my wife again… [more]
relationships  respect  divorce 
5 weeks ago
Korean girls told to have babies
I remember learning in middle school that S.Korea was an 'aging society' and will become an 'aged' one after a few decades unless birthrate goes up. I still distinctly remember bc the teacher went on saying female bodies are 'sacred' bearing serious responsibility of childbirth.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20180911000814

Other teachers at the school are also being accused of making sexist comments like “girls should be giving birth to as many children as possible for the good of the country.”
Korean-demographics  Korean-birthrate  Korean-education  Korean-schools 
5 weeks ago
1 in 3 College Students Experience Forced Drinking: Poll | Be Korea-savvy
SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — One out of three college students said they have experienced being forced to consume alcoholic beverages, a survey showed Friday, suggesting unwanted drinking remains a problem on college campuses.

According to the survey conducted by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and submitted to the National Assembly, 31.7 percent of the respondents said they have experienced drinking too much alcohol because of pressure from peers.

The survey was conducted on 5,024 students from 82 universities and community colleges across the country between May 2017 and Jan. 2018.

The survey showed that 29.2 percent of the respondents were forced to drink at college orientation, followed by 22.6 percent on off-campus trips with fellow students.

Also, 54.3 percent of the respondents said they have experienced being too drunk to walk and speak properly at least once a year. The number of those who said they were seriously intoxicated at least once a month stood at 31.7 percent.

(Yonhap)
Korean-hierarchy  Korean-MT  Korean-unversities  Korean-students 
5 weeks ago
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