Korean Men are not tolerating feminism.
Reader’s Note: The theme for July is “Market Forces”.
Length: 900 words
Reading Time: 3 minutes
In the west, most Asian societies are considered to be “backwards”. One significant cultural characteristic contributing to this impression is the fact that Asian societies are more Patriarchal. But as long as Westerners see Patriarchy as backwards, then they won’t be able to realize that they are the ones who may be facing in the wrong direction.
More evidence of Asia’s inadequate effort towards embracing feminist postmodernism has appeared in an article going under a snarky headline in the Los Angeles Times (2021 June 11), and then in The Economist (2021 June 19). A paywall-free version with an ill-appropriate backward title appeared on Breaking News World: Young men in South Korea feel victimized by feminism (2021 June 17).
The bias of the article is clearly evident early on where it says,
“South Korea scores poorly on measures of equality between the sexes. The “glass-ceiling index” compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of The Economist, rates it the worst rich country in which to be a working woman.”
By extension, we might read through the bias and smugly conclude that South Korea is one of the best countries in which to be a working man.
This article has two seemingly unrelated stories about South Korea: one is about a backlash of criticism directed at a distasteful sporting ad, and the other is about a newly elected political figure famous for his anti-feminist stances. At first reading, I had the idea that this article was a hedge podge of Korean news bits. But when I realized that the only thing these two stories had in common is the unpopularity of feminism in South Korea, then I recognized it as a sleight of editorial backhand intended to buffer the western view of Asia as backwards — which is backwoods backhand for backwards backlash.
Male Disrespect is not Tolerated
The main issue of contention cited in these articles is an advertisement for a camping equipment company, GS25.
“WAS IT MERELY an innocent sausage? Last month a poster promoting camping kit sold by GS25, a chain of shops in South Korea, included an illustration of two fingers reaching out to grasp a steaming banger. Angry young men complained. They said the detail, which resembled an emoji that depicts a hand making a pinching gesture, was a hidden insult planted by feminists. As everyone [in Korea] knows, the symbol is commonly used when mocking the size of a man’s penis.”
Camping is a popular pastime in Asia, and just like in the west, camping is primarily of interest to, and driven by men. But just like Gillette did in the west, GS25 has lost touch with their constituents and stepped into the western practice of man bashing, as suggested by this photo.
But it seems unlikely that these corporate attempts to remold culture will be accepted by men on the other side of the third rock. Backwards or not, froward Korean men aren’t willing to doff their hats to feminism, as forward western men have been so passively eager to do.
“Many young men take a different view. In a survey conducted in 2019, some 60% of men in their twenties said that discrimination against women was not a serious issue. More than two-thirds said that unfairness towards men was the big problem. They said they felt disadvantaged by South Korea’s marriage culture, job market, and the application of its laws. Compulsory military service, which applies only to men, is a particular grievance. “We have to compete against women after sacrificing 22 months for the country,” says a 25-year-old surnamed Jung. “We just want compensation for our sacrifice.”
It sounds like Korean men are making their mission, not their women, their priority.* Bravo!
* Chateau Heartiste’s Third Commandment of Korean Poontang
Although it is practically unknown to Westerners, the hidden hand of convergence reaches silently around the world groping for a banger to pinch. But apparently, there is a growing political support for “opposition” to the new gynocentric status quo. The article mentions a 36-year-old Mr. Lee Jun-Seok who was just elected the leader of South Korea’s main opposition party.
“Mr Lee has railed against radical feminism. He said the ruling party performed poorly in mayoral elections in April because it focused too much on pleasing female voters and had “underestimated” young males. He has promised to abolish quotas for women in the PPP and wants to restore “fairness” to the political process by using tests to choose his party’s candidates. This appeals to many young men, more than three-quarters of whom voted for the conservatives in the recent mayoral election in Seoul. “Most of my friends feel discriminated against in some way and that’s why we support Lee Jun-Seok,” says Mr. Jung. “It’s not about anti-feminism, it’s about fair competition.”
The Korean concept of “fairness” is particularly interesting. “Fairness” just isn’t fair without prioritizing male opportunity and preserving the Patriarchal social structure.
“Among his biggest fans are men in their twenties who feel victimised by South Korea’s increasingly vocal feminist movement.”
It is interesting to me how western men have completely bowed to the power of the V, rather enthusiastically, and almost without opposition, whereas Korean men are putting their foot down before too much ground has been lost.
“He may struggle to find more policies that can unite his young fans with his party’s older and crustier supporters. These include evangelical Christians with a penchant for conspiracy theories whom many in the PPP find embarrassing. […] His ambition to abolish quotas for women and young people will irk other party leaders, some of whom are young women.”
Here we see that the typical profile of Christianity is also “backwards”. Korean Christians are investigating conspiracy theories and seriously questioning all that is happening in the world, while in the west, Christianity has rolled over and is begging for another slap around.
“A conservative landslide in the mayoral elections suggests voters are souring on the leftish government of President Moon Jae-in, which has been damaged by scandals of its own and delays to vaccinations against covid-19. Mr Lee’s popularity will aid whomever the PPP nominates to run for the presidency next year — among some male voters, at least. Women may find him less impressive.”
Mr. Lee is too young to run for the presidency right now (the minimum age is 40). But it will be interesting to see how this culture war plays out over the next few years.