Korea’s war against sex

From this news article about the backlash a Korean soccer club is getting because some dolls they use turn out to be sex dolls (barely visible on distance): “The K League’s disciplinary committee will review if the presence of these inappropriate mannequins violated the league rules on placing prohibited advertisements or promotional materials, or if these dolls damaged the league’s image and integrity.”

The true inappropriate thing here is this anti-intellectual war against sexuality. In a country that copes with high gender inequality, a gigantic illegal sex industry and endless series of sexual crimes, they today still carry out the message that sex is something inappropriate, something that you should hide, should condemn and should be shocked about. How about teaching kids instead how to be respectful to the other (or same) sex? How about teaching about consent and about embracing sexuality in a civilized way? No? Wanna go on and continue banning, shaming and muting anything that distantly looks like something sexual? OK Korea. But don’t be surprised if your sex crime rate remains high. And that’s not some hippie ideology, its just basic social science. 화 이 팅.

One dream, one face

(a translation of this article was published in the Korean edition of Newsweek on Monday April 29)

Last week the world chuckled when South Korea again made it into the entertainment and ‘bizarre’ sections of foreign media: in a beauty contest in Daegu all the faces of the contestants look eerily similar. ‘One dream, one face’, was one of the headlines on the contest that resulted in something that rather looked like a ‘best plastic surgery’ contest. What many foreign readers don’t realize is that this is far from funny. A great part of South Korean society is completely stuck in the uniform believe of ‘one face’: if you are different, there is no place for you.

A ‘big’ face with natural eyes, being gay, being fat, not having went to the army, having a Filipino mother, having a diploma from an unknown university. No matter how smart, brilliant or suitable you are for the job, a South Korean company will prefer to hire somebody without these ‘handicaps’, as they value all these non-relevant aspects to ridiculous levels. Recently there almost was a breakthrough to give South Korea the chance to start getting rid of forcing it’s citizens to model themselves after the one and only holy standard: a new anti-discrimination law. The UN Human Rights Council recommended South Korea to push forward the law, after which a group of politicians started the process.
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Nothing To Envy

How do you make a movie about life in North Korea? Walking around freely is impossible, so a group of film makers decided to make an animation film based on the book ‘Nothing to Envy’. Many refugees from North Korea talk about their personal experiences living in North Korea, drawing a picture of the daily reality in the country that is locked up in a vicious circle of fear and corruption. The film is financed through crowdfunding, you still can donate to become part of the story.

Occupy Seoul

The protests at Wall Street are spreading over the world. Also in Seoul people joined the 1%-movement: a small group of people went out in the rain to rally against the financial goliaths in Yeouido, the financial district of Seoul.

Photo-finish for Korea

Before the cars enter the grid of the Korean Grand Prix next week, the most important race in Korea has already been held: the one against time. Four years ago the South Koreans received confirmation to host the Formula 1 race in 2010, but not even two weeks before the race the FIA did approve the new circuit. While the foreign press began to worry about the track, the Koreans always maintained confidence. Read more