Newspaper Reports on Online Misogyny ‘Ladygate’ Trend in Korea

"Beer Girl" drenches a disgruntled old man with a can of lager

As we have already covered here on koreaBANG, the ladygate trend has been around for quite some time. And the trend has even evolved into the ‘Madam Kim‘ series [Madam Kim is not a specific person, but rather the name given to any incompetent female driver]. In contrast, the ‘mangate’ hasn’t caught on as much as the phenomenal ladygate.

Whilst the following article tries to explain why such a phenomenon [that is of exposing, naming and shaming Korean women acting badly] is prevalent on the Korean Internet and reflects voices of both men and women, netizen comments show a quintessential example of a male-dominant online discourse.

From Segye Ilbo:

Whenever bean-paste girls come up, netizens flood the Internet with with ‘That’s what Korean women do’ comments

‘Perhaps the wife has done something wrong to get beaten up’

A corporate worker, Ms. Park (29) was stunned by Internet comments on a newspaper article. The article was about a housewife in her thirties killing her husband out of domestic violence. And its comments were mostly misogynistic, saying that ‘the wife deserves to get beaten up’. Ms Park pointed out ‘the comments were full of flat-out hatred on women,’ and ‘it gave me a chill to think of those comments might be in fact the ugly truth of Korean men.’

Online misogyny is spiralling out of control in the Korean Internet, which is not in line with the social progress of women’s rights. Some with distorted views on gender equality are fanning hatred on women.

Segye Ilbo journalists found 5 or 6 misogynistic websites as of July 20th. These websites claim they are working for ‘real gender equality’, yet their articles seem to consist of blind accusations and swear toward women, rather than legitimate arguments. There were so many slutty remarks referring women’s private parts that we were no longer able to read those articles.

Even if we try to ignore those cusses, the content could not be related to men as it is for women. This included ‘Korean girls are so obsessed with plastic surgery and luxury goods; they are even willing to sell their bodies to pay for those obsessions’, ‘Women are narrow-mind. They are used to self-rationalization with such selfish, shallow minds’, and during the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island , ‘Women are only interested in cosmetics. They don’t have any gaenyom’ referring to with popular search words at that time.

Such atmosphere perhaps gave birth to recent popular video series of ‘ladygates’ or ‘Madam Kim series’. In those videos and pictures, women are depicted with either lack of morality or driving skills; the related news articles have internet comments like ‘That’s exactly what women do.’

Most experts explain such internet phenomenon as a transitional phase of gender relations. As women’s rights keep improving, some men are bombarding their discontented feelings on the Internet, taking advantage of its anonymity.

There is no collective explanation for such phenomenon among women. A university student, Ms. Kim (24) said ‘Whenever I see misogynistic comments on the internet, gender equality in Korea seems too far away’, and a corporate worker Ms. Kang (31) pointed out that ‘Some ladies think it’s okay to make guys pay everything when on a date, while weaselling out from difficult tasks at work. Those ladies make us all guilty of such obnoxious behaviours.’

A wedding business, ‘Gayeon’ recently asked to 150 adult males, ‘When do you think it feels unfair to be a man?’ And the biggest portion of them (54%) answered, ‘When men have to pay for dating costs and a house when they get married.’
When do you feel it's unfair to be a man/woman? 

Professor Ham In-hui at Ewha Woman’s University said that ‘Men ought to stop feeling victimised due to the progress in women’s rights, whilst women ought to embrace responsibilities that accompany their rights,’ and added ‘Both men and women have to realize that they depend on each other as partners, thinking about the true meaning of gender equality.’

Comments from Daum:

Carry_me_back:

Ladies, you want gender equality? Enlist in the army!

민주고양이:

Not all women are hated, some gaenyom-less boseuls are; and the rest of them feel like they also share the blame.

Poipoi:

I’m a woman, yet I find this trend understandable. Especially the Madam Kim episodes… Those women really are despicable human beings. They are blamed for their obnoxious behaviours, not their gender.

즐거운 마음으로:

There really are too many weird ladies. They’re selfish and trouble makers. I hate their ‘me-first’ attitude so much.

Krrrr:

I’m not swearing at women, though it’s fascinating to see most senseless drivers are 99% females. It’s from first-hand experience.

Andrew:

Israeli women serve 2 years for the military; are they infertile for some reasons? [meaning that having to give birth to babies is not an excuse for not serving the military]

1439123:

They offer their cheap bodies to Yankees.. They claim they’re studying English, yet in fact they’re just whores dedicated to rubbish, not-highly-educated, criminal native English teachers. ke Korean women even go abroad to work as prostitutes, talking bullshit they will study there. Ke Can you get a master’s degree with your vagina? ke ke They also fabricate their academic records and when they meet Korean guys, they somehow transform themselves into elegant ladies, hiding their true colours — dirty as sewage water and as vicious as insects and parasites. I’m sick of their pretentious attitude!

으흠흠:

On the Internet, there only seems to be machos bitching about women. But in real life, such machos don’t exist. Why? With such attitude, they might get dumped by their girlfriends and wives. In other words, in compensation for not being able to talk about such thoughts in front of women, they’re letting it out on the internet. They say ‘those sluts are senseless blah blah’ on the internet; when they go sogeting, they voluntarily pay for dinner and offer the ladies rides, smiling as if they’re gentlemen. ke ke ke

편안한분:

I’m so sick of dependent, needy Korean women. Marriage is horrible. Hey bachelors, you might as well live alone. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as my wife’s ATM machine

달그리메:

One of my acquaintances is a chief manager of a business, and you know what? He said he rarely hires female employees. Why? Women usually don’t work overtime, yet when they quit, they’ll demand every penny for their work without regard of training her successors. He therefore usually hires male employees because women are not trustworthy. And I sometimes meet drivers having parked in front of front gates or not promptly moving when a traffic light changes; when taking a look at them, 99% of them are women.

박희훈:

There aren’t only bean-paste girls. There’s a wide variety of ‘ladygates’, which is an indication that there aren’t many women with gaenyom. tsk tsk tsk

가이포크스:

The Constitution of the Republic of Korea, article 39: All citizens have to fulfil their military duty. Why aren’t women serving their duties? Whoever you are, isn’t it right to obey the constitution? You want extra credits when applying for a job then serve the military. I don’t see a more serious issue around women.

horror:

They have it coming, why should it be criticized?? Why aren’t there any articles on male-hating posts on internet communities that are mostly women-dominated?

열혈남아:

When those stupid feminists scraped the extra credit system [it gives extra credits for those who served the military when they apply for public sector jobs], the war between Korean guys and you feminist bitches began. Think of what you’ve done.

박희훈:

These kinds of articles will result in even more anti-feminists tsk tsk Online misogyny has been around like forever, you idiot!

정의로운세상:

Ah you stupid.. Bean-paste girl is a term for gaenyom-less women who only find designer brands are acceptable. About Madam Kim series.. we blame them for their absurd mentality, which leads to most unlikely car accidents or shameless driving against the tide. Of course there are pathetic guys with inferior complex, yet that doesn’t justify women’s outrageous behaviour these days.

Niev:

Oh yeah, it’s misogynistic to swear at Kimchi girls. Those bitches don’t behave properly even when they aren’t home. They keep holding their freaking heads high without any remorse.

초딩생각:

Korean girls with designer brand obsession would not buy luxurious items once their brand logos are invisible. Those girls want to brag they can afford such expensive goods. Designer brands would not do well without feeding those egos.

달그리메:

You know what? They say it’s the age of gender equality, yet they expect us to pay for dating cost, house rental fees to live with and cars; they don’t appreciate the time we spend during the military service whilst voicing up against the extra credit system. If we don’t put up with this unfair reality, they would brand us as ‘incompetent, narrow-minded guys’. Guys are expected to do all the dirty, dangerous, scary, and difficult jobs. What the hell????

백곰:

Korean girls are shallow, selfish animals. Jewellery, cosmetics, purses and fashion items are their only interests. I haven’t seen any women reading newspapers. Wherever they go, they always demand their rights, the military service best represents such attitude. When women drive, they park wherever they want and do their businesses. When I see such women walking shamelessly, I feel nauseating. Their ‘equality’ is only applied to pay-cheques, not to difficult tasks at work; when guys point out such issues, they ridicule us. They prevent us from visiting brothels, though they spread their legs for Yankee English teachers.

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  • Matt

    Well, the headline picture got my attention…

    • Matt

      Anyway, legitimate anger provoked by troublesome individuals projected onto an entire demographic group that coincidentally shares arbitrarily designated characteristics with those particular individuals basically explains 95% of all the cross-demographic hatred in the world.

      It’s true, yo.

      • Ruaraidh

        Is it even legitimate anger when people work themselves up over isolated events, happening on the other side of the country to people they don’t even know?

        No. The misogyny came first, the projection of the actions of deranged individuals onto a broader demographic is an effect not a cause.

        Confirmation bias, yo.

        • Matt

          Yes, the misogyny came first, and it came from being angry at particular individual women they’ve encountered in their own personal lives, and they eventually decided to associate those women with each other on the common basis of their gender.

          Your comment doesn’t contradict mine, yo.

          • Ruaraidh

            Maybe so, though all of the misogynists I’ve met didn’t seem to have any justification through personal experience for it. Often it seems to me to be cultural, where the misogyny is passed like a meme from misogynist to potential misogynist, and then cemented via confirmation bias.

            Of course the most common reason I’ve encountered was blaming women for their own short comings eg ‘It’s not my fault that I’m single, women who aren’t attracted to lazy socially awkward ugly guys are shallow bitches and whores.’

            If you read through the misogynistic comments you’d find more that fit this template ‘It is unreasonable for me to invest any effort to change myself, women shouldn’t be attracted to westerners or people with more money, I hope they suffer future misfortune for implicitly rejecting me.’

            Then you would this one: ‘I once saw a woman pissing in a bin in the park, all women are bitches and whores, it’s no surprise to me that this woman would spit on an old man on the bus.’

            I think you’re being too generous in thinking that most misogynists have legitimate personal reasons for being so. Undoubtedly some do, but bitterness and borrowed outrage are more the mode than misguided personal experience.

  • Stories of butts

    This happens pretty much everywhere across the globe that has access to internet, the only thing this proves is that, if given the chance, people will spew out what they cant say openly.

  • Anonymous

    ” they ridicule us. They prevent us from visiting brothels, though they spread their legs for Yankee English teachers.”

    Wow! 50+ for incorporating racism and ridiculous misogyny in one post! Keep up the good work Korea.

    • statis

      “Korea” didn’t make that comment, you jackass.

      • lonetrey

        perhaps Anon here should’ve kept an “n” at the end of “Korea”.

        Regardless of his unneeded generalization, his amazement at this particular Korean netizen’s ridiculousity is still legit….

        • Anonymous

          Korea consistently produces this type of mentality…there are more than enough institutionally racist and sexist examples to back up my point, and I see them living here on a day to day basis. I see time and again attitudes that these types of views are ok….I say again, Keep up the good work!

          • chucky3176

            Same thing with the white Western foreigners in Korea. They like to generalize on entire 50 million Koreans left right and center all the time, but when Koreans generalize about white Western foreigners, Westerners get offended as if they’ve never done it themselves. It works the two way street.

          • SanToki

            You should leave ASAP since it’s so horrible, you want some cheese with that whine?

          • Anne

            You and all the other whiny expats are not seeing cultural phenomena, or even a culture, you’re taking every deviation from your conception of an ideal culture as a PERSONAL offense. Why should we have to listen to that? I second both chucky3176 and SanToki: no one will miss you and your condescending comments when you’re gone. If you’re that concerned about Korea’s future, then help, or at least make an honest and humble effort to understand, don’t stand there snarking while other people are busy trying to put a flame out.

          • Anonymous

            I hear a lot that I should stop “whining” and “leave”…. or that I should “understand,” Korean “culture.”

            Sigh….I love Korea, that is the heartbreak… but as a country it is like your old grandpa who gets cancer, but in denial, refuses to go to the doctor and also refuses to talk about the fact or accept that he is sick.

            When someone shames Korea it is because they are “condescending”… and “looking down on Korea” who are obviously just the poor victims of generalization. Maybe a lot of Koreans aren’t guilty, but they allow a place for this kind of mentality to exist in there culture…it is in fact nourished by institutions… I used to try to help, but the more people refused to admit there was anything wrong at all, the more I started to just step back and admire the moral train wreck that is this place.

            To Quote Eli Wiesel
            “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

            A lot of people are indifferent or refuse to admit these problems…

          • runningduckyliciousrub

            honestly…. i think its more accurate to generalize about koreans than with westerners hahaha… sure not all koreans are the same but MANY koreans ARE pretty much similar..

          • runningduckyliciousrub

            another classic example of how korea uses western standards on itself because it thinks its western, when really it got its traditions from china for 99 percent of its history

  • Yu Bumsuk

    From what I’ve heard most men learn to drive when they do their military service, usually around age 20. They get trained by professionals and have to drive all sorts of vehicles with both automatic and standard transmissions. By the time they finish uni they already have some driving experience. Most women, it seems, learn to drive in their mid-twenties and often don’t get much practice. Additionally, many teenage boys ride motorbikes but I’ve never seen a teenage girl driving one. In fact I hardly ever see them on bicycles. So, when you see someone driving in a way that looks like they’ve never driven a car before, it’s always a woman who’s behind the wheel. That’s not to say there aren’t some excellent, safe women drivers in Korea, but a higher precentage of really lousy drivers are women because most of them don’t get any feel for the road until they’re well into adulthood.

    • Patrick

      I have to disagree with you. True, I’ve seen some bad women drivers but it mostly all men on the roads. The worst drivers out there are taxi drivers, and bus drivers and those are men, not women. Get them off the roads and driving in Korea will be a lot safer.

      • Yu Bumsuk

        If you’re talking about reckless driving I’d agree. I was thinking more along the lines of skill-less driving. I remember a few years ago the Ministry of Gender Equality floated the idea of designated safe parking spots for women (in well lit areas, near doors) and among other features they would be 20cm wider – for women with “poor parking skills”, they reported. That really says all you need to know.

        • Patrick

          Agree their. Definitely some of the slowest parkers in the world.

          • Patrick

            their/there

        • Gabrielle

          As far I remember this event, the larger parking space was meant for being able to easily retreive a baby from his seat at the back (they didn’t take into account the case where men take their car with the baby, which de facto, never happen in Korea), and I didn’t remember a thing about being said to be well lit but it would make sense given the gloomy parking assault and sometimes, unfortunately murder. I don’t think that Korea is specifically dangerous, but Koreans seems to think it is.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    Today’s prevailing measure of humans, though morally disgusting, is wealth for men and appearances for women.

    Unfortunately a growing number of people find themselves under the par.

    Chronically high unemployment rate, fiercer competition for survival and women’s growing presence in every field push some to release its stressed-out emotions by slandering some insensible behaviors along with their oversimplified generalization in a shroud of anonomity.

    For men, having no decent job with hansome salary means socially incapable. Women without beautiful look are degraded as a pity

    Then a disturbing mix comes out: some women who have no trace of hesitation to get costmetic surgery and buy brand-name bag with painfual several month-long savings for marriage to a wealthy man snub men who failed to meet materialistic high standards.
    (here my assumption is that sensible men and women do not make character assassination)

    With apparently unbridgeable gap between rich and poor pushing disadvantaged people further down, men and women alienated by objectification based on wealth and beauty find their outlet for suppressed grievances in the Internet with satisfying anonymity.

    Under Confucious culture, where men are treated with more respect than women are, alienated men bombard ostensibly insensible women with blind criticism as if they shoud be in a position to make an evalution, not be judged by others, especially women.

    They make a wrong generalization that all successes in Korean society are ascribed to parental wealth, which is of course not true.

    Instead of trying to make reality they face change, almost of them complain about hereditary factors in wealth.

    In fact, they have a point to a degree. wealth is amassed by unfair playing in businesses and the powerful often take advantage of their positions for great profits. In short, the playing ground is not flat in many cases, rather slanted against the weak.

    That doesn’t mean foundless character defamation as an emotion outlet can be justifiable.

    Interestingly enough, an investigation into online libel on a famous celebrity showed that those making foundless coments online turned out to be children or unemployed persons.

    Most go-overboarding swears and cusses at some senseless men and women might be hurled by mischievious children or and jobless men and women.

    The point is there is a silent majority indifferent about sensational gossips. Thus online inappropriate remarks should not be considered as representing the general view.

  • Anonton

    ‘Can you get a master’s degree with your vagina?’

    Omg loool!

  • Attaboy

    Korea is by far the most misogynistic country I have ever spent any time in. Women there are treated like cows, useful only for “milk” and for breeding. The older and younger generations of men leave ALL family responsibility to the wife while they get throw-up-on-the-sidewalk trashed 4-5 nights a week and whore it up on the weekend with poor college girls on the company’s dime. Walk down the street anywhere in Korea and count how many children you see walking with their mother and how many you see walking with their father. The mother-child tally will hit 500 before the father-child tally hits 10. Cultural norms be damned. There is no defense for this nation-wide practice. Of developed countries, Korea has to be one of the worst places to be a woman.

    • DK420

      You’re never been to the Middle East? Korean men are working while the women are raising children. But this is changing slowly, really dumb people can’t comprehend cultural differences.

      • bigwin80

        Korean women hardly raise children these days.

        Your typical Korean kid has school followed by +5 hours of hagwon(cram school). If anything, its the education system that raises Korean kids. Many Korean moms don’t even cook for their kids. Meanwhile, Korean moms are busy getting fat, watching dramas and spending her husbands money. The explosion in Korean dramas targeted for women is due in large part to the obscene number of Korean mothers with absolutely nothing to do.

        This obviously doesn’t apply to all Korean moms but its true for a large number of them. Its perfectly understandable why Korean men are bitter. They work the longest hours in the OECD, must serve in the military and have much shorter life expectancies in relation to Korean women.

      • bigwin80

        http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/11/02/2011110201135.html

        Korean women rank 6th in life expectancy with 83.8 years.

        Korean men rank 20th in life expectancy with 76.8 years.

        Korean men not only must serve in the military but also work the longest hours in the OECD.

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/64/Yearly_working_time_2004.jpg/400px-Yearly_working_time_2004.jpg

        • Patrick

          If a lot of Korean men worked as much as they spent time smoking outside their work during work hours and drank less after work, they might improve on that ranking.

      • Attaboy

        DK, either you have never been to Korea or you have never left Korea. And it would be a stretch to call most countries in the middle east “developed” which is why I said “of developed countries”. Korean Women are working just like the men are. The difference is that the wives don’t “culturally” get sht-faced 4 nights a week with their friends and disavow all responsibility when it comes to the family.

        • Anne

          I would agree that Korean women get the short end of the stick in Korean society, and that patriarchy there is a negative influence. But the problem is a lot more complex than that. Traditional patriarchy is weakening in its most overt form, but now meshes with the financial and social aftereffects of the IMF crisis to create a system that subverts both women’s and men’s rights in new, subtle, insidious ways. Korean men have just as much a right to complain about always being expected to bear the sole responsibility for financially providing for the family as women do about being expected to bear the burden of caring for children whilst simultaneously getting undercut at work just for the fact of marrying and giving birth.

      • Ami

        “You’ve never been to the Middle East?”
        For some reason I doubt you have been there.

        Also, mentioning someplace you think is worse doesn’t make your country any better. Could I say that “someone’s house is dirtier than mine” so my house is clean?

        • Snarl

          “Could I say that “someone’s house is dirtier than mine” so my house is clean?”

          One’s answer naturally depends on whether they are an absolutist or a relativist. You are obviously an absolutist.

  • Niche

    Korean men are hilarious. So quick to judge these “outspoken & gucci wearing bitches”. You expect your future wives to be beautiful, a great mother, can “sing” well (wtf is that shit), cook & be submissive. Yet you men look like fat trolls who do nothing but become alcoholics, get fat, worry about your hair/fashion & what man purse you should wear that day. (<–gay as hell). You complain about your term in the military, but you motherfuckers do nothing but try to become Katusa's who do NOTHING at all in the military, but whine & complain. Korean women run to foreign men, so they don't have to deal with your higher than thou attitude of what a Korean woman should "be" & would rather have sex with someone who's penis size isn't 3" inches HARD. I dare a Korean man come up to me with his skinny jeans & tell me I'm not what a Korean woman should be. And the first thing I'll say is "THANK GOD! Thank you for the compliment!" Once you gay fucks stop wearing skinny jeans, man makeup & man bags….maybe us women will take your comments seriously & when you men stop expecting us Korean women to be a certain way to help with your reputation/appearance, maybe, just maybe, we'll listen & take note. Until then, please shut the fuck up already.

    • bigwin80

      LOL

      We have an internet tough guy here. You must feel so bad ass being some anonymous dude on the internet. I bet the man you’re describing is actually a reflection of yourself. I bet you’re a 5’6 fat fuck with a 3 inch penis and piss poor paying job. Just stfu and go off yourself in the woods.

      If you want a Korean woman then please take a bunch of gold digging hookers with you and leave Korea for good. You will be doing all of us a huge favor.

      • mr. wiener

        Uhh….I think niche is actually a chick mate. Should read the whole thing before you fly off the handle.

    • h3ll

      This type of mentality is not particular of korean men. It happens everywhere and this kind of misogyny tends to be perpetuated by women,by mothers
      .It begins at home since childhood,not allowing the boys to do domestic duties,giving them priority over their sisters,treating them differently : if the daughter arrives late ,big drama,if the son does it,no problem ,if she dates 2 guys then she is a slut ,if he dates 7 then he is a cool playboy,if she wants to live by herself,she gets a lecture while he gets a car and mom already told him he can bring the laundry and take food from fridge to refill his. Some mothers do this and this article shows it.
      So, women raising their kids in this way must reflect about it in order to make it balanced for both , men and women.

      • JM

        Figures that someone with the moniker hell would be the first with an intelligent comment. Thanks for not posting some idiotic racist/chauvinist/misogynistic rant.

  • John Holmes

    Korea has one of the lowest level of natality in the world. If girls don’t join the army or don’t work for child pourpose than we can say that they failed.

  • Jeffli

    I like crazy lady gate chicks, bring your aunties to me!

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  • Golbinnom

    “They are blamed for their obnoxious behaviours, not their gender.”

    <3

  • Frank Rizzo

    Personally, (BTW: Im a white Canadian) I think Korean girls are very pretty & some are sexy. A lot are too skinny and its a little gross but the ones with meat in their bones are much more beautiful. I have to say that I dont enjoy really hairy vaginas so usually, I ask the girl to shave. In North America, most women are shaven, but Koreans, Japanese and Chinese have super jungles and its very gross. Korean girls can be cute, but yes, they love money too much and are very selfish. I have loved a few Korean girls, now exes because of the cultural differences. Girls are girls, countries dont matter. Korean guys are racist because they are jealous. Korean men can’t get girlfriends from other countries. They have bad hair, big glasses and all wear the same things. They’re like clones. The Koreans are the most racist people I have ever met but the women that study abroad are pretty cool but the Korean men try to scare them with lies about Westerners. Maybe its because Korean men have such small penises, who knows. I still think Korean girls are hot and I have no problem with them immigrating to Canada. Just shave all that vagina hair away first. Join the culture. Lets make beautiful mixed children.

  • Badaboum

    This article is a proof that patriarchy affects women AND men.

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