Male Rights Activist Dies in Publicity Stunt on Han River Bridge

On July 29th, four days after he jumped from a bridge over the Han River, the body of a well known male rights activist Seong Jae-ki was found floating in the water by the police. It was a bizarre and tragic conclusion to what observers had assumed was a frivolous publicity stunt. Before jumping off the bridge before gathered photographers, Seong had published a manifesto online about the goals for his organization, Man of Korea, and asked for ₩100 million to keep the group out of bankruptcy. In his comments, Seong criticized the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, also known as the Ministry of Women and Family, for taking government money to oppress men’s rights. During the days since Seong’s suicide, the Korean internet has been filled with fresh discussion of Seong’s cause and attempts to understand why he would take such a drastic step. koreaBANG has reported about Seong in the past, including his famous public defense of pornography.

Article from Nate:

Man of Korea representative Seong Jae-ki’s announcement: “I will put my life on the line. Please lend me 100 million won”

Seong-Jaeki-notice

Seong Jae-ki will jump off a bridge into the Han River tomorrow.

Dear citizens,
This is Man of Korea representative Seong Jae-ki. With my worthless life on the line, I have something I would like to say to you.

The Republic of Korea has the world’s biggest ministry for women as well as about six hundred institutions devoted to women. They are funded with a huge amount of our taxes. However, there is only one organization for male rights. That is us, Man of Korea, an NGO that relies on our members’ donations.

Dear citizens,
Ever since the mid 1980s when gender equality issues came into public awareness, our country has been focusing on overhauling laws, policies and social systems to improve women’s rights and status. We have our first female president. More women pass major government service exams than men. Female ROTCs command conscripted male soldiers. Women surpassed men in university entrance rates and youth employment rates years ago. Despite this, men are still seen as superior while women are seen are ‘socially weak’.

Dear citizens,
While everyone else was speaking on behalf of women, Man of Korea started to speak for men. We began our group online in January, 2008, and launched a formal civic group in March, 2011. We have been treading a thorny path filled with mockery and ridicule. When we said excessive privileges for women should be distributed to men, too, we were called male chauvinists. When we said men and women should share equal expenses and we should create an environment where men can also be house husbands, we were called losers. In this country, where discussing male rights is considered to be cheap gossip for losers and you have to discuss national politics to be taken seriously, Man of Korea has been marginalized.

We would like to say that men can also be weak. We wanted to point out that if the gender you were born with determines your rights, privileges and duties, we will never achieve equality. We wanted to say that it is important to create a society where men and women stand on an equal footing and can understand and respect each other. We wanted to talk about equality of every human beyond gender equality.

However, Man of Korea has been clumsy. We tried hard but we were naive. We had to go through much trial and error. Moreover, we have always been poor. Because accepting government funds meant we would have to submit to the oversight of the Ministry of Women, we gave up on any governmental aid. We also have no corporate donors. Our individual supporters’ effort are not enough. We have always been in financial struggles.

Dear citizens,
Yes, you are right. Now, I ask you for help, putting my life on the line. Give Man of Korea one last chance. If you ask us what we have achieved, it would be difficult for me to answer you, but we have planted the idea of ‘male rights’ into the public consciousness and created hope for the future of our cause.

Dear citizens,
Soon I will jump off a bridge into the Han River. I hope you give us one last chance. If something unfortunate happens to me, secretary general Han Seung-oh will take over my position. I beg you shamelessly. Please lend us 100 million won. I hope ten thousand people can lend us ten thousand won each.

[……]

With your money, we will pay our urgent debt and use the remainder as operating funds to make a comeback. If I survive, I will try to do my best. I will definitely pay you pack. I plea for your help. If you remit money to our account with your name, we will record it and pay you back later. Tomorrow on July 26th at 7:00 p.m., I will quietly jump off one of the twenty-four bridges on the Han River. I will try not to bother the police and fire department. My colleagues will record it for proof. Even if my pathetic stunt goes wrong, please remember me.

The following are the goals of Man of Korea:
One, men’s military service should rightfully be compensated in any form.

One, we oppose the bill in the National Assembly that plans to punish only customers of the sex trade whereas sex workers take no responsibility.

One, Article 2 Section 5 of the Youth Protection Act should be applicable only when real underage individuals are involved in sexual material.[Note: Seong may be referring to the controversy over censorship of pornography due to reasons of child endangerment, covered here by koreaBANG]

Man of Korea speaks for nation, family and balance.

2013 7.25

Man of Korea representative Seong Jae-ki

Comments from Nate:

geot****:

What is this, begging for coins…? Ilbe bugs who like him might as well collect money for him. There might be at least a hundred thousand Ilbe users, so if each of them gives him 1000 won, it will be 100 billion won.

aksd****:

Ke ke ke ke ke ke, such an emo, Ke ke ke ke ke ke, petty and dirty, Ke ke ke ke ke ke, this is the reality of your idol, Ilbe bugs, Ke ke ke ke ke ke.

yhr9****:

I understand what you mean…but I haven’t seen anyone who really died after a suicide announcement. Aren’t you worried about teenagers who would be affected by your action? Enough is enough, bastard.

jkm7****:

He sounds really crazy. He just looks like a pathetic misogynistic loser with an inferiority complex. Don’t nitpick on a law. If there is no buyer, then there will be no seller. If you care about cracking down on sex offenders who are mostly men or wage a campaign to discourage men from buying sex, people will think positively of your group and donate to you. But you are only stirring up trouble, tsk tsk. Resign, Seong Jae-ki.

joo5****:

He wrote he will go for a barbeque at 7 PM after the stunt. Why is he acting like a crybaby…

iuj9****:

I heard you will go have barbeque with Ilbe guys after jumping? Ke ke ke ke ke ke, I guess you have money to do that. ^^

maxm****:

Jumping into the Han River to beg for money…What on earth…On which bridge would you not bother police or fire department? You should go to a deserted island. Does anyone want to acknowledge such a pathetic and insensible person as a representative for men??

scha****:

You were bragging about your income to Chin Jung-kwon… If you don’t have the capability, just give up your group or pass it to someone else. Don’t threaten us with your life. Do you want to make us feel guilty for not lending you money?

wpfa****:

As a man, I agree with some of his points but I cannot fully support him because his rhetoric is full of male chauvinism and misogyny instead of the ideal of gender equality. Same with the men who follow him. The Ministry of Women has problems but someone like him who creates division between men and women is also a problem. Just immolate yourself. That will be more spectacular.

ggma****:

Well, I won’t stop you but don’t bother policemen and firefighters. If you survive, you will have to pay a fine. If you die, it will be hard for your staff to avoid charges for letting you die. Either way, you are a burden for others.

The below are Seong Jae-ki’s Tweets before jumping.

Seong-Jaeki-tweets

You misunderstood. I’m not telling you to help me if you don’t want me to die. I will jump regardless of whether we collect enough money or not. I just want to show you that I am genuine and serious about what I am doing with my life. I want you to pay attention to us for one last chance. If you want to swear at us, do so. If you want to trust us, please do so.

Why does everyone think I will die if I jump? I am confident that I will survive. Please understand that I’m trying to do something instead of only begging for money.

Seong-Jaeki-jump

Seong Jae-ki preparing himself and then leaping off the bridge.

Seong Jae-ki preparing himself and then leaping off the bridge.

Comments from Nate:

jind****:

Seong Jae-ki’s method was wrong but women should stop playing the victim and the Ministry of Women should be abolished. Hundreds of groups for women vs. one group for men. Does that make sense? Discrimination against me is bad but discrimination against others is good discrimination?

Male chauvinism is disgusting garbage.
But chivalry or Lady First is a nice idea.
Even if a man just looks in the eye of a woman, she can be sexually harassed.
But women can touch men’s arms and stomach like nothing.
If a man enters a women’s washroom, he is a pervert.
But if a woman enters a men’s washroom, she might have made a mistake.
Nosy in-laws from the husband’s side are a vice.
But it is a good tradition for the husband to buy a house to live with his wife.
It’s awful to let a woman’s mother-in-law know the security code to her home.
But she lets her mom know it without telling her husband.
If a man hits a woman, he is trash.
But if a woman hits a man, the man might be trash who deserves it.
Women can become military officers. They aren’t physically weak.
But how can women be conscripted? They are physically weak.
There is nothing special about men doing their military duty. What bonus points?
But women suffer a lot from period pain. They need menstrual leave.
Low employment rate of women is all because of men.
But women tend not to want to get in the science or engineering field.
It is bad discrimination to ask female employees for coffee.
But it is rational discrimination to ask male employees to do overtime or night shifts.
Why do men get promoted faster than women?
But you want a woman to carry that heavy water bottle?
White-only was trashy discrimination against black people.
But women-only is completely rational discrimination.
An Older man’s compliment to a cute kid is bad sexual harassment.
But an older woman’s compliment to a cute kid, even a remark about his penis, is good sexual harassment.
It hurts a woman’s pride when they have to pay alongside men.
But it is good manners for men to pay for women.
Women can fail. It’s understandable.
But men should always succeed. Otherwise, they are worthless.
When a woman cries, they ask her who made her cry.
But when a man cries, they scold him for being pathetic.

wjqj****:

I can assure you that seeking male rights in Korea is over. Is there anyone else who spent money or acted out to protect male rights as much as Seong Jae-ki? He still went nowhere. Male rights are doomed in Korea. Examples of sexism against men.

saft****:

The body might not be Seong Jae-ki considering that the place is upstream.

wjqj****:

From my alumni, Facebook or the internet, I’ve never seen more misogyny than this year. Definitely 70% of Korean men don’t view Korean women favorably these days.

beco****:

Whoa, guys…Are you trying to free men from slavery or something? It almost sounds like it. What’s up? What’s good about pressuring women?

shoo****:

-Budget for Ministry of Women: ₩28.8 billion (2001), ₩42.7 billion (2002), ₩43.5 billion (2003), ₩45.2 billion (2004), ₩643.8 billion (2005), ₩874.9 billion (2006), ₩1.1378 trillion (2007), ₩70.2 billion (2008), ₩78.4 billion (2009), ₩96.5 billion (2010), ₩219.4 billion (2011), ₩246.6 billion (2012), ₩520 billion (2013)
-Budget for Man of Korea: no governmental aid (2008~2013)
Man of Korea was never about male chauvinism trying to take back women’s rights. They want both men and women to share the same rights. They advocate scrapping the Youth Protection Act, free legal consultation for men, food services for single dads, services for homeless men, phone hotlines for men, etc. which have been mainly offered for women. They try to speak up for marginalized men. Their budget is from small donations. I want to ask the Ministry of Women whether Man of Korea does is really putting women down.

yhs2****:

I really hate the girls dwelling on Nate Pann. They call female celebrities sluts and whatnot but they defend male celebrities who commit all kinds of crimes. Some women say they wants to murder their mother-in-law. One bad woman talked behind her husband’s back and even put laxatives in his food. Your soul gets corrupted on Nate Pann.

rlar****:

If a man skips his work because of his sick child, he is caring. If a woman does that, she’s irresponsible. If there are a man and a woman with similar skills, the man is chosen. There are just as many examples against women I can write like in the top comment. Why do you have to blame women? Only some women have the mentality that they want to leech off men. Why are fellow Korean men so eager to bash fellow Korean women? Maybe because they have unfortunately met some bad women or they take other people’s stories as their own. I have no desire to be put on a pedestal for being a woman. What should women like me do?

lgd0****:

I have no disgusting woman around me and I hate misogynist men as a man but I gotta say men are forced to sacrifice themselves when gender equality is called for in Korea.

ches****:

The Han River Bridge is on the right side of the Mapo Bridge. It’s impossible for the body to go upstream especially with rain. And they couldn’t immediately identify him although it’s been only five hours since he jumped? It must be someone else.

Comments from Nate:

adsl****:

I’m a woman and I don’t think we need the Ministry of Women. Let’s not incite any more gender conflicts and give some thought to changing the mission of the Ministry of Women.

aran****:

Close down the Ministry of Women already. Their original purpose was to protect socially weak women…but they have lost their true goal and are just trying to create their own cartel. They are cancerous to society, wasting too much money. The only answer is to remove the ministry! But…they already have too much power that it won’t be easy to close it… ssibal

vtc2****:

I’m a woman and honestly, being a woman shouldn’t give you privileges. It rather feels like I’m being looked down on when they try to protect me. I don’t even know exactly what the Ministry of Women & Family does.

hosu****:

Kim Dae-jung, this bastard was a troublemaker in many ways.

wert****:

I don’t like Seong Jae-ki and his action was wrong but the Ministry of Women should be closed down.

my_s****:

Honestly, it’s a stretch to say he died because of the Ministry of Women. Why don’t they make the Ministry of Gender Equality focus on gender equality like in Sweden? Anyway, the Ministry of Women should be reformed in one way or another. The current ministry isn’t even very helpful for women although they spend lots of money. Well, in this country, it may be natural as the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries aren’t helpful to fisheries affairs and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure & Transport aren’t helpful to land affairs.

boop****:

Let’s make this clear. What Seong Jae-ki tried to achieve was gender equality. Media keeps trying to turn this into gender conflicts but he didn’t try to make women his enemies. If you can think, you will see what Man of Korea has done. What he tried to fight was the powerful and greedy Ministry of Women and the feminazis that even ordinary women cannot understand. Let’s not turn this into irrelevant gender conflicts.

anon****:

Kim ***-jung who should not have been born.

hans****:

I’m a woman who didn’t like Seong Jae-ki and cannot understand why he did the stunt but I agree that the Ministry of Women should be abolished. Close down the Ministry that creates reverse discrimination!!

seop****:

What logic is there in comparing military conscription and pregnancy?;; It is a duty for men to join the military but it is a personal choice for women to get pregnant;; Apples and oranges;;

Comments from Nate:

Seong Jun Choi:

It is very wrong to be hostile to women while hating the Ministry of Women. The purpose of Man of Korea is to abolish the ministry. Seong Jae-ki said they will disband as soon as the ministry is gone. Misogyny is not the point. To bring down the ministry, you have to approach it from a political point of view. They are a political group. They are interested in filling their own stomachs, not protecting women’s rights. The ministry’s annual budget is ₩305 billion, most of which is spent for juvenile welfare. The remaining ₩80.7 billion is for female welfare on paper but importantly, there is no detailed expense report. It’s not transparent. Moreover, Cho Yoon-sook personally spent ₩750 million in a year. In other words, they raised the budget and then skimmed off their share. If we keep bashing women, that also becomes another excuse to increase the female welfare budget. Like in America, women should be enlightened. In America, it is women who lead anti-women’s group campaigns. Feminists oppose self-serving women’s groups. But Korean women tend to turn a blind eye as they see men criticizing women these days. They don’t realize the politics behind it. Both men and women are victims and it ends up feeding the Ministry of Women and their cronies. It is women who should realize how they are victimized by increasing misogyny and actively oppose the ministry. Our true feminists have to lead it. It wouldn’t be too bad to create a Ministry of Gender Equality so long as they close down the Ministry of Women.

wyjl****:

Blah……….we lost one male rights activist due to his extreme stunt…

inmi****:

Can you blame anyone? It is your right to express yourself but it is a bit childish to call for a reform blaming someone.

n-rh****:

“Man of Korea will disband as soon as the Ministry of Women is abolished. When that day comes, I hope we can put an end to gender conflicts and say goodbye to the paradigm of gender equality. Instead, I hope we can start working for human equality. And I will go back to my wife. Please help me.”
– Former Man of Korea rep. Seong Jae-ki

gwan****:

I dislike Seong Jae-ki and I dislike the Ministry of Women even more….but it doesn’t make sense to blame his suicide on the ministry. Suicide was his own choice no matter what. He might have died accidentally while trying to do a stunt. The ministry has lots of problems but his death was his own doing. Only his family is worthy of pity…

neop****:

The Ministry of Women should disappear. There would be no problem if the Ministry of Health and Welfare took over their role.

supr****:

I’m a woman but I think the Ministry of Women should be abolished. I get nothing good from their existence. If anything, it creates bad blood between men and women due to reverse discrimination. I tried to think about what the ministry has done so far but I can’t find anything. Ah, they have used tens of billions of won a year for their private meetings. How do they even spend that much tax money on dinners?

my_s****:

-_-? What are you guys talking about? He killed himself because of his debt…. Who are you blaming?

yuns****:

You know what? Please read this… At the end of the Roh administration (2007), the Ministry of Women received 1.3 trillion won. You can look it up for yourself. It’s true. The Lee Myung-bak government tried to abolish the ministry but they just settled for significantly reducing their budget due to the opposition from the opposing party. So in 2008, the budget was only like ₩30 billion. Then it began increasing gradually and now it’s about ₩300 billion. If a ministry’s budge is cut down from 1.3 trillion to ₩30 billion, it’s natural to have huge problems, but there was no issue. Let’s think about it. The Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Health and Welfare is supposed get an increasing budget. If their budget is suddenly cut down by a trillion won, what do you think will happen? A disaster. Media will be all over it. That means the Ministry of Women was spending a huge amount of money on something trivial. Even if the Ministry of Health and Welfare takes over their main tasks, there will be no problem at all.

kims****:

For men’s rights? Honestly, that’s bullshit. He was overwhelmed by his debt. Because of what he said and his pride, he couldn’t take help from those he didn’t want to pay back. Then he thought of doing an extreme publicity stunt like that…. IMO, he didn’t accidentally die doing a stunt. It seem he just wanted to kill himself.

After Seong’s death, the Ddanzi Ilbo released the full transcript of their interview with him, which was conducted on November 28, 2012.

From Ddanzi Ilbo:

[M: Interviewer, S: Seong Jae-ki]
Seong-Jaeki-interview

[……]

M: For the slogan of Man of Korea, you wrote “nation, family and balance”. I can understand “family” and “balance” in there, but what does “nation” mean?

S: It all started from the compensation issue for men’s military duty. Since I wrote our group’s declaration without anybody’s help, there are some parts that should be fixed. The idea of a nation stems from the fact that men are not compensated for their military service at all. Giving bonus points for those who completed their military service was found unconstitutional and abolished in 1999. I realized that after a few years. If we are all in the same boat as citizens of this country, women should also do something while men are guarding the nation in the military. Currently it is unfair to men.

[……]

M: For our readers who may not be familiar with the Youth Protection Act, please briefly explain what Man of Korea criticizes about it.

S: I think the supporters of the bill basically have the wrong premise. I don’t think pornographic material provokes new sexual desires in men. Porn is just a means to release sexual desires. I don’t think men start to plan a sexual crime because of porn. But those supporters come from a very different starting point. Therein lies the controversy.

As you know, the problem is the Article 2 Section 5 [which is controversial for its ambiguity in defining what is “juvenile-looking”]. Like in the US and Europe, we should be careful to make porn with real underage actors illegal. Then there is no problem. Once I attended a debate about this issue and I was baffled at some female pundits’ comments. They said it is unpleasant to consider men who imagine having sex with juveniles while watching adult porn actors in school uniforms. Why should they even care and feel unpleasant about it?

[……]

Their way of thinking is similar to the assemblymen, which is frustrating. They say they will fairly judge whether it is considered illegal or not if you get caught watching something suspicious. How can you objectively judge whether something is “clearly” depicted as juvenile or not? How does that make sense? It’s like if you don’t know whether to cross the street at red or green light. It is like saying, “You can cross the street depending on how you decide and we will tell you whether it’s right or wrong later.”

[……]

S: I feel things are improving everyday. In November last year, we filed a petition against the movie “You’re My Pet”. We weren’t very serious about it but at least we wanted to make people think about it. It’s completely okay to make a movie where a man is treated like a pet. However, no netizens thought it was possible to make a movie where a woman is treated like a pet. We asked the judge for his opinion about it but he was hesitant. When we said there should also be freedom of expression to depict a woman like a pet dog, the judge couldn’t say anything. The case was dismissed but people who used to call me crazy changed their perception just in a year. They are waking up.

They are noticing discrimination that they used to overlook. In May of last year, I did a survey of 124 laborers at a workers’ center about women and men and their power. All of them answered yes to the question asking whether men are absolutely stronger than women. For another question asking whether some men can be socially more vulnerable than women, only 7 of them answered yes. 117 of them thought men can never be weaker than women.

Even those laborers who struggle to earn ₩70~80 thousand a day thought they were stronger than women just because they are men. How scary is that? That perception was the norm but it has changed a lot in a year. People began to discuss with one another. Conservatives call me an idiot. Progressives call me a hardcore male chauvinist. We don’t want to turn to either side anyway. We just say what we want to say. People are now thinking, “If even a guy like him speaks out loud, I might as well say something, too.” I think this is very worthwhile.

[……]

If women have to be considered socially weak because of menstruation and pregnancy, they will still be socially weak 50 or 100 years later unless they create some artificial uterus that can take over their physical tasks for them. In Korea today, students in their twenties are making ridiculous pledges to create a policy that acknowledges menstrual absence in class for student council elections. In the whole world, only in Korea can you find something like that. These days, more women pass the bar exams, civil service exams and foreign service exam than men in Korea. We have a female presidential candidate. Women who have no military duty can become ROTCs who command conscripted male soldiers. Women are still considered to be socially weak in this country. People are trapped in some strange paradigm.

[……]

M: More women than before get governmental jobs through public service exams these days but the trend has just began. If you take a look at the argument that criticizes bean paste girls or boseulachis, doesn’t it focus on the fact that they are women although they should just be seen as insensible individuals? Wasn’t it the men themselves who made it hard for women to engage in economic activities so women remain economically weak? The fear women might have felt after watching the movie “I Saw The Devil”. Women can encounter violence not just in movies but in real life. If you consider these examples, don’t women have reasons to consider themselves vulnerable?

S: I have no desire to argue with women in general and I haven’t done that. Some people just try to taint my image. I argue with feminists and bean paste girls.

[……]

M: It seems you are trying to point out that women don’t keep up with the national policies for women. Let’s think about this. I read a comment from a blogger who supports Man of Korea. In my opinion, it seemed like an average sentiment of your supporters. He said, “I spent my two precious years of my youth in the army. I struggled hard in the job market because of unrealistic requirements. After I managed to get a job, I tried to start dating only to meet the so-called boseulachis who tried to leech off of me. I managed to get married somehow but I’m afraid of raising a kid for financial reasons. Man of Korea understands such pressures on my shoulders.” That may be an ordinary life for a Korean man. However, it’s strange. Why would you complain to individual women instead of the government? For example, companies used to educate new employees for their job, but after the IMF crisis, the burden was shifted to individual job seekers. As for welfare for marriage and pregnancy, the government is supposed to be in charge. Why would you blame women for not doing their part?

S: Your approach is wrong. How much power do you think each individual has? Do you think they can directly pressure the government? They naturally complain about bean paste girls or boseulachis who they directly meet in daily life. I think it is too much to ask them to rationally complain to the government about their frustrations.

M: As an independent individual, you may point fingers at women around you. However, since Man of Korea is an organization that represents collective opinion, don’t you have to direct your criticism to the national policies instead of individual women? Although you already do regarding some policies.

S: I try to do that.

[……]

M: What do you think of the adultery law?

S: Just 10 years ago, MOGEF opposed abolishing the adultery law. Now they support it. Why? Because they think they have power now. In some American states such as Utah and Mississippi, there are laws against spousal theft that are stronger than the adultery law. If a wife cheats on her husband, the husband can file a lawsuit against his wife’s new man. You may think people in America and Europe are much more sexually promiscuous but as a matter of fact, Korea is a very promiscuous country. I honestly think the adultery law is required. Imagine you’ve been faithful in your married life only to be cheated on. When that happens, you should get a right to claim property.

M: What do you think about homosexuality?

S: It should not be promoted but sexual minorities are vulnerable indeed. We should be understanding and considerate to them. We should respect their rights.

M: You call for abolishment of the Special Law on Sex Trade and you support limited and licensed state-regulated prostitution. What about legalization of pornography?

S: I think that should be implemented.

[……]

Comments from Ddanzi Ilbo:

loberta:

Let’s assume men are roughly three times physically stronger than women and women have a vocabulary three times more extensive than a man’s. Physical violence can apparently be punished but there is still no clear method to penalize verbal abuse. Korean women’s overall employment rate is still less than 40%. Some of them may want to get a job but their circumstances may not allow it. Some of them may want to enjoy spending money after hooking up with rich men. It wouldn’t be right to group them all together and give them the same benefits. It seems what Seong Jae-ki ultimately tried to say is that we have to distinguish different groups of women. That we have to pay the right price for their work but privileges should not be given out to all women just for being women. That it’s unfair to treat women specially at the expense of men’s rights due to the perception that women are socially vulnerable. What I’m worried about is that such perception may also be a male-biased point of view. If you simplify this to a gender conflict, you can make another whiny argument that men are socially weaker than women in modern society. I’m a man from Daegu who just thinks our discourse should be about the socially vulnerable people in general before considering their gender.

겁쟁이곰돌이:

Well…before anything, I hope they do something about the bonus points for completion of military duty. If you contribute extra effort, you should be compensated, but that is not the case now. It’s not like all Korean men are convicts or something but it is mandatory for them to waste time for a year and half in the military. The government can pay the soldiers much better or employers can acknowledge their military experience as part of their career advancement. I just think something must be done. And I understand that the female employment rate is low in Korea and pregnancy is tough but I honestly don’t know why we need the Ministry of Women. I’m not saying it should definitely be gone but I just can’t understand why we need it.

임꺽정:

Seong Jae-ki, that fellow sounds a bit better in this interview but if you read his tweets, he’s very inconsistent and makes you scratch your head… I just get an impression that it is a one-man or a very small group that is trying to do everything on their own. I didn’t even feel the need to carefully analyze his interview so I just skimmed through it. It seems he judged that supporting Park Geun-hye is better for national security. Ironically, it’s been shown that Park’s camp doesn’t represent women. I’m a male and I can understand some of his points but I feel his thoughts are full of contradictions. That’s the impression I get from Man of Korea. I wouldn’t want to join such group.

rim3091:

Certainly, our country ignores masculinity. Women naturally want to be women and men naturally want to be men. These days they even criticize men who sit with their legs open in a subway or a bus. They don’t care about the thing between men’s legs. Cut it off? It has become a routine to bash something masculine. Would women like it when their femininity is attacked? Do you want me to ridicule their makeup or mini skirts? I will acknowledge women’s traits and I want them to acknowledge men’s traits! And the Special Law on Sex Trade was just put in place to block poor women from making a living by those women who were born in a good family or met a good husband. If you watch women bullying other women, you’d believe they would beat commies or collaborators with the Japanese.

이기적인 성재기:

Seong Jae-ki talks a lot but if you listen to him carefully, it’s all bullshit. Men’s average lifetime is shorter than women because of their aggressive nature, drinking and smoking. He has a great talent to blame everything on women. He never reflects on himself. In that sense, it’s true that men are weak. Socially and physically they are stronger but their mentality is like that of a child.

Silhuett:

1. Bonus points for military service: Disagree.
They need to change their requirements instead of giving bonus points. If you have served in the military, you must be good at group work. Military administrators are good at dealing with official documents. In this country where North Korea related scandals happen often, military experience should be essential. They are more disciplined. When you want to enter public service, you should be required to have completed military duty. Both men and women can do their service if they want to work for the government. Equal for men and women, right? What’s the problem?

2. Youth Protection Act: Agree
But mainly punish the producers instead of distributors or downloaders, whether they are domestic or overseas. It’s harder to deal with it if they hide deeper. How are they going to make the legal criteria clear though? There should be some basis for its link to crimes.

3. Pornography and other sexual issues
Pseudo-feminists are a bigger problem now in our country. They advocate their power, not women’s rights. If you are a true feminist, you should claim there should be more porn that caters to female viewers’ needs. If you insist porn is unpleasant and dirty, that only supports the sentiment that women should be prudish. Isn’t it truly reeking of the male-dominant era? Women need to wake up. They should not buy the idea that women should be protected or prove themselves. They just need to be respected as individuals.

It is very outdated to distinguish men and women. These days, women’s voice can be louder. Of course, there are still injustices against women but at least there is nobody who says it is appropriate. Now both men and women are busy pointing out their relative difficulties. It gave birth to Man of Korea.

Loberta: [in response to Silhuett]

1. I disagree with the bonus points, too. If you have completed military service, your starting salary is usually higher.Making military service a requirement for all government jobs doesn’t make much sense.
2. I oppose the poisonous clause in the Youth Protection Act. I absolutely oppose child porn but there are some ambiguous clauses. Even if an adult actor wears some costume reminding of the juvenile, you can be punished. Not surprising considering there are sexually delusional people who make a fuss about a vagina-looking snack in this country.
3. An innocent ideal is tainted by power? Same old. But it is also undesirable to define what a feminist should be like. Feminism is a movement of women, for women, and by women after all. Doesn’t it sound funny when you sometimes see some man who claims to be a feminist? They tend to ignore women’s independence. Women are supposed to do it all by themselves in feminism, right? I used to get mad at feminazis but I stopped caring. In Korea, a woman’s biggest enemies are other women. I just care whether they violate my rights or I violate their rights. Gender should not be an excuse to infringe on anyone’s rights. It is just a matter of human rights. Man of Korea focuses on protecting one gender’s rights. I don’t expect much from it.

팔아팔아:

Frankly speaking, wasn’t it Ddanzi who gave fame to individuals like Heo Gyeong-young and Seong Jae-ki? If you had left them alone, they would’ve been buried quietly but you decided to give coverage to those trivial issues, which eventually turned into social issues. I think our time is being wasted. Do figures like them have any significant influence in our society? Have they made any positive contributions? The answer is no…

무례:

I don’t use Twitter so I don’t know whether he is really a conservative idiot. But from this interview, I think he is a much needed person. At least because of the Youth Protection Act. He said he will disband his group after the Ministry of Women and Family is gone. It will be better if they can continue their work focusing on the positives. I think it is true that while men are physically stronger, women have become socially stronger. Women themselves need to realize that. Since they have no awareness, they don’t even like to pay for their own meals on a date. As for his support for Park Geun-hye, should I say he got betrayed?

웃는남자 :

The point that military duty is imposed only on men and that rape victims can only be female [A law which changed in June so that males can also be rape victims] can be considered discriminatory based on gender. Apart from the legal aspect, it may be deemed sexist that men usually have to pay for most of dating expenses and men mostly do physically demanding work instead of women. To address these issues, it can be argued that it is necessary to have a men’s rights group. However, these issues are trivial compared to the remaining sexism against women, which is deep-rooted in history. Rep. Seong might have denied it, but it seems he was attacking not only the Ministry of Women but also women in general. This cannot practically solve anything. It doesn’t help that he is supported by Ilbe where misogyny has been refined into an art form. There are reasons why Man of Korea can’t gather much support despite their initiative. The fact that he tried to collect money through his stunt naturally contributes to the negative impression. I feel sorry for his death but I’m skeptical that future men’s rights groups will be able to join the mainstream. Whenever people hear about a men’s group, how can they not think of Seong Jae-ki…

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  • Ami

    I.. uh what?
    My mom always told me “not to hurt myself to hurt others” but she was just talking about not being a kill-joy when things didn’t go my way.
    Wish this guy’s mother… or “male comrades” told him the same thing.

  • Strangelove

    This is madness. Two points though: 1. I don’t think it is suicide if the person expects to survive a stunt. 2. Fighting for male rights in a society that assumes an arbitrary patriarchal society is a good thing is nuts. Men here need to understand what gender equality is, although, it seems to me debate has yet to make an impact on Korean public consciousness (including women).

    Above one poster begins his post with

    “Let’s assume men are roughly three times physically stronger than women and women have a vocabulary three times more extensive than a man’s.”

    That is madness. What the hell sort of an assumption is that to make? Ridiculous.

    • http://www.leftwritelit.com/ Jibril Ikharo

      Not to play the devil’s advocate, but with respect to the first point, the title of the post is more than a little misleading since Seong Jae-ki said stated that his intention wasn’t too kill himself by jumping off the bridge.

      On a related note, it is perfectly fair to find fault with commenters who have clearly failed to read the entire post before leaving their thoughts.

    • commander

      The problem is that no matter how he want to get publicity for donations to keep his organization afloat, no safety measures were in place at the scene.

      You might say that resouces foe public service like an emergrncy rescue crew should not be squandered away for this like a stupidity.

      And he also said that he would not get the help from 911 emergency rescuers.

      Isn’t it right to deter him from jumping off a bidge if there is no safety measures
      ?

    • pingu777

      Well the Ministry of Women and Family is a joke as they do embezzle funds for their own needs, the blocked porn in a pathetic attempt to reduce sex crimes and removed the benefits conscripts would receive which would apply to both men and women. They only removed it because it was mandatory for men.

  • chucky3176

    I wouldn’t kill myself over this, but that’s just me. Interesting TV debate here, involving the dead man.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOVsxoToZvc

    9 out of 10 adopted kids are girls. Only one male child out of ten
    are adopted, and that’s only because the adopting parents couldn’t wait
    for the girl to be available. Eight out of ten couples want a girl
    baby. Only two out of ten want a boy baby. That’s a complete reversal of a situation where Korea had a traditional preference for boys. There are over 485 organizations for women, but only one for men.

    Seventy five percent of the household finances are controlled by the wives. Korean men work 48 hours a week on average (longest in the world) to bring home the dough, but it’s the Korean women who spend them. When women graduate from university, they have to two career choices. One they can find a job. Or two, they don’t have to find a job, just get married and be a housewife. There is no societal pressure to get a job for women. On the other hand, it’s a must for Korean men to get a job, if they don’t, they are worthless beings. Korean men finish university, then get conscripted, and when they finish their conscription, they are already facing the ripe old age of 30. If they’re lucky to find a good job, they have ten to fifteen years on the job, before they face the axe and an early retirement in a country where 45 years old is considered too old for the job.

    All this telling, because in the poll, the biggest demographic group in Korea that stated they are happy with their lives, were the young Korean females aged 18 to 35.

    None of these facts were used when the UN rated Korea 108th place in the world for female equality – along the same ranking as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other sub-african muslim continent where they allow one man to take multiple numbers of 12 year old girls as brides and sell them on the market. Thanks to the Ministry of Women who do have a bad habit of distorting figures and making outright lies which they have been caught numerously before and had to backtrack after not being able to explain how they got their outrageous numbers. Instead of advancing and protecting the rights of women, they’ve become a cancerous cell of a run away action group which is more interested in advancing the rights of the group

  • commander

    In denouncing what he sees as reverse discriminations against men, Mr. Seong appears to have failed to present his ideas more persuasively to fellow citizens, most of whom, I think, dont take seriously causes the ill-fated activit has championed.

    Many women, suffering from sex discrimination at landing jobs, in climbing the corporate ladder, and in using the legally-guaranteed right to materniy leave, are skeptical that men are an underdog in Korean society. It is much so when Mr. Seong gave his case in a men versus women frame.

    Many examples that he contended shows women prevailing men is about some elitist women, not about ordinary women, who thus view women rights enhancement as more necessaru over men’s.

    For their part, Korean men appear to have been amused in watching him fiercely advocating men’s rights but taken his claims seriously.

    His claim thag an increasing number of assertive women wielded more power in society and many men are under umfavorable influences by advocacy of women rights might have a point.

    But he might not be aware of the important fact: while few men are willing to come forward in support of his cause, he needs to try to sway the directions of women rights advocay campigns not by slamming the women and familiy ministry, and characterizing it as anarchronistic, but by making policy recommendations with focus on thawing a men versus women perspective and cultivating gender equality awareness.

    With the vadt majority of men sitting onthr sidelines, for his male rights espousal to succeed, gaining ground from the remaining half of the entire population–women–is imperative.

    It is too sad to see many Netizens ridiculing his jumping from a Han River bridge as reckless escapade.

    In a sense, his death might be a precursor of grim consequences of a confrontational men versus women frame in gender equality movements.

    After all, we, men or women, are children of father and mothers and parents of sons and daughters. We need to make our efforts to make sure that fathes, mothers, boys and girls live together, respecting each other, not pushing away others on the the pretext of crusading for thr other gender’d rights.

  • terriblemovie

    Women don’t make as much as men is because-

    1. Women are more likely to give up work and become house wives.

    2. Less education pressure is on them because its usually the men who play the role of breadwinners. I know a few women who just gave up once they became married. Even if they don’t have kids.

    3. Women gravitate towards different occupations then men. Nurse/Secretary/Kindergarten teacher vs engineer/office worker/doctor.

    4. Men work far longer hours on average.

    5. Men aim for jobs that support a family on the long term. Women usually aim for small-part-time jobs with flexible schedules. Construction worker(men) vs piano lessons every sunday(housewives).

    6. Men are better suited towards filling in positions that require physical labor or leadership roles.

    7. The qualities that lead to rapid advancement within the corporate ladder- confidence, aggression, relentlessness, commanding presence, charisma etc are male traits. More specifically, high testosterone traits. Do certain women possess these traits? Of course they do. But men with these traits are far far more abundant which is why more men take up leadership roles.

    • commander

      What do you think about global women leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Korean Presidents Park Geun hye, former Australian PM Julian Gillard?

      • terriblemovie

        Gender stereotypes are based on a large part to genetics and hormones. Confidence, aggression, relentlessness, dominance and risk taking are traits associated with testosterone rather than estrogen. Its not something that is taught.

        You mention successful women such as Merkel, Park and Gillard; but what about the fact that men greatly outnumber women in such spots? Do you know why men are more likely obtain leadership roles in politics/buisness/sports/science? Because masculine traits are deemed desirable in such fields.

        I’m not saying nurture doesn’t play a role here. What I am trying to say is that nature cannot be ignored.

        • commander

          Let me put anotherquestion to you.

          I agree on the generalidea that male hornomones tend to predispose men to be more of a adventurer, risk taker, charismatic leadersthan womenare.

          But that is a generaltendency as we easily find guys to have not such masculinities that they are supposed to have.

          This means a generalstatement that men are greater than womenin leadership skills is of no help to elect leaders
          in the real world because we ususally do not choose a person to head an organization as the person is a man and woman.

          My point is that gener stereotypes certain people have often ossify into a bias that womenare inferiorto men.

          I know your argument is nowhere near that claim.

          But men’s overall masculime tendency only speaks about generall things with many exceptions.

        • Yaminah Jamison

          Yeah nature can’t be ignored but we’re also progressed humans with thoughts and doing things challenging nature. Just gets annoying when people use the ‘it’s nature’ and the biology science thing as an excuse all the time. We’re still playing along with social stereotypes and like to act like we are still living from 100 years ago? Ugh…

    • commamder

      Isn’t there a possibility that attributes women have less is a result of upbringing and gender steretotypes given thr more pronounced presence of many women leaders than in the past?

      Increased female ascendancy to the apex of political power might reveal that what is painted as men’s characteristics is a product of differences in social climte of the day.

      What’s your take?

    • MintyBadger

      RE: #4: it’s been pretty well established that the number of hours a person spends “at work” isn’t necessarily an accurate means to evaluate work load or efficacy. Also, Korean men frequently include drinking time, dinner, business clubs, and norae bangs as “work time” when they either want to avoid their family, run around on their wife, or attempt to capture the youth they never got to enjoy (which I can sympathize with).

  • mr.wiener

    Apparently women float better than men.

    • bojina

      Probably because we don’t work nearly as hard as men do, so our body muscles are much lighter. lol

  • dusjanbe

    Lol,

    Inb4 some MRA troll ranting about Feminism

  • harvz

    Lol. Men’s rights activists needed in Korea. That’s a laugh.

  • PixelPulse

    If youre idiot enough to think you can just go jumping off of bridges to collect money for whatever activism youre fight for then Im not gonna weep for you.

  • Cyberia

    LMFAO @ “male rights.”

    haha.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA.

  • ChuckRamone

    There was an article in Vice a while back titled “You’re a Pussy if You Think There’s a War on Men.” I more or less agree with that headline.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    This guy sounds like a heavy-duty nutter all the way. That said, I’ll take Korean feminists seriously when they start advocating some sort of national service for women, too.

    • Cyberia

      Why the hell would any group advocate for national service equality before labor equality? Priorities?

  • http://www.kalanstar.com/ KopyKatKiller

    A Chinese guy did the same thing for no reason at all: http://sinopathic.com/parkour-jump-from-atop-bridge-ends-in-tragedy-redbull-slogan-not-applicable-here/

    Korea, you are following in the steps of greatness!

    • http://sinopathic.com/ terroir

      Ding, though the “Chinese version” seems to be less politically motivated, no manifestos involved.

      Meanwhile: Is this what Koreabang is like? Is there an overload of netizen comments translated to make up for the lack of comments from ‘bang commentators?

  • bojina

    there may be about 600 institutes dedicated to women but it can only take 1 threat to keep her mouth shut forever…

  • wellwellwell

    this guy made a lot of wrong statements – such as advocating sexual offender who is confirmed guilty after all. so he was like conspiracy theorist- about man’s right
    and he did a lot of issues to make ppl give attention to him.

    actually there is deep-unseen fraction between gender in korea
    the main reason is it’s mandatory for men to go to military and women don’t

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