As the online misogyny trend continues to spread on the Korean Internet, the battle of the sexes reaches new heights, with the following article by popular culture critic Eri Kim becoming one of the most commented articles of the week on web portal Nate.
‘What Boseulachi, You Pitiable Men’
The online debate over the Boseulachi continues unabated. This week saw the Twitter war between Chin Jung-kwon, the ‘prince of tongue-lashing’ and Sung Jae-gi, the representative of the Man of Korea.
Boseulachi is a neologism that combines the derogatory term for vagina boji and the Chosun period term for state official ‘Byeoseul-achi’, meaning a sense of entitlement for having a vagina. Examples include the gold-digging beanpaste girl, demanding men to incur the cost of dating, or asking their boyfriends to buy them luxury goods or clear personal debts; worse yet, they would easily spread their legs to men with expensive import cars.
On the surface of it, this debate seems to have been sparked by a sexual double standard widespread in South Korea. In return for sexual favours, or ‘services’, women could demand financial remuneration. Brutally put, sex is not something to be enjoyed or cherished between two loving people but something to be exchanged by the medium of money – virginity for money, which men liken to prostitute mentality.
In a patriarchal society, female sexuality free of male control is seen as essentially that of prostitution. So, these women are the most well-adjusted ones in this market place of sexual economy.
Women defend their practice of off-loading the cost of dating onto men on the ground that they have to spend money to make themselves look good. Dieting to the point of injuring health, widespread plastic surgery, expensive handbags likewise all fall under this light.
Underlying this gender inequity is the structural inequality prevalent in our society. Ironically, Korean men almost exclusively value women on their looks, thereby fuelling the demand for boseulachis.
The global gender gap study released by the World Economic Forum in 2011 places South Korea in 107th place out of 135, hitting the floor real hard. [Errata: South Korea was ranked 99 out of 135] To this cold fact, there are men in South Korea who believe this is just a manipulation. At the same time, the Male of Korea group encourages the sexual fantasy of marrying statue-like white women towering over them. However, in western societies Asian men are seen as sexually and physically inferior and handicapped by the perception of pre-modern patriarchal behaviours making them deficient and unattractive. Their only viable market for white bride is places like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Armenia, where the Korean Won has some purchasing power over the local economy.
Looking at it deeper still, one finds the deep structure of ‘winner-takes-it-all’, hyper-competitive society in which male losers increasingly resort to sexual violence to vent their fallen status, all too well shown by the number of high-profile rape cases. Rape is an unforgivable crime perpetrated as the last means by which to assert masculinity and phallic potency. The effort to recover the voice of the socially marginalized men is undoubtedly a good thing. But the nadir of the discussion is off by several miles. Unloading ‘masculinity’ or ‘crushing psychological burden’ which is the purported objective of the Korean Masculinist Association by professor Jung Chae-gi is a welcome occasion. His research conceives gender relations not in terms of antagonism but as cooperation.
Missing the big picture of the flawed social structure and popular perception and instead highlighting the idea of ‘reverse discrimination’ is quite lamentable, especially given the extremely limited number of successful women in our society.
One Twitter comment is dead-on in this regard. ‘Not good enough to be a prince and not diligent enough to be a butler, these men hate women because no woman finds them desirable, well DUH.’
Gender equality is the final phase of the human liberation, together with the complete abolition of discrimination against sexual minorities. Liberation of women is a proud chapter on the book of human liberation.
Not appreciating the difference between sexual discrimination and sexual difference is yet another issue. What gets said at the end of nearly all debates is ‘well, women should do military service as well’. Well, tough luck chums. Only other countries that maintain male-only conscription service are the gender equality top-ranker such as Norway, Denmark and Finland, and even in Norway, the top country for gender equality in the world there is no public outcry about women missing out on military service.
‘Crying wolf over time in the country with the lowest birth rate in the world? Shut your mouth, period without maternity is just a physical disability.’ This tweet by Sung Jae-gi indicates that he does not understand the structural reality underpinning the reasons as to why women are not getting pregnant in the first place, only venting his misogynistic sentiments publicly. I ought to not dignify this sickening comment with an answer but one ought to point out the ‘menstruation holiday’ in South Korea. This was legislated as a protective barrier for maternity but in an extremely competitive and pressurized Korean corporate environment I never heard of anyone actually taking advantage of this holiday.
In principle I agree with the idea of giving some benefit to those who served in the military. However, men do not actually need the institutionalized additional point system in the job market because they are a privileged group in employment and earning. Women are currently outperforming men in the corporate job market and other than civil servant entrance exams. However, it is well-known that women are discriminated against in the interview process for a number of pre-conceived notions such as lack of loyalty and physical endurance. Unemployment rate is a structural issue that we all face and women did not steal those jobs. This unfounded fear drives me to express excessive hostility and hate toward women.
Rape also permissible
If one were to search for boseulachi on Twitter, there is a comment ‘what is the standard for sexual equality? Can one nullify unique sexual difference into sexual sameness? If that is the case, create a shared public bath and make all bathrooms uni-sex, you boseulachis.’ But I did visit Scandinavia and co-ed bathrooms and shower facilities are common there. So are co-ed residents. If this were to be the case, there would be a rape-palooza in South Korea. Bigger Northern European men suffering from lack of sexual appetite compared to Korean men perhaps?
During Chuseok, there was a story of rape of woman which profoundly disturbed me. According to the report she was raped by a divorced man in his 40s who dragged her into his house while she passed out from alcohol. The comment that received the most thump-up was ‘Can’t blame a cat for not passing on his meal, can we?’ Sexual violence destroys one’s person-hood and does irreparable damage and yet no country in the world would think so lightly of rape as in South Korea. Men’s sexual desire is uncontrollable, that seems to be the popular consensus in South Korea. If a man passed out from binge drinking were robbed and his organ harvested, would we likely to blame him or the robber? A flicker of conscience was hardly there.
Korean men tend to perceive woman not as a full-person but a sexual object. Physical molestation or inappropriate physical contacts on busy public transit is on its way out due to enforcement but men still openly stare at female body parts. In places where women are respected, that would simply not fly. The correct way of going about it is, should a man find woman attractive, he ought to smile while making eye-contact instead. Through social reform and education this may be possible, and to this prospect I hang my hope.
Of course there are people with narrow views and petty-mindedness. Even in place like Norway there are psychopaths like Breivik. He even had plastic surgery to be more attractive to women and yet ended up murdering 77 people. During his trial he praised countries like South Korea and Japan as a model to aspire to, which is quite telling.
As Sung Jae-gi suggested in one interview, on the Internet even losers and outcasts could voice their ideas. I want them to know that this was realized without any historic effort. Other advanced countries with equal gender rights and equality, to which we all ought to aspire are alive and well in this world and yet they only blame feminism as the source of all evils for their personal difficulties. They make mockery out of to the world at large and erode our national competitiveness. To those who try to reverse the flow of progress and history, I sincerely hope they would stop.
Comments from Nate:
I hope people would not badmouth each other so harshly like this, but treat each other with respect. Women should learn to appreciate the favours they receive from men and men should stop feeling so victimized. Let’s have a win-win situation instead….
It starts off promisingly but by the half-way through she writes as if all men are rapists, mysoginists and internet haters. So she will get some kudos from her female base but it ended up becoming rubbish nonetheless. If she wants to pull out extreme cases, she should do the same for women as well. The rate of Korean women in prostitution, abortion rate, economic dependence, not a word is mentioned on any of these subjects. She is prime example of a boseulachi as such. If she were not so hypocritical, I would have appreciated her candour more. With a few fake anecdotes, this is packaged as an objective article.
Normal people with normal mindset always find normal opposite sex. Idiots always find like-minded equivalents in the opposite sex as well. To each to his and her own. If you don’t want to be badmouthed, don’t fight online, it is so pitiful.
Boji is a title? ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke, bozi title ke ke ke ke bozi bozi bozi bozi, what is so special about your boji you bozi-nazis.
I hate succubuses as well. Going dutch is only a right thing to do. And I too support additional points for men for their military service. Women get head-start in society while men squander their youth in barracks. I do understand that there are some brainless women out there as well. But that few does not represent the entire women folks. Let’s have some mutual respect.
A common thought among kimchi-bitches according to a wedding consulting company survey based on 649 seniors in university. 41% (instead of working, I would rather marry) Reasons for opting for marriage: 52% (easy life preferred) Ice-age in job market: ‘No need to work if married to a rich man’. Reasons for pursuing postgrad studies, joining gym, having plastic surgery: ‘to meet man with huge income’ Main criteria for desirable man: ‘income – education level – personality – look (in that order)’. The most preferred partner ‘1. Legal profession 2. Medical profession 3. Public Servant profession’
Northern Europe – Norway is her only example, ke ke ke. Why don’t you say anything about Japanese women or German men?
It saddens my heart to think of this writer. She starts off condemning boseulachis but at the end comes out as one.
Some Korean women go nuts over independent Western women yet have no intention at all to follow their independent thought process or attitude or career. All they want is more money, more luxury bags, more pretty clothes, more cutesy looks and expect some prince to come and rescue them out their ruts. That they take for granted. They have no intention to do what it takes to achieve the equal rights like in other countries.
Korean women gets irrationally bitchy if they lose a debate, and nit-pick like crazy. Japanese women on the other hand are very logical and if they are at fault, and graciously accepts.
… It starts off neutral but veers into the typical man-hating rhetoric. It made me uncomfortable at the end…. Women who hate men calling them boseulachi will be also man-haters. Reading extreme responses to this phenomena only perpetuates the vicious circle. If you really want us to reach concord and harmony, you really should not have written this kind of article. This kind of emotional article only throw more fuel to the fire.
So Korean men are all potential rapists. Boji is not a swear-word so I will just say it. You fucking bozi-nazi, you have any clue that Korea has far lower sexual violence rate than any white countries?
I am 29… I will marry any boseulachi.
I learned that boji is not a derogatory term but our own unique word for female genital?
The few brainless bitches cause all this havoc, please install the latest gae-nyeom software in your life.
In a way, Korean men have it hard… Military service, job market, they are full of rage now and they are taking it out on women now…
If you have a proper job and common sense, who would call them boseulachi? If you don’t like being called one, act right. You think all men equate women with boseulachi.
Why so mean toward each other in Korea? Badmouthing each other does not get us anywhere, and if you are unhappy with the Korean female stock why not go and get some Vietnamese women? You should be ashamed. If you got time to coin neologism, bring your Viet wife and teach them some Korean.
That fucking period magically happens only on Friday or Monday or days following the long weekends always.
In all honesty, Korean men only care about looks, am I not correct…..? Maybe not in his 30s, but throughout teen and 20s, that is all they care about. In that kind of environment no wonder women spend disproportionate amount in their looks, and try to get the most bang for the buck, so they need men who will provide that buck.
If a woman kills a man, oh how bad he must have been. If a man hits a woman, he is beyond incorrigible. If a man cheats, his penis should be cut off. If a wife had an affair, oh how terrible her husband must have been. Prostitutes are all victims and her customers are potential sexual predators.
I expected this to be the level I’d find on Nate. tsk tsk. Are there only psychopath woman-hating men here? Can they talk to women without keyboard? This society got some serious sex issue, take that as given and accept it as fact.
It is good, no? A few losers having yeolpok. Counter-factuals? She GAVE you counter-factuals, and now you are bitching..
This is all because of the Ministry of Gender and a few women who think personal favour is an entitlement.