Recently, a radical feminist online community ‘Megalia’ that exhibits extreme misandry has emerged as a prominent party in Korea’s cyber gender discourse war front. They have been trying to expand their influence through organized efforts online and also present themselves as a legitimate feminist group in real life, suppressing their online extremes. The following is an example of one of the most highly up-voted posts in Megalia. This post received 891 up votes and 5 down votes.
Male-dominant sites’ responses to Megalia that I’ve seen.
“Megalians don’t seem to have any desire to co-exist with Korean men.”
“Megalians do not care about their own country even one bit.”
“Megalians are all crazy bitches.”
“This is the first time I felt deep grudges from a website.”
“Those bitches’ feelings towards men show murderous intent beyond animosity.”
“Megalians only think about women’s happiness.”
“Megalians blame men when innocent women receive misogyny. They also blame men when innocent men receive misandry for not fighting back for women.”
“Megalia is not even a humor site. It is an essence of grudges.”
“Megalians do not want to compromise with men. They just want to kill men.”
“Megalians have no desire to marry or date men around them.”
“Megalians consider men as their wallets or slaves.”
“Megalians’ ultimage goal is to turn men into livestock.”
“Megalians even call their own dads fucking kimchi men.”
They are all right about us. So what? There is just no need to refute them.
So why did you not crawl in front of women before these crazy bitches appear, you inferior dicks? ^오^
Hahaha, I feel so happy if I imagine I made at least one fucking kimchi man get one step closer to Jae-gi’s path today. ^^ [Seong Jae-gi was a men’s rights activist who died from a fund-raising stunt.]
From Naver KnowledgeiN:
Question: Why does this country not ban a website like Megalia?
Hell Joseon [Korea] is the only country that bans internet porn among the OECD member countries, which has brought ridicule from other developed countries. International group Reporters Without Borders even classified Korea as an enemy of the internet.
“The nation of South Korea is a world leader in Internet and broadband penetration, but its citizens do not have access to free and unfiltered Internet.”
The Ministry of Women and KCSC [Korean Communication Standards Commission] ban all kinds of adult content. But why do they not ban a nuclear waste site like Megalia? If you read their website, it is more disgusting than any porn site and harmful for the mental health of teens. These are some typical posts on Megalia.
From Megalia: [345 up votes, 0 down vote]
Do you know why Korean man bugs are upset about the comfort women issue?
It is not because of human rights or ethical reasons. They just hate that foreigners used Korean women who should’ve been raped only by Korean men. When police chief Kim Gang-ja rescued 14-year-old girls from a brothel in Miari, Korean man bugs complained that a cheap brothel disappeared.
From Megalia: [133 up votes, 0 down vote]
Let’s get an abortion if we become pregnant with a son ^^
Daughters have been treated poorly so far, right? Isn’t it mostly fucking kimchi men who commit sexual crimes or sexually discriminate? We should make them go extinct.
Doesn’t this tell you that the true intention of the Ministry of Women’s ban on internet porn is not to protect teenagers but to oppress Korean men’s sexual freedom?
I am a child of a female activist who devoted her entire life to gender equality. I also belong to social activist circles. I write this post regarding the current situation where some group’s extreme propaganda is brutally destroying Korea’s feminism that has advanced thanks to the sacrifices of many people.
Please listen, Megalians. You are inflicting indiscriminate violence under the slogan “Until the day misogyny disappears” that may sound legitimate. However, for most citizens who were not even familiar with the word ‘misogyny’, you are doing your best to strengthen misogyny as you claim you speak for ‘Korean women’ while displaying appalling behavior.
Ladies, let’s think a little bit. Your claim that misogyny is prevalent in society definitely has some truth. It is true that unreasonable statements have become prevalent on male dominant websites such as Ilbe.
But what about female dominant or female exclusive communities? Look at Women’s Generation with 600,000 members that caused controversy lately. Their problems that used to be completely concealed under the surface have been revealed. Misandry, misogyny, sexual harassment, pornography, copyright infringement, smuggling, selling drugs, etc. [The community demands proof of being female for membership and their posts are not open to the public.]
You complain about the sexualization of female idols, but even elementary school students would know which gender’s idol market is bigger. Attention to female idols’ chests is sexist but male idols’ shirt-ripping is just an acceptable sexy act?
You point out the gender wage gap in Korea is 13th among the OECD member states. But did you know that the Korean male suicide rate is the highest among the OECD (2.6 times higher than the Korean female suicide rate) and the suicide rate for Korean men in their 40’s and 50’s, who you call “dad bugs”, is overwhelmingly the highest in the world? Why does this phenomenon occur? Have you ever thought about the unfair burden Korean men have to take on as much as you thought about discrimination against Korean women? Forced gender roles inflict pain for all parties involved. I am not saying we should talk about who is more disadvantaged.
Most of you guys grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. There is lingering sexism. But in terms of dating, social life, entertainment, culture, or daily life overall, Korea today is a place where you cannot clearly say only one gender is discriminated against. In 2015, 75% of female students and 68% of male students advanced to university education. The highest leadership position in the country is taken by a female. Is Korea truly such a country where women are severely discriminated against as you depict?
You guys keep claiming that nobody paid attention to misogyny for the past 10 years and advances in women’s rights have been stagnant. Do you think people can have a normal social life if they reveal they are users of Ilbe or Soranet [a website for both men and women who indulge in sexual perversion]? Check the entry for Ilbe on Namu Wiki which you call a dick-sucking site. Check the incident part. So many incidents caused by them have been archived. Ilbe is already treated like a trash can. Soranet has survived only because they kept changing their URL and have servers outside Korea.
But you may think otherwise. “No, in Korea, women are discriminated against much more!” Sure, you are free to have your own thoughts. However, you seem to think your own ideology gives you an absolute right to stand above the constitution that protects anyone from violence and coercion.
Let’s say there is a person who has a huge scar on her face. It hurt so much and she hates when people look down on her. She hates the society that doesn’t acknowledge her pain. So she made a group with people who have similar scars and cut random people’s faces. And then she says, looking at the dripping blood. “It hurts, doesn’t it? You should feel the pain just like I did. Now you know how much I had to suffer.” Then the victim shouts, “It hurts! Why are you doing this to me?!” She says, “I know but what were you doing when we got hurt? You share the blame, too. In order to achieve our goal, I want you to endure it.”
Serial killer Yoo Young-cheol who killed women with an excuse that he wanted to give a warning to misbehaving women after satisfying his sexual greed. This is the true face of Megalia. They laugh at pictures of severed male genitals and say male babies should be ground to death as soon as they are born. They even call their own dads “sperm provider bug” or “dad bug”. Where is the noble value of social activism in this?
Indiscriminate violence that targets most innocent people who did not cause the problems in a strong belief that they are only doing the right thing. Ironically, you Megalians commit the worst discrimination against women. If a woman disagrees with you guys, you call them honorary dicks or dick-sucking bitches, which is even hard to say with a straight face. Your site already experienced divisions, which led to creation of the website “Just Between Us Pussies”. You label most women as “corset girls” or “chastity belt girls” who should be enlightened by you.
The most despicable thing is that in order to help spread your ideas and propaganda, you use sexual assault cases as your weapon, which inflicts indirect violence on real victims of sexual crimes. (Misandry using the comfort women issue. Women’s Generation’s sexual assault fabrication incident, K university’s female student committee’s fabrication about rape by a professor, S university’s sex crime committee incident, etc.) When you are faced with male victims, you justify your actions with the excuse that it is okay because you are socially vulnerable women.
“We should be honest, courteous, loyal and compassionate towards our own people. But we do not need to be this way towards other people.” – Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, Nazi SS chief and culprit for the genocide of the Jewish people
You lay down a smokescreen with a legitimate slogan that you just hate misogyny, while you set up the banner of female superiority calling men inferior animals. Then you purged internal dissenters first.
“The easiest way to rule over rationality is using fear and might.” – Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader
You completely shut down internal criticism using violence.
“Anger and hatred are the strongest power that fuels the crowd’s enthusiasm.” – Paul Joseph Goebbels, Nazi chief propagandist.
Sensational factoids your leaders created. Propaganda that keeps anger and hatred afloat. Indiscriminate violence you guys wield as a group. This is exactly in line with Nazi ideology. Nazism that was fanned by a victim complex after the World War 1. Radical feminism in Korea that used to keep a low profile. Femi + nazi. This is exactly the kind of feminism Megalians promote. […]
Below are from Namu Wiki and Libre Wiki’s pages about Megalia. Many internet links and citations in the original article are not shown here. More controversies and surrounding arguments will be covered later.
From Namu Wiki – Megalia:
Korean internet’s ISIL that suddenly emerged in 2015. The one and only website in the world that is completely dedicated to hating the opposite gender where the administrator herself promotes misandry and public opinion manipulation.
Megalia was created on August 6th in 2015 claiming independence from DC Inside’s MERS gallery. They argue that they promote misandry as a countermeasure against misogyny. However, posts on the website cannot justify such a cause. […]
The name “Megalia” originates from DC Inside’s MERS gallery and the fiction “Egalia’s Daughters” where men and women’s traditional gender roles are reversed. This name was widely used through a Facebook page they were running before they created their own website. Initially, they also used the name “Megalia’s Daughters” but due to the opinion that it is sexist, they chose Megalian. They use both Megalia and Megalian to refer to their website. Contrary to the fiction writer and human rights activist Gerd Mjoen Brantenberg’s belief, Megalians hate male homosexuals, too. […]
A unique hand sign is drawn inside a green laurel wreath.
[“6.9” is one of the core meme words for Megalians. The sign “6.9 warning” is put on any reported post on their website, meaning it must have been written by a man. They often imply 6.9 cm is Korean men’s average erect length, although it was a flaccid length in Professor Son Hwan-chul’s journal. Also, this is the journal that was incorrectly cited for the average erect length for many years. Once a blogger collected penile lengths around the world and published a table. He put measurements from different countries in a simple comparative table. However, it was found that the penile dimensions he put in the table were measured in significantly different methods by different groups in different countries. Some numbers were even from self-measurement due to the difficulty of getting the fully erect state in lab settings. For an unknown reason, he chose Prof. Son’s measurements of flaccid stretched length instead of erect length for Korea. Despite the lack of statistical integrity, the table went viral internationally for its simplicity and eye-catchiness, got reproduced as various infographics and repeatedly cited by internet media or even some publications. Initially, it was not actively debunked by Korean netizens due to the nature of the topic. The subject slowly came into Korean netizens’ consciousness mainly through their interaction with Japanese nationalist netizens (netouyo). Lately, Megalia users have been trying to popularize the “6.9” meme on female-dominant sites. This blog explains the context with multiple academic sources.]
Along with Ilbe, Megalia leads the wagon of domestic opposite gender hate. Megalia is even ahead of Ilbe, which is not dedicated to misogyny. They exhibit a female superiority complex beyond mere hate for Korean men these days. […]
In Megalia, there are numerous misandric comments and discussions for plotting crimes against men. This can be regarded only as misandry no matter what justifications they try to bring up. Similar examples can be found from the page for Shaminism [sham + feminism]. They absurdly claim it is “mirroring” of misogyny. Simply copying Ilbe’s language and creating a female version is not an objection to misogyny. If they truly want to oppose misogyny, they should hate Ilbe. However, Megalians hate all Korean men, make fun of their genitals because “fucking Kimchi men deserve sexual humiliation”, and say anyone who criticizes Megalia is a misogynist who should be “beaten for every breath”. They show indiscriminate hate for all Korean men, which exceeds Ilbe’s misogyny in its extremity. They employ the method of sexually ridiculing men even using unsavory pictures instead of logically arguing against misogyny. They enjoy seeing disgusting pictures of severed penises. Such posts do not get deleted but rather voted up. They enjoy such activities with an excuse that it is “mirroring” to abuse men sexually. It is analyzed that they project their anti-social and distorted sexual desires formed by their isolation from society onto their target of anger, men. […]
From Libre Wiki – Megalia:
Officially, they claim to support anti-misogyny. In practice, mainly misandric and shaminist comments are posted and voted up in their forums. Their nature is similar to DC Inside’s MERS gellery.
2.1. Organized activities
Avaaz petitions, donations, opinion manipulation on various websites and online promotion of their website. Most of their activities are implemented in an organized way as a group. That is why they are exerting a larger external influence compared to the small size of their community. For petitions, they exploit the fact that Avaaz’s system that does not properly block multiple entries from a single person.
3. Controversies and criticisms
3.1. Expansion of misandry
Although Megalia users claim that their misandric posts are a countermeasure against particular misogynists, most of the ridicule target all Korean men. It is hard to distinguish whether they are truly doing it as a countermeasure or they simply enjoy making such posts. They even repeatedly copy DC Inside Baseball and Stock galleries’ racist jokes and jokes about dead people. Also, Megalia users consistently make posts whose level of extreme exceeds that of the websites that show a misogynist nature such as Ilbe. Such posts are also highly voted up. This makes one question whether they are simply expressing misandry rather than a “countermeasure against misogyny”. This is akin to getting slapped in Jongro and then making a fuss in Hangang.[This is old Korean saying expressing someone’s misdirected anger or complaints.]
Since June in 2015, they have claimed they are “mirroring” misogyny. Some say the fact that they have to keep on insisting it means such an attempt at justification does not work well with the general public. Even if they are truly trying to mirror misogyny with a definite awareness and calculations, it can still be a problem. Most internet users come across such posts without context. It can only come off as the advent of a female version of Ilbe. Also, as new users join the website without sharing the website’s initial cause, Megalia can end up being a venue where they can let out any hate comments for simple entertainment like Ilbe.
3.2. Problems of mirroring as a countermeasure against hate
There is an argument that hate is hate no matter how it is sugar-coated. It is highly likely to bring about a backlash rather than better awareness about misogyny. There is a criticism that they are not any different from Ilbe as they are even copying Ilbe’s language. In addition, some users openly admitted they are misandrists.
3.3. Mirroring is just an excuse
They try to justify their behavior saying they are mirroring misogyny. However, it is only exposure of misandry that has existed under the surface on female-dominant sites such as DC Inside Male Celebrities gallery and Women’s Generation and then turned into full blown misandry on DC Inside MERS gallery. It is an argument that although misandry has existed for as long as misogyny on the internet, it was less exposed due to the closed nature of female-dominant websites and thus mirroring is a simple excuse.
In fact, it is even hard to say Megalia brought about simple exposure of old misandry because their extremity exceeds it. They are also different in that they believe they are righteous and implement organized movements supported by some women’s rights groups. They have only found a target where they can unload their hate and anger, which resides in everyone. They just found a chance to let out “macho-ness” under the pretense of mirroring.
3.4. Double standards
[…] If a man is victimized in an accident or a murder case, they share the news site’s URL and make ridiculing comments. They coined the expression “jae-gi” from the name of the former representative of Man of Korea who drowned in a river. There was a post where they even called King Sejong fucking kimchi man. Regarding the Itaewon murder case, they said the Korean man bug deserved death. Ilbe is criticized for jokes about dead people but Megalia is not any different.
They waged a campaign to ban Soranet while highly voting up a post that suggests making a Megalia version of Soranet. They criticized the magazine Maxim’s cover where a woman is locked in a trunk by a man for beautifying a sexual crime scene. However, they praised another magazine cover where a woman is burying a man.
In fundamentalism, the world is divided in a single frame. Religious fundamentalism is a well-known example. Megalia disparages various types of minorities and does not cease to exclude any group that is not female-only. They claim female minority groups are the most oppressed over any minority groups. Minorities of any kind are considered to be oppressors with vested rights as long as they are male. This is well shown by the fact that Megalia doesn’t show a particular political orientation. They only want to attack men.
For example, they show a high level of hate for gay men. They even make distinctions between female-to-male and male-to-female transgender individuals and treat them differently. They overlook the fact that women are not necessarily more disadvantaged when they compare women who graduated from prestigious universities and men who graduated from no-name colleges or middle class women and working class migrant men, for example. This is a typical trait of fundamentalists. There are many instances of fundamentalism such as getting trapped in anti-Americanism to criticize American imperialism or in anti-communism. For sexual assault cases, there are many occasions where the victims are humiliated. But at the same time, sexual assault is one of the few crimes that can be punished only by the victim’s statement without direct evidence. The world is not simple. They often say other minorities’s rights and men’s rights regarding military duty should be taken care of by the directly involved parties. Then, they lose the basis to criticize men who were not actively critical of misogyny.
For these reasons, the leftist camp is slowly re-assessing feminism in Korea. No self-acclaimed leftist would object to feminism’s ideals, gender equality, and the goal of creating a society without sexual exploitation or violence. However, they are realizing that Korea’s mainstream feminism has been too sanctified and politicized in order to protect their own turf. It is self-reflection that they should not make the same mistake as holding hands with NL [a pro-North Korean group] while ignoring their faults. The movement for sexual labor rights was a topic that could not even be mentioned 10 years ago. For those who have been active in the leftist party, it is a widely shared sentiment that the female quota system has been demanded by the women’s interest groups within the party to protect their vested rights. If you criticized it openly, you could be buried alive for showing machismo. Even in such social activist scenes, reverse oppression exists. Megalia ignores situations like that.
3.6. Manipulation of public opinion
They share news articles’ URLs and manipulate comment sections, which is called “firepower support”. The problem is that this is not done by a few users, but led by the administrative team. In general, using any methods at all costs to achieve a goal gives the opposition good ammunition. They even suggest a guideline. However, their firepower support is usually limited to Naver and they refrain if they have to take a risk.
3.7. Unaccepting of criticism
Namu Wiki’s entry about Megalia was written in the most critical tone among Korean wiki sites. Most blogs also criticize Megalia. Instead of acknowledging the criticisms, Megalia’s administrative team and users ask bloggers to take down their critiques and constantly vandalized Namu Wiki’s entry. They try to shut down any criticism about them.
In fact, many progressive men feel uncomfortable with feminism because the framing of oppressors and the oppressed that distorts the reality of the oppressed themselves. They fear that the men vs. women frame may upset their support for male workers who are exploited by capitalists or citizens who fight against an oppressive government. This also applies to Megalia. They try to find the moral high ground inside the frame of gender conflicts. They feel uncomfortable and do not want to acknowledge situations where men are exploited (military duty) and where women can be oppressors with vested rights (disability, education, age hierarchy, etc.) This is in line with the victim complex supporting xenophobia around the world.
3.8. Do they really offer satires?
In order for their mirroring to offer satire as they claim, they should ridicule those who spread misogyny, bystanders and society where misogyny is prevalent. Their intention should be to bring down misogyny and realize gender equality. However, they make fun of Korean men’s genitals and call dissenting women dick-suckers or honorary dicks. They even enjoy seeing pictures of severed penises.
They defend female criminals who commit sexual crimes against men and leave comments that men must have enjoyed it. A post that claims Korean men should go extinct because they have small penises received 175 up votes and 1 down vote. There was a post with more than 300 up votes that said Korean men are upset about the comfort women issue because foreign men raped Korean women who should’ve been abused only by Korean men. A post received several hundreds of up votes even though it only blamed a man when his ex-girlfriend made a revenge porn video because he dumped her. Such hate posts that do not contain any clear satirical value constantly receive high numbers of up votes. Above all, it is the most contradictory to employ not the terms but the logic of patriarchy which they criticize. […]
3.9. Hate for male sexual minorities and outing homosexuals
Since November, Megalia users have been outing male sexual minorities with whom they used to be allied, blaming misogyny. This caused division of the community and a new site “WOMAD” was launched. Currently, both sites are outing sexual minorities. The extremist site WOMAD does outing for all gays while Megalia targets gays who “caused trouble”. It is a serious criminal act to reveal such personal information. This shows how they disregard minorities’ rights.
4. Supportive arguments
4.1. Mirroring is satirical
Supporters of Megalia claim that their hate comments are in the form of mirroring that should not be taken literally. They argue that Megalia’s mirroring brought fresh attention and awareness to misogyny that is prevalent on DC Inside and Ilbe. They claim that MERS gallery has shown that women have been subject to irrational hate while men have been free from such stigma.
It is hard to simply claim Megalia exhibits hate for hate because the subject and the object of hate are not on equal footing. Thus, Megalia’s hateful rhetoric functions as a satire until misandry becomes as much of a problem as misogyny. There is an argument that it is hard to say Megalia shows natural expressions of hate because their rhetoric is strikingly similar to Ilbe’s misogynist posts and it means they are intentionally copying it.
4.2. Megalia brought public attention to misogyny in a short period of time
Supporters claim that the fact that Megalia’s mirroring for several months drew so much attention while misogyny on various websites such as Ilbe has been overlooked for several years reflects the state of the problem. They point out that Women’s Generation, MERS gallery and Megalia’s misandry has been archived very frequently in detail on Libre Wiki and Namu Wiki, compared to other online communities’ problems.
However, it is questionable whether such publicity functions positively due to their extremism. Wikis do not tolerate vandalism on their entries. Enha-type Wiki editors get enraged at vandals who try to cover up their problems and thus archive even more criticism about them. As long as the critics have basis, any attempt to silence them backfires. This type of noise alone is not sufficient to draw public spotlight for legitimate social discourse. (Ilbe also received lots of public attention but…)
4.3. Anger to be respected
Philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s book “What Is Violence?” says Paris riots in 2005 were an attempt to gain attention. According to him, rioters felt they were marginalized from social and political scenes although they were French citizens. They wanted to send a strong message that they exist no matter how much you want to ignore them. The only way for marginalized people to take the lead requires aggressiveness sometimes. Respect comes from fear, not from sympathy.
Hence, it is analyzed that Megalians try to make women get respect out of fear in this society where they perceive misogyny is prevalent instead of becoming objects of sympathy. (Although you can use the same argument for terrorist groups.)
4.4. Feminist movement
On August 11th in 2015, Megalia donated 5 million won to Korean Womenlink for anti-misogyny activities. Since August 15th, they have been collecting money from selling Megalian bracelets. On September 16th, they donated 5 million won to Aeranwon for single mothers.
● Publicizing voyeuristic video problems
Since August in 2015, they have been publicizing hidden camera problems. Coincidentally, culprits of the “waterpark hidden camera” incident got arrested on August 26th, which fueled the relevant discourse. On August 31st, the police decided to enact a law regulating hidden cameras.
● Petition against Maxim
They publicized the controversial magazine cover for “beautifying a sexual crime”. They sent complaints to the company. The petition against the cover received more than 10,000 signatures and on September 3rd, Maxim promised to recall their September issues.
● Petition against Soranet
On September 9th, they began a petition with the goal of 100,000 signatures to ban Soranet and punish related offenders. Within 6 hours, more than 10,000 signatures were collected. On November 23rd, NPAD Lawmaker Jin Seon-mi cited this petition when she was asking the police chief Kang Shin-myeong to implement strict investigations into Soranet.
Besides all this, they prepare and implement events and activities for the improvement of women’s rights and gender equality.
The aforementioned activities can be regarded as feminist movements. However, under the administrators’ guidance, they make misandric comments and vote them up to top on various websites, especially on Naver News. The administrators even encourage their users to troll other sites. Since they do many activities that express extreme female superiority and misandry, they keep causing controversy.