Culture critic Lee said hwabyeong has its roots in the feudal Korean kingdom that lasted from 1392 to 1897, as its strict class hierarchy and patriarchy offered no social mobility.
“For those who belonged to the lower caste, there really was no way for them to fight injustice if they were abused by those who belonged to the higher class,” he said. “The only way was to just endure it. And we also have to remind ourselves that the slavery system from the Joseon kingdom did not completely disappear in Korea until the 1940s.”
A U.S. citizen, who was then 17 years old, said she was raped by a Korean man in Seoul in 2014 when she was on an exchange program at a high school. Unlike Mattner, she decided to stay silent and not tell anyone of her “shameful” experience.
“He was Korean and I am (a) foreigner, so I was scared that I might not win the case. I didn’t want to go through the pain of facing the Korean court system and exposing my rape to my friends and family, for the chance that he might go to jail,” she told The Korea Herald. “I learned that the hard way, but Korea needs to develop better resources when dealing with rape.”
Kim Bo-hwa, a senior researcher from the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, said that the ordeal is equally felt among Korean victims due to lack of awareness of sexual crimes here.
“Rape victims here suffer from insensitivity toward them among government officials, lawyers, their families,” she told The Korea Herald.
7:13 p.m.: Cho was sexually molested by a family friend from age five to 12. “I had a very long-term relationship with this abuser, which is a horrible thing to say. I didn’t even understand it was abuse, because I was too young to know,” she says. “I endured it so many times, especially because I was alone a lot.” At 14, she was raped by another acquaintance. “I was raped continuously through my teenage years, and I didn’t know how to stop it. It was also an era where young girls were being sexualized. For me, I think I had been sexually abused so much in my life that it was hard for me to let go of anger, forgive or understand what happened.”
7:14 p.m.: She looks over at Moraga, who is texting on his cell phone. “I guess we can play that song now,” she says to him. “I hope I can remember the lyrics.”
7:15 p.m.: The song, entitled “I Want to Kill My Rapist,” is from her new album. Cho starts singing: “I want to kill my rapist, I want to kill my rapist,” repeatedly to me while Andy strums an acoustic guitar. The rest of the lyrics elaborate on this theme and are occasionally funny, but it comes from a real and dark place. She continues, “I thought I forgave you, but I’d mistake you. I’ll shake you and I’ll bake you. You better run now while I’m having fun now. Here comes the sun now, and you’ll be done now. I see clearly and sincerely, you’ll pay dearly…”
7:22 p.m.: Cho admits that her abuser is still alive and her family knows about it. She says that sexual molestation is an excusable offense in her traditional Korean family’s eyes, which she thinks is insane. Her family believes that people shouldn’t make a fuss about things that have happened to them in the past. “They don’t really want to talk about it, because that would make it real somehow. I think Asian culture often is in denial about such things. Like, if they don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. So it makes me unwelcome in some ways,” she says. “But all I have is ownership of my own suffering. I can take that and explain it in a way that helps resolve it. But I often think, ‘How do I have sanity? How do I bring justice?’ I kind of save myself through it. ”
South Korea’s Constitutional Court threw out a decades-old anti-adultery law on Thursday, reflecting a growing importance of personal choice over marital order in a traditionally group-oriented society.
In a 7-2 decision, the nine-member bench ruled that Article 241 of the criminal code was unconstitutional.
“The anti-cheating law has been traditionally aimed at punishing women, but those days are long gone now,” Song Jae-ryong, a sociology professor at Kyung Hee University, said.
Others said the law was practically non-existent, as it had lost its effectiveness in preventing infidelity.
“The anti-adultery law is no longer achieving its purpose,” Kim Jeong-beom, a law professor at Hangyang University, said. “Penalties have become extremely light and don’t have the preventative effect they’re supposed to have.”
Kim Min-soo, an office worker, said. “It’s not like the ruling would make people feel freer to cheat than before.”
Love cheats are already rampant and adultery is institutionalised in a country where people don’t marry for romantic love but for jeong.
Kim’s label Oscar Entertainment released a statement on Friday saying that the singer was irritated before boarding a Korean Air flight.
“Kim drank some wine on the flight after he got distressed by Korean Air,” the agency said. According to Kim’s agency, Kim thinks he is always entitled to upgrade his economy class seat to a business class seat as he is a male Korean celebrity but Korean Air failed to do so by mistake.
“He does not exactly remember what mistakes he made,” it added.
The mistakes Bobby Kim made were forcibly cuddling a flight attendant, touching her arms and then loudly and aggressively verbally abusing her for about an hour.
Stories of entitled minor Korean celebrities taking out their frustrations on hapless flight attendants are now less likely to be hushed up after the Nut Rage Incident of 2014. The soju defence is a common theme of these incidents. Is this the beginning of the end of the Modern Era of Yangban?
Even though Korean Air flight attendants are hosts and hostesses, an aircraft cabin is not a host or hostess bar for inebriated ajumma and ajeossi.
More than 20 female students have stated that a 54-year-old Seoul National University (SNU) professor groped them.
On Thursday SNU announced it would approve the professor’s voluntary resignation letter.
If SNU upholds its decision, the professor will not see a cut in his severance pay or his pension. His records will also be clean and he will be able to apply for employment at other universities. The school’s investigation into the accusations, which is being conducted by the campus human rights center, will also close because he will no longer be a faculty member.
“It will take an exhaustive amount of time for us to decide whether to discipline him or not,” said Kim Byeong-mun, dean of SNU’s academic affairs, adding that the students who are required to take the professor’s courses will suffer in the long run should the probe continue.
But a university official who asked for anonymity calls this a “lame excuse.”
“It’s preposterous to let him go when the investigation is at its peak,” the official said.
The official added that sexual abuse “runs rampant” on Korean campuses.
The Office of Jasmine Lee – the first non-ethnic Korean and naturalized citizen to become a congresswoman in the Republic of Korea – reported that 10.7 percent of female workers from foreign countries were sexually abused in the Republic of Korea in 2013.
35.5% of the victims were raped.
Almost 90% of the victims said Korean employers or Korean managers abused them.
The number of teenage victims of sex crimes went from 7,893 in 2011 to 8,808 in 2012 and 9,721 in 2013, according to police data revealed by Rep. Lee Cheol-woo of the Saenuri Party. Most victims were female, but the number of male victims was 506, marking a 75 percent increase from two years earlier.
“Considering that most teenage victims are reluctant to report such incidents to the authorities, it can be assumed that the problem (of sexual abuse among teens) is even graver than the numbers suggest,” Rep. Lee said.
Many of the sex crimes in schools are not properly dealt with, due to the victims’ unwillingness to report the case or lenient punishment of perpetrators.
In 2012, an elementary school teacher in Incheon was found to have physically and sexually abused his second-grade students. The case prompted public furor when it was revealed that the school asked the parents to settle the case amicably, saying the male teacher could not work at another school if they declined its request.