Anti-feminism continues to recruit activists in South Korea

South Korean archery athlete An San, triple gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, was not celebrated by everyone in his country: his boyish hairstyle displeases anti-feminists. On July 24, some activists in this men’s movement who accuse feminists of having marginalized them criticized the champion on an online forum about her appearance and even asked her to return her medals.

These attacks sparked strong reactions on Twitter with the hashtag #women_shortcut_campaign. In South Korea, but also abroad, women have shared photos of themselves with short hair in order to demystify the mark of infamy that still surrounds them in Korean society. This hashtag was originally created by Korean activist Han Ji-young, who tweeted on July 25 : “It’s the best season for a short haircut. “ The young woman specialized in women’s mental health and self-defense in South Korea. On her YouTube channel, she invites an open discussion on feminist issues.

“Anything can make you the target of this witch hunt by anti-feminist men,” explain to World Hawon Jung, former Seoul correspondent for Agence France-Presse and author of a forthcoming book on the #MeToo movement in South Korea, Flowers of Fire. I know a lot of women who feel anxious and afraid to step outside the red line drawn by campaigners. human rights”. This backlash against feminism can have real consequences for women and break their lives. “

Fad of the right-wing parties

Se-Woong Koo, editor-in-chief of Korea Exposed, an independent media specializing in South Korean society, has already denounced misogyny in South Korea in a forum of New York Times from 2016. “Many men prefer not to recognize that South Korea is a deep-rooted patriarchy and that toxic gender relations have serious consequences for society there.”, she regrets.

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“Anti-feminism” is one of the hobbies of right-wing parties that are surfing this sexist wave. The main conservative right-wing party, the People’s Power Party (PPP), won city halls in the country’s two largest cities (Seoul and Busan) in by-elections on April 7. Lee Jun-seok, head of the PPP, for example openly expresses his disagreement with the establishment of quotas to promote women’s access to high-ranking positions.

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