In China and India, with similar, ongo- for the larger good [of the household and women are making considerable advances,” but also it omitted several crucial ing demographic problems, such sexu- nation] is deeply embedded in Confucian pieces of information: that the employ- ally frustrated, financially disadvantaged ideas of propriety, as is the sense that men ment rate for 20-something women, young men are viewed as huge sources of are better endowed than women with the while higher than that of men, is the crime, sexual violence and political insta- capacity for moral restraint … This sense lowest since 2000 and that there are bility. Surely it is no great leap to suppose that the nation is made vulnerable through now many more young Korean men that many of their Korean counterparts its women-as-consumers seems almost than women out there, a consequence may be Ilbe (Korea’s 4chan) members for sexual, metaphorically related to the idea the nation’s women need of Koreans’ preference for “there’s no jobs for them, there’s no traditional that to be protected from the presons in the 1980s and 1990s. (Among today’s 24-year- gender role, and they see women going by them dations, or temptations, of forolds, there are now 116 in the fast lane. Generations of defined gender eign men.” Ultimately, there is, of men for every 100 women.) models have just been thrown to the wind. I course, nothing particuThis means that in absolute think men are frightened by that.” larly Korean about targetterms, still more men are working, rendering this supposed ‘female instance, notorious for embracing their ing young women in the age of social tornado’ little more than hot air - which ‘loser’ status and their vicious campaigns media. But focusing on how they spend their money surely is, as are Korea’s new makes you wonder why the Korean media against women. Finally, these attacks have historical demo- graphic and economic realities is so full of it. There is also the elephant in the room precedents. As Laura Nelson explained in that feed such critiques. By consistently revealed by those sex ratio statistics. Measured Excess: Status, Gender, and Con- omitting or grossly misrepresenting both, Today, there’s a growing number of Kore- sumer Nationalism in South Korea (2000), Korean media sources do readers a great an men who simply cannot find (Korean) while it was actually housewives’ spend- disservice. wives, and there are even more young ing on imports that came under heavy James Turnbull is a writer and a public men who cannot find girlfriends - in both criticism in the 1980s and 1990s, there speaker on Korean feminism, sexuality cases, most likely precisely those without were clear parallels and continuities with and pop culture. He can be found at good jobs or any realistic prospects of more recent critiques of young women: thegrandnarrative.com. “The importance of restraining oneself getting one. 2014 Oct/Nov _ busanhaps.com 23
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