It seems like this article is a bit of a “hit piece” – we are told repeatedly that certain people are sexist and misogynist without any evidence given to support the accusation.
A poor quality article and not what I expect from Unherd.
Seriously – this is like an article saying Trump’s supporters are all white supremacists. There is probably a more complicated dynamic here than just misogyny.
Yup. Far too simplistic.
As my comment notes, only Julie Bindel can shed real light on this terrible, terrible problem….
Amusingly, documented instances of women doing better in certain fields such as education and civil services is not evidence of sexism
Note, both fields of work are similar: low physical stress, fixed working hour, govt paid with zero job loss risk, desk jobs. I bet the plumbers, taxi drivers and warehouse workers in Korea are all men.
And that feeds into the oft debunked “wage gap” myth – those in soft desk jobs, working fewer hours, with lower stress or higher job security, get paid less. The fact that women take the easier jobs or their responsibility to contribute equally as men doesn’t come up, somehow.
Their state funded pensions are also far better
Yes, I did keep waiting to hear what the specific greviences were.
It seemed to be opposing having a cabinet position of Minister for Gender Equality and not liking Commies. Both seem reasonable to me (especially the second one given the neighbours to the north). I fail to see how either is evidence of sexism or “misogyny”.
Indeed. A more charitable interpretation by the author would acknowledge that these positions may in fact be consistent with “limited government” conservativism
Park doesn’t define feminism in his piece, which makes his opinions difficult to gauge.
I quite agree. As the recent UnHerd panel on feminism would suggest, this is quite the difficult problem in the developed world.
I also thought it was strange how the suggest that opposing communism is an ‘alt right’ idea. For most of the last 170 years it’s been the idea of basically anyone who thinks mass murder is maybe not necessarily a good thing for their nation.
I agree with your observation. I thought the author revealed a strong bias by constantly conflating men with misogyny and sexism. What about the misandry of feminists and the constant sexist posturing in the opposite direction. I look forward (in hope) to the possibility that Unherd may one day publish an article about the damaging consequences of aggressive feminism in the post-WW2 era – the benefits are apparent; but every coin possesses an obverse.
Opposing feminism is not misogyny. If it were, over 90 percent of men and close to as many women would be misogynistic. Feminism is about status and nothing else at all. If it were about equality, feminism would insist that women take their share of the militaristic responsibilities, and retire at the same age as men.
“… men who rated themselves as upper middle class were 12 percentage points more likely to say they had sex in the previous year than men who rated themselves as lower class”, and that, Julie Bindel, is the meaning of the phrase ‘prostitution is the oldest profession’. Until women come to terms with and understand better their need for status, these conflicts are going to become uglier and uglier. This the result of equal rights without equal responsibilities.
You’re throwing the term “feminism” around as loosely as terms like “humanism” or “liberalism” and then ascribing to it whatever sociological phenomenon you don’t like.
I’m really shocked that among UnHerd readers that a comment like this could even be made, and then upvoted.
So many men complain that their lack of success with women is due to women wanting “status” or money or alphas or some such. No–they want a better human being as a partner, and many want that partner to be a male, not a female.
And women are in the military and we don’t have a draft, but I agree, sexes should be drafted equally for that at which they’re most qualified, and I’d suggest that most women wouldn’t be great in combat but could take on a lot of other jobs for the military or on the homefront that support a war effort (in fact, this was certainly the case during the two world wars in the 20th century, so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about.)
Judging from the world as I see it, many young women are convinced that their physical attractions entitle them to any man they want. They’re not looking for ‘better human beings,’ but for men who are rich. High-end men will sleep with any reasonably attractive woman, but it doesn’t mean they want to set up home with them. In the mean time, perfectly decent and competent males are ignored. The result of this is that nobody’s happy: neither the shallow one-night stand elite, nor the disappointed women who are ghosted, nor the single males who are left on the shelf and derisively told to cure their ‘toxic masculinity.’
For women to ‘succeed’, a totalitarian state apparatus is required to curtail men’s freedoms. Feminism doesn’t include men unless they present themselves as meekly and inoffensively as possible, hence the rise of politically correct speech and behavioral codes that we see emanating from universities and Human Resources departments. It is an unnatural way of existing and requires an ideology that perpetually excoriates and excludes men until they are raised never to be a threat to women ever again. We see this being enacted in transgender ideology (the turning of men into women), the deflection of sexual desire (directing the male sexual gaze to other men), and gender-neutrality which encourages passive behaviors but suppresses more energetic ones.
The result of this is that many young men are growing up feeling angry and impotent. Astute politicians are now picking up on this male desire to overturn the status quo and are likely to capitalize on it to increase their voter-base. Naturally, those who gained power and prestige through the feminist, sexual and racial identity industry are going to fight it tooth and nail. We already see it happening in the way movements and protests that deviate from the current world order are being labelled as right-wing extremism.
Excellent analysis Julian. Perhaps explicit political division along gender lines, appearing first in Korea, aligns with its national character, as reflected in its flag. The Taeguekgi has at its centre, the symbol of Yin and Yang.
they want a better human being as a partner
This is doubtless true of some women, just as it is true of some men that they don’t judge women solely on looks.
But a rather frightening number of women seem to be both looking for, and feel entitled to, a man with dosh to spend.
I wish it weren’t so. One of the good things many of us expected to come out of feminism is that cash would be taken out of the dating equation. But for many it appears to have got worse.
For many women (I suspect not you, to be fair) feminism has given rise to an enormous sense of female entitlement.
they want a better human being
Just an afterthought – a better human being according to whose criteria? And if those of women, is there a similar obligation on women to be better human beings according to mens criteria?
I have to say that I see a lot of poor, and very selfish, behaviour on both sides. We really need to drop this Victorian narrative which paints women as angels and men as devils.
What are the aims of feminism?
An extremely poor article that utterly fails in most respects, in particular totally failing to explain where the massive antipathy to Korea’s infamous institutional feminism comes from. There’s not a single mention of how the previous government was quite literally collapsed because it turned out the president was part of a new age misandrist cult and admitted as such on national television. That ‘conservative’ government and its liberal successor have taken political steps against men that would have been unthinkable in the west, and yet have barely been commented on. The Eight Goddesses or whatever they are called are a major power in Korea, and the men of that country have had enough of them. Stop dishing out nonsense terms like alt right – this is not the Guardian.
We are told these people are sexist over and over again. Where’s the evidence?
UnHerd needs to up its editorial standards
Only Julie Bindel can help here….
Visit any major city’s Korean neighborhood and you’ll find yourself drowning in estrogen. South Korean youth culture is completely emasculated and some might say “b***h made.” I like asian societies in general but I find South Korean feminized consumerism revolting. I believe this writer is offended young men are finally starting to push back against this.
The real tragedy – in S Korea and at home – is that those same young women who tell pollsters that they reject marriage and motherhood will be desperate for those things in a few years time but only after the opportunity for them has passed.
I was very shocked to hear those statistics. Admittedly I haven’t been there since 2006. But still, back then most females still seemed to have the idea that they basically must be married by mid-20s, and would become less selective as they approached that age. It was a bit of a culture shock to me at the time, and I’m not saying that mentality is a good thing either, just amazing that the pendulum could have swung so far in what is actually a fairly short period of time.
I enjoyed this look into happenings in Korea. Without knowing more, I’m going to take the allegations of misogyny with a grain of salt. Anecdotally, it seems the US and Korea are in a similar situation with household stability increasingly becoming the privilege of the wealthy.
Unlike older men, who held to a patriarchal worldview defined by rigid gender roles, young men reject the sense of masculine duty that typically accompanies old-school sexism.
Isn’t this just the way history runs? In a changed situation, tradition persists for a while by a kind of social inertia. But eventually the change is recognised and actors start to change their behaviour accordingly.
For many young men,”masculine duty” in these changed circumstances starts to look like a con job – and their reaction will be like anybody who feels they are being duped, and take for a fool.
He makes the corollary point that young women are rejecting marriage and motherhood without seeing the connections.
A “con-job” indeed. It was some vocal women’s objection to what they felt was a con-job that was the birth of feminism.
I’m not saying these young men aren’t driven by a hatred or disgust of women, but the article is a little thin on specific evidence of misogyny unless being opposed to feminist politics makes one ipso facto a misogynist.
An interesting article but this line: In this new environment, young women have fared better than before.
Clearly, there are no winners here. What is the metric of success? University graduation rates? Employment rates? Some consolation for a life of loneliness, sexlessness, and childlessness.
Sounds like democracy is alive and working in South Korea.
I am surprised that there was no mention of the state mandated compulsory military service for males (and only males, not females) as one of the main grievances.
Young women move ahead with their careers while young men are held back by military service. It’s hardly surprising young men aren’t happy. Including both sexes in the draft has been proposed but this is a long standing open wound.
The author is very sloppy when he states “Sexism, of course, remains a problem: a recent study estimated that structural sexism depresses South Korean women’s wages by between a quarter and a third compared to South Korean men.”
The study Abstract at the link provided states: “Depending on models, one-fourth to one-third of female earnings disadvantage is attributable to prejudice against women.”
Ignoring the questionable methodology of the study , it is still obvious that these two statements are not the same at all; I am very surprised the editors would publish an author incapable of basic reading comprehension.
Why are you surprised, and why do you think the error is due to lack of reading comprehension.
Thanks for the effort, but I could have told you that statement was sloppy and erroneous without even looking at the original report.
Remember that “study” that claimed here was bias against women or non white musicians which was voided by blind testing? Similarly “sloppy”.
The article gives the solution to the problem: they need to have compulsory military service for women.
That would be a logistical nightmare.
Unless there is an existential threat (as, for example, in USSR in 1941 – 45) then forcing women of child-bearing age into physical danger is not a good survival tactic for a nation. I realise that young women now serve in the armed forces, but it is only in low numbers at the moment, and for the reasons that I’ve stated I do find it problematic. Of course this doen’t stop women doing some national service in other capacities
A woman is just as capable of stopping a bullet as a man.
I’m not deny that. all I’m saying is that no society can afford to loose large numbers of fertile females. It’s a straight forward survival question.
Evidence shows their fertility is increasingly irrelevant, as the article demonstrates that a rapidly decreasing number of women want to exercise it.
I really don’t care.
Losing 100,000 women in a war would hardly affect the UK population. If women want to be treated as equals they must accept the responsibilities that accompany equality.
I would like to see half of all front line fighting troops to be women in future.
However shooting from the prone unsupported position can be a problem, for obvious reasons.
forcing women of child-bearing age into physical danger is not a good survival tactic for a nation
but if they are not having kids anyway …..
You don’t know who will or will not have kids.
Why should it matter whether these women are of child-bearing age when the birth rate suggests they are not bearing children anyway?
For some reason they hate feminism, when all it’s done is removed their chances of having a wife and kids. Quite the head scratcher alright.
It’s funny the article mentions embracing “sound conservative principles”. The current status quo is not based on any sort of tradition and seems to have produced a complete nightmare of a country, what’s to conserve?
It is my understanding that South Korea has conscription for men, but not for women. Feminism is not about sexual equality, it is about spoilt children who want to have their cake and eat it, and to label anti feminists misogynists is lazy.
The male feminist doth protest a little too much.
Correction: it will be a marvelous sign for South Korea’s future. On present trajectory, and captive to feminist interests, your own article shows that they aren’t even repopulating themselves. If anyone can rescue a country from depraved, lonely, sexless death, it’s a based young man with energy and passion.
This is a terrible, terrible problem, and with respect, the author shed more heat than light on the problem.
UnHerd needs to send Julie Bindel to Korea–maybe she doesn’t even have to go, as she instinctively sees the problem is and immediately has the solution.
Please UnHerd, assign this story to JB, for a deep yet completely objective dive into misogyny in South Korea. UnHerd readers want–no need, absolutely need–her brilliant insights into the male Korean mentality.
Or even North Korea!
I wonder if she’s aware that her attitude towards men have become so predictable that it’s become a joke?
Nah, mate. If JB has anything, it’s a profound lack of awareness…..
From Wikipedia we can see what’s going on here:
“Criticism [of Lee Jun-seok]:
He is considered a somewhat moderate conservative within the PPP, but he has been controversial for his tough stance on some issues. He is mainly supported by young men who are negative about feminism, and he said feminism has a somewhat totalitarian inclination. Na Kyung-won, a leading female politician in the PPP, described Lee political line as “Trumpism.” Lee Jae-myung, the Democratic presidential contender in 2022, expressed concern about Lee Jun-seok’s political popularity, saying, “It could lead to the emergence of far-right populism.” South Korean liberal journalist Hankyoreh also compared Lee Joon-seok to Donald Trump.”
He is framed as just “another Trump” i.e. someone opposing the main stream deconstructionist liberal political paradigm and offering an alternative vision of politics and approach to modern social organization and levelling of society.
Interesting story. It would be interesting to know, though, whether the author welcomes the new developments that young males are rebelling against, or whether he has an alternative solution.
I suspect that women in Korea suffer from the same execrable exclusion from the building and other labour-intensive trades that they want so desperately to practice – were it not for the oppression if the patriarchy. And so to obtain equality they must resort to demanding a greater share if those better paid professional jobs – because equity. Sounds familiar.
This is an interesting phenomenon I wasn’t aware of.
In LA’s Koreatown, which has a huge number of SK immigrants and visitors, I’ve noticed rampant signs of cultural decay, in the form of a highly decadent and superficial consumer-oriented society where family, community and hard work have been superseded by Instagram, handbag dogs, plastic surgery, feminized male celebrities and cuteness. Naturally this phenomenon goes completely un-mentioned in this article.
For the liberated young SK feminist consumer, freed from the obligations of family and motherhood and either uninterested in sex or else on the pill, these amusements offer temporary satisfaction, but it’s not hard to see how they eventually channel their lack of genuine fulfillment with their lives into whining about the patriarchy and hurling accusations at their male co-workers.
Glad to see young men there waking up to this, would love to get the perspective of a young man who lives there and isn’t a simp.
While there’s many pieces of interesting data that this author includes in this article – and honestly it’s interesting to have an article on South Korea – it reads as a leftoid screed and an aggressively feminist polemic by a male feminist.
Running around yelling ‘sexist!’ with hair on fire. Isn’t this part of the problem? A shallow effort this. Like, elsewhere, intentions which were noble, and frankly just basic biology, until yesterday have been ground into the dust as the liberal juggernaut crashes its way toward its dead end.
I enjoyed the article and found it insightful. thanks.
South Korea women have organized numerous protests against the widespread misogynist practice of implanting hidden videos in women’s restrooms and other private sex-segregated spaces. Of course, web sites are set up dedicated to streaming the hidden film of girls and women using toilets and/or undressing in changing or shower rooms.
To the knee-jerk “but the men are so LONELY” reaction one has to say that this is an extremely misogynistic practice in which females are being told that aren’t worthy of basic human rights like privacy and that in the the public sphere they are subject at any time to be “undressed” and humiliated by having bathroom or shower photos published for literally billions of men to see. Women routinely file police reports but nothing is done about it–hence the protests.
Men are not OWED sex, or a wife. Maybe they should work on being better partners, rather than blaming feminists for empowering women not to have to put up with this bullshit anymore.
Men are not OWED sex, or a wife
I’ve yet to meet a man who feels that he is.
Feeling that your life does not include emotional warmth, contact, intimacy, and, yes, sex – is very likely to make people unhappy and even resentful. That is not the same as feeling entitled.
Welcome to the bear pit. And thanks for a highly necessary comment on some of the undoubtedly misogynist practices that do happen in South Korea.
On the ‘men are not OWED sex’ front, might I add that men are also not owed a roof over their head or three square meals a day? The world does not owe you a living – but those who miss out while their neighbours prosper still feel find it somewhat difficult to resign themselves to quietly doing without. Could we agree that
1) The terms of trade have changed dramatically over a generation or two, advancing women (relatively, of course) at the expense of men?
2) That a lot of the ‘work on being better partners’ is likely to result in still not getting anyone or (if you are in a couple) not getting any? In my youth there were many who heard that women were attracted to nice guys and decided to follow that strategy. Generally we learned the hard way that no matter how nice we tried to be, no one was attracted to us. This is where the word ‘friendzone’ came from.
3) There seems to be a quite solidly rooted cultural preference to the effect that 80% of the women compete mainly for 20% of the men (see e.g. on dating sites)? That leaves the women who lose that competition with at least the choice of lowering her standards or staying single – which is more choice than the losing men will get.
Judging by the names and comments posted, it appears that not one commenter is Korean or has lived in Korea or is a student of Korean society. It is therefore hard to see how commenters could judge the accuracy of descriptions and assertions in this article.