The definition of feminism is “advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” It all sounds fair and good but whenever an idol identifies themselves as a feminist, things quickly take a turn for the worst.
Suzy, Red Velvet‘s Irene, Apink‘s Naeun, and AOA‘s Seolhyun have all experienced netizen’s fury for supporting the movement. These ladies have dealt with everything from male idols destroying their merchandise to deleting Instagram pics showcasing their support of feminism, but why exactly are idols bashed for being feminist?
There may actually be a few different factors that have played into the negative views towards the feminist movement. The first of which may South Korea’s conservative values. The country has long been a patriarchal society with women expected to perform certain roles.
South Korea also has a history rooted in Confucianism. From its beginnings, Confucianism taught that a virtuous woman was one that followed the males in her family.
You can see where things might go wrong with this one!
These traditional values may not be the real reason that feminism in Korea has gotten such a bad rap. If you ask most Koreans, the reason feminism is viewed in such a negative light is due to the actions of “radical feminists”.
These radical feminists don’t seem, to many, to be advocating for the equality of men and women so much as pushing their own agendas. Their antics leave a bad taste in many people’s mouths and they often take things too far. Unfortunately, feminism as a whole tends to get associated with this radical group.
For instance, DKDKTV highlighted a time when radical feminists left horrible and downright nasty comments on an article about a soldier who was wounded during an artillery accident.
Although there are many cases that prove idols and anyone else that identifies as a feminist will get bashed, there are many others that show things are slowly changing. For instance, there is a bookstore in Seoul that promotes feminism. They have over 1,000 feminists books and conduct open discussions to help shed some more light on the subject.
Female gamers are also trying to push for a better representation in games while defeating online trolls with their own gaming leagues.
And perhaps most importantly, some idols aren’t being hated for supporting feminism, bringing the subject to everyone’s attention. Most recently, Sulli was praised by netizens for being the true face of feminism.
We may still see idols being bashed online for their thoughts on the issue, but things are changing and it might not be too long before we see more cases where people aren’t criticizing others for their views.
Check out these videos for information about why the feminist movement in Korea is seen so negatively and how things are beginning to change too.