Hollaback! Korea Launch & Reflection

The Hollaback! Korea website launched December 3! Hollaback! Korea was founded in August 2013 by a team of 23 volunteers working to address street harassment in Korea. We are the friends, daughters, students, sisters, workers, supporters, partners, wives who are Korean nationals, women of color, adoptees, foreigners, ethnic and overseas Koreans, LGBTQ, young and old, single and multicultural family members of Korean society, we come from Seoul, Gwangju, Busan, Daejeon, Jeju, and Daegu to share these stories. We are building an intersectional space to address street harassment and welcome anyone to participate. Visit Hollaback! Korea at our website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Taking the blog off - line the past few months has been really rewarding. Since June I have been recruiting and training side-by-side with a fantastic group of people all over Korea to launch a street (sexual) harassment awareness project called Hollaback! Korea.

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of the six years I have lived in Korea. Connecting the values of this blog with a project like Hollaback has helped me commit to my work.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to groups that I’ve learned a lot from over the past few years. The Gwangju International Center (GIC) had a big impact on me during my Gwangju days. I really respected the way that GIC worked hard to integrate community members and provided resources for discussion. In Seoul I have been inspired beyond measure by the people connected to Single Moms’ Day (SMD), which I’ve discussed here on the blog before. I still think SMD is the single most amazing conference I have ever participated in but the group also invited me to see what it was like to have many amazing people participating in a project in a variety of ways. SMD helped me start to engage in communities around me by identifying skills that I did have and could share, and also gave me an aspiration point: I knew that I wanted to keep working hard to learn from others and learn to communicate with others.

I’ve also benefitted from the support of fellow bloggers and writers. I hope there will be future opportunities for feedback and debate, which has been growing in recent months. I have to point out the diligence of the Grand Narrative for sharing information and resources about gender in Korean society, particularly highlighting and promoting the work of others on top of writing great content.

Hollaback! Korea is another type of growth but it is connected to writing and blogging and spreading awareness and many of the core values here at KGC. It has been exciting to interact off – line with team members and to see that events in Gwangju, Jeju and Seoul are engaging people in our discussion. Online, between Facebook, Twitter and the Hollaback Website we have a lot of opportunities to engage and I look forward to the ensuing conversations.

It’s been challenging to juggle the preparation for launch, particularly producing accurate content in Korean. I hope our mobile app is accurately translated and will be useful. Preparing something professional and engaging in Korean is a different experience than writing book reviews, research papers or messing around on my blog in Korean.

It’s been difficult to team build and effectively communicate with a team that is living all over this country. Our team of volunteers has been really energetic and creative. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many talented individuals. Especially those whose talents are so different from my own. I can’t adequately describe how awesome it is to have assembled this group of my favorite and most inspiring peers and then work on a project like this together!

It has been difficult to reach out beyond my own communities and seek new friends. However, this might be my favorite part of this project (and this blog). I started to write because I thought that my passion for my studies was a bit solitary. I want to share ideas and have broader conversations. As a result, I am learning volumes from new friends. I appreciate the lessons and appreciate the mistakes that I make as I take steps forward.


Event: Hollaback! Gwangju, Fri Dec 6, 7PM In the Groove Lounge

Hollaback is a project to address street (sexual) harassment in our communities. The Hollaback! Korea website will launch November 27! Help us spread the word about the project as we start a new chapter of Hollaback in Korea. We will hold an introductory discussion about the issue of street harassment, Hollaback as an international nonprofit, and our goals for HB Korea.

RSVP for the event on Facebook at Hollaback Korea 할라백 코리아


Thank You

Hello Readers,

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Jenderole and I are the founder and main organizers of this blog.

We have both gotten sucked into our thesis research. We are researching, writing (and eventually publishing, gulp) about causes very much in the spirit of Korean Gender Café: gender theory, human rights, LGBTQ rights, sex trafficking, media, law and sex workers rights. For us, this online conversation serves as a motivator in our offline research and a way for us to reach out to you.

This blog was born a little over 14 months ago. We used to hang out together at coffee shops and talk about gender and politics, news, sociology, history, sexuality, and you name it~ We practices communicating about these ideas in English and in Korean. We wished for a way to take our conversations online and share them with wider audiences. We wanted to open a space for discussion.

However, to open space for discussion, we need ongoing participation from our readers and we need your trust. We need to you to add to the discussion in the comments section, to write to us and pose topics, to be a guest contributor to this blog. We need you to build trusting conversations and safe spaces with your friends about the issues we discuss here, to show each other respect and to really do the work of understanding one another.

We want to recognize and deeply thank our contributors over the past year. We enjoyed learning from you and with you, and we were honored to host your thoughtful posts.

Thank you to our friends who helped with editing on the site and with writing. Thank you DaJung, Enzo, Deborah, Chloe, Tamara, Taylor and Bryan.

We have also gotten busy building a great team of folks that are organizing Hollaback! Korea and hope to engage many of our readers in offline projects for public awareness and discussion about street sexual harassment.

In the coming year you can expect more content from us, more offline engagement, and you can expect us to continue to be honored to host guest posts on a variety of topics. Please contact us if you would like to be considered for a guest post.

Let's talk!
Chelle B. Mille


Testify, PART III: Sex After Sexual Assault 성폭행 후의 성생활 [Guest Post]

Join us in thanking guest blogger Chloe Lee Myunghyun, an organizer of Disruptive Voices, for sharing this final installment on her series about sexual assault, police reporting and dating after assault. Please also read Part I: The Morning After and Part II: Latent Rapists
-Chelle B Mille

PART III: Sex After Sexual Assault 성폭행 후의 성생활

사건 사고 발생일로부터 이미 1년 4개월, 내가 성폭행 생존자라는 것을 깨달은지 8개월째.
A year and four months after the attack, and 8 months since I realized I am a survivor.

재미있는건 자신이 어떤 상황에서 피해자임을 깨닫는것 만큼 자의식이 뚜렷해지는 일도 없지만 그만큼 섹스에 대한 태도도 바뀐다. 내가 처음 "내가 당한일은 그가 술마셔서, 약을 해서야"등 그에게 변명을 대줬고 끊임없이 당시 무력했던 자신을 자책한 것은 이미 거론했다. 그러나 시간이 흘러가면서 더 이상 이런 자기연민에 빠져있는 피해자가 아닌, 이 일로 다른 사람들을 도울수 있는 생존자가 되려고 노력했다. 나의 대처 방법은 남들에게 나의 이야기를 하는 것이었다. 이를 통해 성적 학대에 대한 이야기들을 주위에서 더 많이 듣게 되었고 무섭게도 얼마나  흔히 있는 일인지 깨달았다. 말을 할수록 자신에게 대한 수치심이나 부끄러움도 덜었다. 얘기할 때마다 나는 더 큰 해방감을 느꼈다.

The funny thing is there is nothing more that awakens the consciousness than discovering that you are a victim, but my attitude towards sex had changed permanently. In the beginning, I came up with all sorts of excuses to for him, "This happened to me 'cus he was drunk, 'cus he was high", and I have already mentioned how much I faulted my helplessness. As time passed, I no longer wanted to be a victim wallowing in self-pity, but worked hard to become a survivor that could help others through my experience. My way of dealing with it was to tell others my story. The more I told my story, the more individuals around me came forward with their own stories. The more I talked about it, the more the shame and humiliation wore off. I felt more liberated every time I shared.

그러나 이 이야기를 쉽게 꺼낼수 없는 상대들이 있었다. 이들은 나의 섹스 파트너들이었다.  내 파트너 중 가장 가까운 친구외에는 그 누구에게도 내 이야기를 말하지 않았다. 나의 대다수의 파트너들은 친구도 연인도 아닌 애매한 사이의 상대들이었고 이런 나의 일을 털어놓으면 애매한 사이가 더 틀어지는 건 뻔하다. 그들과 은밀한 나의 일부를 공유하면서도, 나의 은밀한 일들을 말할수 없는게 참 모순이다. 끌리면 가능했던 섹스, 나는 소위 "해방된, 개방적인 성생활"을 누리고 있다고 생각했지만 되돌아보면 완전히 깨어있는 정신으로 섹스를 한 적이 별로 없었다. 더 짜증나는 사실은 나에게 있었던 일이 강제추행이라는 것을 깨닫고 난 후 섹스 할 때마다 자신의 트로우마의 흔적을 다시 보게됐다. 내가 당한게 범죄라는 것을 알기 전에는 이러한 증상에 시달리지 않았다. 이런걸 보면 차라리 몰랐으면…이라는 생각도 든다.

But there were certain individuals I could not share my story to. Those were my sex partners. Excluding one that is a close friend of mine, I did not tell anyone else. All of my partners have been in-betweens, someone lost between friend and lover, and I knew the already-awkward relationships would turn terribly awry if I told them what had happened to me. It was ironic how I could not be intimately comfortable with them even though I was sharing a part of me that was intimate. I was living a "liberated and conscious" sex life, yet looking back I can count how many times I have had completely sober sex. The brunt of this turmoil was that the trauma hit an all-time high after once my experience was labeled “sexual assault”. I have been seeing traces of my trauma smudged under the sheets, on the ceiling, and the four walls of every bedroom I was intimate in. I didn’t suffer from such symptoms before it was called assault, and I sometimes wonder if it was better not knowing at all.

이 일이 있는 전까지는 첫 경험한 남자하고만 잠자리를 가졌었다. 당시 우린진지한 사이도 아니었지만 섹스에 대해 꽤 보수적이었다. 그러나 그 일 이후로 새로운 "성적 자유로움"을 찾은 나, 진실로 성 주체성을 되찾은 것인가 아님 아직도 트로우마에서 헤어나오지 못하는 것인지? 나는 전자라고 믿고 싶다.

Before the incident, I was that girl, physically and emotionally loyal to the man I lost my virginity to. He was merely a distant friend; I suppose I was quite conventional in a sense . But after a failed attempt at prosecuting my perpetrator, was my new-found "sexual liberation" truly a statement of my restoring my sexuality or was I in denial about my healing? I hope for the former.

경찰서 사건 이후로 이 일이 산산조각난 후 만나고 있는 점잖은 친구 한 명과 처음으로 제대로된 성관계를 가졌다. 그리고 잠에 들었는데 그날 저녁 강간 당한 꿈을 꿨다. 꿈에서 나는 곧바로 병원에서 검사를 받고 증거물을 가지고 경찰서에 가서 신고했다. 신고 대상도 아닌게 한이었나보다. 다음 번에는 그와 섹스를 한 후 순간 너무 더럽게 느껴졌고 갑자기 공황증상까지 오기도 했다. 예상치도 못한 기이한 상황들이 벌어지자  나는 투쟁 정신이 강해졌다. 한동안은 금욕주의자가 될까도 생각해봤지만 이 일로 하여금 내 자신을 더 이상 자책하거나 벌주고 싶진 않았다. 무엇보다도 끌리는 사람이 있으면 자연스럽게 원하게 된다. 물론 가장 이상적인 상황은 나를 아끼고 사랑해주는 상대를 만나 나에게 있었던 일들을 모두 얘기하고, 그가 날 이해해주고, 날 더 사랑해주고, 우린 열정적이고 불타오르는 섹스를 할 것이고 등등.. 말해봤자 희망사항일뿐 난 내 자신을 위해 더 현실적인 방법으로 대면해야 했다.

One of the first times I had sober sex after the incident, I fell asleep after and dreamt that I got raped. The morning after I went to the hospital and filed a police report with the evidence at hand. I must have been hung up about not being validated. The next time, it felt so dirty after and I had a panic attack where I felt like I was drowning. As these strange events occured, I only wanted to fight this even more. For some time, I wondered if I should become celibate but I no longer wanted to blame or punish myself for what happened. On top of that, I naturally crave intimacy when I meet someone I am attracted to. Granted, the most ideal scenario would be to be intimate with someone that loves me and I will feel comfortable to tell them everything and they will understand, love me even more and we will have passionate, hot sex, etc but these are unrealistic demands. I had to make more practical decisions about my sex life.

시간이 지난 후 또 끌리는 상대를 만났다. 이때는 정말이야 말로 이 트로우마이고 뭐고 자유로운 섹스를 하고 싶었다. 그리고 정말 오랫만에 잠자리에서 다른 남자를 상상하지 않고그냥 그에게 너무 끌렸다. 도중 화장실이 급해 침대에서 일어나 혼자 화장실로 들어갔는데 나도 모르게 울기 시작했다. 울면서도 계속 내 자신에게 "안돼, 이걸 이겨야 해"라고 하면서 화장실에서 나와 그는 마저 2시간동안 침대를 달궜다.

After some time, I met another person I was undeniably attracted to. Trauma or not, I wanted to enjoy sex openly. And for the first time in a long time, I had sex with him without fantasizing about someone else. I was just so attracted to him. In the middle, I had to pee so I went to the bathroom alone and I started crying uncontrollably. Even through the tears, I told myself, "I need to fight this," and came out looking fresh and we heated up the sheets for two more hours.

모임에 있는 친구들에게 성적 학대 후 성 생활에 대해 물어봤을때 그들은 시간이 약이라고 한다. 그러면서도 가끔 좌절하게 될때도 있다고 한다. 인생의 모든 안 좋은 추억과 일들처럼, 흔적은 남는다. 나에게 정답은 없다. 내가 다음에 만날 상대와 잠을 잤을 때도 똑같이 고통스러울까? 아니면 아무런 느낌도 없을까? 지금만큼은 이 노이로제에서 벗어나고 싶다. 그러나 제발, 제발... 아무 느낌도 없는 섹스만 아니었으면 좋겠다.

When I ask my friends from the meetings about sex after sexual assault, they that it gets better with time. But that you still have your moments. Just like everything bad you go through in life, the traces remain. I have no real answers. Will I still hurt with the next man I sleep with? Or will I feel nothing at all? All I want right now is a peace of mind. But please, please... I just wish for anything but sex that doesn’t make me feel anything.

Check out Disruptive Voices for discussion groups about consent, violence, and other topics:


Special Film Screening! Girls Rising! Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 8PM

Special Film Screening! Girls Rising! 
& Discussion Moderated by Hollaback! Korea
Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 8PM
Bar Carmen, near Noksapyeong Station, Exit 2 (see map below)
Hosted by Caroline Jones, Jill Rubin, Laura MacDonald and Amy Smith

Educate Girls. Change the World. http://girlrising.com/

Girl Rising is a global action campaign for girls' education, founded by award-winning journalists at The Documentary Group and Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions, along with strategic partner, Intel Corporation. Centered by the new feature film, Girl Rising, Girl Rising uses the power of storytelling and the leverage of strategic partnerships to deliver a simple, critical truth: Educate Girls and you will Change the World.

About The Film:
Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses.

- For payment in advance please send 10,000 won to (Shinhan Bank) account number 110-401-239555. The confirmation name will be Jones Caroline Lindsay. Make sure to
send me an inbox message with your name, date and time you sent the $. This way we can add your name to our list.

- Otherwise you can pay 12,000 won at the door.

- If you would like to donate to the cause and are unable to attend the screening you can donate to the account above. Send me a message to clarify.

** Even though it is Caroline's name on the account, this is NOT her personal account. All proceeds go towards the Girls Rising Initiative **

Also, if you have any organizations that you would like to showcase at this event the option is welcome.

The goal of this event is to inspire, build awareness and have fun. Proceeds will go directly to the cost of the screening and girls education. More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/568013336585876/?notif_t=plan_user_joined


Testify, Part II: Latent Rapists [Guest Post]

Korean Gender Café hosts the second installment of this series with guest blogger Chloe Lee Myunghyun, an organizer of Disruptive Voices, who shares her story about sexual assault, police reporting and dating after assault. Also read Part I: The Morning After and PART III: Sex After Sexual Assault 성폭행 후의 성생활. 
-Chelle B Mille

PART II: Latent Rapists

a friend is hard to press charges against

if you know him you must have wanted it
a misunderstanding
you know these things happen
are you sure you didnt suggest
had you been drinkin
a rapist is always to be a stranger to be legitimate someone you never saw a man wit obvious problems
pin-ups attached to the insides of his lapels
ticket stubs from porno flicks in his pocket
a lil dick
or a strong mother
or just a brutal virgin
but if you’ve been seen in public wit him danced one dance kissed him good-bye lightly
wit closed mouth
pressin charges will be as hard as keepin yr legs closed while five fools try to run a train on you
these men friends of ours who smile nice stay employed and take us out to dinner
lock the door behind you
wit fist in face to fuck
who make elaborate mediterranean dinners & let the art ensemble carry all ethical burdens while they invite a coupla friends over to have you are sufferin from latent rapist bravado & we are left wit the scars
bein betrayed by men who know us
& expect like the stranger we always thot waz comin
that we will submit
we must have known
women relinquish all personal rights the presence of a man who apparently cd be considered a rapist
specially if he has been considered a friend
he is no less worthy of bein beat witin an inch of his life bein publicly ridiculed havin two fists shoved up his ass
man the stranger he always thot it wd be
who never showed up
az it turns out the nature of rape has changed
we can now meet them in circles we frequent for companionship
we see them at the coffeehouse
wit someone else we know
we cd even have em over for dinner & get raped in our own houses by invitation a friend
by Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange의 소설 <<For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf(무지개로써 충분했을때/자살을 고민한 유색인종 여성들을 위해)>>에서 나오는 한 시다. 영화로 각색한 이 작품을 보고 난  후 나는 마지막 줄이 가장 섬뜩했다. "We cd even have em over for dinner & get raped in our own houses by invitation a friend". 의역을 하자면 "우린 친구인 가해자들을 집에 저녁 초대를 해 우리집에서 강간을 초대한다"다. 내가 그랬다. 5년 동안 알고지낸 지인, 개인적으로 내 취향으로는 조금 가벼운 성격의 소유자지만 재능있는 친구로 나쁘게만 평가하진 않았다. 통계학적으로 성추행 및 성폭행 가해자의 거의 80%는 피해자가 평소에 알고 있는 사람이라고 한다. 머리로만 알고 있었던 숫자, 현실에서 왜 계산이 안된 걸까. 난 원래 수학에 약하다.

The above poem is an excerpt from Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. When I first watched the adapted film, I felt the last line exceptionally chilling - "We cd even have em over for dinner & get raped in our own houses by invitation a friend." That's what happened to me. An acquaintance I knew for 5 years, an individual I felt a little shallow for my taste yet talented, so he wasn't all bad in my eyes. Statistically speaking, almost 80% of rape and sexual assault perpetrators are people that the victim knows(1). Numbers I only knew intelligibly, yet I could not calculate the events that would, might, could happen in real life. I've always been bad at math.

마음도 약하다. 지금은 많이 나아졌지만 한 번씩 감정이 폭풍처럼 밀려올때가 있다. 그의 폭력적인 행위보다는 나의 무력함이 수치스러웠다. 모두 상처와 고통이 있는 사람들끼리 사는 삶속에서 대화로 안 통할때가 있다는 점이 너무 증오스러웠다. 투쟁하고, 발버둥치고, 싸워야 겨우 숨쉴수 있는 공간을 지킬수 있는 현실이 미칠 듯이 짜증났고 징그럽게 부정적인 사회와 타협하고 싶지 않았다. 나의 히피족-평화주의-반폭력주의 사상은 내가 싸워야 했을때 날 병신으로 만들었다. 폭력말고 말과 눈빛으로 사람과 교감하면 누구든 설득시킬수 있다고 생각했다. 지금도 그런 주의지만 가끔은 폭력도 필요하다. 말콤 X.

I'm also bad at being tough. I mean really tough. I have gotten over most of what happened, but once it awhile, it comes over me like a wave. I was humiliated more by my helplessness than his violence. I hated the fact that people would not communicate even though we can connect through pain. I did not want to compromise with this disgustingly negative society where I had to fight tooth and nail, throw a violent tantrum just to survive. Just to come up and breathe. Coincedentally, this hippie-pacificist-anti-violent attitude of mine left me crippled with no defense. I used to believe I could persuade anyone if I looked deep enough into their eyes and connect. I suppose I am still inclined to believe so but when you have to fight for your right to be respected as a human being, fight...by any means necessary. Malcolm X.

이하는 2013년 2월 중순 내가 작성한 진술서다. 어이없이 짧은 공소시효 기간, 그리고 이미 저 멀리 미국으로 튄 그 놈 탓에 한동안 내 진술서는 그냥 안타깝기 그지없는 이야기였다. 오늘 여기서 처음 내뱉는 말이지만, 단체로 고소를 하려 했을때, 6개월 이전 피해자들에게 질투를 느끼기도 했다. 그들은 법적으로 자신들의 경험을 인정 받았고, 나 같은 6개월이 지난, 마치 유통기간이 지난 이야기는 버렸다. 나는 몇 주 후 끝까지 고소를 포기하지 않은 생존자와 함께해주려는 마음에 2명의 친구들과 함께 경찰서에 갔다. 나는 그날 회사에서 오후 시간을 빼달라고 요청을 하고 나왔다. 가는 도중 이날 생존자는 경찰서에서 나와 통화했던 형사를 만날수 있다고 했다. 전에는 "보면 한 마디할거야"라고 예상했지만 막상 가니 "왜 지금와서 고소하는 거에요", "증거가 없으면 성폭행, 강제추행 건은 증명하기가 힘듭니다"등 냉정하지만 형사로서 모두 타당성있는 질문들이었다. 이런걸 이용해 먹는 사람들을 막기 위해 법이있는거다. 머리로는 이해하지만 솔직히 마음은 너무 무거웠다. 당일 고소하러 경찰서에 찾아온 그녀는 형사와 담배를 피우며 대화하는 모습을 보고 나는 한편은 애써 체념한건지, 인간애는 바싹 마르고 관료주의에 찌든 그들이 정말 괜찮은 건지 구분하기 힘들었다.

Below is a statement I wrote on February 2013. For a good while, due to an unbelieveably scant statute of limitations and the fucker that fled to the US, my statement was just a sorry testimony that was sad - not the emotional kind, but the state kind of sad. The sadder(still state) truth? I am admitting this for the first time here but I felt a pang of jealousy throughout the whole ordeal towards the six-month-and-under victims. They had legally binding stories while stories older than 6 months were disposed, as if we mistook the expiration date and presented it to the detectives to drink our fucking Kool-Aid. A few weeks later, I accompanied one of the victims (of the former group) who was pressed to pursue to case, together with two friends to the police station. I took a few hours off from work. On our way, the victim set to testify said that the detective I had conversed with over the phone would be present. I thought I would want to argue with the detective but when later during his break, he casually yet firmly bombarded me with questions like "Why are you pursuing this case now?" and "Rape and sexual assault cases are hard to prove without evidence" whatever response came out of my mouth sounded like one from a whiny child. I knew his questions were rational (and cold), but my heart was still heavy. When I saw the survivor smoking and talking with the detective before the interrogation, I could not tell whether she had resigned to status quo or if she was really okay with these so-called upholders of justice, nary a drop of humanity but reeking with bureaucracy.

홀로는 법정에서 유효없는 진술서, 오늘 이렇게 남들과 공유하고 내가 치유 받을 수 있게 해준 하나의 공감대가 됐다.

Below is a statement that holds no individual validity in the justice system, has now become a medium for me to share with other and begin healing for myself.

*이하 진술서는 독자들을 위해 편집된 내용들이 있습니다. The statement below has been slightly edited for reader discretion.
이명현 (23)
Chloe Lee Myung Hyun (23)
2012년 6월 말 주말에 친구 M씨와 함께 이태원 한 라운지에서 술을 마시며 같이 시간을 보내고 있었다. 라운지는 지인들이 많은 단골집이라 자주 마주치는 친구들이 많다. 나도 마찬가지로 자주 간다.이날 항상 그렇듯이 오랫동안 알고 지낸 C씨가 있어 인사 차원으로 포옹을 하고 간단한 대화를 했다. 그날 저녁 M씨와 주로 대화를 나누거나 춤을 췄다. C씨도 M씨랑 잘 아는 사이라 셋이서 지나가면서 대화를 하기도 했다. 약 새벽 4시(시간은 정확하지 않지만 늦은 시간이었다) C랑 대화를 하고 있었는데 그가 나에게 자기 집에 가자고 했다. 그의 어감도 그랬고 단둘이 그의 집에 가는 것은 어색해 나는 그건 아닌 것 같다고 대답했다. 오랫동안 알고 지낸 사이인데도 나의 방어적인 태도에 어이 없듯이 그는 “나 너한테 아무것도 안 할 거 알잖아”라고 했다. 나는 여러 차례 단호하지만 미소 지으면서 거절을 했다. 이때 그는 “그냥 집에 여성의 기운이 좀 있었으면 좋겠다”라며 설득하려고 애를 썼다.

On the last weekend of June 2012, I was hanging out with my friend M, at a lounge in Itaewon. Many of my friends went there and I was a regular myself. As always, another regular C, was there at the lounge and we hugged, as a way of greeting each other. For the rest of the night, I was mostly either talking or dancing with M. C and M know each other well so we would break or carry spontaneous conversations amongst the three of us. Around 4am(I am unsure of the exact time but it was late), I was talking to C and he suggested that I come over to his place. His tone of voice was suggestive and going to his house alone would be awkward for me so I told him no. He must have sensed my hesitation and thought it funny since we have known each other for a long time, so he said, "You know I am not going to do anything to you." I declined multiple times, in a firm tone but with a smile. He later added, "I just want some female energy in the house."
처음 4~5년 전 시 공연(모임)에서 만난 사이로 오래 전부터 재능 있는 친구라고 여겼고 대학생 시절 영자잡지에 기고자로 일을 했을 때도 그의 인터뷰 기사를 쓰기도 했지만 진실성이 없고 여자들에게 시시덕거리는 모습을 많이 봐와 개인적으로는 어울리지 않았으며 파티나 공공장소에서 보면 인사하는 정도였다. 나는 그가 계속 자신의 집에서 놀자고 하는 질문에 의심하는 태도로 그에게 되물었지만 밤이 늦어지자 시끄러운 라운지 보다는 조용한 집이 좋다는 생각에 M에게 셋이 같이 가자고 내가 제안을 했다. 우린 늦은 시간 그의 집으로 나섰다. 자기 집이 바로 옆이라며 우리 둘을 안내해줬다.

We first met about 5 years ago in a spoken word event and I always thought he was talented. I even pitched an idea to do an interview on him during my years in university as a contributing writer for a magazine. However, I always felt that he lacked sincerity and always saw him as a skirt-chaser so I never tried to get to know him any better than our acquaintance which obliged us to merely acknowledge each other in public. I was dubious about his request to hang out at his place, but as the night wore on, I was leaning towards being in a quiet house rather than a noisy lounge so I asked M to come along with us. The three of us headed to his place. He guided the two of us to his place.
셋중 난 문앞에 먼저 들어섰는데 이때 C는 나의 엉덩이를 잡았다. 나는 “야!(Hey!)”라고 하자 그는 미안하다고 웃으며 넘겼다. 그리고 M과 C, 그리고 나는 그의 소파에서 편하게 앉아 대화를 나눴다. 그는 그의 ipad로 전 여자친구 사진, 파출부 아줌마가 만들어준 요리 등을 보여주며 편하게 대화를 했다. 나는 소파 가장자리에 앉아 있었고 C랑은 접촉이 불가능한 위치에서 M의 어깨에 기대고 있었다.

I was the first to get to his front door and when C got closer, he grabbed my butt. When I yelled, "Hey!", he laughed and said sorry. Soon, M, C, and I were hanging out on his couch, talking. He showed us pictures of his ex-girlfriend and the food his maid cooked him on his iPad. I was sitting on the opposite end of the sofa from him and leaning against M's shoulder.
술 기운에 몸이 무거워지고 아침에 가까운 시간이 되자 졸음이 밀려왔다. 나는 “얘들아, 나 그냥 여기서 잔다”라고 전했다. 이미 눈을 감고 있는 나에게 C는 “그냥 내 방에서 자. 우린 여기서 놀다가 잘게”라고 나에게 그의 방 안에 있는 침대를 양보해줬다. 나는 “고마워.”라고 하고 그의 방에 들어가 침대에 누워 깊은 잠에 빠졌다.

My body felt heavier from all the drinking at the lounge and I could feel morning getting closer. I hollered amidst their silence, "Guys, I'm just gonna sleep on the couch", while still leaning on M's shoulder. When my eyes were already closed, C said, "Go sleep in my room. Me and M will chill here and sleep on the couch." and gave up his bed for me. I trotted into his bedroom and said "Appreciate it" and fell into a deep sleep.
시간이 얼마나 지났는지는 기억이 나지 않는다.
I don't remember how much time has passed.
참고로 난 이날 소매가 없는 점슈트를 입고 있어 브래지어를 안 입은체 옷안에는 팬티만 입고 있었다.
For the record, I was wearing a sleevless jumpsuit with no brassiere and panties underneath my clothes that night.
점슈트가 단번에 벗겨지는 강력한 힘에 눈을 반사적으로 뜨게 됐다. C가 침대 옆에 앉아 있었다. 나는 그에게 “너 지금 뭐 하는 짓이야?”라고 하자 그는 “나 좀 안아줘”라고 반복적으로 애원을 했다. 그리고 체위를 바꿔  내 몸을 눌러 나에게 키스를 하고 가슴을 빨았다. 이번에 나는 그의 눈을 뚫어지게 보며 “너 지금 뭐 하는 짓이야?”라고 단호하게 묻자 그는 계속 안아달라고 반복적으로 “제발”이라고 했다. 난 “옷은 왜 벗기는 건데?그만 해. 하지마.”라고 말했다. 그는 나에게 키스를 하자 나는 그를 밀쳤다. 그는 이어 나의 가슴을 빨고 팬티를 벗겼다. 그는 나의 아랫도리를 문질렀다. 내가 “C, 하지마. 하지마”라고 하며 그의 팔을 밀자 그는 자신의 바지를 벗고 성기를 꺼내며 “안 집어 넣을게. 그냥 좀 문지르게 해줘”라고 여러 차례 말했다. 난 “싫어”라고 하며 그의 여자친구의 이름(개인적으로 그녀랑은 더 올래 알고 지낸 사이다)을 대며 그녀에게 무슨 짓을 하는 거냐고 했다. 그는 그녀는 미국에 있다고 둘러댔다. 그는 그의 성기를 나의 아랫도리에 대며 그의 몸으로 나를 눌러 성기를 집어넣으려고 했다. 내가 “너 계속하면 나 진짜 소리 지른다”라고 협박했다. 그는 내 몸을 누르고 있는 채로 날 보고 “뭐라고 할건데, 강간?”라며 날 비웃었다. 난 그를 다시 밀자 그는 “알았어. 그냥 옆에 누워 있을게.”라고 하며 이불을 다시 끌어올렸다. 난 그에게 몸을 돌려 팬티와 점슈트를 다시 입으려고 하자 그는 옷을 못 입게 했다. 난 또 그에게 “그만해 하지마 C”라고 하자 그는 다시 나의 몸에 손을 대기 시작했다. 나는 옷을 입으려고 계속 저항하고 그는 계속 벗기려고 했다.

I instantly opened my eyes when I felt a strong force pulling off my jumpsuit. C was sitting on the bed. "What the fuck are you doing?" I yelled.
"Just hold me," he pleaded. He got on top of me and kissed me, and sucked on my breasts.
This time, I looked into his eyes, searching for an answer, saying, "What the fuck are you doing.", in a calm tone.
He kept saying please, please. Please, please just hold me.
"Why are you taking my clothes off? Stop. Quit it."
He forced his lips on mine and I pushed his face away. He then went below to suck my breasts and take my panties off. He rubbed my vagina.
I pleaded, "Quit it. Quit it, C" and peeled his arm away.
He continued to take his pants off and pulled his penis out and said, in a crazed state, "I won't put it in, just let me rub it."
"No!" I shouted. I mentioned his girlfriend, whom I knew of longer than he and asked what he is doing to her. He dismissed it by saying she was in the US. He rubbed his penis against my groin area and pressed his body against mine and tried to penetrate. "If you do it, I am going to scream,"I threatened.
"What are you gonna scream, rape?" He scoffed and laughed. I pushed him off again and he said, "Ok ok, I'll just sleep next to you." and pulled the covers over the both of us. I turned my body against his and was putting my clothes back on but he stopped me. I repeated, "Stop, quit it, C" but he started groping me all over again. I kept struggling to put my clothes back on while he kept preventing me from doing so.
때마침 이때 그의 다른 친구가 앞문을 여는 소리가 들려왔다. 나는 벗겨진 옷을 입자 그는 “쉬!조용히 해야 돼!”라고 했지만 그 틈을 타 옷을 제대로 입고 방 문을 열어 거실로 나섰다. 알고 보니 내가 알고 있었던 지인이었고 다같이 대화를 나누다가 C는 뒤늦게 나왔다. 넷이서 아무 일도 없었듯이 얘기를 나누기 시작했다.

While I was struggling in bed, I heard a friend of his coming into the house through the front door. I quickly got dressed and he said, "Shhh! You have to be quiet" but I took the opportunity to properly dress myself and leave the bedroom. At the living room was another acquaintance and we sat down together on the couch and were talking. C came out of the room later. The four of us talked like nothing ever happened.
그 후 그 친구는 아침 7시경에 떠났고 나는 M이랑C 사이에 앉게 됐다. 그는 M이 있는 앞에서 한 번씩 나의 허벅지에 손을 댔다. 그 후 Michael은 담배를 피러 나갔는데 그 때 C는 나의 점슈트를 가슴까지 내려 가슴을 빨았다. 나는 “하지마”이라고 하고 옷을 다시 올렸는데 M은 밖에서 우리가 장난치는 줄 알고 창문 넘어“나 여기 있어”라고 했다. C는 “응, 알았어!(Ok!)”라며 다시 나의 가슴을 가지고 웃으면서 장난을 쳤다. 나는 몸을 움직여 하지 말라고 했다. M이 또 한번 “나 아직도 여기 있어”라고 했다. 그리고 한 몇 분 후 M 들어왔다. 아침 8시30분, 몸이 깨기 시작하자 나는 집에 간다고 했다. M도 같이 간다고 하고 우린 C의 집을 나섰다.

Later on, the friend who came in the morning left around 7am and it was just me, M, and C again. C got even more ballsy and even touched my thigh in front of M. Later, when M went outside for a smoke by the front door, C pulled my jumpsuit down and sucked my breast ouf of nowhere. I yelled, "Stop it!" and pulled my jumpsuit back up. M thought we were playing around and yelled from outside, "I'm here!", and C replied, "Ok!", chuckling, but he did it again. I shifted even further away from him and told him to stop. M repeated, "I'm still here!" and a few minutes later came back into the house. Around 8:30am, I was sobering up and announced I wanted to leave. M said he would leave too and we left C's house together.
그리고는 그날 오후 그에게서 카카오톡 메세지가 왔다.
That afternoon, a Kakao message from him arrived.



Event: Gwangju, Hollaback! Korea Info Table at International Community Day, Oct. 26, 11-5PM, World Cup Stadium

On Saturday, Oct. 26 Hollaback! Korea, a project to address street (sexual) harassment in Korea will hold their first public outreach event. They will share a table with The Vagina Monologues (TVM) at the Gwangju International Community Day. 

Learn more about Hollaback! Korea on:
or email the organizers at korea @ ihollaback.org

Event: 일일카페 한국미혼모가족협회, KUMFA Pop-up Cafe, Seoul, Oct. 26, 12-10PM, 경복궁역 Gyeongbokgung Station

10월 26일 오후 12시부터 10시까지 일일카페합니다. 장소는 경복궁역 (3호선, 4번출구) 근처입니다. 수익금은 한국미혼모가족협회 사단법인설립 벽돌쌓기에 기부됩니다. 티켓문의는 사무국 02-2682-3376/ 휴대폰 010-8993-9905 참석하기 어렵지만 기부하고 싶으신 분: 국민은행 547801-04-053780 (Kookmin Bank) 한국미혼모가족협회 많은 관심을 부탁드립니다~!

Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association will host a pop-up cafe fundraiser on October 26th from 12pm (noon) to 10pm at "Dam" cafe near Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3, exit 4, see map). All proceeds will go to KUMFA. You can buy tickets in 10,000 won increments and exchange them for food. Ticket inquiries (Eng/Kor) 010-4534-1553. If you can't attend but still want to donate to KUMFA (in Korea): 국민은행 547801-04-053780 (Kookmin Bank) 한국미혼모가족협회 or via paypal (email: kumfa.volunteer@gmail.com)

Event: Seoul, "Don't Do That" Campaign, Saturday Oct. 26, 2-6PM in Hongdae

Seoul Don't Do That 돈두댓 team has a first campaign event in Hongdae at "걷고싶은 거리" near gate no.9 Hongdae subway station, from 2pm to 6pm. There will be a discussion about comfort women. 


Testify, PART I: The Morning After [Guest Post]

Korean Gender Café partners with guest blogger Chloe Lee Myunghyun, an organizer of Disruptive Voices, who shares her story in the first of a three part series about sexual assault, police reporting and dating after assault. Thank you to our sisters organizing Disruptive Voices for opening up dialog for survivors and to spread awareness about sexual violence. Please also read Part II: Latent Rapists and Part III: Sex After Sexual Assault 성폭행 후의 성생활.
-Chelle B Mille

PART I: The Morning After 

어제 쿨하게 대해줘서 고마워 

Thanks for being cool about last night.

내가 어제 있었던 일에 대해 태연하다고 생각하지마.

Don't think that I am cool with it.




I am sorry.

너무 미안해.

I am so sorry.

진심으로 사과할께.

I apologize.

난 그 일 이후 그냥 아무일도 없었다는 듯이 그날의 일을 깊숙히 묻어버렸다. 심지어 그 일 이후 그가 내 앞에서 무릎꿇고 용서해달라고 했을때도, 그가 나를 우연히 마주칠때마다 미안하다고 계속 얘기할때면은 "얘 왜 이러냐. 그 정도로 심각하건 않인데"라고 내 자신에게 강해야된다고 최면을 걸었던 것 같다. 그리고는 8개월이 지났다. 2013년 2월 중, 나의 페이스북 계정으로 아는 친구가 메세지를 보내왔다. 내용은 현재 그와 관련된 4명의 성추행 및 성폭행 피해자가 밝혀졌다며 더 많은 피해자들의 증언이 필요하다는 단체 메세지였다. 그 순간 충격과 역겨움은 말로 표현할 수도 없다. 이런 생각이 잘못됐을 수도 있지만 한편으로는 일종의 안도감도 느꼈다. 내가 혼자가 아니라는 안도감. 내가 당했던 일에 대한 명분이 생긴것만 같았다.

I buried everything that happened that night, in a back burner somewhere and I wanted it to disappear. Even when he got on his knees in public to ask for forgiveness, and every time he apologized when he saw me. I would tell myself, "What the fuck is his problem? It's not that serious." Maybe it was my way of defending my deep-seated denial. And then 8 months passed. February of 2013, I received a message from a friend, asking for victims of my perpetrator to come forward, as there were already 4 other victims from sexual harassment to rape. The moment I received the message, I was sick to my stomach. But I also felt a sense of relief. Maybe it isn't the most politically correct thing, but a sense of relief knowing that I wasn't the only one. I found cause, a type of legitimacy, if you will, about what happened to me.

한편 난 위험한 논리로 자학했다. 내가 당한게 성추행 또는 성폭행이라면, 난 왜 싸우지 않았을까? 즉, 그를 때리지 않은게 내 탓이며 당시 격렬한 몸싸움이 없었기에 성폭행이 아니다. 그러나 사실 이런 논리는 1) 성폭행 또는 추행의 형태 대한 고정관념 2) "______을 (안)했기에 내 탓이다"라는 사고는 피해자 책임전가로 피해자들이 흔히 시달리는 전형적인 문제들이다.

On the other hand, I was torturing myself with a self-created, twisted logic. If what happened to me was sexual assault, why didn't I fight him? If I didn't hit him to defend myself, it is my fault and therefore it is not sexual assault. But this flawed logic is what a lot of survivors suffer from. It is flawed because it 1) reinforces a stereotype that there is only one form of sexual assault and/or rape 2) is a typical case of victim blaming: "Because I did (not) ________, it is my fault."

1주일동안 망설이며 이 사건과 가해자를 아는 가까운 친구들 2명에게 조언을 구했다. 이중 한 명은 처음 내 일을 들었을때 자신의 태도에 대해 한참 뒤 또 다시 물었고 내가 서운해했다면 미안하다며 용서를 구했다. 그 전엔 또 그 똑같은 얘에게 당한 피해자 중 한명이 자신의 신분을 밝히기도 했다. 이 모든 것이 나에게는 신호였다. 그러나 가장 중요한 이유는 나의 이야기를 공유함으로써 내 자신을 용서하고 싶었다. 그토록 오랫동안 여성들에게 돌려주고 공헌하고 싶다며 대학시절 읽은 여성학 서적과 쓰고 공연한 여성을 위한 스포큰 워드(spoken word) 시, 머리와 마음은 사회에게 바친다고 생각했지만 당장 내 안에 있는 혼란도 다스리지 못했으며, 강하다고 생각했던 자신이 강간 앞에서 주먹 하나 못 날렸다. 가해자는 평상시 아는 놈이라는 확률이 높다는 통계도 알고 있었으면서 말이다. 왜 안 싸웠지. 나도 원했나? 방 밖에 있었던 친구가 방문을 부스고 도와줄거라고 생각했나? 왜 목에서 피토할 정도로 소리지르지 않았을까.

하지마. 너 지금 뭐하는 거야. 왜그래? 여자친구한테 미안하지도 않니? 그만해. 싫어. 그만하라고. 계속하면 소리지를 꺼야.

뭐라고 할건데. 강간? 그는 비아냥거렸다.

나는 이 사건 수사에 앞장서고 있었던 그녀에게 내 이야기를 들려주며 우린 서로 가까워졌다. 그녀는 사실 이미 다른 생존자들과 주기적인 모임을 가졌고 구체적인 법적 대응도 구상하고 있었다. 우린 결국 형사들에게 단체 진술서를 작성해 제출하기로 했다. D-데이가 가까워지자 예상보다는 증인 갯수가 줄었지만(중도포기하거나 법적 대응을 거부한 이들도 있었다) 나는 영-한 진술서를 작성하고 그녀앞에서 지문도장도 찍고 회사로 돌아갔다. 홀로 경찰서에 그녀를 보내는 것이 걸리긴 했지만 마음만큼은 그녀와 함께했다.

 I mulled over my options for about a week, asking advice from two close friends who knew the perpetrator and knew about my story. One friend even asked me about how he reacted when he first heard about my story and asked for forgiveness if his response upset me. On top of that, one of the survivors, who was an acquaintance came forward. These were signs. Most importantly, by sharing my story, I wanted to start being able to forgive myself. All these years, I prided myself in one day hoping to contribute and give back to women, I mistakenly thought that I have offered my heart and mind to the cause after all that reading on feminism and performing spoken word about women, but yet could not even sling a punch in the face of rape. Why didn’t I put up a better fight? Did I want it? Was I fantasizing that my friend outside the door would break open the door and save me? Why didn’t I scream till my throat bled?

Stop. What the hell are you doing? What’s wrong with you? What about your girlfriend? Quit it. No. Stop. If you continue I am going to scream.

What are you gonna say, rape? He scoffed, amused.

I eventually told the acquaintance my story and we became friends. She had already started regular meetings with the other survivors and was planning to take legal action. In the end we ended up with lesser witnesses (since some of them pulled out or said no to taking legal action), but we still had a group complaint. I gave her my Korean-English testimony and put my fingerprints on it. Unfortunately I could not join her to go to the police station due to work but my spirit was with her.

2일간 감감무소식이었던 그녀에게 연락을 했다. 홀로 경찰서에 찾아간 그녀가 당한 일도 일이지만(그일은 그녀의 이야기임으로 내 이야기에서는 삼가하겠다) 결론적으로 형사의 지시에 따르면 우린 각자 진술서를 제출하고 직접 경찰서에 찾아가야 한다고 했다. 나는 며칠 후 퇴근길에 경찰서를 찾아가려고 그녀가 준 형사의 번호로 전화를 걸었다.

Two days passed. I did not hear from her so I called her instead. She went through a hell of an ordeal with the detectives (since that story belongs to her I will not go into detail), and was told that all the witnesses had to submit individual complaints and hand them directly to the detectives themselves. A few days later, I called the detective she was working with, to ask if I could go to the police station to submit my complaint.

"안녕하세요, 제 친구가 형사님 전화번호를 전달해줬는데요, 그녀가 며칠 전에 각자 진술서를 직접 제출해야 한다고 들어서요. 오늘 저녁에 직접 형사님 뵈러 찾아갈 생각이었습니다."

"Hi, my friend gave me your number. She said we had to submit our complaint ourselves. I was wondering if I could go see you tonight at the station."

"어떤 사건때문에 그러시는거죠?"

"Which case are we talking about?"

"아..그 며칠 전에 경찰서에 찾아간 친구인데...성폭행..."

"Oh, its regarding the rape...my friend went to the station a few days ago."

"그럼 그쪽도 같은 일을 당했나요?"

"Did you experience the same thing(rape)?"

"같은건 아니지만 특별법에 의해 해당되는 건이라고 들었습니다."

"Well, not exactly the same(rape), but I hear it is considered rape with the new sexual crime clause."

"정확히 무슨 일이 있었던거죠?"

"What happened exactly?"

"...아...지금 버스 안이라 말씀드리긴 조금..."

"Oh..I'm on the bus right now. I don't really feel comfortable talking about it."

"아 네, 지금 10시가 다되서 나가봐야할 시간인데.."

"Ah yes. It's almost 10pm, I have to head out soon..."

"그럼 제가 언제 가는게 편하세요? 전 낮에는 출근해야되서요.."

"Oh, then when should I go? I work during the day."

"실례지만 그 일이 언제 있었던 일인가요?"

"I'm sorry but when did it happen to you?"

"작년 6월이요."

"June of last year."

"작년 6월?"

"June of last year?"



"성폭행 공소시효는 6개월인건 알고 계시죠?"

"You know that the statute of limitations for sexual assault is 6 months, right?"



"그런건 경찰서 오기전에 인터넷에서 좀 읽고 오세요."

"Read up on that kind of stuff on the internet before you come to the police station."


그후로 그가 전화를 끊었는지 아님 뭐라고 했는지 기억나지 않는다. 그냥 갑자기 급히 버스에서 내리고 싶었고 그녀에게 달려가고 싶었다. 나는 삼각지역 근처에서 버스에서 내린 후 그녀에게 여러번의 시도 끝에 통화를 했다. 그녀도 너무 분노하고 있었던 상태였고 자세한 일은 그녀의 집으로 가서 얘기하기로 했다.

I don't remember if he hung up or he continued talking. I just really needed to get off the bus that moment and run to her. I got off the bus near Samgakji station and called her several times to no avail. She finally picked up. She was raving mad from her own drama and mine, and especially about the statute of limitations. We agreed to get into details when I got to her place.

지하철로 내려가 교통카드를 찍으려고 걸어가고 있었는데 갑자기 시야가 흐려지면서 심한 빈혈 현상이 찾아왔다. 눈가가 뜨거워지기 시작했다. 마음같아선 역 안에서 소리지르고 주저앉아 엿같은 법과 그 형사를 욕하고 싶었다. 그 순간만큼은 남이 날 어떻게 생각하든 이성을 참을수가 없었다. 나는 차 안에서도 그녀와 전화를 끊지 않은체 욕설을 퍼부었다. 그리고는 목도리 뒤에 숨어 내려오는 눈물을 주저할 수 없었다.

I went down the subway station(still saving pennies at that moment in time), and tried to scan my transportation card but my vision became blurry and I got dizzy. My eyes were brimming with hot tears. I wanted to collapse on the floor and curse the fucked-up justice system and the nonchalant detective. I could care less about the strangers in the station at that moment. I stayed on the phone with her on the train and cursed belligerently. After mouthing off, I hid behind my winter scarf as I cried uncontrollably.

내가 역에서 내리자 그녀는 걸려오는 전화가 있다며 나와 전화를 끊은 후 나는 곧바로 아버지에게 연락을 했다. 이 세상에서 나를 가장 사랑해주고 숨기는 것 없이 얘기하는 사이인 아버지. 아버지라면 나와 같이 욕하겠지. 전화했다. 그러나 그는 전혀 예상치 못한 반응을 보였다. 형사와 했던 대화를 그에게 전하자 그는 나에게 "그냥 잊어버려"라며 "뭐 그런걸 가지고 그래"등 사소한 일로 치부했다. 생존자들 모임으로 간다고 하자 그는 갑자기 나에게 "네가 왜 그런데를 가!", "네가 왜 피해자야"등 나에게 윽박지르기까지 했다. 난 뭐라고 대답했지? 아, 맞다. 딸이 피해자라고 생각하고 싶지 않겠지만 피해자라고.

When I got off the train she had an incoming call so I had to hang up. I called my dad immediately. The one person that loves me the most in the world, and hid nothing from each other. We were tight. I knew my dad would curse with me. I dialed his number and he picked up. But his response came from the left field. All he could manage to say was "Just forget about it", "Why are you so upset about something like this?" Furthermore, when I told him I was attending the survivors group meeting, he turned on me and yelled over the phone, "Why would you go to such a place?", "Why are you a survivor?". What did I say in response.... ah yes, I said you might not want to believe your daughter's a victim but she is. Amongst other things.

넌 그날 아무일 없었다며. But you said nothing happened that night.

마음같아선 자세히 말씀드리고 싶었다. 그가 날 어떻게 모욕하고, 무시하고, 교묘하게 다뤘는지. 근데 아버지는 남성중심 사회인 한국에서 태어나고 자란 중년 남성이고, 나를 혼내는 방식과 그의 언어가 그것을 반영했다.

From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to tell him in detail. I wanted to tell him how the perpetrator humiliated, ignored, and manipulated me. But my father was born and raised in Korea, a country that is still rooted in male-centric norms and his way of talking to me and his language reflected that.

그날 저녁 나는 그녀와 단둘이 주방 식탁에서 와인을 마시며 마음을 털어놓았다. 그리고 내가 겪었던 일뿐만 아니라 이 사건으로 인한 오해와 사회적 모순, 나의 갈등을 속속히 이해하는 그녀와 같은 존재가 있어서 너무 고마웠다. 자매애.

That night, I sat on the kitchen table with her and poured out my heart. And I was grateful. Grateful for an existence like her that understood not only what happened to me but the intricate aspects and societal contradictions that were inextricably linked with sexual assault. Sisterhood.

For more information about Disruptive Voices, please visit them on Facebook.


Dating Discussion with Disruptive Womyn hosted by Disruptive Voices, October 13

^ I love the alliteration in this title~

Disruptive Voices: Disruptive Womyn has announced another talk:
"Through our last talk, we reached a lot of important points of realization, reflection, learning, and un-learning~ This time around, we'd like to focus on "dating". We all have our experiences that have cultivated us to be the womyn we are today and presently. We want to open up a space to talk about the issues that surround dating. From dating a neighbor, an expat, dating abroad, cultural differences with dating~ all of it. 
We hope to see you ladies here~ let's continue to empower, share, and progress! 
There will be complementary tea available and wine/beer for purchase!!"
RSVP or invite friends via Facebook


Extended Rebuttal: Inflated Assumption that Sex Workers in Korea Earn “higher than the average Korean”

Here at Korea Gender Café we attempt to present information, data and translations that add to discussion of gender issues in Korean society because we hope to spur discussion. 

Yesterday we submitted a rebuttal piece to koreaBANG’stranslation “Disbelief as Korea is Ranked 108th in Global Gender Equality” that broke down a few methodological flaws in Dr. Kang’s data analysis. Due to space constraints we were unable to respond point-by-point to many of his opinionated assertions. In this post we’d like to zero in on one of the problematic opinions and attitudes he brought into the debate about gender inequality: that the exclusion of the sex industry from workforce participation data inflates the inequality between men and women.

Kang writes,
“Does the misinterpreted data about socioeconomic discrimination in fact imply discrimination against men? 
There are also many problems with the data commonly used to claim sexualdiscrimination against women within Korea. The popular story is that women arebeing discriminated against, as shown by the big gender gap in employment rateand income. However, we need to take a closer look. In fact, the gender gap in employment rate and income is exaggerated in Korea.Among OECD countries, only Korea and Slovenia have made the sex trade completely illegal. MOGEF estimated that there might be 140~270k or a higher number of female sex workers in Korea. Sex workers who earn more than the average worker are exempted from the Korean income statistics while othercountries include them. This partly contributes to the income gap that appearswider on paper than it really is. 
Do they turn a blind eye to this for the sexual discrimination claims?” 
In our submission to koreaBANG we began to respond:
“Dr.Kang points out human rights violations against women in other countries, butwe can point to sexual violence and human rights violations in every country.That is not the purpose of these indices. We agree that it is problematic thatgender inequality indexes do not adequately reflect violence against women orsexual violence. We disagree with Dr. Kang’s outward looking criticism andencourage discussion of sexual violence in Korea.” 
To elaborate, if we want to discuss human rights violations in South Korea, we could pay close attention to the upcoming Constitution Court ruling on the 2004 Act to Prevent Sex Trafficking and Prohibit Prostitution.

First, sex work is omitted from income statistics, as is drug trade, gang/mafia membership and other illegal industries in which we may find both women and men employed. Rather than claiming that its exclusion is an conspiracy to "turn a blind eye" and that it implies "discrimination against men" we find this to be a more persuasive explanation. 

Second, this assumption that sex work earns high incomes likely ignores workplace conditions, rental fees, the lack of pension, income inconsistencies, associated costs, and may obscure all those that profit from the work by taking a portion of fees, etc. 

Third, Dr. Kang does not tell us how many men are employed as sex workers, but some could argue that purchasing the right to sexual use of another’s body in a sex industry with “140~270k or a higher number of female sex workers” in and of itself could be indicative of gender inequality. If the working population is that high while the working population is low in other industries, it suggests there is a segregation of women into a few industries.  

Fourth, others could argue that Dr. Kang ignores men employed in the sex industry or who act as employers of female sex workers. Meanwhile MBN News contributes a stigmatizing tone toward LGBTQ sex workers. 

But what we would really like to argue about -- and the reason we highly anticipate the above mentioned Constitutional Court ruling -- is the persistent social stigmatization of sex workers and violation of sex worker's human rights in police crackdown and incarceration.

First, Dr. Kang never mentions that male clients are only sometimes sent to “John school” while female sex workers pay steep fines and face up to 2 years of mandatory re-education or prison. This is one more example of gender inequality in sentencing. Dr. Kang doesn’t highlight those aspects of policy that actually exist, and he presents no evidence to support his assertions.

Second, sex workers in Korea report serious human rights violations as a consequence of the current legal regime. Sex workers report swallowing condoms because simply walking with a condom is used by the police as evidence against a sex worker. The safety and health implications are rather obvious, but we urge you to read the UNDP report "Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific: Laws, HIV and human rights in the context of sex work."[1]

Third, heavy stigmatization of females in the sex industry means that even if there were not criminal penalties, gender inequality in sentencing and health perils associated with an aggressive police crackdown, workers are marginalized socially. We highly recommend Katherine Moon’s research for further reading on the history of segregated sex workers near military bases.[2] 

My ongoing research examines the relationship between the 2004 law, court sentencing and gender in Korean society. In the coming months and after publication, I look forward to sharing additional information with our readers. In the meantime, we highly recommend reading posts by sex worker’s rights NGO Giant Girls, 성노동 이론  and Research Project Korea for news. 

For further reading:

Giant Girls, Grant Application, Global Fund for Women, 2010. https://grants.globalfundforwomen.org/GFWSearch/index.php?id=30551

한상희, 건국대 교수, 헌법. “성매매방지법과 여성인권민주법학 30호, 2006.

최우리 기자, "당신이 굳게 믿는 그것이 진리일까," 한겨레,  2012.12.01. http://media.daum.net/society/newsview?newsid=20121201111004557

Cheng, Sealing. “Rethinking “Human Trafficking”: Reflections from South Korea” in Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM & UNITED STATES STUDIES, OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES, Rethinking Human “Trafficking,” SUMMER 2010.

Godwin, John. "Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific: Laws, HIV and human rights in the context of sex work." United Nations Development Programme, Oct 2012, p. 112. http://asia-pacific.undp.org/

Kim, Ji Hye. Korea’s New Prostitution Policy: Overcoming Challenges to Effectuate the Legislature’s Intent to Protect Prostitutes from Abuse. Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal Association, 2007

Moon, Katherine. Military Prostitution and the U.S. Military in Asia, The Asia-Pacific Journal; Japan Focus, Jan 17, 2009.

Weiss, Ayla. Ten Years of Fighting Trafficking: Critiquing the Trafficking in Persons Report through the Case of South Korea, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal [Vol. 13:2, 2012].

[1] Godwin, John. "Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific: Laws, HIV and human rights in the context of sex work." United Nations Development Programme, Oct 2012, p. 112. http://asia-pacific.undp.org/
[2] Moon, Katherine. Military Prostitution and the U.S. Military in Asia, The Asia-Pacific Journal; Japan Focus, Jan 17, 2009.


Fundraiser: Plum Concentrate (Maesil) by Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association (KUMFA)

Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association (KUMFA) is selling Korean plum concentrate. You can use this amazing stuff to make your own juice or plum liquor by diluting or mixing, yum! 

It is pesticide-free and grown in an eco-friendly farm, fermented for three years and with only organic sugar added. No added preservatives. 

All proceeds will be donated to KUMFA. 

One 1.5 liter bottle is 28,000 won and two bottles is only 50,000 won (these make great presents). Please inquire for additional discounts for purchases of three bottles or more. Additional charges for shipping. For questions or to place an order call 02-2682-3375 (Korean) or contact KUMFA on Facebook (English). 


한국미혼모가족협회는 매실원액 판매함

한국미혼모가족협회는 매실원액 판매합니다.

덕유산자락 300m 고냉지에서 무농약친환경으로 재배한 토종매실로 담구었습니다.

처음발효시작에서 3년의 숙성기간을 거치며 유기농설탕(고이아사)만을 사용했습니다.

농약한번 치지않고 살구 등 일체의 다른 성분을 가미하거나 추가하지 않은 순수한 매실과 유기농설탕,농부의 정성만으로 만들었습니다.

매실판매의 수익금은 한국미혼모가족협회에게 기부됩니다

1.5리터 한병 28,000원
두병은 50,000원
세병부터 문의주세요
택배비는 별도입니다.

문의 02-2682-3376



Kpop Rape Culture "Inconvenient Truth" "불편한진실": A Petition to Infinite and Woolim

Angry K-pop Fan writes, 

"Inconvenient Truth" ("불편한진실"), a track performed by Korean male pop group Infinite, is a production embedded with misogynist messages and triggers for gender-based violence. The lyrics promote victim-blaming and gender oppression, while the music video depicts rape culture and undermines its severity. The video is currently being screened in all 31 venues of their world tour "One Great Step."

As much as misogyny in any form should immediately be confronted, there is great concern about the effects this will have on the thousands of fans who will attend these concerts, most of whom are female and in their critical years just before adulthood. As a pop culture product, it stunts efforts against gender inequality and violence by misinforming about sex, interpersonal relationships, and individual liberties. As a production undertaken by Infinite, young men whose voices thousands listen to, it is a betrayal to their obligation not only as role models, but as influential members of society.
The lyrics promote victim-blaming. Reprimanding a woman because of her decision to wear the clothes she chooses justifies that it is her fault she is attracting unwanted attention. This is wrong because it encourages the idea that the reason behind potential violence and abuse is because she is a woman; the acceptance that women will always be violated because they are women; that there is something inherently wrong with being a woman. This is not a healthy message. It steers the blame away from those who are truly responsible: the people who leer at her and the people who violate her. Some examples in reality include this case of an 11-year old Texan girl who was gang-raped and blamed; a 23-year old woman in India who was also gang-raped and continually shamed even after her death. In South Korea, a 29-year old woman who took her own life after being insulted by the court judge; and a 12-year old whose assailants have been excused from certain criminal laws because 'they thought the girl was older.' The ones who commit such horrid acts are sympathized with at the expense of their victim's dignity and self-worth; and the ones truly prosecuted are those who were hurt and abused. This is unfair.

The lyrics promote the assumption that women ought to fear men. The line “men are wolves” (”남자는 모두 늑대야”) is the center of this concern. To accept this as fact is extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. First, this is merely a gender construct and serves to strictly define what being a 'man' really means. Gender constructs buttress power inequalities between sexes because what a man is 'supposed to be' is often a more privileged and advantaged position than a woman. On an individual level, this encourages men to be forward in their approach, as it is an expression of their 'masculinity', even at the expense of a woman's comfort zone. At its extremity, it gives the go-ahead to sexual aggression. Second, men themselves are pressured by definitions of masculinity, thus such characterizations are very reductionist and dismissive of the myriad of ways men choose to express themselves. Third, because it is seen as part of ‘man’s nature’, it is rendered into something that can not be helped. It thus allows for women to be dictated by male-defined standards in how they should behave in society, completely disempowering them from carving out their own individualities. Fourth, it reiterates that the cause of rape and forms of sexual violence and harassment is because, again, a woman is a woman, not because a man violated her. Are women are the ones who need to ‘restrain themselves’ in this situation? This discourages proper prosecution against sexual aggressors, the real instigators of violence and abuse. Finally, as men are reduced to merely their sexual urges, women are desexualized. Women ought to be allowed to express their sexuality (responsibly and consensually) as much as men do; but instead they are discouraged as they are shamed, ridiculed, and automatically thrown under the threat of violence. Men are not told to think they are in danger of the opposite sex, but women are. Men have the agency and a voice that is heard when they fight against harm, but women don’t. This is unfair.

The music video not only depicts patriarchy and rape culture but undermines the severity of it. Rape culture describes our society today: the normalization and perpetuation of violence against women through images and language in advertising, music, movies, TV, books, politics, and personal, everyday life. It is so ubiquitous that we ourselves do not know we allow it to continue through our own experiences, through the words we say and the decisions we make. Portrayals of the Infinite members staring at the woman’s breasts and attempting to look up her dress to the backdrop of lyrics that put the responsibility for these behaviors in the hands of the woman alone - this is rape culture in action. The woman is not communicating any consent whatsoever to being stared at and eventually harassed. “But her clothes?” This communicates the flawed belief that all there is to a woman is her physical beauty, and that she is nothing but a object for men to gaze upon. This arbitrary deprivation of her liberty, the subjugation of her individuality to men, is violence. Furthermore, all of this placed in a humorous light that plays to the affection of Inspirits minimizes the gravity of this issue and impedes them from knowing how to properly identify abuse and violation. Rape culture and patriarchy is the reason why women feel inferior and constantly threatened out in public, and even in their own homes. It is the reason why women experience higher rates of sexual assault than men; why you see on your local news reports of rape incidents in which the victims are women; why a close male friend, acquaintance, or relative are among those who are likely to assault a woman. This is unfair.

We call upon not just the K-pop community but anyone who stands against any form of misogyny to sign this petition to request Infinite, Woollim Entertainment, production and management teams to 1) re-evaluate the concept and execution of "Inconvenient Truth"; 2) consider canceling screenings of "Inconvenient Truth" at upcoming world tour venues and plans for any official release; and 3) acknowledge and understand the reasons behind these requests. We wish not to pin ourselves against Infinite and Woollim Entertainment, but rather work with them as a community in sincere and mutual interest to foster genuine understanding of our plights as young men and women in today's society. Because we are all affected by the implications of a thriving rape culture, we strongly believe that this is a responsibility that requires as collective of an effort as possible.

This may be against one pop culture product, one of which may not be widely known. Regardless, celebrities and figures in entertainment have a voice many of us wish we had. The thousands of fans we are hoping they will feel obligated to enlighten equates to the thousands more these fans will influence at several points in their own lives. Our wish is that this petition be the rock that instigates that powerful ripple effect."