흑형이란? What is meant by Black (Big) Brother?

흑형이라는 말에 대해 어떻게 생각합니까? 인종차별주의적 태도가 보여합니까? 또한 성적 매력을 부여합니까? What do you think of the term Black (Big) Brother? Does it show a racist attitude? Does it show sexualization?

"흑형" 이미지 검색의 결과에 봅시다 Let's take a look at search engine results for the term:
 네이버 Naver:

구글 Google:

"흑누나"의 결과 Black (Big) Sister search term results:

3개월 전에 비공개의 얘기에 봅시다 Let's look at a conversation on Naver from 3 months ago:
Rough Translation: When we use the term "Black (Big? Brother" and thoughtlessly talk down to people with other skin colors, don't you think it can make people of color feel bad and is a wrong thing to do??

Rough Translations:  (top) It isn't talking down. With those words I am going to praise the greatness of Black (Big) Brother and Black (Big) Sister. (middle): It's wrong. But the term is already spread widely. Can't get rid of it People use it a lot ㅜㅜ (bottom with image): The term Black (Big) Brother was made to make people laugh, right? Korea thinks it is so funny so it won't be easy to get rid of. 

네티즌들의 “흑형”이라 붙인 사진에 보면서 인종적 고정 관념에 대해 생각합시다. 이렇게 인해 인종차별주의적 태도가 비판할 수 있다. 예를 들어 억센 팔과 살팍진 몸이 강조하고 이미지의 내용을 평가하면 성관계에 관한 형상화를 많이 본다. When we look at the images that Korean language users attach the term "Black (Big) Brother" to we can think about racist attitudes. In this way we can criticize these attitudes. For example, in the images above we see an emphasis on muscular and sexualized bodies, and that the term is attached to references to sexuality and sexual imagery.

흑형이라는 말에 대해 어떻게 생각합니까? What do you think about the term Black (Big) Brother?


Street Harassment in Korea

A little over six weeks since launching Hollaback! Korea I have already read about 20 stories from members of our community. I have also seen hundreds of people step up to join our project to end street harassment. At our events and during interviews, a number of people who have not written their stories and shared to the site have also discussed the issue with me.

An audience member at our Bystander Intervention Workshop
I am frequently asked, "What is Hollaback?"

Hollaback is an international movement to end street harassment that is active in 24 countries and over 71 cities in 10 languages. By street harassment, we refer to sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist harassment that often targets women, LGBTQ and transgender community members. This harassment takes place in public places like parks, the subway, on the street or in a shop. Street harassment can be intimidating behavior intended to make the target uncomfortable or scared. It can be verbal, physical, gestures or noises, and other forms of intimidating behavior.

"How was Hollaback! Korea founded?"

We are organizing this project all over Korea, but particularly in Seoul, Gwangju, Jeju, Seosan, Daejeon and Daegu. I started to recruit founding team members last July and we all participated in a 3 month online training course and supported by the iHollaback international team so that we could prepare for the launch in early December. We had a lot of hard work like translating the website and mobile app into English, planning 5 launch events in Seoul, Gwangju and Jeju, moderating and growing our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and doing media and press outreach. I am really grateful to our team for their dedication and to our community for their warm welcome.

"How does Hollaback! address street harassment?"

Hollaback! has empowered people in over 70 cities and 24 countries internationally to respond to street harassment through a smartphone or web application. Users are encouraged to speak up when they see harassment by quickly documenting it in a short post (photo optional) and sharing it to a publicly viewable map. Anyone browsing the stories on the Hollaback! maps immediately understands 3 things:

1) If you’ve been harassed, you’re not alone,
2) Street harassment is used to exert control over others by making them feel scared or uncomfortable. It is much more than individuals just acting inappropriately.
3) There are street harassment “hotspots” in most cities often centered around high pedestrian traffic areas.
Hollaback! provides comfort to those harassed, and proof that street harassment is a serious problem warranting a serious response from policy makers.

"Is Hollaback! Korea different from other sites because of domestic law?"  

First, it is important to note that our project is about support and social awareness. We are primarily focused on supporting those targeted for street harassment and to promoting public outreach to stop harassers. We believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it.  If you’ve experienced street harassment, we’ve got your back! I highly recommend speaking with an organization like Korea Womens Hotline for more detailed analysis of the law, but I can make some personal observations about Korea law.

I think that the Korean legal system is one of the most well organized in the world. Of course there are differences in legal codes country to country, for example, some countries recognize a Good Samaritan code more than Korea. This means that if you intervene to protect someone in danger you get some consideration for being a Good Samaritan. A major difference might be that although Hollaback users in New York and other cities can post the face of their harasser, on our site we have to blur the face and the names of any businesses in the image. We can, and do, post images, but the face has to be blurred. Some countries have more extensive laws covering street harassment than Korea and some do not have such laws. Right now there is a public indecency law with a fine of 30,000 won on the books.

Learn more

I was recently invited to TBS eFM for an interview about Hollaback! Korea to discuss street harassment and have shared the interview below.


Subdued New Year's Eve Celebration in Seoul

Jan. 1, 2014

After protests drew hundreds of thousands out to rally against the Park Geun Hye administration, National Intelligence Service (NIS) election interference and railway privatization protests, downtown Seoul drew crowds last night for the annual New Year's Eve celebration near Bosingkak for the ringing of the bell at midnight. Although about 100,000 people came out for the celebration, the mood in Seoul reflected the disenchantment expressed in the "How are you doing" poster campaigns that have been posted on campuses across the nation.

I have attended this celebration at Bosingkak four times and usually it is a quite festival affair. Usually we enjoy upbeat performances and the crowd is quite excited. Each year a rendition of Arirang swells as the crowd sings along. Popular songs from the past year elicit cheers and crowd participation. Fireworks and cheering crowds usher in the New Year and you can barely hear the ringing of the bell over the crowd. Ordinarily the fireworks light up the sky and members of the crowd shoot off many Roman Candles for added color.

Along the stream near Bosinkak you will usually find abundant decorations and light displays, but last night there was only one small grouping of a lit tree. I suspect that decorating for the holidays was a quite low priority this year amidst protests and recession. But it wasn't only the government side of the celebration that seemed... less... than in previous years, it was also the citizens, who despite coming out, were rather quiet and uninspired to ring in the new year. Police crowd control forces in their their yellow jackets and holding red flags were stationed not only at the perimeter of the crowd, but even prominently distributed throughout the crowd this year.

I had a clearer view than in recent years~
Last night, the music selection and performances were quite subdued. Slow and almost sad ballads were the predominant performances, in contrast to the flashy uptempo dance performances in past years. Even when performers on stage tried to elicit crowd participation, asking the 100,000 attendees to sing the chorus or join in some some call and response singing, the crowd was rather quiet. The event seemed either thrown together at the last minute, or intentionally down tempo. Even the b-boy performance was alongside a mellow rendition of Arirrang. As the clock struck midnight, we counted down from 20 and after a brief cheer, a single spray of silver confetti showered the surprisingly quiet crowd. I could distinctly hear the bell, for once.

Earlier in the evening, over dinner, I had said to a new friend, "If we're going to keep debating politics, I'll need a beer!" I think that sums it up for me, to all of our readers, Happy New Year and thanks for contributing to the discussion here at Korean Gender Cafe~

Links to crowd images and coverage: