So, the press is begrudgingly getting around to the fact that rape and assault are becoming rampant here. But still, nobody wants to do anything about it.
I have a colleague working in the Korean Institute of Public Health (sorry, I don't remember the exact organziation title in Korean, so my English translation of it might be off), and she says over dinner that, in public health circles, random violence resulting from ajussis and other older members of society acting out or who are straight up mentally ill is considered a discrete and major problem. And this is linked, she says, to public drunkenness, another major problem and exacerbating factor.
I even wrote a a guide about how to avoid assault as a foreigner in Korea back in 2008, since I think being foreign is one of the "attractors" that get us noticed by drunk, bitter, older Korean men who feel society has screwed them over or passed them by. And what gets these men mad are young, apparently "uppity" women, attractive women, and foreigners. The stories of netizens engaging in the mass "social disciplining" of apparently errant members of society (the infamous "dog poop girl," various girls in foriegn bars, girl vs. cleaning lady, student beat up by crazy homeless woman) all notably revolve around young women. Even the social character of the "daenjang girl" who is materialistic and vain, only revolves around women.
This society is in the middle of a serious social backlash against women, and certain men at the extremes, who are either mentally ill or harboring mysogynistic tendencies, take it out on women all the time.
To add to the misogyny argument is that fact that society in general protects the men who engage in extreme antics, such as raping or assaulting or "just touching" women against their will. Little things such as mandatory sentencing -- or mandatory arrests in rape charges -- make a huge difference. As a once-presidential hopeful from France now knows. Mandatory sentences and arrests make it impossible for things like the police getting bribes or a phone call from up high and not arresting three boys who obviously need to go straight to "fuck-me-in-the-ass" federal prison for a while.
Anyway, I digress. And that last media reference was vague. I'll stop here and let you take it all in yourselves.
"I love the smell of unapologetic misogyny in the morning!"