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Feminism, Meninism and Moon

22 4 0
By David Tizzard

Every Friday morning I teach a 3-hour Politics class to 70 undergrad students at one of Seoul's top universities. Despite the early start, the young 20-something Korean men and women, as well as the international students joining them, take to the topics with a frightening enthusiasm ― whether it be nationalism, political behaviour, post-materialism, elite theory, or otherwise.

This week, however, despite remaining fairly confident in my ability to keep things on an even academic keel, and building on our theoretical study of political identity, I threw a potential bomb into the room: Feminism in South Korea and the reported resultant backlash from young men.

A Realmeter poll in 2018 declared that 76% of men here in their 20s opposed feminism ― for comparison only 9.5% of South Korea men in their 50s said they were anti-feminist. Truly staggering numbers, particularly for the Europeans in the class ― of which, all things Brexit aside, I remain one.

And yet that is not all that young Korean men are apparently in opposition to: in December it was reported that less than 30% of men in their 20s supported President Moon while, conversely, 63.5% of women favoured the incumbent chief.

And so while the ruling (Double-o) Minjoo Party of Korea attracts the political support of a great many of the nation's women, the young men of the nation are turning elsewhere. And currently that elsewhere is the Bareun Mirae Party, and more specifically the work of Lee Jun-seok.

Lee is Harvard-educated and the youngest ever politician to hold a leadership position in the South Korean conservative party. In the wake of ex-President Park's impeachment, he left the main opposition for new pastures and a new angle.

In a story that sounds all too........

© The Korea Times