(CNN) – It took players three years to print an “aggressive” hand gesture in one of South Korea’s most popular multiplayer games.
When players laughed or talked about their avatars or ticked off the “lost box”, they clicked on an icon, pointing to the index finger that touched a thumb.
Some users of the game began claiming in August that the gesture was a sexual insult to men, and demanded that it be removed.
What happened next illustrates the feminist trend in South Korea, which is increasingly forcing companies to repent as part of a conspiracy to promote a feminist agenda in government and private companies. let’s see.
Smile Gate – creator of “Lost Ark” and one of South Korea’s largest video game developers – quickly responded to the removal requests.
South Korea has been embroiled in a gender war for years, pitting angry youth against angry youth who feel left behind as the country seeks to address gender inequality.
Now, the latest development in this war is reaching fever pitch. Since May, more than 20 brands and government organizations have removed what they see as feminist symbols from their products following mounting pressure. At least 12 of these brands or organizations have issued apologies to please male consumers.
South Korea has a long history of women’s rights, and research shows that such feelings are found in the country’s youth. In May, Korean marketing and research firm Hancock Research said it found that more than 77 percent of men in the 20s and more than 73 percent of men in the 1930s were repulsed by “feminism or feminist rights.” Is. (The firm surveyed 3,000 adults, half of whom were men.)
The online firestorm that has engulfed South Korea’s corporate landscape began in May with a simple camping ad.
GS25, one of the country’s largest convenience store chains, released an ad this month promoting camping items. It included a drawing of the index finger and a thumb ready to take the sausage.
Critics claim the image is a code for feminist sympathies – a reference to a logo once used by Megalia, now a dysfunctional feminist online community that mocks the size of male genitalia. Flies
Although Megalia is closed, anti-feminist activists are trying to wipe out South Korea.
GS25 removed the hand sign from the poster. But critics were still not satisfied. One person pointed out that the last letter of every word shown in English on the poster – “must be emotional camping” – when the backward spelling “Miguel” was read, which he said was a shorthand for Megalia. Is.
GS25 removed text from the poster, but it still wasn’t enough. People have suggested that the moon in the sky above the tent is also a feminine symbol, as the moon is used as the logo of a women’s rights organization in South Korea.
After reviewing the poster several times, GS25 finally pulled it out just one day after the campaign began. The company apologized and promised a better editorial process. He also said that he reprimanded the staff responsible for the advertisement, and removed the leader of the marketing team.
The online crowd had tasted success, and wanted more.
Other companies and government agencies soon became targets. And there was a lot to take from there, because holding an object between thumb and finger is a common way to show it without showing it.
Online fashion retailer Messina has been criticized for offering discounts only to women, as well as an advertisement featuring a credit card with a fingertip. The company defended the use of this form as a neutral element used regularly in advertising, saying its discount program aims to expand its small female customer base. Nevertheless, founder and CEO Chou Minh Ho resigned in response.
The Korean company Dong Soh, which licenses the Ready-to-Drink line for Starbucks in the country, was attacked in July after one of its Korean Instagram accounts posted a picture of fingers in a coffee box. The company pulled out the ad and apologized, saying it “takes these issues seriously.”
Even local governments are caught up in the pressure. The Pyongyang city government was criticized in August for uploading a photo on its Instagram account warning residents of the heatwave. It gives the example of wiping a farmer’s forehead – and critics say the farmer’s hand resembles a finger’s tip.
“How deeply done. [feminists] Penetrate? “One person wrote on MLB Park, an internet forum that is mainly used by men. Another person shared contact information for the city government, encouraging people to send complaints to their channels. Fill in. The photo was later removed from the Instagram account.
According to Park Jo Yoon, a postdoctoral fellow in sociology at Younes University, the basis of the anti-feminist campaign is a widespread fear among young people that they are falling behind their female peers.
Emotions are running high as a huge job market and house prices skyrocket. The government has also launched programs in recent years to bring more women into the workforce. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Another complicating factor: Unlike women, men in South Korea have to complete 21 months of military service before the age of 28 – a painful point for some men who feel an unfair burden.
This year’s corporate pressure campaign adds another complication, as brands weigh potential results.
Choi Seb, a marketing professor at Namsul University in Seoul, said young people are “big spenders”. “Many young people today are influenced by personal political values when they buy things,” he added.
Ha, a 23-year-old university student, said she pays attention to what companies say about gender issues before making a purchase.
“Between the two stores, I’ll use one that doesn’t support. [feminism]Ha, who declined to give his full name, said gender is a thorny issue among his peers.
Ha said he was alone. When his friends were discussing the GS25 camping poster, for example, he was surprised to learn that many of them felt like this: “I noticed that a lot of men were silent. Watching from. “
Some women say corporate apologies are creating an environment where some people are afraid to be identified as feminist.
In response to anti-feminist pressure campaigns this year, however, some feminists are fighting. For example, the apology on the GS25 camping poster provoked feminists to call a boycott against the company. Some people themselves shared shopping photos at rival stores, using hashtags that urge people to avoid shopping on the GS25.
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