SEOUL, Jun. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Dongguk University is finding itself at the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. On the June 21, handwritten posters listing a string of misogynistic and homophobic slurs popped up throughout the campus.
Disquieting in and of itself, the situation becomes even more controversial when considering the source. According to the women’s rights student group that made and distributed the posters, the remarks were made by professors in the midst of lectures and classes.
One is claimed to have said that “young women who put on makeup on public transit are no better than sex workers,” while another reportedly said that he could not recognize many of his female students due to the excessive cosmetic surgery that they had undergone.
While the majority of the typical misogynistic comments revolved around the physical appearance of women, or their interest or lack thereof in matters such as politics, some pushed the boundaries even further. One professor is believed to have said that “Korea’s GDP is low because Korean women don’t want to build careers. Instead, they just want to become housewives.”
Though most of the comments were misogynistic, prejudice against members of the LGBT community, the disabled, and non-Koreans were also clearly present. Remarks like “gays are freaks of nature” and “homosexuals should be opposed as they can’t have children” were reportedly made in class. Passing remarks disparaging Chinese students and the disabled as “deformed” rounded out the list.
When asked to elaborate on their motives and what they intend to do next, the women’s rights group replied, “We decided that we needed to let people know that abusive and hateful speech from a person of authority in settings like classes and lectures is not a trivial matter. We wanted to send a message saying that the responsibility to stop such behavior rests not only on the few that are affected, but on all of us.”
The group added that the findings will be sent to every faculty member, and that it will also work with the university’s human rights center to come up with counteractive measures.
In a separate statement, the human rights center stated that it will make strong efforts to prevent further instances of abusive speech, and that punitive action may be taken once it takes a closer look at the allegations against professors.
By S.B. Woo (firstname.lastname@example.org)