A man in South Korea has been arrested after he attacked a young female convenience store worker for having short hair, BBC reported. The incident happened at a store in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province last week, when a man in his 20s, targeted the female worker, for having short hair, assuming she was a feminist. According to The Independent, the word ”feminist” is still considered an insult in South Korea and is often confused with being a man-hater.
A CCTV footage of the incident showed the man entering the store after midnight, and punching and kicking the woman. ”Since you have short hair, you must be a feminist. I’m a male chauvinist, and I think feminists deserve to be assaulted,” he reportedly told her, according to the police. The young woman in her twenties sustained severe injuries to her ear and ligaments, as a result of the attack. However, her injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
He is also accused of attacking another customer in his 50s who tried to intervene, resulting in fractures to bones in the customer’s shoulder, nose, and forehead.
The man continued with his assault until the police arrived. According to the authorities, the assailant was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the attack and is currently undergoing treatment for schizophrenia.
”Due to the severity of the victim’s injuries, a complete investigation has not yet been carried out. We will investigate the specifics further once the victims recover,” said the police.
South Korea’s Problem with Feminism and Short Hair
The word ‘feminism’ has become a dirty word for a lot of people in South Korea, with people being unwilling to associate with the label. The country is deeply patriarchal and scores poorly for gender equality among advanced nations. It is also a place with strict and unforgiving beauty standards for women, and long hair is seen as a symbol of conventional femininity.
However, male-dominated online groups claim that men are being treated unfairly by so-called feminism-focused policies and that women’s success comes at their expense, as per the Korea Times.
In 2021, South Korean archer An San who won three gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, received slander online and harsh criticism over her short hair. She faced online abuse from people calling her hairstyle “feminist”, and was seen by some as “violating’ society’s idea of what a woman should look like”.
In response to the trolling, women across the country displayed their short haircuts as part of a campaign to support the Olympic archer. This time too, many women with short hair have started sharing their photos on social media platforms to counter the anti-feminist sentiment.
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