Gong Ji-young is a fan of political expression – unless it is expression the form of which she disagrees with.
It’s a long and tangled weave, but let us begin with Gong Ji-young herself, who as KTLIT has linked here has been threatened by some of the smaller minds in the GNP for writing The Crucible /Dogani / Silenced. She is now weighing in on pro “Naneun Gosumneda” protests which focus on what might loosely be called ‘body art.’ I saw this first on The Marmot’s Hole. Here is the photo that caused the original ruckus (and an additional photo or two at the original article).
Some comments were made by Chung supporters that Gong (and some others considered coarse):
political commentator Kim Yong-min, said in the show aired on Jan. 21, “Chung, living apart from his wife, is taking pills to suppress his sexual desire. Women are advised to post their photos in swimsuits.”
Another host, SisaIN magazine reporter Choo Chin-woo, left a written message to Chung during a visit to him in prison on Jan. 27 which said: “The photo of the supportive breasts is awesome! But be careful not to get a nose bleed.” He took a photo of the message and posted it on his Twitter.
I’m not sure what the last bit of Choo Chin-woo’s comment means, but this struck me as a bit of innocent horseplay about the attractive women who had posted pictures. Gong responded with this broadside, which confuses breasts with… well.. read it:
“I’ve written a novel to call for heavier punishments for child molesters in the Republic of Korea, which is a world of male chauvinism. This is a country where those sexually assaulting a female schoolmate are released with suspended jail terms because they were drunk, the girl was insufficiently dressed, or she was deemed a slut. This is a country where 70 percent of men have bought sex, so it is natural that people’s perspective on women’s bodies is political,” she said.
Let’s just admit the modern day simplicity that everything is political and boggle at the fact that Gong immediately went to ‘child molestation’ and ‘assault’ in her argument against what is essentially a bikini shot (Gong might spend her her considerable argumentative skills better working against semi-porno girl groups or, as she notes here, against the argument that drunkeness is somehow a palliative against criminal sentences).
Gong has a semi-feminist tangle of arguments against this tactic, but the money quote is this:
The novelist said she opposes such methods to campaign for Chung’s release and is at odds with Naggomsu members who have no regard for it.
The critical part of her statement is that first bit that she is opposed to such methods for the campaign. Why? Because this is regardless of the accurate notion that of course some pigs are focusing on the titillating aspect of breasts. By beginning with this blanket statement of opposition, Gong is doing a different version of what the GNP has tried to do to her – shutting down a clever method of getting publicity.
Is Gong opposed to this (btw – the femen use exactly this same tactic in their protests against the sex trade, which Gong mentions):
While, as Gong notes, there is plenty of sexism and no doubt rude comment on the pictures, it seems sensible to me to concentrate on that response and not on the pictures themselves which, in final analysis, seem rather innocuous. Gong seems to have swung and missed on this one.
Finally, I will leave without comment (and walk away quietly!) from the last comment and the name of the commenter:
Another blogger, seaman, said, “I doubt whether the woman in the bikini even knows who Chung Bong-ju is. I think it is her own buzz marketing to become famous.”