College women call out professors’ sexist remarks in open letter

By Kim Min-joo
  • Published : Sept 28, 2017 - 16:38
  • Updated : Sept 28, 2017 - 21:02
Members of a feminist club at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul posted an open letter condemning sexist hate speech from some professors.

The open letter, posted on the school’s bulletin board on Wednesday, has been met with fervent reactions among students at the school, as well as on social media where the letter has been shared. After being posted on Twitter, the letter has been retweeted about 4,800 times.

An open letter condemning sexist hate speech from professors posted on a bulletin board at Sookmyung Women`s University. (The Korea Herald/Kim Min-joo)

The open letter, authored by Sookmyung Feminist Association members, contains misogynistic comments allegedly said by the school’s professors in classrooms. Some of the quotes read, “Female employees shouldn’t be offended when asked for coffee errands,” “Don’t act like a victim in workplaces, Watch your words and don’t bring up the gender inequality issue.”

One quote, allegedly said by a female professor at the school read, “Men actually perform better in the workplace. I am different from other women, and thus managed to break the glass ceiling.”

The letter also demanded that the school authorities come up with disciplinary measures against faculty who commit such misconducts and make gender awareness training mandatory for the faculty.

Since the letter was posted on the bulletin board, students have covered it in post-it notes containing similar sexist remarks they said they heard in the classroom, as well as angry voices calling for awareness on the issue.

Post-it notes showing students` comments on an open letter on sexist hate speech from professors at Sookmyung Women`s University. (The Korea Herald/Kim Min-joo)

“Having received so many reports from students about misogynistic remarks by professors in classrooms, our club decided to write an open letter to call for awareness on the issue,” Kim Hyun-ju, a student member of SFA, told The Korea Herald.

SFA has opened up an online platform where students can anonymously report sexist hate speech on campus, in an effort to organize a more systematic countermeasure to the problem.