The third women’s rally calling for a balanced inspection of voyeuristic hidden camera crimes took place in front of Hyehwa subway station on Saturday.
The host of the protest, an online group fighting against female discrimination called “Inconvenient Courage,” estimated some 60,000 people took part. The police estimate is 18,000.
Protesters dressed in red held up signs with slogans such as “My life is not your porn,” and “We are your future boss, not your future wife.”
Other signs protested depictions of the protest as hostile: “Do not distort the female wrath as hate.”
Protesters gather at Hyehwa subway station on Satruday, July 7. (Yonhap)
Some have reportedly come from faraway cities Gwangju and Busan on 45-seater tour bus to sit at the protest in solidarity.
There were women who shaved their heads as a demonstration of their commitment to the cause.
The series of demonstrations was triggered by the “Hongdae nude model” case in June, in which a naked male model was secretly photographed and derided on a misandric online community.
The case was promptly investigated, leading to the arrest of the perpetrator who was a female model that had also been part of the nude class.
Feminist organizations accuse the authorities of “biased” concentration on protecting the male victims, while many of the numerous spycam cases involving female victims go by without the arrest of any suspects.
The tempers flared at times, with the women clashing with male passersby taking videos of their protest.
“You’re going to take photos of us and upload them online to comment on our looks and bodies,” read an accusatory sign held up by one of the protesters.
Chants lambasted President Moon Jae-in for not giving an official response to their request for a fair inspection of every spycam case; they also said the chief of the National Police Agency should be a woman. The KNPA has never had a female chief.
Gender Equality and Family Minister Chung Hyun-back wrote on her social media later in the day that she had “quietly attended the protest from the sidelines” and that she “will never forget the voices that rang the Hyehwa station, and work toward a safe and free society devoid of fear for hidden cameras.”
Chung vowed to help build policies that see eye to eye with the people.
The Inconvenient Courage group has hinted at a fourth rally, saying that the remainder of the funds it has raised will be used at the next gathering.
Elsewhere on Saturday, at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, more women gathered to rally for the abolishment of the anti-abortion law.
The protesters at the Gwanghwamun rally were asked to wear black, in solidarity with other protests in favor of liberalizing abortion law overseas, but many could be seen in red, having come from the Hyehwa protest.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)