A website claiming to “verify” feminist celebrities and high profile figures was deleted hours after launch Friday, highlighting once again how feminism faces backlash from anti-feminist groups and how deepened gender conflict has become in the country.
The website, dubbed “Check Femi,” had several dozens of figures analyzed by 11 a.m. Friday, categorizing them to three groups of “suspected,” “verified” and “vanguard” in their association with feminist ideologies based on their comments and actions from the past.
Most notably, the website listed President Moon Jae-in and now-deceased former Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon as vanguards while listing singer Bae Suzy and girl group Red Velvet’s member Joy as verified feminists. RM from BTS was also listed as a verified feminist.
Signs written “suspected” were put next to the name of actors Lee Hye-ri and Jung Woo-sung.
Manager of the website said in a notice that the categorization system was made to pick out feminists from the general public and as a means for people to decide who to follow or not to follow.
The website admin said its website does not differentiate between radical or controversial feminists and those who are recognized positively for working for improved rights for women.
Criticism flew in from community users, requesting the website to stop judging individual’s mindsets and virtues through just a small number of comments made in the past. Other comments questioned why being a feminist is something to be pinpointed from people and socially corner them.
The Korea Herald found the website was deleted as of 1:30 p.m., supposedly after facing criticism and numerous reports from media outlets.
South Korea has seen severe gender conflict in the past few years, mostly online between young men and women, over issues such as mandatory military service and radical feminist online communities.
The gender-based conflict is expected to stay heated, as young women still hold the view that society does not treat them fairly and as young men believe they have not unfairly benefited from being men.
By Ko Jun-tae (firstname.lastname@example.org