Friday, March 27, 2009

Life on Hwasŏng

The Korea Times crime stories division brings us another one of those so-stupid-it's-weird-but-actually-kinda-telling pieces on the state of law enforcement on the ROK. It's just so stupidly and backwardly sexist, I can't do it justice by summarizing it here. 

Go and read it, and understand why so many women feel way too uncomfortable to go to men in authority about any kind of sexual harassment or sexual assault. (The Marmot's Hole discussion here, I have no doubt, will flower into an enlightened discussion on the perils faced by women in South Korea, I'm sure.)

Without even trying, I can come up with an easy paradigm for the state of many precincts across Korea today: ABC's "Life On Mars," a drama that depicts — from the point of view of a cop from the year 2008 — the regressive thinking of New York's finest in 1973. 

Again, any summary I give will not do justice for this analogy, so go watch it, at least the first few episodes (and watch it quick, because it's going off the air soon). 

The sexist attitudes of the cops, toward their female colleague (whom they've nicknamed "No Nuts") and to women in general, parallels much of what I've witnessed and heard about the old boys' club of police work in Korea (some of it from a criminologist who bemoans the Neanderthal attitudes of many of Korea's cops). 

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