Brave Girls have truly made it, as evidenced by the emergence of an asinine scandal in which member Yuna is accused of being a dastardly feminist or some nonsense. The controversy started when Brave Girls went on Naver NOW‘s Bbucance program and basically a Yuna quote got twisted around.
Specifically, Yuna was recently accused of being a feminist after using a phrase that was misinterpreted as a term commonly used by Korean feminists. The incident started when Yuna used the word ‘Oh Jo Uk (500 million KRW)’ in a special show with Brave Girls. This word has been mistaken for the word ‘Oh Jo Oh Uk (5 trillion, 500 million)’. This is a compound word commonly used by Korean feminists. In Korea, ‘Oh Jo Oh Uk’ means 1 trillion and 500 billion sperm. Korean feminists often say they shouldn’t date a guy with less than 1500 billion sperm. Therefore, like ‘Hubba Hubba’, ‘Oh Jo Oh Uk’ became a discriminatory and insulting phrase, not allowed to be used in Korea. As a result, a conversation broke out. The post on an online male community site stated that Yuna is a feminist. Netizens also took issue with a t-shirt she once wore that said “No power like girl power.”
It’s actually more like “the 5.5 trillion sperm that men have are unnecessary”, but whatever.
It’s a witch hunt, basically. They’ve even gone back through old stuff and found her wearing a vaguely feminist shirt and are melting down about that as well.
Apparently it’s prevalent enough in some circles that Brave Entertainment had to issue a statement about taking legal action for malicious comments. Obviously this is all silly, and it’s shitty that she has to go through this. Though it does reveal the deepening animosity online in Korea, which you’ve probably been able to suss out in recent months.
Update: To clarify, the main point of the following missive is that international netizens hating on Yuna for not immediately declaring that she’s a feminist like somebody in the West might is off the mark and unrealistic given the environment there currently, and that many of them would likely have reservations about siding with it as currently perceived as well, so leaving her alone makes the most sense. It also helps expand on what is meant by the growing conflicts about this issue in Korea.
One thing I’ve noticed international fans seem to be missing out on in terms of understanding the way things are right now is that a lot of radical feminist communities in Korea do kinda suck for various reasons (TERFs, homophobia, toxic mirroring stuff involving minors). Not that the incel communities hate on them for those reasons, just that I doubt international communities would support some of the things they’ve done and continue to do either.
The striking thing about this issue then, at least to me, is that there seems to lack any kind of middle ground in terms of the perception of feminism. All of these witch hunts against female celebrities have basically been preceded with the assumption that any even quasi-feminist action means they’re one of the aforementioned radicals, a connection that’s been pushed by male communities and to some extent the media at large. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, this stuff is popping up more frequently because male attitudes towards feminism are definitely regressing.
Like the issues with Irene and Naeun and others, this is simply a made up controversy that really nobody should pay attention to. Ideally, we could just laugh at these losers trying to complain about Yuna and forget about it tomorrow, and so could she. However, like with the pinching hand motion, the unfortunate thing is they are currently being empowered in Korea by companies and politicians alike.
Here’s hoping reason can prevail in the end. Maybe. Or at least perhaps Yuna can just be left alone when she’s done nothing wrong, or really anything at all.