• http://www.facebook.com/johan.debruin.18 Johan de Bruin

    Funny thing is I did always think the church was responsible for how women (and their sexuality) are viewed, but it excists also on the other side of the world.

    • Streby

      What makes you think the church has no effect on the East? It may not seem as significant but it definitely exists. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

        Blaming everything on the church is a smoke screen. Churches can preach the doctrine, but it is free willed monkeys like us that take it and decide it is a good foundation to f*ck somebody else over with.

        Man perverts idea — church can just be one of many platforms man uses to reinforce their theories, along with politics, et al. 

        We (mankind/womankind) also decide what is moral and immoral, not just because of theology, either. There are non-Bible believing people that also have issues with too much overt sexuality, either because they worry about their kids seeing it, or because it makes them uncomfortable and they can’t quite figure out why.

        There is far more to our perception and perception issues than to just point at one institution and say, “This is what’s screwing up our world.” When you get right down to it, the church only has an ancillary role to play in how people perceive females and their sexuality — it just gives opponents of overt sexuality a nice powerful platform from which to speak.

        • Streby

          I get what you’re saying and it definitely holds true in the larger picture but religion plays such an important part in mindset. It may be a screen for people to sit on their high horses but when someone tells you something is wrong from childhood, you simply cannot rectify your mindset over a day or two. 

          Overt sexuality may make some people inherently uncomfortable but there are others who find it attractive but write it off somewhere because its immoral. Our Superego’s have been so strongly shaped as to what is right and wrong that even if we find something appealing, it is termed sinful unconsciously. 

          And its not just the church, every religion plays a role in mindset formation, it may not be as strong as people believe it to be but it definitely exists. Again, it is wrong to point fingers at a religious institution wholly because it is people in the end who form that institution but you can’t deny its effect on people on the other hand. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

            I cannot deny its effect, but I can absolutely deny that it is responsible in some way for a person’s shortcomings.

            All humans reach an age of reason — where we learn to think for ourselves, regardless of what we have been taught. Some choose to stick with what is familiar, while others run in the other direction. In either case, we all have a moment where it is touch-and-go. The church is one of hundreds of institutions that have a hand in influencing our knowledge pool, but it is no more to blame for our shortcomings than our parents are for telling us our whole lives how the world works. At some point, you’ll meet the world and you may form drastically different opinions than those your parents found. You will also come to a point where you realize your parents and mentors are wrong about some of what they taught you — whether you choose to keep following that misguided wisdom or go with your gut depends entirely on your own fortitude. 

            There is nothing wrong with being weak in some areas. Nobody has it all figured out. We’re all lacking in one area or another — sometimes many areas. Pointing fingers, however, doesn’t solve any of our weaknesses. It is just an attempt to explain them away, like, “I’m not really this way, they made me the way I am.” 

            We make ourselves into what we become. The only limitations we have, beyond the physical, are ones we place on ourselves. We think inside the box because we don’t allow ourselves to think out of it, either from fear or inability to expand our understanding beyond what we consider to be reality. We create our own prisons, and are our own wardens. Having said that, not everyone is going to end up in the same place even as we do expand and evolve. 

            Humans don’t expand in the same way, nor at the same rate. Some people come to the realization that they do genuinely believe in what they were taught growing up. They are not wrong to come to that conclusion, anymore than someone is right for deciding that they don’t believe in anything that their elders taught them. We each come to our own point of understanding. To assume one is right and the other is stupid is conceited and self-righteous — and to point to one institution as the genesis of our differing viewpoints is not taking into consideration the hundreds, thousands and millions of other variables that come together to form a single human consciousness.

            Tl;dr cliff notes: We’re our own people. Church isn’t to blame, it’s just a variable in a huge algorithm that has SOME bearing on us as people. That’s it.

            Also, I could use a bag of Cheetos right now. I don’t know how that’s relevant, but it is reflective of my mindset at this time.

          • Streby

            You should write a book man, my Literature teacher would be so proud of you. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

            Maybe I will one day. Right now I’m just enjoying the feeling of having a soul again.  

      • Haibara Christie

        Why should even the church be considered responsible for that kind of mindset? Quasi-misogynistic (maybe that was a bit too strong of a word) societies are as common as grass in field, regardless of East, West, North or South. The church doesn’t have to be the cause of everything in society (not that you are personally saying it is, but that is an opinion some people hold).

        • Streby

          The church or any religious institution cannot be blamed for such a mindset but it definitely doesn’t help rectify the situation either. 

          My grandmother spends her entire day telling me that god will make me infertile and I will not be able to have babies because I eat non-vegetarian food. Now I know that it is utter nonsense and that is impossible but when I was a child, I was mortally terrified that somewhere she might be true, so terrified in fact that though I loved my omlette every morning, I’d think twice before eating it. 

  • http://twitter.com/sebsobandsky Sabah

    Without trying to instigate some kind of existential crisis, it is safe to say that we are all affected by some kind of conditioning that taints our mindsets and makes us guilty of ethnocentrism upon some level. Whether patriarchal, cultural, social or religious we are conditioned to understand things in a certain manner. Even just watching Kpop 24/7 can alter your views on things, discreetly, subliminally but slowly and surely it will.  To step back and perceive that bias is very difficult if not impossible BUT if we don’t find a way to do so we would go insane.

    If we were to believe conditioning of marketing then we would think that it is possible to have a size zero figure AND eat all the pizza, crisps and soda you want. It’s crazy to think that but marketing has conditioned people to think just like that so that impressionable people feel guilty or ashamed at being overweight even though we are just following the examples of idols. [I JUST LOVE that Kim Jong Kook is always lecturing his RM members about diet and exercise, because really how else did he attain those choco abs? Even Ha Ha has commented that he lost weight through following a customized diet program tailored by his Hyung because he wasn't going to do it any other way, no matter how many times I've heard idols tell me that they eat fatty foods and drink soda all the time, like in their ads for their sponsors because their words can not match reality.] 

    Modern marketing is a mess of mixed messages which we grow up misunderstanding until our thoughts are just a arena of anarchy; we try to make the impossible messages a reality and the end result is never pretty or nice; bulimia if not worse. 

    So if we can’t rely on ourselves to decode those messages, we seek out objective protectors such as governments or ruling bodies, except we find that those people are infected too.  Governments who tell us that it’s OK to let yourself become intoxicated through ‘taxed’ means such as alcohol or cigarettes but not ‘non-taxed’ means such as cocaine or weed; prostitution is a no-no but porn is fine. Hey, if the Olympic governing committee okayed MacDonalds and Coke sponsoring the games, because of their history with those sponsors since 1928 then maybe it isn’t weird to juxtapose a message of healthy lifestyle BUT it is!

    My point AND I do have one, is that we need a reference point, someone objective and enlightened enough to educate us on things that we ‘might’ not be able to perceive.  Setting up bodies like MOGEF is understandable and commendable but what other result were people expecting than this mess of nonsensical and inconsistent rulings when it is run by people conditioned just like you and me?  Being someone who believes in God, I would make him my reference point BUT when religious leaders themselves range from banning everything to allowing everything, there isn’t much clarity there either. 

    For me, a step forward is making sure that you have a diverse range of voices on any governing body so that the varying viewpoints in some way find a balance and hopefully if not miraculously find a truth if not the truth. So for every patriarch supporter, a feminist, for every pornographer, a prude. This way might not be perfect BUT at least it would stop rulings being so tilted towards one mindset alone.

    • http://twitter.com/SrilathaR Srilatha Rajamani

      Everything and more of I was thinking of, and wanted to say. Beautifully expressed response. At the least, someone should send this to MOGEF. This is the light of sanity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

      There was actually a saying that went around the office back in my Hell days: “A good salesman can get someone to drink poison even if they know it is poison.”

      Modern marketing isn’t a mixed message. There is nothing backhanded about it. We’ve just allowed the masses who buy the products to become “consumers” instead of actual people, as if that stale word somehow allows us to forget for a time that these are real people that we’re convincing to slowly kill themselves with artery clogging fast food, to raise their blood pressure with unhealthy salt portions, and to give up their land so we can tear up great chunks of it in the name of progress. 

      The thing is, I too believe in God — but I also believe in the tyranny of mankind. Warring and turmoil is a part of our nature. It existed when the first man came out of his cave, saw a rock, saw another man that had something he wanted, then bashed his skull in. We’re competitive, spiteful, violent and covetous creatures. There are good people, but there will never be enough good people to overwhelm the bad. Moreover, there will never be enough reasonable people to overwhelm the unreasonable. That’s why even a committee wouldn’t solve these issues. 

      Believe me, get 12 random people together in one room, I guarantee you some of them will quickly find things about one or more of the others that they can’t stand. Will they ignore these issues and move on to more important subjects? No. They’ll undermine one another at every turn. Every decision will be second guessed, and they will have to constantly deal with one another’s differing personal viewpoints. There is no “enlightened” one. Beware the peacemaker. If you put random people together, they are more likely to in-fight than put aside their differences for something greater. That’s just who we are — though that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t strive to be something better. 

      Without the selfish, we wouldn’t have the altruistic; 
      Without monsters, we wouldn’t have crusaders;
      Without issues like this one, we wouldn’t have the forum to write tl;dr personal opinions on a Kpop site.

      If life has a meaning, somehow it feels like it has to be balance. 

      As for MOGEF, I’m as positive as Mark that the censorship came as a result of Ga-in depicting orgasmic behavior. It’s kind of hilarious — in a ridiculously idiotic sort of way — that a line becomes drawn between two naked people obviously engaged in sexual activity and the final climactic “pop,” to put it crudely. That would be like if Francis Ford Coppola showed Sonny getting brutally gunned down in The Godfather, but pulled the camera away just before showing the death, and it got the film a lower rating. Double standards can be ugly, but also downright gut busting.

      Or as Sheila in South Park put it, “Horrific, deplorable violence is ok, as long as nobody says any naughty words.”

      I wonder if the angels laugh at us for all these double standards and contradictions…?

      • http://twitter.com/sebsobandsky Sabah

        Thank you so much for your response which I enjoyed reading for all the various points you raised. 

        “A good salesman can get someone to drink poison even if they know it is poison.” That is so creepy and scary but as you point out all done in the name of consumerism which most people buy into regardless of which end of the chain you are at.

        “We’re competitive, spiteful, violent and covetous creatures. There are
        good people, but there will never be enough good people to overwhelm the
        bad.” My take is a little different. Not so much nature but rather nurture.  I believe that we might be weak but not necessarily evil, we might be contentious and prone to rebellion but not anarchy. I believe that we start off innocent and pure but that with each ill deed we affect our hearts until we become so hardened and bitter that we can not see past our imperfection and delude ourselves into a veiled hypocrisy.  HOWEVER, I do agree with that, “That’s why even a committee wouldn’t solve these issues…They’ll undermine one another at every turn.” My proposition would more than likely bring about a stalemate kind of situation, a stagnancy except it would take about ten times as longer than now.  Hehe.  Seriously, though I think it would solve anything any time soon, I do think that adding more ‘feminist’ and ‘modern’ mindsets into the MOGEF mix would do it wonders, even if just a different kind of inconsistency. 

        “Without the selfish, we wouldn’t have the altruistic; Without monsters, we wouldn’t have crusaders;” Ah, like Blake’s poem ‘The Tyger’ on the duality of nature, (yep, I watch the mentalist) which though most see as a juxtaposition of good and evil or innocence and experience, I would prefer to say that the same thing can inspire wonder but also fear; can bestow good but also evil.  As you say, “Without issues like this one, we wouldn’t have the forum to write tl;dr personal opinions on a Kpop site,” and though it is highly unlikely that we would all come to one conclusion that we would all find reasonable, I do think that if we try, the majority of us will find areas of overlap where we can live with each other tolerably without it causing much suffering or heartache or offence to one particular group. When I suggested forming committees, I meant with people who wish to build a community, a place where a diverse range of opinions can find harmony despite the dissonance  for the most part, rather than ALL the individual people finding “a balance” within their opinions. 

        “that a line becomes drawn between two naked people obviously engaged in
        sexual activity and the final climactic “pop,” to put it crudely.”  I agree but I also think that it was just one part of the final decision. Truth be told, MOGEF’s rulings are quite random that I can’t even work out their biased mindset or conditioned responses. I remember a friend of mine who used to work at a consulate, and she told me that they would just reject every visa application in the first instance BECAUSE they just didn’t have the time and resources to go through every application.  Then if the person appealed they would then look at their case.  It cut the numbers significantly because most people didn’t bother appealing the decision.

        My experience in life has shown me that two things beat prejudices or biases; a bigger prejudice or laziness.  I can’t deny that sometimes I think that the people at MOGEF fall into either one of those categories.

        If I may ask you, what would you do to find a better method for rating MV/films?  Would you do away with censorship completely and leave it up to people to decide what they should or should not watch?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

          (This is a smaller post appended at the end of a much longer one that I chose not to post. I highly recommend nobody but Sabah read it, for fear that your eyes will fall out. You have been warned.)

          I had a MUCH longer response prepared, but couldn’t bring myself to post it — the comment was just too long and pessimistic for a forum about Kpop. 

          Would I do away with censorship? Not a chance. Mostly because there really isn’t that much censorship to be found these days. That may startle some for me to say that, but it is true. Even if Ga-in’s video were rated too mature to ever be shown on television, you would still be able to find it in its entirety on a web site somewhere. Hell, you can even find the full suicide video of that lunatic that wanted to kill Bjork online. There is a difference between true censorship, the act of completely removing whole chunks from any work, and simply making something that strives to be mainstream not mainstream by bumping up the rating. That’s where the old marketer in me chuckles. Don’t believe anything you hear about someone crying over censorship as somehow creating an obstacle between their artistic vision and mainstream success — the suits are just pissed because they may not recoup their investment with hard numbers at the box office.

          What would I do to rate music videos and films? Do you have a day and half to read it? The system is so convoluted that it would take far longer to map it out in its entirety than I care to type. That and I am genuinely considering the possibility that it could stretch the Seoulbeats word limit per post. It would probably be considered a brief, not a post.

          First of all, in relation to Ga-in and Hyuna, their forms of sexual expression or exploitation belong in the same category. Indeed, Ga-in does appear to be in the throes of ecstatic passion in Bloom — but she is fully clothed, and (sorry to be so blunt) no penetration is shown. Also, you never actually (again, sorry) see the masturbatory act. It’s all implied. She could just be enjoying a makeout session. That implication does not, in and of itself, warrant a separate set of standards, anymore than Hyuna popping her butt in front of the camera and singing about “ice cream” grants her immunity simply because she didn’t show a scene hinting at sexual enjoyment. In the video for Ice Cream, she is implied to be naked in one scene, running her fingers up and down the back of another man implied to be naked. The only thing that absolves it in the eyes of MOGEF, most likely, is that she makes no expression as if she is enjoying it in a sexual way… But WHY THE F*CK ELSE WOULD ANY NON-MASSEUSE RUB THEIR HANDS ALL OVER ANOTHER NAKED PERSON, MOGEF?!! F*cking damn it.

          Implication has far too much weight in ratings than it should. Common sense needs to be injected in a ratings system, in my opinion, just as a way to balance things out. 

          One of the bigger issues, however, is in manpower. How much are you willing to pay a committee of different minded people to watch media and determine their rating? I doubt they would volunteer for such a tedious job without some form of compensation. Also, what committee would you hire to make sure the raters are keeping their own personal biases in check?

          I’ll go ahead and stop here. I don’t want this to become a brief. This is really just 1/1000th of the detailed issue, though. 

          In my opinion, there should be some form of censorship in order to draw clear lines between realms that should never cross — like children’s programs and graphic violence, for instance. I mean, call me a fuddy duddy, but I don’t think Dora the Explorer should ever grab a twelve gauge shotgun and gun down half the world because her creator wants to make a statement about gun control. A separation is needed. Having said that, ratings systems are in drastic need of simplification. I don’t think a lot of overhaul is needed, just that what exists must be simplified. 

          Also, at some point personal responsibility has to come into play. I know the average consumer is too lazy to do some research on the movies they watch. Still, if you have time to b*tch to your significant other about your taxes, knowing it won’t change a damn thing, you have time to go online for a few minutes and find out The Expendables is a Sly Stallone action flick, which immediately tells you two things: It’s going to have a crap ton of bad acting in it, and it is going to be more violent than Honey Boo Boo’s house when they’re down to their last donut. 

          In other words, it’s PROBABLY not the kind of film you should be taking your impressionable kid — who repeats everything he sees and hears — to see.

          • http://twitter.com/sebsobandsky Sabah

             

            Dear
            Nate, Thank you so much for sharing your opinions. I found them really
            interesting and if anyone should break the word limit per post on this site, it
            is you because the majority of people would read every word AND gain something
            from it.

            I agree
            with you that we cannot do away with censorship AND in fact more is urgently
            needed.  It isn’t that I am asking for a
            big brother state or some kind of Orwellian nightmare but there needs to be
            restrictions of some kind because allowing anything and everything was Caligula’s
            agenda and that isn’t a civilisation that the majority wants, or I hope not.  I think it is also prudent to say that I don’t
            want to ban sexual content or even create an atmosphere where it is regarded as
            taboo.  Sex, physical and emotional intimacy,
            is one the precious wonders of the human experience.  Rather I want to safeguard innocence, so that
            people can enjoy childhood into double digits at least.  Just as much as sexual maturity is a part of
            the human experience so is innocence. 

            Modern
            day media has a way of jading the youth. 
            I am reminded of a Billy Connelly anecdote where he stops his family’s
            car journey to show his young children a beautiful view of cliffs that is
            hauntingly beautiful. He points to the view and says, ‘look,’ to which they
            reply, ‘at what?’ as they strain their eyes to ‘see’ that he was trying to show
            them.  I want to protect that awe and
            wonder of the world that children have and that the world we have created
            destroys.  We must take responsibility for
            that. Let me clarify that I don’t want to cotton wool children, that protection
            must not smother or suffocate them.  Rather
            I would introduce concepts and issues to them at a time they are emotionally
            mature to judge them.  For instance, I
            remember watching the film, ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil,’ when I was 11 and it
            is still to this day one of my favourite comedies.  However there is one questionable scene
            involving (pardon me) an erection.  Now
            if we debate it semantically, it is a very clever use of that ‘concept’ and
            very funny NOT gratuitous like say as used in pornography. However I was too
            young to even comprehend the comedy of the situation. I didn’t understand until
            the older person I was watching it with, explained it to me and at the same time,
            I lost a part of my innocence.  I really
            didn’t need to know about erections at the age of 11. 

            It is as
            you state that the system needs an overhaul and tighter censorship controls as
            well as vigilance carried out by guardians. 
            I loved your point about implications and inferences and common
            sense.  The debate between the two was
            just semantics and became very messy whereas what is needed is something much
            simpler as you astutely pointed out.  For
            instance, in regards Ga-In and HyunA, I would give both an adult rating for
            sexual depictions.  For me they are BOTH
            valid portrayals of sexuality BUT neither is appropriate for younger audiences.  I am saying that ratings should consider the
            maturity of the viewer who should be at an age where they would understand all
            the implications of the video as well the broader consequences.  Unfortunately most impressionable viewers just
            come away with misguided ideas. If I may elaborate further for the sake of
            clarification. 

            Take
            Ga-In’s MV which if viewed by someone too immature to understand the subject
            matter, they might come away with the idea that sexual awakening is something
            very much pleasurable and rush into it. 
            However a person with maturity of understanding ALSO understands that
            whilst sexual awakening is a rite of passage, and an enjoyable one at that, it
            doesn’t mean that you should immediately begin indulging in it because it WILL
            lead to burgeoning desires and put you on a path to engaging in sexual
            activity.  This was excellently portrayed
            in the film ‘Wish you were here.’ Her video raised good points about how a
            woman’s sexual awakening is something she should be in control of rather than
            instigated via her partner/boyfriend/man-in-her-life’s needs.  This is something to be discussed/debated at an
            appropriate age AFTER little girls have enjoyed their childhood.

            HyunA’s
            MV again shows a woman’s realization that her sexuality can affect men in a
            very powerful way.  An immature person
            might take the idea away that this ‘ability’ is something to be used to get
            whatever they want.  However a person who
            has a more mature understanding will know that whilst sexuality is a powerful
            aspect of womanhood/manhood is it demeaning/wrong(?)/cheap(?) to use it at
            every instance, especially when your intentions are insincere.  Being seductive is a part of the human
            experience and being able to affect your lover in a way that renders them
            helpless and vulnerable is beautiful in its own way BUT if you use it all the
            time to get everything you want, you need to understand that those people will
            feel betrayed and used.  To put it
            bluntly, I don’t condone being a ‘tease.’

            I loved
            this point of yours, “Don’t believe anything you hear about someone crying over
            censorship as somehow creating an obstacle between their artistic vision and
            mainstream success — the suits are just pissed because they may not recoup
            their investment with hard numbers at the box office.” Although it isn’t wrong
            to want to make money, if your ‘product’ incites people towards violence and
            promiscuity, should you be held responsible? As Jack Dee once noted, ‘After
            watching Crash, I came upon a road accident and felt this undeniable urge to…’
            of course he was joking but it raises the debate of nature/nurture and how
            culpable those filmmakers or creators of art are in regards actions they might
            incite in ‘some’ people.  The buck must
            stop somewhere, and though I sympathize with parents of unruly children, I had
            to agree with the British Governments reprimanding of the younger perpetrators
            of the London riots through punishing their parents by taking away their
            benefits or even removing them from the boroughs. 

            So in
            regards Kpop videos which despite the existence of MOGEF are widely available
            on the internet uncut, as you pointed out, I wouldn’t bill the music production
            companies for my daughter’s medical bills if she engaged in sexual activity and
            fell pregnant after being incited by Xiah Junsu video or encouraged to explore
            her sexuality through Ga-In’s video.  The
            responsibility is mine, as her mother because as you so astutely pointed out
            MOGEF are pretty much impotent and redundant in this modern age of the
            internet.

            I am much obliged to you for this wonderful
            discussion. Thank you.

  • AcadiasFire

    Your not the only one. I was wondering the same thing. I found Ga-in’s Bloom to be subtly tasteful. A woman’s coming of sexual awakening is a beautiful thing. I think she did it justice. Plus the song is really pretty.

  • Haibara Christie

    You know what I really think is going on? Hyuna is riding the wave of popularity that PSY has given her (to much greater heights than in her “Bubble Pop” days) and MOGEF knows it. Youtube popularity means that the Hallyu culture is spreading! And that’s good for Korea! Ga In releases something much more thoughtful but on the risque side and gets ban-hammered because the limited audience that Ga In has.  I mean, why would MOGEF ban “Bubble Pop” but not slap a rating on “Ice Cream” if there weren’t any inner dealings going on?

    • http://twitter.com/bella_feisty Mirabel

       Thank you!

  • muggle87

    normally i wouldn’t have bother to write this down considering that majority of seoulbeats don’t like hyuna so there is no point in even writing it down, cause no matter what i say, most of u think she is a slut or secretly think she is but wanna play it off that u are above the slut shamming. i guess after reading ga-in vs hyuna debate for several weeks, i finally gonna just say it but before i got off topic i do want to mention something u said in ur article… not portraying ga-in as a visual delight of men

    O_O have u never seen porn before? i have a brother and i had the misfortune of running into him while he was watching his porn several times. i will admit i have seen some myself. let me tell you right now that men like seeing a girl masturbate and having sex. most of the porn videos are focus on woman enjoying having sex so i don’t see how ga-in doing masturbation in the kitchen and having sex isn’t a visual delight for men to watch. u are fooling yourself if u don’t think they didn’t like what they saw. one of the top demographic of ga-in bloom mv are men. i just read that ga-in said that she research porn for her concept. Statistics show that men consume porn the most and that it caters to men the most. Whether u want to admit or not, ga in bloom mv is a visual delight for men too.

    now i want to say something that has been bothering me for a while about this while hyuna vs ga-in debate.

    like @andalemono:disqus  said in no thanks, i don’t want any of hyuna’s ice cream article, “Why does every female in K-pop who wants to be sexy either have to be a sexually liberating icon or a play for men?”  

    s/he is right, why does it have to be like that? u don’t hear anyone discussing if male idol is being a sexually liberating icon or play for women? so why women have to be put into that standard. why does hyuna have to fit into your cookie cutter box of what u think is sexy? why can’t she just be her own brand of sexy?

    like @happy_slip:disqus  said in no thanks, i don’t want any of hyuna’s ice cream article, “It’s starting to bother me that a lot of people here seem to have only one specific definition for female empowerment/liberation when I feel that it shouldn’t be the case. At least to me, because I believe that a woman is empowered in the sense that she does what she wants regardless of what others (both men and women) would say or dictate.”

    That is how it should be, hyuna shouldn’t have to play by your definition of what is okay and what is not okay when comes to being sexy. Hyuna said she likes her songs and her image so basically if she wants to sing that she has sexy swag, and be confident that she can melt them down like ice cream by gods she can, she doesn’t have abide by your definition of sexy, or any other person. that is what woman empowerment and liberation should be about, doing what she wants regardless of what a man or woman have to say.

    Both ga-in and hyuna are sexy and have their own way of showing it. they both are defining the standards that people put on woman.

    • http://twitter.com/sebsobandsky Sabah

      Interesting point. I too found the semantic debate between Ga-in and HyunA and the ‘degree’ or ‘style’ of their sexual expression a little puzzling.  It didn’t make sense to me either.   

      For me, if there is a disconnect in Kpop world of sexual expression, both female and male, then I would say it isbetween expressions of sexuality in MV by Kpop artists and their actual personalities.  I remember my shock after watching Kpop MV’s and then Kpop idols in interviews.  There was such a difference in their demeanour.  Of course, I am not saying that if you have a sensuous/sultry side to you, that you need to have it on show 24/7 to prove its authenticity.  However I am reminded of something my Feminist Literature Teacher once said about how women have been conditioned into hypocrisy.  We have been taught to play up, act out certain sides to our femininity in certain roles, upon certain occasions, for instance the ‘damsel in distress’ who needs the ‘strong’ help of a man.

      I am not saying that Kpop idols aren’t allowed to use their sexuality to sell their music, nor that they need to hold themselves to that persona permanently because no one can deny that using sex in marketing is very successful and nowadays very much acceptable.  I am asking why is it that in Kpop ‘certain’ idols who have an overt sensual nature which is part and parcel of their character looked down for using it to sell their music BUT other idols are allowed to use their sexuality to do the same because they keep it subdued at all other times and instances?

      • muggle87

        in kpop world, its how things go. whenever girl group does a sexy concept or sexy scene or sexy anything then go on shows, they mostly answered like @ㅇㅍㄴㅌ  said, “‘i’ve never had a boyfriend’ ‘never had a first kiss’ ‘what’s a boy?’ etc”

        i think the companies want them to be portrayal like that cause that is how they get fans i suppose. though its hard to believe most of them with their never had a kiss, never had a boyfriend/girlfriend talk.

        • http://twitter.com/sebsobandsky Sabah

           ‘What’s a boy?’ Hehe. Yeah, it does irritate me when they juxtapose both the Saint/Seductress personae like that.  I don’t mean the actual Idols but rather their management who of course dictate their every act and word.  They tend to take the course which makes them the most money even if it leads to confusion and makes their idols seem to have multiple personalities. 

    • Gaya_SB

      I’m sorry that you feel that we would not like your opinion, because I, for one, do agree with you, andalemono and happy_slip (as well as Sabah, below). In fact, these views are rather concurrent with those expressed by Maria in her own article, “Counterpoint: Sexual Hyuna Fighting.” That article said pretty much everything I think of this matter.

      http://seoulbeats.com/2012/10/counterpoint-sexual-hyuna-fighting/One thing I will disagree with, however, is the insinuation that “most” of us think of Hyuna as a slut. Despite the qualifier and the fact that the writers and editors at Seoulbeats do hold a range of opinions, I can assure you that none of us would consider her a slut, nor would we condone slut-shaming. As Dana stated in her “Ice Cream” review: “taking issue with [Hyuna's] use of sexuality and calling her a slut are not the same.” You are more than welcome to disagree, but please, please do not assume that the writers and editors all (or even mostly) hold the same view on a matter.It’s not my intention to put you on the spot like this, and I know you’re not the only one to generalise the SB staff (for example, I read yesterday that the writers are all SONEs–this was news to me), but the loaded nature of this particular generalisation made me feel that I had to address it. Again, no ill intent meant–I just hope we can reach an understanding.

    • Gaya_SB

      I’m sorry that you feel that we would not like your opinion, because I, for one, do agree with you, andalemono and happy_slip (as well as Sabah, below). In fact, these views are rather concurrent with those expressed by Maria in her own article, “Counterpoint: Sexual Hyuna Fighting.” That article said pretty much everything I think of this matter.

      http://seoulbeats.com/2012/10/counterpoint-sexual-hyuna-fighting/One thing I will disagree with, however, is the insinuation that “most” of us think of Hyuna as a slut. Despite the qualifier and the fact that the writers and editors at Seoulbeats do hold a range of opinions, I can assure you that none of us would consider her a slut, nor would we condone slut-shaming. As Dana stated in her “Ice Cream” review: “taking issue with [Hyuna's] use of sexuality and calling her a slut are not the same.” You are more than welcome to disagree, but please, please do not assume that the writers and editors all (or even mostly) hold the same view on a matter.It’s not my intention to put you on the spot like this, and I know you’re not the only one to generalise the SB staff (for example, I read yesterday that the writers are all SONEs–this was news to me), but the loaded nature of this particular generalisation made me feel that I had to address it. Again, no ill intent meant–I just hope we can reach an understanding.

      • muggle87

        i meant your readership not the writers, sorry for not being clear about that.

        • Gaya_SB

          Oh OK, thanks for clarifying, I probably could have asked you myself, sorry for the misunderstanding. 

    • Gaya_SB

      I’m sorry that you feel that we would not like your opinion, because I, for one, do agree with you, andalemono and happy_slip (as well as Sabah, below). In fact, these views are rather concurrent with those expressed by Maria in her own article, “Counterpoint: Sexual Hyuna Fighting.” That article said pretty much everything I think of this matter.

      http://seoulbeats.com/2012/10/counterpoint-sexual-hyuna-fighting/One thing I will disagree with, however, is the insinuation that “most” of us think of Hyuna as a slut. Despite the qualifier and the fact that the writers and editors at Seoulbeats do hold a range of opinions, I can assure you that none of us would consider her a slut, nor would we condone slut-shaming. As Dana stated in her “Ice Cream” review: “taking issue with [Hyuna's] use of sexuality and calling her a slut are not the same.” You are more than welcome to disagree, but please, please do not assume that the writers and editors all (or even mostly) hold the same view on a matter.It’s not my intention to put you on the spot like this, and I know you’re not the only one to generalise the SB staff (for example, I read yesterday that the writers are all SONEs–this was news to me), but the loaded nature of this particular generalisation made me feel that I had to address it. Again, no ill intent meant–I just hope we can reach an understanding.

    • Maruja90

      Here are my five cents. And let me put this out from the beginning: I don’t like Hyuna, I don’t hate her, but I don’t really care for her. 

      About that first comment, do you know most of the idols don’t choose their concepts? How do you know Hyuna’s image is constructed by her? There have been a couple of times in the past were girl groups talk about concepts their agencies put them through that they hate. One were T-ara with their indian concept and ever some of the Girls Generation talk about how they hate to do aegyo sexy concepts because it doesn’t go with them. So, for me, that’s the difference between Ga-In and Hyuna. Brown Eyed Girls and Ga-In are very much in power of who they are and their concepts. Ga-In portrayal is her own. Hyuna’s is her management company. So, this also address the second comment you posted, Hyuna’s concept is not hers, it’s her company’s. You are not seeing her vision and say on sexuality… And it’s directed towards men.

      I put the two videos to my best friend who doesnt’t know anything about Kpop more than Gangnam Style, believe me… the reactions were completely different. Why? I don’t know, but they were.

      And to address about male idols… Men, in most countries (not every country) don’t need the sexual liberating thing as much as women. Yes, men idols are also market to the female audiences, but they also get away with a LOT of things because they are not as restrained as the girls… In real life, they are boys and so, they have much more freedom. Take for example talking about relationships… you see a lot of members of boy bands talking about their past romantic relationships, from girls groups not so much… Except if you are Hyori! 

      For example, for me, Cristina Aguilera (who gets called a slut a lot from her beginnings) do whatever the hell she wants. Is that my definition of what a sexy woman should be or how I should be, no. But it’s her vision… and I respect that. And you also can see the difference between the time she was controlled by her company and she started to break free from that tight grasp.

      That being said, I respect your opinion.

      • muggle87

        well since u are not hyuna fan i can excuse u not knowing that she said that she likes her image and songs. also that she personally work on this album (wrote and compose) and its concept. So it’s her vision too. Since now u know that hyuna was involved in her album process, u can respect her like u do X-tina, right?

    • chrissy657

      I can understand where you are coming from and as a sexually active female who watches porn, it is an industry that is seriously left for wanting when it comes to the female market, and I think that you are right in that both are defining their own sense of sexuality. But at the same time, it is about which market they are trying to cater to. Sex sells at an alarming high rate, but what I see primarily within kpop is sex for men.

      That been said, when I watch Bloom, what I see is “my sex”. Granted my sex is not washed in white, nor are sheep and flowers involved, but what it does involve is a real sense of enjoyment that is for me and me only. I don’t gyrate my hips excessively or rub the space between my boobs, which Hyuna is so good at doing and, I’m certainly not an infantile or shallow as portrayed in Ice-cream. But I know what I want, I’m inclined to do what I want, which is what I saw in Ga-in. The focus was more on cultivating herself and what she wants sexually which I think is a sexuality that is designed for women.

      It is difficult to rewrite sex because we still have this overwhelming discourse that only men are able to enjoy sex and sex that is designed for women is, at the end of the day, sex. But, Ga-in’s sex is sex that women can relate to. I think Ga-in does a good job at re-writing the script in a marketable way, which is something I’m more inclined to consume.

      • muggle87

        its like music, everyone has their preference. ga-in brand of sexy appeals to u but it doesn’t mean hyuna brand of sexy is wrong, it just not your style. There is no need to put it down. There is nothing wrong with her style.

        • chrissy657

          I’m not putting it down, I’m just pointing out that they have designed their brands of sexy differently, and Ga-in is much more relateable. I don’t deny that Hyuna is extremely successful at what she does. But at the same time, her brand of sex panders to the male market and is something that I could not relate to.

          • muggle87

            um to me u did when u talking about ice cream, saying its shallow, and infantile. then when u start putting down hyuna dance moves cause they weren’t your style of sexy.

            also ga-in brand of sex also panders to the male market. u don’t believe me? U can confirm it with video statistics, you will see that men are also the top demographic of bloom mv. u don’t think a guy wouldn’t want to see a woman masturbating in the kitchen? or having sex and enjoying it? U are only fooling yourself if u think that guys won’t enjoy watching that.

          • chrissy657

            Hyuna’s image, much like a lot of kpop idols, is infantile and shallow. I
            doubt she is infantile or shallow, it’s an image and one I cannot
            relate to. As for the sex issue, like I said there is this overwhelming
            discourse that men can consume sex and women can’t. It’s part of the
            reason why 50 shades is such a huge phenomenon (because apparently
            before, women didn’t want to have sex), and why finding porn for
            women is so difficult, its not that women don’t consume sex, but rather
            it’s more acceptable for men to consume it. Whatever the demographics
            are, if men are consuming it in greater numbers, it doesn’t really
            surprise me.

            But, that being said, I still find Ga-in’s video much more relatable and
            a touch more realistic than Hyuna’s. I may not masturbate on the
            kitchen floor, but I’m more likely to do it in baggy home clothes than a
            latex dress a la Hyuna.

            And just a side note, my interpretation of these two songs is based
            solely on the MV, I don’t speak Korean, part of the reason I listen to
            kpop is because I don’t have to understand what is being said (and it is
            also ridiculously pretty). I also realize that part of what I have said
            is contradictory, i.e. my motivations versus interpretations. All of my
            opinions is based on my observation, I’m not claiming to know any
            particular truths about either Ga-in or Hyuna. This is just what I have
            observed and how I have related to the content in the MV.

          • muggle87

            i don’t see how hyuna image is shallow and/or infantile when she was involved in the album process (wrote and compose) and its concept. Ga-In was also hands on in her album and said she research porn for her concept. They both work on their respected albums and in my opinion did a good job of it. Hyuna show much improvement and Ga-In proving once again why she is force to be reckon with.

            I have no problem if hyuna isn’t your cup of tea. My issue is just with people who try to put down hyuna brand of sexy as wrong or making it sound like its an abomination to all women when its not.

            i also don’t speak korean but i like to look up the lyrics and ice cream is about a woman feeling sexy and confident that she can make the guy fall in love with her… hyuna is just being a sexually confident woman.

          • GaCaRa

            hyuna was only involved in composing one song, and it wasn’t ice cream.

            the lyrics to ice cream include gems like: 

            Chocolate ice cream like my dark skin

            which is just offensive, and other nonsensical delights like

            Ma diamond ring so bling blingI’ll show you my sexy swag
            among others. like it all you want, but ice cream is at best nonsensical and at worst offensive. 

            i agree that ga in isn’t superior because it also uses sex to sell, but bloom’s lyrics speak to more people than ice cream

          • muggle87

            she also help in another track, to my boyfriend and it doesn’t change that she help with the concept and album process. Ga-In didn’t wrote bloom but it doesn’t mean she wasn’t involved in the end result of bloom. Also not every song has to have some deep meaning to it or poetic lyrics. it also doesn’t change what the song is about in the end. Like I said, its not a problem that u don’t like hyuna, or her music, but there is no need to put it down just cause it doesn’t fit your style of sexy. They are many types of sexy, hyuna and ga-in are just two out of the many. Ga-In appeals to you, ok but it doesn’t mean Hyuna brand of sexy is wrong.

          • GaCaRa

            i’m not saying bloom appeals to me personally, i just like the dance. but other people seem to relate to the song. i like the dance for ice cream too.there’s nothing wrong with nonsensical lyrics and i would like ice cream more if it didn’t fetishise dark skin like that.
            to my boyfriend was the song i was referring to, what’s the other one? and it’s nice that she’s more involved with the production as well, and i don’t mind her sexy image now that she’s of age.

          • muggle87

            very hot is the other one. i notice that in most korean minds, that they refer to anyone who isn’t pale, dark skin. in korea, they also associate sexy with dark skin as well… like its some kind of exotic thing. I think seoulbeats talk about this in one of their articles.

    • hueyfreeman

      careful with that critical thinking…

  • Dyamond Julsonnet

    If someone other than Hyun Ah were to prance around, touching her body unsubtly, everyone would call her a slut. But since Hyun Ah does it, “Oh, she’s just portraying HER side of sexuality!” Fuck that shit. So sick of celebrities getting away with shit just because they’re celebrities.

  • Nabeela

    THIS. THANK YOU MARK. 

    • SB_Mark

      I think we should thank Dana for the inspiration.

      • Nabeela

        I probably already did. I’m a big Dana fangirl.

      • Nabeela

        I probably already did. I’m a big Dana fangirl.

  • Black_Plague

    Okay, that does it. Hyuna is now officially listed even closer to rock bottom of my idol ranking list and probably will stay there as long as I breathe. Fuck you Cube and fuck you, CEO of Cube.

    What further peeves me more is that Hyuna has very little (if any) talent at all. Sure, as a guy, a sexy woman is welcome for eyes and all once in a while but if she’s an untalented whop trying to pass off as a performer, then all I see is just a wannabe going “Oh look at me, look at me, I’m flashing my boobies in front of you!”  

  • Black_Plague

    Okay, that does it. Hyuna is now officially listed even closer to rock bottom of my idol ranking list and probably will stay there as long as I breathe. Fuck you Cube and fuck you, CEO of Cube.

    What further peeves me more is that Hyuna has very little (if any) talent at all. Sure, as a guy, a sexy woman is welcome for eyes and all once in a while but if she’s an untalented whop trying to pass off as a performer, then all I see is just a wannabe going “Oh look at me, look at me, I’m flashing my boobies in front of you!”  

    • TheJadeBullet

      Can I worship you? I fail to understand Hyuna’s appeal, especially as she possesses not an ounce of talent. I mean, I get why men would feel attracted to her (when she’s practically popping her crotch in their faces all the time) but honestly? Really? I just can’t fathom why she’s so popular.

    • TheJadeBullet

      Can I worship you? I fail to understand Hyuna’s appeal, especially as she possesses not an ounce of talent. I mean, I get why men would feel attracted to her (when she’s practically popping her crotch in their faces all the time) but honestly? Really? I just can’t fathom why she’s so popular.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/BFUN54QUZ2DVVVO7ZMWZ5S6R3E Cara

        I agree with both of you. She’s a beautiful girl, adorable very likeable (in terms of personality) but I absolutely hit rock bottom when I try to find any talent in her. Her raps are non-raps, I don’t even know how to describe it. She can’t sing (she’s been in this industry for what, 3-4 years and only now fans are saying “oh she’s improving in her singing! She sounds so good now!”) just NO. And her dance moves are very generic. Maybe because she’s so likeable that fans turn a blind eye to her skills? It baffles me.

        • Black_Plague

          Honestly, I think Cube’s trying to market her to middle-aged men and hormone-raged teens as the preferred audience >__> What Hyuna thinks of it is a mystery though part of me thinks that she’s not too comfortable with her solo stuff – especially MVs.

          It’s truly shocking how she could not have improved even the slightest since debut. I’d even go as far to say her popularity is undeserved for, or at least exaggerated greatly. Hell, I’d probably even list Boram higher in the list – at least she’s humble enough to not going around like Hyuna trying to pass off in such a similar manner lol.

          If anything, A-Pink’s Eunji’s like a more ‘upgraded’ version of Hyuna in a way, most specifically in the talent department.

          • TheJadeBullet

            The “uncle fans”… *shudder* How Korea can think promotion of pedophilia is appropriate, I’ll never understand.
            Also, you mentioned Eunji, and now I can’t get asianjunkie’s articles about her apparent bj simulations out of my mind -.-’

        • http://www.facebook.com/chibijoshie Josh Chinnery

          I think Cube just doesn’t want to take the time to help her out; they just see a pretty girl who is easily exploitable

    • Ciel

      God bless. Gain has a subtle sexiness to her, it’s almost as if she was born with it! Also, although she has lost some of her technique over the years, I still love listening to her breathy voice. Gain is one of the few idols that could do anything she wants and still not be seen wrong in my eyes. She’s so present, it’s incredible.

  • snowclrops

    I personally agree with MOGEF’s decision though I could understand if they banned Hyuna’s music video as well.  Ga-In literally has a sex scene in her music video. Even if they’re clothed, I think that fairly well hits their checklist of mature subject matters.

    And quite frankly, one of the reasons that I liked Ga-In’s music video was because it was rated mature so I knew what I was going to get from the beginning. If it wasn’t labelled mature, I would probably find it far more objectionable regardless of its message.

    While I think Ga-In’s message may be the better message to youths, Hyuna did a better job at making sure that she toed the line with what is considered acceptable by the ratings board. I think she was trying hard to make sure she didn’t get a mature label whereas I don’t think Ga-In was trying to not get rated mature.

    I don’t think this is a case where Ga-In was rated mature simply because her message was female-focused or Hyuna’s catering to men. I don’t think the rating in this case had anything to do with the message delivered, but by whether the material was on their checklist. Innuendo gets a Teen rating, explicit sex gets a Mature rating.

    And quite frankly, I think people are over-stating how sexual Hyuna’s video is. Yes, it is very sexual, but when I viewed it, I thought it was far less sexual than you would expect given her reputation and how people talk about her. Plus, it wasn’t just about sex. To me, Ice Cream was also just as much about her clothes and trying to be cute and glamorous.

    So while I don’t think MOGEF deserves the bashing that this article delivers, I do think it brings up a valid point of showing that by the logistics of how rating boards work that certain types of sexual imagery, by nature of it being innuendo, may get less restrictive ratings than more sex positive images, that are more explicit and direct about their subject material.

    However, I also have to disagree with the entire depiction of men in this article. It is assumed that the boys can get away with anything, and yet I have never seen any boy group do as blatantly sexual music videos as the ones Ga-In and Hyuna have done. In my opinion, the girl groups go sexy more often and far more explicitly than the boys.

    Also, I disagree with the concept of the male gaze. Yes, I understand what the term is getting at, but it implies that these music videos only cater to the male audience, and that is just silly. Have you seen how many girls have done dance covers to Hyuna’s songs? I think simply calling it the “male gaze” simplifies and ignores the role of their female fans.

    • SB_Mark

      Your inference on Ga-in’s camp being more or less apathetic towards the rating is spot on. Even though she expressed her concern about the rating on Strong Heart, her agency would have known to tone it down had they seriously not wanted a 19+ restriction. Furthermore, I also believe it is the content and not the message of the video that makes the people at MOGEF uneasy. These are all great points which I think help clarify some of the things in the article. Thank you.

      I also appreciate that you point out that the article’s definition of the “male gaze” neglected the effect it has on women. Similar to how its implied that the male gaze has a subconscious effect on MOGEF, I believe it also has a subconscious effect on every individual, both male or female. Because it’s become so normalized in media and marketing, women are both victims and perpetrators of the male gaze. The reason for Girls Generation’s popularity is because they attract both male and female audiences. Men have obvious reasons for liking them, but women, especially younger ones, also look up to them as role models. Similarly, Hyuna is a huge role model to many young and impressionable females. And it’s the fact that women worship these public figures as role models that they strive to emulate them and reinforce those qualities in one another. 

      The same applies for men. What guy wouldn’t want the body of Rain? What girl wouldn’t want the looks of Hyori? 

      The reason I want to point out the male gaze is because I believe, once I started noticing, it is a highly relevant concept in Korean media and its main target is actually women. It encourages greater female consumption by raising the ideal standards of female beauty into something that is unobtainable by regular mortals. Thus, the irony is that no matter how much we spend, we will never satisfy this subconscious ideal which has been ingrained into us by media.

      • Gaya_SB

        *applause*

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QP3IZLU33W22GNCYZFUVUXW6B4 Remy Vandom

    I don’t see the hype about Hyuna, she’s cute and not that talented. Cube should try promoting the other girls in 4minute, rather than making them Hyuna’s back up dancers.

  • chrissy657

    I love Ga-in’s video, and I agree with pretty much everything that the author has said, I found it incredibly sexy and gorgeous!! After watching it again, I think I might have to go home and teach my partner the importance of female sexuality!!

  • hueyfreeman

    this white feminism…

  • Derek

    MOGEF should reconsider it’s position, they don’t realize that is the ONLY reason why KPOP has not completely destroyed JPOP’s market, leave it bleeding and twitching on the ground as the music and the MVs are much more marketable than anything from Japan has ATM. Besides Ga In has turned bad publicity to her advantage with “Gentlemen”, her new “bad girl” attitude may work for her.