Support for South Korean Olympian after sexist abuse online

DailyTimes  |  Jul 30, 2021

SEOUL: A South Korean archer who has bagged two Olympic gold medals in Tokyo was flooded with messages of support from women Thursday after her short hair became a lightning rod for online abuse from men. Male commenters had said An San’s choice of hairstyle suggested she was a feminist, some of them demanding she apologise and even that she give back her Olympic medals. While South Korea is the world’s 12th-largest economy and a leading technological power, it remains a male-dominated society with a poor record on women’s rights. The outbreak of online misogyny comes as an anti-feminism backlash grows in the country, with companies accused of endorsing “extreme feminism” facing boycotts by men and issuing public apologies. An, 20, has won two gold medals in the women’s team and mixed team archery. She scored 680 to top the women’s individual qualification at the Tokyo Games, breaking an Olympic record that has stood since 1996. She is aiming for her third gold medal in Tokyo in the ongoing women’s individual event. Many South Korean women, including well-known figures, came out to condemn the comments. At least 6,000 photographs of women with short hair were posted on social media platforms to show support for An, according to local reports. Among women posting the images were actress Koo Hye-sun and lawmaker Ryu Ho-jeong — the country’s youngest MP, who was once criticised for wearing a dress to parliament.

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