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Anti-Feminist Yoon Suk-yeol Wins the Korean Election

It’s a dark day for those fighting for gender equality in the country.

Image Credit: YouTube / ABC News (Australia)

In a neck-in-neck election that had many waiting with bated breath, Conservative South Korean politician Yoon Suk-yeol has won the presidential election – to the disappointment of many.

Branded as the ‘election of unlikables’, the polls kept people on edge right until the very end as the top candidates, Yoon Suk-yeol and Lee Jae-myung, have had the most intensely close race since the adoption of the current system – with the former eventually coming out victorious by a margin of just 0.73%. 

What has many concerned about the outcome of this election is the triumph of the Conservative Yoon over the Liberal Lee, the former of which has cited his intention to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in an anti-feminist move to stop men from being treated as ‘potential criminals’ in the country. 

Already a favorite amongst the anti-feminist male demographic of the Korean population, Yoon has generally been endorsed by senior citizens in the country too. His conservative policies aren’t just saved for gender-related issues either, as he’s also voiced his belief that Korea does not have any discrimination towards foreigners, a claim that many foreign residents in the country have taken issue with. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ki Young

Already a favorite amongst the anti-feminist male demographic of the Korean population, Yoon has generally been endorsed by senior citizens in the country too. His conservative policies aren’t just saved for gender-related issues either, as he’s also voiced his belief that Korea does not have any discrimination towards foreigners, a claim that many foreign residents in the country have taken issue with.

Furthermore, Yoon has been quiet on the topic of pushing anti-discrimination laws, an act that rival Jang Hye-young has been massively supportive of.

LGBTQIA protections have always been an area of conflict in the country, with anti-discrimination laws based on sexuality & sexual identity being considered – and then dropped – due to Conservative backlash.

There are also few laws and protections in place to combat racial, nationality-based, and disability-based discrimination in the country.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wollertz

In terms of a manifesto, Yoon has claimed that he wants to take a harsher stance against the looming shadow of Kim Jong-un in the North, working on military technology so that South Korea could facilitate a pre-emptive strike on the North should the need arise.

He’s also promoted for South Korea to strengthen its alliances with the US, Australia, and Japan, dismissing the cautious maneuvers adopted by his predecessor in a bid to keep North Korea and China placated. 

Yoon, often called the Korean “Donald Trump”, has promised to tackle other problems in Korea, such as rising house prices and a competitive job market that has left many young Koreans worried for their future.

Whilst Yoon has claimed on his victory that this is a ‘great day’ for Korea, he is going to have a difficult time assuaging the population that this is true. With only 48.6% of voters on his side – and begrudgingly so, seeing him as the best of a bad bunch – he already has approximately half of the population against him. 

It’s also likely that his blase attitude towards gender issues in the country is going to accelerate the Korean #MeToo movement whilst simultaneously legitimizing extreme anti-feminist views of incels, deepening the divide between men and women in an already divided country. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aminkorea

South Korea has seen a huge outcry from women within the country in the last few years who have had enough of gender-based discrimination, culminating in a rich literary movement that has transcended the Korean peninsula. 

Books such as Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 offered people insight into life as a Korean woman and the social expectations, beauty standards, workplace & sexual violence that is normalized within the country.

The movement took off within the country, with women protesting against the casual misogyny laced within Korean society – particularly in the workplace. Women have since been pushing for more representation in their male-dominated government, and many impressive female politicians have become firm favorites of feminist nationals – but not enough to be elected.

It’s safe to say that many of these women pushing for equality are distraught with the outcome of the presidential election, but it’s not going to keep them down. 

Read More: Here’s a List of Everything Russia Has Lost Since Their Invasion of Ukraine Began

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