07.september.2018 by. Minah Lee
The fifth women’s rally calling for ‘a balanced inspection of voyeuristic hidden camera crimes’. On Saturday, It took place in front of Hyehwa subway station, which is located in Daehakro, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
It was the fifth protest that follows May 19, June 9, July 7, and August 4.
What is the ‘spycam’ which is called ‘Molka’?
‘Molka’ is taking pictures up women’s skirts as they travel on public transport or escalators, and filming video inside women’s changing rooms or public toilets.
Illegal photography and hidden-camera crimes have increased over past few years. According to statistics provided by the Korean National Police Agency, the number of crimes involving illegal photography, including hidden cameras, has increased sevenfold over the past few years, from about 1,2000 in 2010 to about 7,7000 in 2015. Compared to that, there is no proper punishment.
Women are threatened even now
Korean men didn’t just shoot Malka; they put it on pornographic websites and shared it. Women’s lives have become just a porno for them. For a long time women have been threatened by these crimes. Even now.
Why did the women get out on the streets?
The host of the protest, an online group fighting against female discrimination called ‘Inconvenient Courage,’ has held five rallies since May 19, venting their anger at a ‘hidden cam’ porn industry and police bias in investigating sex crimes by men.
Demonstrations begin with a post on the ‘Warmard’ Internet community on May 1. A photograph of a male nude model taken in a class at Hongik University was leaked to a female Internet community. When the post got controversial, After starting an investigation on May 4, the police arrested a female model named Ahn on the evening of May 11, and the suspect stood on the photo line on May 12.
Afterwards, a female Ahn was caught in a police investigation, and a woman was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 40 hours in a sexual assault treatment program at the first trial in August.
Women were angry by this incident. The reason was simple. Although men have not been properly punished in the years women have been threatened, the investigation was conducted as soon as a man became a victim. Women who hosted and attended the protest harshly criticized that the speed of investigation that varies according to gender.
According to police statistics, suspects in ‘molka’ cases are overwhelmingly male. In 2017, almost 100 percent of suspects caught by police were male. Of them, only a few men were faced punishment. Only 2.6 percent of male suspects were arrested between 2012 and 2017.
Seo Seung-hui, head of the country’s Cyber Sexual Violence civic group, said “The police rarely act so quickly for countless cases in which victims are female”.
What women want
At the 4th rally, Protesters performed a short play in which a male character relieved himself in a bathroom stall marked “safe bathroom for men,” while others took pictures and leaked them online. In the “mirroring” performance, the male character repeatedly yelled out, “Please stop taking pictures! Please don’t leak those online!” before meeting his untimely death. The play was meant to highlight the dangers of spy camera crimes.
And this rally, Participants conducted a ‘sending message performance’ on incumbent lawmakers including Ha Tae Kyung. In the text of a participant disclosed by Ha, we need to establish a legal clause that will strengthen the punishment of crimes against women, including the prevention of biased investigation and illegal shooting. Please answer the anger of the women half of Korea.
Although the rally itself was in response to perceived sexism in police investigations, many protesters focused on the daily threats they face from spy cameras.