Revenge Pornography, a Reflection of Our Society
Revenge Pornography, a Reflection of Our Society
  • Reporter Kim Seo-yeon
  • 승인 2018.11.07 14:21
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Revenge pornography has become a big issue nowadays. Recently, a female K-pop singer Gu was blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend, Choi, with sex videos. After Choi broke up with Gu, Choi sent Gu two videos of him and Gu having sexual intercourse and threatened her that he would “end her career as a celebrity” whilst he “had nothing to lose”

Regarding this case, a petition asking for Choi and other revenge pornography assailants to be sentenced to prison was uploaded on Oct. 4 to the Blue House website. In just four days, 200,000 people signed the petition. The petition claimed that no revenge pornography assailants have been sent to prison but have merely been sentenced to probation or to pay penalty fees. The fact that more than 200,000 people signed the petition in just four days reflects the public’s negative view on the legislation concerning illegally filmed pornography, and the Blue House must provide an acceptable solution to the public regarding the legal conviction of revenge pornography assailants.

According to the data from the Korea Cyber Sexual Assault Response Centre summarising 206 cyber sexual violence cases consulted in 2017, 93.7% of the victims were women, 34.5% of the assailants were ex-lovers, and 48.5% of cyber sexual violence cases was revenge pornography, each being the biggest proportion out of its category. According to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Crime Analysis 2017, 98% of illegal shooters were men and only 1.4% were women.

These extreme numbers clearly display the gender inequality present in the Korean society. It is obvious that women are under more danger than men, concerning sexual assaults. Furthermore, the fact that sexual content is used more to shame women than men reflects prejudice in gender; revenge pornography has more of a negative impact on women than on men. Our present society views women who are sexually active, unlike men who are, as immoral, disgraceful, and even unclean. This is also implicit in Choi’s words where he acknowledges that the sex video of him and Gu will be catastrophic to Gu’s career whilst he will “lose nothing”, although both appear in the video and the only difference between them is their gender.

Apart from the revenge pornography assailants themselves, people who watch such videos are also a causation of revenge pornography. If there is no demand, there is no supply; if there are no viewers of such illegal filming, there would be no revenge pornography. Therefore, the increasing numbers of revenge pornography crimes indicate the increase of viewers of such filming, further reflecting the problem of our society where ‘watching revenge pornography’ is not thought of as wrong. It must be made clear that such act is wrong and that it provokes more of such filming to be produced – it provokes crime.

Revenge pornography is no longer a minor issue. According to the data from the Ministry of Justice, the increasing trend in crime related to illegal filming is undeniable. 2997 cases in 2013, 3436 in 2014, 5080 in 2015, 5704 in 2016, and 6632 in 2017. This trend shows that such crime is no longer specific to a group of people; anyone – friend, family member, and lover – can become the victim of revenge pornography. The necessity of stricter legal conviction to reduce the frequency of revenge pornography and illegal filming is inevitably clear; the legislation must be reinforced, sentencing assaulters more than just probation and penalty fees.Most importantly, the Korean society must develop an unpaired perception, not viewing women in revenge pornography as a provocative figure but as a victim of a serious crime, not reprimanding these women for being sexually active, but viewing both women and men equally.