Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You're My Pet

Does the title sound a little offensive to you?
It it does, then you interpreted it correctly.
Yes, this is a person calling another person a pet.
More specifically, a woman is calling a man her pet.
Now tell me, men, if you're offended or not.

No offense though! I am not calling anyone my pet. This is only the title of a movie.

The movie You're My Pet has created an issue by offending some men.
Some men sued this movie as an insult, and wished it to be banned.
Well, this turned into a big mess, and it ended up going to a court. Yikes....

As it is widely known, this was a popular japanese comic made into a movie. Not only comic but also the drama version of this story was well sold in Korea.

The main roles are played by Keun Suk Jang and Ha Neul Kim. However, a group of men ,offended by the male portrayal in the movie, requested the movie to be banned. Just a couple days before it was supposed to be released, it was legally forbidden to be released.

Questioning women how they would feel if there was a movie where the female character was a pet, the group of men stated that it is an explixit, direct insult in the face of all men to make such a movie about a man being a pet of a woman.

Some of you may have a hard time understanding why this small problem is such a big deal in Korea.
Well, let me put it this way. It's complicated, but this boils down to a still male-dominant and patriarchal  Korean society.

It is true that women are in a better place in terms of power and social rank, but here still lingers a remnant of the male-centered past. The majority of women still tend to depend on male, especially their husbands, and the majority of men tend to feel responsible to protect and control women. That's why there is still distinct gender roles: mothers raise the children, and fathers work for money. Women are meant to be pretty, fragile, and soft while men are meant to be masculine, tough, and powerful. Most Koreans follow these "people rules" without questioning.

This is why a man being a woman's pet is such a big deal in Korea.
It's okay.
Both my parents are Korean, and I was born in Korea, but since I lived 10 years of my life in Japan, India, and the U.S., I don't understand what's going on, either.

It's complicated; nobody can really be the judge of a country's tradition or culture and label it right or wrong.
I hope, for the people waiting for this movie to be released with their necks stretched out, this movie will be released from court into the public's arms!

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