Monday, October 22, 2012

The New Comfort Women

What is sexually suggestive is often in the eye of the beholder and yet when music videos are involved, according to the Catholic Times' weekly column on sexuality in the media, there are clear indications that the suggestive material is 'out there', and the entertainment industry is not unaware of this fact. In the Korean pop industry, some of the videos are subtly sexual, some overtly; and the government is trying to do something about it, especially when the participants in the videos are minors.

There have been serious scandals in the industry and more calls for regulating the industry. The Catholic Times' columnist mentions the popular 2009 video, "Mister"--a big hit in Japan--by the Kara Girl Group. To perform their "butt dance" special, he says the five Kara girls prepared for the routine by going on a severe diet regime. And at that time one of the girls was 16 years old.

Scenes of undressing, along with the choreography and lyrics, are enticing males to enter very naturally into the scenes. Typical of the rambling words accompanying the scenes: "Looking pretty good, you catch my eyes slowly, I develop interest toward you, tock, tock, the clock keeps flowing, I keep sending small glimpses toward you, I send small smiles toward you, now look at me, hey, hey, you, you mister, look over here mister, yea, that's right, you, mister, come next to me, mister (la la la la la la)."

The columnist points out that in the video there is a strong hint the sexual act is being performed when the words and actions are put together. He asks, "What is likely to happen after watching such a video? He tells us of the possibilities, including--if only in thought--having  sex with a minor.

He reminds us that Japanese culture has a reputation for toying with the Lolita complex--having sex with the very young. The culture justifies what he believes are the unconscious instincts of Japanese society, and advances and fulfills that desire to win popularity and to  make  money.

When you  reflect on this possibility, says the columnist, the Kara Girl Group can be seen as being cleverly manipulated by the Japanese culture to satisfy the "uncle fans" with their peculiar sexual desires. He concludes that we are exporting, once again, "comfort women" for the pleasure of Japanese males; he feels this assessment is no exaggeration. Historically, this description was applied to Korean women who were forced to serve as prostitutes for Japanese soldiers. It is an issue still not acknowledged by the Japanese. The columnist believes the term can be used to describe what is happening today, though more subtly, in the music video industry.


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