Sunday, April 5, 2020

Korean 'Telegram n Room' Sex Scandal

Recently in the news, reported on by the different media, was the pornographic chat rooms, in operation for some years but the one that has upset the nation is the 'Telegram nRoom'. The Presidential bulletin board from its inception, on this issue, has received the greatest number of petitions. They want something to be done: demanding the disclosure and punishment of all those involved. 

A priest sociologist writing in the Catholic Times gives the readers some idea of what has upset many of the citizens. It is a distorted sex culture at the root of the problem. The conclusion is the need to stress the dignity of human beings, gender equality values and to improve laws and prevent a recurrence. There are various opinions about the root cause of this incident and the countermeasures against the recurrence. How should Christians look at these problems?
There have been serious problems with targeting women as sex objects, filming them and distributing the photos and films illegally online but with no improvement, no enactment of proper laws and concern for systems that allow this. Is it because most of the people who hold the key to real change, such as the National Assembly, the police, and the courts, are men who do not understand the fear, insults, and anger that women experience?

Eventually, this 'illegal photography' industry became more and more depraved due to the demands of consumers who wanted stimulating and perverted pornography, threatening even young teenage girls to become sex slaves and victims of sadistic sexual exploitation videos. It has evolved into something horrendous.

There are many chat rooms that distribute such sexual exploitation online for a fee. The highest level chat room, the 'Ph.D. room' is said to have an entrance fee of close to 1,250 dollars. What's shocking is 260,000 people have received a free video in addition to paid members, in about 60 similar types of chat rooms. Police estimate that there are about 2,000 transactions in paid membership for the 'Ph.D. room', and that there are about 60,000 people in distribution and possession.

One of the serious issues,  that goes beyond simply using women's sex as a means of making money, is the approval by supposedly 'normal men' paying for sexual exploitation of women for their own pleasure. As a  citizen of a civilized society, the proper response is anger with the crimes of sexual exploitation of minors and women and the desire to eradicate these illegal chat rooms. But why did so many men become accomplices in this ugly sex crime? Perhaps the root cause is Korea's distorted sex culture, which has grown from childhood in enjoying 'pornography' online, defaming women, and making women a tool for sexual play.

These crimes can only be repeated if no effort is made to actively change the distorted sex culture and internalized patriarchal values ​​that make women an instrument of pleasure. Punishing the operators who committed the crime and the subscribers will not solve the problem. This crime will be repeated if there is no effort to actively change the distorted sex culture and the internalized patriarchal values ​​that make women an instrument of pleasure without respecting women as equals. What are the specific alternatives?

First, education of values ​​about human dignity and gender equality and proper sex education should be conducted in the home, school, church, and social community from childhood. Christianity teaches that men and women are equally dignified, made in the image of God and that men and women help each other to provide self-realization in mutual support.  Society needs to help youth to experience through correct sex education that 'sex' of men and women is an expression of personality where life and love are revealed, and that temperance and pure love can be more full and happier than thoughtless pleasure.

The second is the improvement of laws and systems. Similar types of illegal filming of sexual encounters without permission, and their distribution as in the crimes of the 'Burning Sun Gate' [a 2019 sex scandal in Korea involving several celebrities and police officials] the punishment was light which made for public criticism. Sexual offenses targeting children and adolescents should be punished as felonies, and all possible institutional measures, such as preventing and monitoring these crimes and strengthening support for victims, should be organized to prevent their recurrence. He prays that the publicity of this event will be the driving force behind fundamental changes in human dignity and sexual values ​​in our society.

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