Two weeks ago while exploring other blog pages I came across Katie in Korea’s blog post called #강남살인 (Gangnam Murder). If some of you do not read or watch Korean news I would like to brief you on a recent and very tragic murder, which happened in the heart of Seoul, Korea this past May. A young woman, just 23 years old was brutally murdered (from multiple stab wounds) inside of a subway bathroom because she was simply ‘a woman.’ The assailant was a troubled individual who felt wronged by all women in his past, and thus carried an ill-will or discontent toward women.
The event shocked not only Koreans, but all Korean women and foreigners throughout the nation. Even myself. For one thing the act committed was a violent act, which can not be justified. Recently since the event major debates in Korea have taken place on woman’s rights and freedoms in matters of safety, security, and well-being.
Having returned home to the U.S. where gun violence is rampant – I appreciate that I have certain rights that protect me from – abuse, neglect, discrimination across racial lines as well as ones sex. In Korea, however, rights are viewed differently. Inside Korea, which still conforms to a strong male-dominant society, women are discriminated against on many levels, especially in receiving support against sexual perpetrators. Too many times have I read stories of sexual abuse taking place and women too afraid to leave their relationship because of fear of being further abused, or worse killed. In these instances the women receive justice after they are gone, and the perpetrator is placed in jail. Why can’t justice intervene at the most vital moments for these women?
The murder in Gangnam touched a soft spot in my heart because I still view Korea as my second home. Additionally, I have used Gangnam station’s restroom a few times while passing through the area. Even though I was not physically there the evening of the murder I can relate to all women in Korea who have used the hashtag #survived.
Everyday in life is a blessing. Sometimes events like this one remind us of how much each and everyday in our lives is important because we really never know what day might be our last. With that said I hope that incidents like these are not forgotten. I hope that incidents like these are remembered. I hope that things will change.