#MeToo for Goo Hara: Chinese women show support for South Korean spycam porn protests after pop star ‘blackmailed’
Surge in discussion online in China following latest street protests in Seoul and blackmail accusation by South Korean singer and actress Goo Hara
South Korean women’s protests about spycam porn – in which women are unwittingly and unwillingly filmed nude or having sex – have become a hot topic of online discussion in China, especially among women, as protests about the phenomenon continued in Seoul.
Over the weekend, thousands of female protesters took to the streets in the South Korean capital’s fifth protest about hidden cameras in the past year.
The use of the cameras was highlighted again last week by the case of South Korean singer and actress Goo Hara, who accused an ex-boyfriend of blackmailing her by threatening to release a sex video of them, according to local reports.
On the Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo, many admired the courage of Korean women to stand up for themselves and reflected on China’s #MeToo movement, which has been gaining momentum since the beginning of the year.
“Who says women cannot speak up for their own rights?” one person wrote. “They were organised voluntarily to protect their dignity. They are a sisterhood of justice and they will no longer fear spycams and sexual harassment.”
“Chinese women also need to change their concept that marriage matters more than individuals,” another wrote.
There were also some voices saying women should be careful and not take reckless photographs and videos with men, who were refuted by others and accused of victim-shaming.
An article posted by Chinese news portal Sina.com on Weibo, saying the Korean women’s protests had been triggered by the alleged threats to Goo by her ex-boyfriend, was shared more than 6,500 times and liked more than 30,000 times.
Luoyansu, a WeChat account that writes entertainment news and commentary, published an article drawing a parallel to Chinese society.
“The slogans that these courageous Korean women are shouting out also encourage us, even though we may not know all the news background. It’s probably because we were discriminated, harmed and even insulted just the same in a similar environment,” it read.
Under pressure from the protests and a petition with more than 200,000 signatures, South Korean police formed a special investigation team to deal with the issue, a protest organiser told the South China Morning Post previously.
This year a series of sexual harassment accusations have been exposed online, and allegations made against prominent public figures in China including Zhu Jun, a television host for state broadcaster CCTV. The women in these cases received considerable support online.
This showed a change in public attitude from a decade ago, when Hong Kong-raised actor and musician Edison Chen’s intimate photos and videos with multiple women were exposed online and the female celebrities involved were judged harshly.