The New Political Cry in South Korea: Out With Man Haters. After slow gains in women’s rights, the country is facing a type of political correctness enforced by young men angry at feminists, saying they undermine opportunity.

They have shown up whenever women rallied against sexual violence and gender biases in South Korea. Dozens of young men, mostly dressed in black, taunted the protesters, squealing and chanting, “Thud! Thud!” to imitate the noise they said the “ugly feminist pigs” made when they walked.

“Out with man haters!” they shouted. “Feminism is a mental illness!”

On the streets, such rallies would be easy to dismiss as the extreme rhetoric of a fringe group. But the anti-feminist sentiments are being amplified online, finding a vast audience that is increasingly imposing its agenda on South Korean society and politics.

These male activists have targeted anything that smacks of feminism, forcing a university to cancel a lecture by a woman they accused of spreading misandry. They have vilified prominent women, criticizing An San, a three-time gold medalist in the Tokyo Olympics, for her short haircut.

They have threatened businesses with boycotts, prompting companies to pull advertisements with the image of pinching fingers they said ridiculed the size of male genitalia. And they have taken aim at the government for promoting a feminist agenda, eliciting promises from rival presidential candidates to reform the country’s 20-year-old Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

South Korea is reckoning with a new type of political correctness enforced by angry young men who bristle at any forces they see as undermining opportunity — and feminists, in their mind, are enemy No. 1. Inequality is one of the most delicate issues in South Korea, a nation with deepening economic uncertainty, fed by runaway housing prices, a lack of jobs and a widening income gap.

“We don’t hate women, and we don’t oppose elevating their rights,” said Bae In-kyu, 31, the head of Man on Solidarity, one of the country’s most active anti-feminist groups. “But feminists are a social evil.”

The group spearheads the street rallies and runs a YouTube channel with 450,000 subscribers. To its members, feminists equal man haters.

Its motto once read, “Till the day all feminists are exterminated!”

The backlash against feminism in South Korea may seem bewildering.

South Korea has the highest gender wage gap among the wealthy countries. Less than one-fifth of its national lawmakers are women. Women make up only 5.2 percent of the board members of publicly listed businesses, compared with 28 percent in the United States.

And yet, most young men in the country argue that it is men, not women, in South Korea who feel threatened and marginalized. Among South Korean men in their 20s, nearly 79 percent said they were victims of serious gender discrimination, according to a poll in May.

“There is a culture of misogyny in male-dominant online communities, depicting feminists as radical misandrists and spreading fear of feminists,” said Kim Ju-hee, 26, a nurse who has organized protests denouncing anti-feminists.

The wave of anti-feminism in South Korea shares many of the incendiary taglines with right-wing populist movements in the West that peddle such messages. Women who argue for abortion rights are labeled “destroyers of family.” Feminists are not champions of gender equality, but “female supremacists.”

In South Korea, “women” and “feminists” are two of the most common targets of online hate speech, according to the country’s National Human Rights Commission.

The backlash represents a split from previous generations.

Older South Korean men acknowledge ​benefiting from a patriarchal culture that​ had​ marginalized women. Decades ago, when South Korea lacked everything from food to cash, sons were more likely to be enrolled in higher education. In some families, women were not allowed to eat from the same table as men and newly born girls were named Mal-ja, or “Last Daughter.” Sex-preference abortions were common.

As the country has grown richer, such practices have become a distant memory. Families now dote on their daughters. More women attend college than men, and they have more opportunities in the government and elsewhere, though a significant glass ceiling persists.

“Men in their 20s are deeply unhappy, considering themselves victims of reverse discrimination, angry that they had to pay the price for gender discriminations created under the earlier generations,” said Oh Jae-ho, a researcher at the Gyeonggi Research Institute in South Korea.

If older men saw women as needing protection, younger men considered them competitors in a cutthroat job market.

Anti-feminists often note that men are put at a disadvantage because they have to delay getting jobs to complete their mandatory military service. But many women drop out of the work force after giving birth, and much of the domestic duties fall to them.

“What more do you want? We gave you your own space in the subway, bus, parking lot,” the male rapper San E writes in his 2018 song “Feminist,” which has a cult following among young anti-feminists. “Oh girls don’t need a prince! Then pay half for the house when we marry.”

The gender wars have infused the South Korean presidential race, largely seen as a contest for young voters. With the virulent anti-feminist voice surging, no major candidate is speaking out for women’s rights, once such a popular cause that President Moon Jae-in called himself a “feminist” when he campaigned about five years ago.

Yoon Suk-yeol, the candidate of the conservative opposition People Power Party, sided with the anti-feminist movement when he accused the ministry of gender equality of treating men like “potential sex criminals.” He promised harsher penalties for wrongfully accusing men of sex crimes, despite concerns it would discourage women from speaking out.

But Mr. Yoon also recruited a prominent 31-year-old leader of a feminist group as a senior campaign adviser last month, a move intended to assuage worries that his party has alienated young female voters.

By law, Mr. Moon cannot seek re-election. His Democratic Party’s candidate, Lee Jae-myung, has also tried to appeal to young men, saying: “Just as women should never be discriminated against because of their gender, nor should men suffer discrimination because they are men.”

Dozens of brightly painted coffins marked with the initials of dead Kurdish civilians were laid out on the upper battlements of an ancient fortress. A wall of street signs bearing the names of other victims and a towering pile of rubber shoes recalled the thousands killed or imprisoned during decades of conflict.

The installations formed part of a recent art exhibit in Turkey’s largest Kurdish city, Diyarbakir, that the organizers hoped would uplift a region crushed by years of debilitating strife. Instead, the show came under furious attack from Turks and Kurds alike, and the government closed it down early — a reminder of how toxic the subject of the Kurds remains in Turkey.

“As a Kurdish artist, I wanted the audience to see and confront the harsh facts,” said the artist at the center of the uproar, Ahmet Gunestekin. “I wanted visitors to come face-to-face with the tragedy of the people of this region.”

The fighting between Turkish government forces and Kurdish separatists reached Diyarbakir in 2015, leaving the warren of narrow streets in its historic old district of Sur in ruins. Since then, the city has lived under tight police control as the Turkish authorities threw local Kurdish politicians and activists into prison.

The city’s chamber of commerce, which organized the exhibition, had hoped it would give Diyarbakir a much-needed boost by attracting visitors and filling hotels. The organizers chose Mr. Gunestekin because he was internationally known, and because his body of work honors the country’s Kurdish minority. Also in his favor: He had long been supported by people close to Turkey’s governing party.

Kim Jong-un has begun his second decade as North Korea’s leader with a vow to alleviate the country’s chronic food shortages, state media reported on Saturday — a problem that he inherited from his late father 10 years ago and has yet to fix.

Mr. Kim, 37, presided over a five-day meeting this week of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, ​which drew more attention than usual because it came at the end of his first decade in power.

On ​Saturday, New Year’s Day, the North’s state media carried lengthy reports on the meeting. They mentioned no diplomatic overtures from Mr. Kim toward the United States or South Korea, and only a brief reiteration of his frequent promise to increase the North’s military power. But much space was devoted to the subject of food shortages, which many analysts see as the biggest shortcoming of Mr. Kim’s leadership.

One of the first promises that Mr. Kim made after inheriting power from his father, Kim Jong-il, a decade ago was that long-suffering North Koreans would “never have to tighten their belt again.” But that goal has remained elusive. Several months ago, Mr. Kim issued a rare warning that the North faced a “tense” food situation, brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and international sanctions against his nuclear weapons program.

At the party meeting that ended on Friday, Mr. Kim pledged to “increase the agricultural production and completely solve the food problem,” specifying production goals “to be attained phase by phase in the coming 10 years,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency said.

But Mr. Kim did not appear to introduce any significant agricultural measures​, except to forgive all cooperative farms’ debts to the government. He mainly repeated the party’s old exhortations to farmers to use more machines, greenhouses, fertilizers and pesticides. He also said they should “grasp the greatness and gratitude for the party, state and the social system” and make “collectivism dominate their thinking and life.

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