[LETTERS to the editor]Transgender ruling shows maturityIn June 1996, the Supreme Court ruled that defendants who sexually abused a transgendered man were guilty of indecent assault, which considers all men and women as victims of sexual violence, instead of criminal assault, which only considers women as victims in sexual violence. Exactly 10 years later, in June 2006, the Supreme Court issued a judgment permitting transgenders to make their gender change official.
The Supreme Court ruling clearly shows the maturity of Korean society. Entertainers such as Ha Ri-su, and movies that depict homosexuality such as King and the Clown, can be said to contribute to people’s acceptance of differences in society. Moreover, they bring changes in recognizing sex, which only carries the meaning of biological classification, to gender, which also indicates social and customary differences. The times have changed.
The spread of the concept of ‘gender’ gave rise to openness and refusal of strict divisions in sex roles; furthermore it is helping with the recognition of the rights of minorities.
Denying differences, Korean society has a dark side considering minorities’ rights. The recent decision of the Supreme Court should be an historic turning point in Korean society.
by Ji Hye Hwang