Could it be love? It might be stalking

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Could it be love? It might be stalking

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“Someday, he will talk to me. When will he? When will he? He will speak to me in a shy voice.” Song Chang-sik’s 1970s hit “Someday” begins with a girl’s wish to get to know the boy who is secretly following her. The second verse is from the boy’s perspective. “Someday, she will turn around. When will she? When will she? She will turn around with a frightened face.”

But the song’s sentiment is from 40 years ago. Nowadays, if a man is following a woman in the dark alley at night, he might be a sex offender with an electronic bracelet or a serial killer. The woman is surely anxious as she would turn around with a “frightened face,” but the fear in the 1970s cannot be compared to what women feel with today’s rampant heinous crimes.

One-sided love is never easy, but today those who are secretly in love, especially men, need to make sure they are not mistaken as sex offenders when approaching the one they admire.

The National Police Agency announced the upcoming revision of the Minor Offenses Act and regulations. If a person expresses clearly that she is not interested, continuing to seek contact or a relationship is stalking, which is punishable by a fine of 80,000 won ($75). Watching, following and waiting also are considered acts of stalking. The classic song “In Front of the House” goes, “Whenever I pass by the house, I cannot help but my feet stop.”

Park Hyo-sin’s hit “Admiration” is about secret love: “Do you know, I have been circling around you every day after that day?” But as soon as he reveals his act to the person he admires, she might file a police report for stalking. Lee Seung-gi’s song says, “Whatever you say, I will embrace you tightly, so you will feel that I am the man.” Behave like the lyrics in that song and you are not just fined but likely will be charged with sexual harassment.

By nature, mating for humans and animals is a challenging process that involves stakes as insignificant as a meal or as enormous as a life. Even when you successfully find your other half, you need to carefully maintain the relationship. Otherwise, “love makes time pass, time makes love pass.”

In any case, it is essential to strictly distinguish between what is appropriate and what is not. We still remember the shocking murder of sisters in Ulsan. However, the revision of the Minor Offenses Act may accelerate the herbivore men trend.

After all, mating does not happen just between the opposite sexes. In politics, we often get to see controversies over one-sided love and mating. However, the tug-of-war game in the presidential election is not going to be punished as a misdemeanor. The revised law will come into effect on March 22.

* The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Noh Jae-hyun

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