Yonsei students caught sending sexist messages

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Yonsei students caught sending sexist messages

Some male students from Yonsei University are alleged to have made sexually offensive comments about women in their private KakaoTalk chat rooms, again sparking concern about on-campus sexism.

On Thursday, the Yonsei University female student council, Itda, put up a poster on campus revealing excerpts from a KakaoTalk chat room by university students. The council noted that all of the content was real, with no dramatizations made. The chat room is alleged to have consisted of about 30 students.

“Just rape the girl from your blind date,” read one of the texts.

Some texts referred to women as sexual objects, reading, “I’d like to order a girl, deliver one to me please.”

After seeing the poster, Kim, 23, a female student at Yonsei majoring in business, said, “It’s scary to think that students who take classes with me might say similar things about me, too.”

“Yonsei University regards sexual abuse as a serious problem,” said a Yonsei University official. “We are planning to take follow-up measures after we confirm the facts.”

This comes only a few months after students from other universities were revealed to have exchanged sexually abusive texts in their private chat rooms.

Eight students from Korea University were disclosed in June to have done so for about a year.

The university’s student council decided on Monday to reveal the wrongdoers’ basic information such as their last names, majors, and year of entry to the university on the student council website.

A poster was put up at Kyung Hee University in July, as well, containing information that some male students were suspended from the university for one to three months for sending sexually abusive texts about certain girls who were not in the chat room.

In the same month, a human rights commission for students and socially vulnerable groups at Seoul National University disclosed that eight male students from the university’s liberal arts department had been posting such messages for the past six months.

Experts point out that the lack of relevant education, and the impersonal nature of social media communication, are the primary causes.

“It’s easier to express indecent things on social media,” said Chae Kyu-man, a professor of psychology at Sungshin Women’s University.

Chae continued, “Students should stop this when becoming members of society, but the lack of education and empathy prevents them from changing.”

Choi Ran, head of the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, pointed out that there are people who believe that it’s okay for men to make sexual jokes about women, and suggested being critical of such problems is the key to solving them.

BY CHAE SEUNG-GI, YOON JUNG-MIN [shon.jihye@joongang.co.kr]

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