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The Life of a South Korean Prostitute

Prostitution in South Korea
by

Morgan Boles

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of The Life of a South Korean Prostitute

Under the Kingdom of Silla (57 BC-935AD) women had many rights. They were vital members of the workforce and sometimes held positions of power, as rulers and heads of families.

Overtime this changed,by the Choson Dynasty (1392 AD- 1897 AD) Confucianism had taken over. Confucianism focused on women being chaste and submissive.

The Kisaengs

Kisaengs were highly educated, beautiful, witty women that served as entertainers in ancient korea.

They were also taught to be sexually promiscuous and through out their careers would have numerous sexual partners.

All of this was contrary to Confucian ideals and kisaengs were more educated and given more freedom than regular women. "Chastity was not expected of them, and their virginity and sexuality was seen as a commodity to be sold and exploited. "

Kisaengs reached the height of their Popularity during the Choson Dynasty.

After Korea was annexed by Japan (in 1910) the status of the kisaengs was quickly degraded to that of a common prostitute. The History The U.S. Army in South Korea Women Outside: Korean Women and US Military Most of the Prostitutes are between the ages 13 and 19

Once they enter Prostitution they quickly become entrapped.

Prostitution is a $20 billion dollar a year industry in South Korea.

In a 2001 survey by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family 43% of people did not know prostitution is illegal in South Korea.

74% of entertainment businesses provided sex services. The Facts South Korea is both an origin country and a destination country for human trafficking.
Women are Trafficked from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea, the
Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries. Women are also exported to the U.S., Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Guam, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe.

The South Korean Economy boom in the 1990s gave Korean women more work opportunities, this caused a demand for foreign prostitutes.

Many of these women enter the country on an E-6 Visas as "entertainers" or illegally.

"Men prefer to buy the sexual services of young girls to prevent a variety of diseases and AIDS transmission. Therefore, younger and younger children are lured into the sex industry. Some are locked up and forced to engage in prostitution." Human Trafficking In South Korea At the end of World War II control of Korea passed from Japan to the U.S.

70,000 U.S. Troops were stationed in South Korea. Although soldiers caught with prostitutes were punished
prostitution grew around U.S. military bases and provided a huge source of income for the Korean government.
It is estimated that 250,000 women became military prostitutes.

On October 28, 1992 a South Korean prostitute was violentley murdered by a U.S. Soldier. This spread anti-american sentiments.

In South Korea there is a term for women who are prostitutes on U.S. army bases, thery are called yanggalbo (which means western whores). 79% of global trafficking is for sexual exploitation. Weiss, Ayla. "Ten Years of Fighting Trafficking: Critiquing thCase of South Korea." blog.hawaii.edu. N.p., 2012. Web. e Trafficking in Persons Report through the 10 Oct 2012. <http://blog.hawaii.edu/aplpj/files/2012/05/APLPJ_13.2_Weiss.pdf>.

"Fact Sheet South Korea." ecpat.net. ECPAT International., n.d. Web. 10 Oct 2012. <http://ecpat.net/EI/Publications/Trafficking/Factsheet_South_Korea.pdf>.

Tagaki, J.T., and Hye Jung Park. Women outside: Korean women and US Military (Part 1) . N.d. Video. youtube.comWeb. 10 Oct 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtlaRjFhJII>.

Maynes, Katrina (2011) "Korean Perceptions of Chastity, Gender Roles, and Libido; From Kisaengs to the Twenty First Century," Grand Valley Journal of History: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 2. < http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/gvjh/vol1/iss1/2>.

Sex Trafficking of Children in South Korea. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct 2012. http://ecpat.net/EI/Publications/Trafficking/Factsheet_South_Korea.pdf\

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/05/17/20110517south-korea-prostitutes-protest-crackdown.html

"Trafficking in Persons Report U.S. Department of State." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 2012. Web. 11 Oct 2012. <http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/192596.pdf>.

Hye Kim, Jim. "KOREA’S NEW PROSTITUTION POLICY: OVERCOMING CHALLENGES TO EFFECTUATE THE LEGISLATURE’S INTENT TO PROTECT PROSTITUTES FROM ABUSE." Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal Association. n. page. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://digital.law.washington.edu/dspace-law/bitstream/handle/1773.1/597/16PacRimLPolyJ493.pdf?sequence=1>.

Moon , Katherine. "Resurrecting Prostitutes and Overturning Treaties: Gender Politics in the “Anti-American” Movement in South Korea." Journal of Asian Studies. Vol. 6.No. 1 (2007): 129-157. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/KMoon/Resurrecting.pdf>.

"S. Korean sex workers protest anti-prostitution laws." CTV News. Associated Press, 02/09/11. Web. 11 Oct 2012. <http://www.ctvnews.ca/s-korean-sex-workers-protest-anti-prostitution-laws-1.701267>.

Hughes , Donna, Katherine Chon , and et al. "Modern-Day Comfort Women: The U.S. Military, Transnational Crime, and the Trafficking of Women." www.uri.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct 2012. <http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/modern_day_comfort

".Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases ." www.nytimes.com. New York Times, 07 2009. Web. 15 Oct 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/world/asia/08korea.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&>. Sources: Confucianism strictly defines the roles of men and women and how relationships between men and women function.

Because of the spread of Confucianism South Korea became a largely patriarchal society with seperate and unequal roles for women.

The definition of sexuality for women was reproduction, otherwise women were expected to be chaste. Whereas men were afforded more freedom. There is no social stigma against men who seek out prostitutes.

"This social structure establishes South Korea as a society that accepts prostitution as a necessary evil, creating a culture that views women as inferior to men." Confucianism and its Relationship to Prostitution Immigrant women begin working as bar girls, hostesses, entertainers and "juicy girls".

In "juicy bars" the girls are given qoutas of drinks to sell, if they fail in doing so they are expected to come up with the money. This often results in these women turning to prostitution.

A combination of debt and often illegal immigration status holds these women captive. Entering Prostitution In 2001 Korea was classified by the US.goverment as a tier 3 country for human trafficking. In the most recent report they are ranked as a tier 1 country.

This shows that the government has taken some steps to address prostitution and human trafficking.

On February 6 2004 the national assembly passed two laws the Procuring Prostitution and Associated Acts (“Punishment Act”), and second, an Act on the Prevention of Prostitution and Protection of Victims Thereof (“Protection Act”).

These new acts allowed prostitutes to claim victim status but this is determined by the prosecutor based on character and conduct. During the first year of these laws enactment only 2.8% of those arested were given victim status.

Ultimately these laws have created different problems. The Korean Government and Prostitution Necessary Evils Why is prostitution such a vital part of South Korean society? Prostitutes for the US. army had to be kept in good health. If they had disease they were removed to "monkey-houses" where they were forced to take medication until they were well again.

Prostitutes were also educated in basic English and etiquette so they could sell themselves more effectively.

“Looking back, I think my body was not mine, but the government’s and the U.S. military’s.”

"The South Korean Ministry of
Gender Equality, which handles women’s issues, declined to comment on the former prostitutes’ accusations. So did the American military command in Seoul, which responded with a general statement saying that the military 'does not condone or support the illegal activities of human trafficking and prostitution.'” Connections to the United States
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