South Korean archer An San gets support after receiving sexist comments about her hairstyle

an san

South Korean archer An San received a flood of support from other women after male social media users targeted her with sexist comments about her hairstyle.

What happened: Male commenters allegedly called An San a feminist because of her short hairstyle, with some of them demanding she offers an apology. Others said she should return the two gold medals she won at the Tokyo Games, according to AFP via Yahoo! Sports.

  • “We didn’t train and feed you with tax money so that you can commit feminist acts,” one of the comments from An’s Instagram reads.
  • Many women and well-known figures, including actress Koo Hye-sun and lawmaker and South Korea’s youngest MP, Ryu Ho-jeong, showed support for An amid the wave of sexist comments she received.
  • “Even if you win an Olympic gold medal with your own skills and abilities, as long as sexism persists in our society, you get insulted and asked to be deprived of your medal just because you have short hair,” Jang Hye-yeong, a female lawmaker, said on social media.
  • Apart from positive messages, around 6,000 images of women with short hair have also been posted online.
  • Her coach also blocked reporters from asking “unnecessary” questions following the elimination round for the women’s individual event on Thursday, Reuters reported. The athlete clarified that she would only answer game-related questions.
  • Her online supporters sent at least 1,500 messages to the Korea Archery Association’s website.

The growing issue: South Korea is facing an outbreak of online misogyny as the anti-feminism movement continues to grow.

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  • Companies accused of endorsing “extreme feminism” are seeing boycotts from male customers, forcing them to issue public apologies.
  • Dang Dang We, a men’s rights group, held a discussion in September 2019 to voice their concerns about feminism. Its leader, Moon Sung-ho, believes feminism is no longer about gender equality, CNN reported. “It is gender discrimination and its manner is violent and hateful,” he said.

Other details: An won the gold medal at mixed-team with partner Kim Je-deok on Saturday. She then secured another gold medal at the women’s archer team event with teammates Kang Chae-young and Jang Min-hee on Sunday, ESPN reported. On Friday, she won her third gold medal in the women’s individual competition, according to the New York Times.

  • An broke the shooting points record when she scored 680 out of the 720 total for the women’s individual archery qualification. The recorded point, 673, was previously held by Ukrainian Lina Herasymenko at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
  • An is the first South Korean to win three gold medals at the Olympics, reported the Korea Herald.

Featured Image via World Archery

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