<W commentary> Woman riding motorcycle in bikini in Korea is controversial = While criticism is rising, it is also pointed out that the criteria for "overexposure" are ambiguous
A woman riding a motorcycle in a bikini in South Korea is causing controversy. On the Korean Internet, there are voices of criticism saying, "Do you want to attract attention?" and "Should be punished." On the other hand, the woman said on social media, "I'm sorry if I offended you," but insisted on "freedom", saying, "You are free to wear whatever you want, and you are free to see what you see."

In the early afternoon of August 11th, four women in bikinis appeared on the back seat of a motorcycle on Teheran Road in Gangnam District, Seoul, where the offices of large companies are lined up. Although the women were wearing helmets, they were only wearing bikinis. After driving around Gangnam for about 20 minutes, the police rushed to the scene after receiving a report and asked them to accompany them voluntarily.

One of them, YouTuber Haneul, appeared near a subway station in Mapo District, Seoul on the 12th, wearing a bikini and riding a scooter. When Mr. Haneul posted this situation on his SNS, criticism flooded in and it became a "flame" state. She was criticized for wearing revealing clothes in public and worried about the impact on her children.

According to South Korean media, Haneul and others were driving around the city in bikinis to promote an adult video production company.

Haneul posted on his Instagram on the 14th, "Routine deviation? Show-off? Marketing? Flammatory business? Somewhat lacking? Exhibitionist? It depends on your way of thinking. What you wear is up to you. It's free to see it because you're wearing something like this." He also commented, "Don't just touch me. I'm sorry if the citizens felt uncomfortable because of me. I didn't ride all day, I just enjoyed a minute or two of liberation."

Amidst criticism, a group of Mr. Haneul and others was spotted in Busan in the south on the 19th. Around 4:00 p.m. on the same day, the police received a report that a motorcycle carrying a woman in a bikini was on the road, and eight patrol cars were dispatched. The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, said, "The police are considering whether there are any legal problems with this group, who rode around Busan in bikinis in broad daylight."

Will they be punished for repeatedly driving around the city with excessive exposure? In South Korea, laws regulating exposure in public places include overexposure under the Minor Crimes Punishment Act and public indecency under the Penal Code. Overexposure charges carry a fine of up to 100,000 won, and public indecency charges carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

In August last year, a YouTuber rode a motorcycle with a bikini-clad model in the Gangnam area of Seoul, and both were sent to the prosecutor's office on suspicion of overexposure.

According to JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, there were 192 cases of overexposure and fines from January to July this year. However, as social norms change, it is not easy to charge a person with overexposure or public indecency. The newspaper pointed out that the criteria for overexposure are ambiguous. "Actually, at 1:00 am on the 15th, three days after the 'Bikini Riding' incident, in front of Itaewon Station in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, I saw people walking around the streets in highly exposed clothes. In front of one of the stand bars, foreigners without shirts and with visible upper body tattoos were dancing in groups of threes and fives, but there was no crackdown." The law is based on what others feel "embarrassed or uncomfortable," but a former judge's lawyer told the paper, "Each investigator has different criteria for feeling uncomfortable, so different investigators may make different decisions," he pointed out. It has also been pointed out that the spatial standard of "public space" is ambiguous. Another lawyer told the newspaper, "It's normal to wear a bikini at the beach, but it's a very arbitrary decision by the investigative agency to punish you if you wear it in the city."

This series of affairs has also been reported in Japan through internet media. On the Japanese Internet, there were comments similar to those on the Korean Internet, such as "What a few influencers are doing" and "I guess they want to be news by standing out." If you do, you will have to pay a serious price. It could be irreversible." There are also voices to worry about the risk of injury.
2023/08/24 09:34 KST