A politician’s downfall shows the strength of #MeToo in South Korea
Voters are in a progressive mood, but their leaders have not all caught
ON THE morning of March 5th Ahn Hee-jung, then still the governor of
South Chungcheong, one of South Korea’s richest provinces, made a speech
in support of the country’s “#MeToo” movement, which, as elsewhere, has
encouraged women to speak out about sexual harassment. “We have been
living in a male-dominated society where one’s power defines
rank.Violence that stems from manipulating this power is simply
harassment and discrimination,” he said. “Everyone should take part in
Eleven hours later, Mr Ahn’s secretary heeded his appeal. On live
television, Kim Ji-eun accused the governor of sexually harassing her
for the past eight months and of raping her on four occasions. “The
relationship was not consensual and I am sure he knew it,” she said.
Mr Ahn’s office initially claimed that what had gone on was, indeed,
consensual. But soon afterwards, he published a Facebook post in which
he sought forgiveness for “foolish behaviour” and said that he would
consensual: agreeed to by the people involved: done with the consent
of the people involved
Chinese university sacks professor over sexual misconduct
BEIJING — A Chinese university has sacked a prestigious scholar
following accusations of sexual misconduct against him by multiple
women, the result of a campaign heralded by his chief accuser as
the start of a Chinese chapter of the #MeToo movement.
sack：to remove someone from a job, usually because they have
done something wrong or badly, or sometimes as a way of saving the cost
of employing them 解雇，开除
Mr Ahn’s downfall is testament to the growing power in South Korea
of “#MeToo”, which Ms Kim credited with encouraging her to speak out.
The movement has recently been gathering pace. In January Seo Ji-hyeon,
a public prosecutor, was the first prominent woman to talk on television
about her experience of harassment by a colleague.
They sacked her for being late.
“Her example was a big trigger,” says Lee Na-young, a professor of
sociology at Joongang University. “People thought, if this can happen to
a powerful person just because she is a woman, then what about ordinary
women?” In February Lee Yoon-taek, a famous theatre director and school
friend of Moon Jae-in, the president, resigned after several women
accused him of sexually harassing them.
testament: proof or evidence that something exists or is true
prestigious：very much respected and admired, usually because
of being important 有威望的，知名声的，受尊崇的
herald：to be a sign that something important, and often good,
is starting to happen, or to make something publicly known, especially
by celebrating or praising it
Increasingly, women who come forward find they are being listened to.
This is partly because the issue has gained traction around the
world after the Weinstein scandal. But “#MeToo” also shows the recent
progressive tilt of South Korean politics. The success of mass protests
in bringing about the impeachment of Park Geun-hye, the previous
president, has emboldened activists of all stripes. As part of a broader
package of labour reforms, Mr Moon’s government has toughened penalties
for sexual harassment at work. In January Mr Moon himself expressed his
support for“#MeToo” and called for a broader movement to promote
The president’s speech heralds a new era in foreign policy.
Awkwardly, Mr Ahn is one of Mr Moon’s closest political associates. Even
worse, he is part of a generation of former democracy activists who tend
to think of themselves as occupying the moral high ground on questions
of social progress. Although he lost the Minjoo party’s nomination for
the presidency to Mr Moon last year, he was seen as a contender for
the presidency in 2022. The party moved quickly to contain the damage,
expelling Mr Ahn and apologising to the public.
traction: the power that is used to pull something
Beihang University in Beijing said in a message on its official
microblog late Thursday that an investigation found that Chen
Xiaowu‘s behavior had violated professional ethics and created an
“odious influence on society.”
impeach: to charge a public official with a crime done while in
contender: a person who tries to win something in a contest
odious：extremely unpleasant and causing or deserving hate
an odious crime
The conservative opposition will find it difficult to exploit the case,
being itself vulnerable to similar revelations, says John
Nilsson-Wright, an expert on East Asia at Cambridge University. But
South Koreans voting in elections for governors and mayors this summer
will doubtless wonder whether other politicians are guilty of the sort
of hypocrisy displayed by Mr Ahn. On the morning he resigned, an irate
member of Minjoo expressed his anger by smashing a window of the
governor’s residence with a baseball bat. Others may express theirs in
the polling booth.
It said Chen has been relieved of his duties, including as
professor and deputy head of graduate students.
“Morality and ability are paired; actions and talent are one.This is
the demand of Beihang’s values and the school has zero tolerance for
violations of professorial ethics,” Beihang said in its statement,
pledging also to upgrade mechanisms and increase its attention to such
Morality and ability are paired; actions and talent are one.
Lexile®Measure: 1200L – 1300L
The official China News Service said the move followed accusations
of sexual misconduct against Chen by Luo Xixi, a Chinese
academic now based in the U.S., and at least five other women. The
allegations date from as far back as a dozen years ago.
Mean Sentence Length: 19.00
Chen could not immediately be contacted Friday, although he was
quoted by the official newspaper Beijing Youth Daily earlier this
month as saying that he had done nothing that was illegal or violated
school discipline. Chen said he would await the result of the
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.24
Word Count: 551
Calls to Chen‘s office at Beihang *rang unanswered* Friday and a
graduate school receptionist said she had not seen him.
Luo hailed the school’s decision on her Weibo microblog as a
“victory in the initial stage” and said she and the other women
involved would continue to monitor Beihang’s handling of the matter.
“Women who have awoken to themselves are even more
powerful!” Luo wrote, while congratulating Chen‘s other
accusers who had chosen to remain anonymous.
“Kindness and bravery are our most beautiful expressions,” she wrote.
Chen is among a select few named by the Education
Ministry to the Cheung Kong Scholars Program, considered one
of the country’s highest academic honors. The program funded by Hong
Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is also known as the Changjiang
Scholars and the Yangtze River Scholars.
多瑙河专家奖励布置 Chang Jiang Scholars Program，原译Cheung Kong
According to reports, he holds a doctorate and multiple honors
in computer engineering. His personal profile was removed from
Beihang’s website on Friday.
According to a Dec. 31 post on her official Weibo microblog using
the #MeToo hashtag, Luo said she was inspired by the movement
originating in the U.S. to expose sexual predators.
predator：someone who follows people in order to harm them or
commit a crime against them 尾随加害别人者，尾随作案者
a sexual predator
Luo said she was a graduate student under Chen’s advisement in
2004, when he drove her to his sister’s home, ostensibly to water
the flowers. After he attempted to force himself on
her, Luo resisted and Chen *backed off*, driving her home and
telling her to keep quiet about the matter. Luo said she suffered
from depression after the incident and subsequently moved to
the U.S. to continue her studies.
ostensible (adj.)：appearing or claiming to be one thing when
it is really something else 表面上的；假称的，假托的
“I know there is a risk in standing up. My family’s privacy is my
biggest concern,” Luo wrote. “I know my status as being overseas
might expose me to nasty attacks, so it is a double-edged sword,” she
来源：The Associated Press