San E Fuels Debate With Statements On Gender Equality In New Track “Feminist”
Rapper San E has tossed his hat into the gender equality conversation in Korea with a new track called “Feminist.”
San E released the song on November 16, just three days after a controversial incident in Korea near the Isu subway station when two women and three men got into an argument due to a conversation about feminism, which developed into a physical altercation. Both sides are making different claims as to who instigated physical blows, and police are currently investigating the matter. November 15, San E posted a video of the women’s comments toward the men leading up to the fight, which led to criticism of the artist due to malicious editing and the fact that the video does not show the full situation.
In San E’s new track, which was released the day after he posted the video, he proclaims himself a feminist, but says he doesn’t understand the feminist argument in modern times: “If my grandma said so, I might [understand] / But what has been so unfair in your life?”
According to San E, the OECD data on Korea’s gender wage gap in 2017 (the largest among the OECD countries) is “fucking fake fact,” and the rapper goes on to ask, “If you want rights so bad, why don’t you go to the military / Why do I pay for dates?” referring to compulsory military service for men in Korea. He says, “Men are victims of Confucianism and patriarchy too.”
In a later verse, the rapper expresses support for the Me Too movement, condemning those that have been found guilty, the “extreme situations,” he says. But, San E expresses dismay that all men are lassoed into the same group as the guilty, and goes on to criticize women for “selling their bodies and making money” by also crying “me too.”
San E asks the Ministry of Gender Equality to do away with misandry first and mentions Womad, a radical online community in Korea known for being anti-male.
In his concluding lines, San E says he’s on the side of women, and that he hopes for the day when “women can freely roam the Gangnam Station area,” referring to the 2016 murder of a young woman in a public restroom in Gangnam that was prompted by misogyny.
After the release of the song, which has fueled debate in the wake of the assault case at Isu Station in Korea, Brand New Music — San E’s agency — stated they didn’t know about the release of the new song and that they don’t deal with matters regarding artists’ personal social media accounts.
Here are the full lyrics to the song:
“I am feminist
I believe that women and men are equal
See, I said ‘women’ first
Like how in ‘mom and dad,’ ‘mom’ comes first
I read one book
What’s personal is political
They’re cool words
“Women have always suffered
And historically, us men have always oppressed [women]
I don’t understand how people are saying women and men aren’t equal in modern times
If my grandma said so, I might
But what has been so unfair in your life?
You’ll say something about Korea’s gender wage gap ranking in the OECD, blah blah
Fucking fake fact
“Hey, if you want rights so bad, why don’t you go to the military
Why do I pay for dates
What more do you want
We made space for you on subways, buses, and parking lots, why
“Oh girls don’t need a prince
Then when we’re buying a house after marriage let’s go half and half
I’m no fucking prince
“Men have a lot to say too
Men are victims of Confucianism and patriarchy too
“Did I make this? Did I do it?
Sister why mad?
Blame system, not men
“I am feminist
“I am feminist
“I support the Me Too movement, you know that
Director Kim, actor Cho, assholes
Because of them men are collectively insulted
“Other than in those extreme situations
Why do [women] consent, have sex, do everything
And then do Me Too? Gold digger?
Must be nice selling their bodies making money
Men are criminals, fucking law
We’re being patient with reverse discrimination not saying anything
“Ministry of Gender Equality stop wasting time
For the healthy feminists at least
You need to do away with misandry first.
“And the Corset Free Movement (huh)
I won’t stop you but
In the end it’s framing men (what?)
Standards, when did we ever say you had to be pretty
They did plastic surgery for their own satisfaction and now
Childishly they don’t wear bras, don’t shave their armpits
Cut their hair short, then what
Do you think that makes you a woke progressive woman?
Nah that’s inferiority complex man
I like your long hair don’t change
And I am feminist
“I’m on the side of women
I don’t hate women
Actually I love women too much that’s the problem
You, my mom, my sisters
I respect them as they are
“I’m not one of those losers in the news
I never yell or curse. Dating violence?
I absolutely acknowledge men’s faults
For the day when [women] can freely roam the Gangnam Station area at night
“How was it, I’m different right?
It’s okay I’m not dangerous
I’m different trust me
“I am feminist”