Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Feminism and Partying

So you have to be a guy to get somewhere in the South Korean business world, which means you have to drink a LOT. But aren't women not supposed to drink as much as men?

A woman in South Korea has won damages from her boss, who coerced her to drink into 3am several nights a week to entertain clients.
It's a violation of human dignity to force one to drink against his or her will," Judge Kang-Young-ho was quoted as saying by the Associated Press (AP).
Her employer, according to AP, once threatened he would get a male colleague to kiss her if she did not take part in the drinking sessions. He also pressured her to drink when she was suffering from stomach problems, the agency reported.


snowume said...

Since i came to the US before I could drink alcohol legally, I am not a represetative of this Korean culture. Yet, I have an experience to be forced to drink (illegally) by my superiors in the first semester of Korean college. In order not to be bullied, I kept drinking and was helped by a number of friends ( we have games called "knights call"). As you can see through the article posted, I think it is hard to force people to drink or to do something they don't want. Extremely speaking, even a middle school student can sue a teach for punishing him or her. Sometimes, I feel that some people interpret human rights too broadly.

Erin Robinson said...

From my perspective, as someone who doesn't drink very much (mostly by virtue of being the slowest drinker I've ever met), it is very wrong to force someone to do that, especially to make it a part of your job. There should be limits to how far your boss is able to go, and not drinking is a personal choice.

The question in this case is how much is part of Korean business culture (or Japanese business culture, I seem to remember the same kind of trend for Japanese salarymen), and how much is chauvenism. I don't know if these kind of things are present in the US, though I doubt it simply because we are a highly litigous society.