Working to banish porn, create 'porna'

June 24, 2005

When she introduces herself, Lee Young-ran, an actress and director, says she is a feminist. "It all started in 1992, after I performed 'A Room of One's Own,' a one-character play based on an essay written by the English writer Virginia Woolf," the 51-year-old Kyunghee University professor said.

Ms. Lee has been active in advocating that women take it upon themselves to discover their feminine characteristics. She has also been the organizer of the annual Anti Miss Korea pageants since 1999.

"Women are subordinate beings in a male-oriented society. For instance, the Anti Miss Korea pageant was held to change people's recognition of what beauty is. The original Miss Korea competition is all about choosing beautiful women from a man's point of view," Ms. Lee said.

This year, feminists, including Ms. Lee, decided that the Anti Miss Korea pageants had fully served their purpose and instead opened an event targeting a more detailed topic: pornography.

Titled "Porno, Porna," the event, which took place at Sogang University on Saturday, suggested a new variation of porn. To a point, the event was like an extension of the Anti Miss Korea pageants. Ms. Lee was in charge of directing the entire event. "This is an anti-sexual violence movement to banish porn from our society. Instead, we are suggesting the concept of 'porna' which also takes into consideration the desires of women," she said. "Existing porn is created mainly to fulfill the desires of men and many of the scenes depicted in porn films show sexual acts that abuse women. These images lead to actual acts of violence and are especially a bad influence on teenagers," she said.

The four-hour event comprised around 30 events, including one-act plays, dance performances and fashion shows, all on the theme of sex. While some took an artistic approach, others dealt with serious social issues, such as sexual acts between physically disabled people.

"At the event, we tried to introduce sex as something that both men and women can enjoy while having respect for each other. I hope that people were inspired by the event and will begin developing ideas to create a new sex culture," Ms. Lee said.

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2005 Asian Sex Gazette.
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