Update: Added another video. Also, it's pretty clear this editorial is against the girl, seeing how it messes up the chronology of what can be seen in the video to make her look worse.]
[Update - the youtube video I embedded was taken down before I even finished the post! The one below has the sound out of synch.]
Awhile ago, I posted about elderly people telling off pregnant women for being in "their seats" (the seating reserved for the elderly, handicapped, and pregnant), and oddly enough, it was just an hour ago that I re-read Gord Sellar's thoughtful response titled "Subways and culture"(and if you haven't read it yet, do). And then, I came across one of the big stories getting netizen attention today (which is, of course, followed by media attention - 80 stories so far) about a video clip of an elderly woman 'tussling' with a teenage girl on the subway:
I'm sure the video will disappear at some point, so here are photos:
According to the article, this happened yesterday on Line 2, and we can hear that the train is coming into a station what has a transfer to line 6. As Hongdae and Sinchon get mentioned later, I'll assume it's at Hapjeong Station. It also provides a partial description of what's being said:
Grandmother: "I'm an old person? Rude? What?"
Girl: "What do you want from me?"
Grandmother: "Right, I was born in 1934. Why? [Pushes the girl] I was born in 1934. [Push] Why? [Pulls the girls hair, drags her around]"
Girl: [Gets her phone back, crying] "Dad, I really hate Korea! I really hate Korea! I really hate Korea."
The last thing the girl screams, after noticing the person videoing the proceedings, is, "Put it on Youtube!"
While some articles have looked more at how netizens were picking sides ("the woman started it"; "the girl was rude and speaking banmal to the woman"), the one I linked above has compiled comments by netizens who say they were present at the scene. Apparently it started when the girl, who had dirt on her shoes, crossed her legs and got some dirt on the old woman's clothes, so she told the girl to move her foot. The girl politely apologized twice but the woman swore at her and constantly rebuked her until the girl lost her temper and shouted at her in banmal, which is where the video begins.
There were several commenters who said that they recognized the woman, and that she often provokes arguments with passengers and tries to force people to give up their seats. Another commenter said she as "famous" on line 2, but that she never directs any of this behavior at men.
What I find interesting are the people who side with the woman, who apparently think that the girl speaking banmal justifies her being physically assaulted. Also interesting, though not surprising for anyone who's lived here for some time, is the fact that everyone just sat and watched the girl get assaulted.
A friend of mine was on the subway one night in the late 90s and saw a middle aged man harassing a teenage girl while the rest of the passengers ignored it. He stepped in and put a stop to it, and afterward a man complimented him for having done so. When the man found out my friend was a student, however, he asked him, "Why did you speak to that [older] man in that way?"