Friday, August 10, 2018

Hidden camera images in Sunday Seoul magazine in 1971

AFP correspondent Hawon Jung, who has been covering the large anti-molka (hidden camera porn) protests by women, wrote today:
The incident which prompted the protests involved police zealously hunting down a woman who posted an image of a male nude model online, in comparison with their lax pursuit of men who do the same to women.

I've been organizing my research taken from weekly magazines from 1968-1971 like Sunday Seoul and, oddly enough, today I came across the following photos from the March 21, 1971 issue of Sunday Seoul. The text reads:
When women are alone…
Men are presented with magic in moments of defenselessness when women are not concealed or unadorned. Women with childish cuteness and sincerity are charming, and in those women-only times and places they slightly turn their heads.
What are the impressions of women who see photos of moments like these?

The photos presented are of a reclining co-ed in her rented room reading on a Sunday, a woman doing calisthenics, and "'Oh my oh my' screams the friend behind [the woman] who absent-mindedly ties her shoes."

Sunday Seoul (and Weekly Kyonghyang) began in the fall of 1968 and for over a year featured nude photo spreads (of mostly Western women in WK and Korean women in SS). By mid-1970 the nude centerfolds had disappeared from Sunday Seoul and were replaced with nude paintings of women, both Korean and Western, modern and classic.

Even Matisse. Sunday Seoul, May 31, 1970.

This is the context in which the photo spread above appeared. As I noted here, even Korean newspapers reprinted photos (from AP) of Western women in swimsuits (though I incorrectly suggest Koreans did not wear bikinis like in the West; my research has found that bikinis were much more common in Korea in the 1970s). While Sunday Seoul is quite important for its documenting and even sponsoring of youth culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it's quite clear that men were the target audience. A friend once told me that he got a Sunday Seoul magazine from friends for his birthday when he was in his teens in the 1980s, and that it was used for "masturbation purposes."

While the photo spread above is clearly shot with models and does not suggest that (male) readers photograph women in the same way, what is one to make of this photo spread highlighting women's legs from the August 15, 1971 issue of Sunday Seoul?

This is merely the first of four pages of similar photos. I have my doubts that these photos were shot openly, making them, essentially, molka photos.

I really don't know if such photo spreads would have been in mainstream Western magazines at that time, though it certainly wouldn't surprise me. The Weekly Kyonghyang regularly reprinted Western cartoons, including many like this:

From the January 21, 1970 Weekly Kyonghyang 

The fact that women have breasts was fodder for many cartoons. That images like these no longer appear in mainstream media is a reminder that some progress has been made in the last 50 years, even if it might not always feel that way.


It slipped my mind that the police have been concerned with at least some men taking hidden camera photos, as this July 29, 2013 Munhwa Ilbo article, titled "'Foreigners [caught for] hidden cameras' increase sixfold over four years - concern videos may be leaked overseas," reveals (see here for a similar story in English). It mentions a foreign teacher who took upskirt photos (but not at a beach, which was the focus of the story) and illustrates the article with an image of an English teacher behaving deviously (though not as deviously as the teacher in the image here, illustrated by the same artist).

Note the difference between how he is illustrated and how the naughty Korean man is illustrated in the offending police poster (which does not appear with the tweet linked above for some reason):

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