A South Korean woman has been awarded a rare jail term for secretly photographing a male nude model. The incident has sparked claims of sexism and double standards as the country is dealing with the epidemic of spycam pornography.
The Seoul western district court sentenced the woman to 10 months in prison. Apart from the prison punishment, the woman -- identified only by her surname Ahn (25) -- will have to undergo 40 hours of counselling on sexual violence.
The woman, who is also a nude model at Seoul Art College, was sentenced for taking a picture of her male counterpart and sharing it on the internet in May. She was arrested days later. Her arrest was highly publicized. Police even raided her home to search for evidence. Many activists described police’s behaviour and the punishment as an uncharacteristically swift and aggressive response.
Punishment is considered harsh because male offenders are only fined for the same crime
The announcement was made last week that the police were seeking to arrest the operator of a feminist website who is responsible for hosting spycam porn and also including the photo Ahn took.
The news was seen as injustice in the country because men dominate the halls of power. Police have been accused of sexism and more than 70,000 people signed an online petition accusing them of sexism. However, police have denied all such accusations.
South Korea has been battling a growing epidemic of spycam pornography or spycam videos, wherein women are secretly filmed in places such as schools, offices, changing rooms and toilets
Thousands of Korean women protested against this in Seoul recently. Women demanded stronger government action to fight the spread of photos and videos taken by hidden cameras. Spycam crimes reported to police rose from around 1,100 in 2010 to 6,500 last year.
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