4 Female Idols Who Were Heavily Criticized For “Promoting” Feminism

Advocating feminism can mean a lot of hate and criticism for female K-Pop idols.

Feminism, by definition, is advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. Seems fair enough, but when these four hottest K-Pop female idols used their influences and advocated for it, they received much more criticism than normal.

1. Suzy

Suzy voiced her opinion regarding a Blue House petition to bring justice for Yang Ye Won who says she was sexually harassed during a photo shoot. After sharing a screenshot of her signed petition, Suzy uploaded a long written statement about how she feels. In this statement, Suzy explained she wanted to shed light on the incident by using her power to influence over social media.

I didn’t want to let it pass. I wanted more people to become interested in this issue and give attention to it so that it can be resolved in the correct way. This isn’t about the victim being female. This isn’t even about feminism. This is person to person, taking action. I may be rash to take part in such things, but this is humanism.

— Suzy

Later, when a series of controversies involving the petition developed, over how the petition revealed a business name that isn’t associated with the allegation, some people began to criticize Suzy for signing the petition, bringing so much attention using her influential power, and “helping” with the spread of a false accusation of an innocent photography studio. Suzy had to apologize for being unaware of the fact that the studio name revealed in the petition is not responsible for the sexual assault.

Fans stood by Suzy though. They supported Suzy’s decision to make a move toward feminism, even if she said it isn’t quite about feminism, and practice using her massive presence on social media to bring people’s attention to certain things.

2. Seolhyun (AOA)

When Seolhyun began following Suzy, Luna, Amber, and actress Shin So Yul, while unfollowing IU, actor Yoo Ah In, and TV personality Yoo Byung Jae on Instagram, the internet panicked and thought something went wrong.

Because the celebrities she unfollowed have recently been involved with feminist controversies, people began connecting the dots and gossiping that Seolhyun decided to unfollow other celebrities who aren’t feminists.

People dug up Seolhyun’s past interview when she stated she is “growing more interested in social issues regarding females” and said she has turned into an extreme feminist. Some male so-called fans began criticizing Seolhyun for what she had done to her Instagram followers.

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While there is so much talk about whether Seolhyun intended this to be a movement based on her support of feminism or if it is a simple case of coincidence, only Seolhyun herself will know. Fans are also firm that frankly, who Seolhyun does or does not want to follow is completely up the her and that she does not deserve the hate and criticism. More fans flock to her Instagram daily to leave her supportive comments about her decision to do what she believes is good and right!

3. Naeun (Apink)

Naeun had to face an unbelievable amount of criticism when some pictures of her holding her cellphone went viral.

The controversy developed around her cellphone case that read “GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING”. When she uploaded to her Instagram some pictures of herself holding her phone so the words are visible, haters lost their minds.

As this phrase is often associated with feminism, especially in Korea, people gossiped that Naeun had “turned into” a feminist. With the amount of attention and criticism falling on her back for the photos, Naeun deleted the post from her social media shortly after.

Naeun explained that her “GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING” is from Zadig and Voltaire, a French brand that uses this phrase on a lot of its merchandise. The brand website states regarding the phrase, “This is a sentiment near and dear to our hearts: as we think of our mothers, sisters, friends, to the talented women who make up our company, we truly believe that girls can do anything. Zadig is all about celebrating that unique strength, creativity, and potential shared by women all over the world. We believe in joining together and supporting each other, and that’s why we’re so excited about this capsule collection. Join us and wear your heart on your sleeve: because we believe that when women empower other women, there’s nothing that can hold us back.”

Fans defended Naeun, arguing that not only does she have the right to use any phone case of her choice, but also the right to advocate feminist ideas, as feminism is not a wrong or bad thing in the first place.

4. Irene (Red Velvet)

When Irene mentioned reading “Kim Ji Young, Born 1982”, she had to witness an unreasonable amount of outrage from her male so-called fans.

At an interview, to the question regarding books that grabbed her interest recently, Irene answered she read “Kim Ji Young, Born 1982” which had become controversial and best selling for its feminist theme. In fact, after Irene mentioned the book and with the controversy that followed, the book’s sales hiked even more and remained a best seller for weeks after the interview.

Anti-feminist fans of Irene’s began acting out by cutting up or even burning her photo cards and stating they no longer support Irene because she is a feminist. Shortly after the online controversy, when Irene was spotted looking completely exhausted, fans believed the negativity had reached Irene.

Fans began defending Irene, stating a book is a book and Irene has her right to read whatever she wants. Others have argued on her behalf that while “Kim Ji Young, Born 1982” does have strong feminist ideas, and while supporting feminism or being a feminist is not wrong, simply reading the book does not make someone a feminist. One thing was clear among all the fans though; Feminist or not, Irene did not deserve the amount of hate and criticism.

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