“If you’re ugly, shouldn’t you shut your mouth?”

I love words and the ability to comment intellectually is not a very easy thing to do, especially in 140 characters or less, but actress/activist Kim Yeo-jin found just the right words to admonish former military dictator Chun Doo-hwan on the ubiquitous twitter stream,

NO MATTER how you kick and squirm, you are a slaughterer”. [sounds like the South Korean language doesn’t translate well into English, but the point is certainly made].

In fact, it was tweet on May 18th, the 30th anniversary of Gwangju, a civilian uprising in the South Korean town against the military dictatorship of Chun Doo-hwan.  It lasted a little over a week.  The civilians were defeated and hundreds were killed according to the government, although some suggest the numbers were more in the thousands.

In response to her tweet, Park Yong-mo, referred to as “a minor figure on the ruling Grand National Party’s advisory committee” tweeted,

“Crazy Bitch”

No doubt using the @ symbol to comment to her directly, but probably leaving out the hash tag #Gwangju if there was one.  He obviously felt that the two words didn’t say enough so he followed it with,

“If you’re ugly, shouldn’t you shut your mouth?” [again, translation doesn’t fit, but we get the picture].

I find it astonishing that it is a universally accepted opinion that men, even in South Korea, believe comments about a woman’s attractiveness are the ultimate put-down.   What’s even more eyeopening is the fact that men like Park probably wouldn’t even consider commenting on her intelligence, that would be absurd, especially if any of his buddies saw it.  Perhaps that is the most enlightening part of this tweet exchange.

Park was forced to resign from his position on the Grand National Party’s Advisory Committee, but he did offer a formal apology, tweeted of course.  Apologizing to

“everyone except Kim Yeo-jin”

What a dope.