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Korea: Nurses and Sex Symbol

A recent music video of a popular and sexy female singer Lee Hyo-lee in Korea has been a hot issue. Maybe in other places as well as in Korea, the nurse costume has been sometimes used as a sex symbol and the singer used the concept for her new music video. After the preview of the music video came out in public, nurses have been strongly against the music video and try to break the social prejudice.

A nurse started a petition campaign on the Internet and expressed how the video can give the wrong message to society.

한국에서 간호사란 이미지가 이런 식으로만 보도되니 간호사를 비하하는 사회현상이 지속되는 겁니다. 솔직히 간호사 정말 힘들게 공부하고 힘들게 일합니다. 그런데 병원에서 성희롱 당하거나 남자환자가 끈적한 눈으로 바라보는 거 감당하는 현실. 정말… 이 직업에 대한 회의를 안가질래야 안가질 수 없습니다. 왜 tv에서는 항상 간호사는 의사 시다바리나 시트콤에서의 섹시하고 멍청한 간호사 뮤비의 야한 간호사로 나오는지요? 간호사 전문직입니다. 제발 좀 대접 좀 해주십시오.

In Korea, the image of a nurse is always exposed in the media like this. Therefore, people keep looking down on nurses. Honestly speaking, in order to be a nurse, you have to study really hard and work hard. But the reality is that nurses are sexually harassed and have to put up with male patients’ pervasive glances. Even though I don’t want to, I regret the choice of my job. Why does TV portray nurses as servants of doctors? Why do sitcoms portray nurses as sexy and dumb? Why do music videos portray nurses sexually? Nursing is a professional job. Please treat us professionally.

An opposite opinion was suggested.

간호사복장 나올 때마다 이런 얘기가 나오면 어쩌라는겨?물론 의사에 비해 간호사가 사회적으로 대우받지 못하고 있는 상황도 맞고 차별적 시선이 있는 것 또한 분명한 사실이라 분명 인식개선의 여지가 분명하지만… 여의사를 활용한 섹슈얼 환타지도 분명 있지 않았은가? 이건 단지 간호사를 떠올리면 여자가 생각나지만..의사를 떠올리면 남자가 먼저 생각나기 때문일꺼다. 남성의 섹슈얼 환타지를 활용한다는 측면에서 간호사, 스튜어디스가 좀 더 유리한 대상일뿐..(거기에 유니폼 페티쉬 정도..) 무시해서가 아니라는거지..

이런 켄셉조차 못한다면 도대체 뭘 하고 뭘 보란거지..그냥 평화방송,불교방송,기독교방송만 봐야하나? 그리고 과도한 간호사 컨셉은 오히려 실제 간호사와는 별개의 사람들로 인식하게 해주지 않나? 오히려 좀 더 리얼한 간호사 복장에 간호사처럼 이런 뮤비를 찍는게 더 기분 나쁠 듯하다. 이런 간호사 컨셉의 섹슈얼 환타지 작품이 나온다고 해서 간호사 전체를 깍아내릴려고 하는 사람도 없고..이 작품을 보면서 간호사들은 다 그렇다고 생각하는 사람도 없다.여전히 간호사라는 직업은 선망의 대상은 아니다 할지라도 신뢰받는 직업군 아니던가?

문제는 이렇게 남성의 섹슈얼 환타지의 대상으로 여간호사가 아니라 그냥 간호사라고 하는 것 아닐까? 분명 여성만의 직업이 아닐진데도 여성직업군처럼 보이는 현상황말이지.. 내 동기가 간호학과 진학하려한다고 할 때의 분위기는..-_-;; 간호부(婦)에서 간호원(員)으로 여성직업군에서 일반직업군으로 바뀌었고 다시 간호사(師)라는 “사(선생)”짜 존칭도 획득했건만 여전히 여성직업군이라는 선입견을 떨쳐내지 못한 상황이 문제인 것이지..

그런면에서는 간호사가 스튜어디스보다는 훨씬 나은 상황이고.. Political Correctness(반차별용어 운동)를 통해 스튜어드,스튜어디스라는 남성,여성 구별 단어를 Cabin Attendant(CA,캐빈 어텐던드)라는 단어로 바꾸려고 하나 잘 바뀌지 않는 상황…솔직히 이에 대한 해결책은 모르겠다..하지만..직업군에 대한 선입견이 사라진다면..사람들은 이렇게 표현하겠지..[…]

Whenever the nurse costume comes out in public, this kind of criticism always arises at the same time. Compared to doctors, nurses are not socially treated well and might be discriminated against. Of course, we need to change our perspectives… But isn’t there a sexual fantasy about female doctors as well? When we think about nurses, we think about women. When we think about doctors, we think about men. As usual, for men’s sexual fantasy, nurses and stewardesses have more chances to be imagined… not because we look down on them.If we can’t even use this kind of fantasy, what are we going to watch…? Peace, Buddhism or Christian TV? She (Lee Hyo-lee) is wearing an excessive nurse costume. So it gives the different concept from real nurses. If she wore a normal nurse outfit, it would be worse. Even though we see those kinds of sexual fantasy arts regarding nurses, we will not look down on them. Watching those nurses on TV, we will not think them as identical. Maybe being nurse is not an ideal job to everyone, but a trusty job.

The problem is the job is not just for women, but it’s shown as a job for women. When my friend wanted to study in the nursing department, how did people look at him! The name was changed from Ganho-bu (woman taking care of patients) to Ganho-won (person taking care of patients), which is from the job for women to the job for everyone. Again it has been changed to Ganho-sa (polite way to indicate nurses). However, it still has prejudice as a job for women.

In that way, nurses have a better situation than stewardesses. Through political correctness, instead of stewardesses and stewards, they try to switch to cabin attendants. But it has not worked well… I don’t know how to solve this problem. As long as the prejudice of people doesn’t disappear, people will not change..[…]

Since the signature-seeking campaign started and the music video has been seen by the public, many netizens have put their opinions.

이런영상본다고 간호사를 희화화하거나 이상한 눈초리로 보지 않습니다.. 물론 정상적인 사람들에 한해서요.

Even if you watch this kind of video, people will not look at nurses with strange looks and mock nurses… as long as they are normal.

남들은 간호사들이 유난 떤다고 생각 하실 수도 있습니다. 솔직히 저도 간호계에 속하지 않았을떄는 그냥 보고 지나쳤고 지나쳤을겁니다.하지만 여러분 제발 자신의 직업이 열심히 공부해서 얻은 소중한 자신의 전문직업과 지위가 전국민, 온세계에 이런식으로 비춰진다고 단 한번만 생각해봐주세요.기분이 어떠십니까?

Other people might think that nurses over-react. Honestly speaking, when I didn’t belong to this field, I also didn’t care so much. However, please consider that if the job that you obtained with so much effort is portrayed in this way to all peoples. How would you feel?

간호사분들도 많이 힘드시고 짜증나실테니까…. 우리도 간호사분들의 입장을 생각해주어야 한다고 생각합니다.

I am sure that nurses will have hard time and be perplexed… We should also consider nurses’ circumstances.

간호사여친을 둔 남성입니다. 지금 한국사회에 간호사가 엄청나게 부족하다고 연일 신문기사가 나오고 있습니다. 그런데도 4년제 대학 나온 간호사들은 기회만 있으면 미국이나 기타 외국에 가서 간호사를 하려고 합니다. 엄연한 전문직인 간호사를 동네병원에서 주사나 놓는 여급 정도로 생각하고, 성적인 대상으로 표현하고. 표현의 자유, 표현의 자유 하지만, 이효리씨가 마이너한 가수도 아니고 온 티비채널에서 방송될 그 뮤직비디오에 한 직업을 성적인 대상으로 보는 시선을 담는다면, 그것을 보게 될 아이들이 과연 어떻게 간호사를 생각할까요?

I am a man whose girl friend works as a nurse. Every time there are news reports that we are short of nurses in Korean society. Despite that, nurses after having 4 year college degrees would like to go to America or other countries whenever they have chances. They are professional nurses, but they are treated as female employees who just do injections in town clinics and as the objects of sexual ideas. I know there is freedom of expression. Even if there is the freedom of expression, Lee Hyo-lee is not a minor singer and her music video will be shown to everyone. In that TV channel, if we show a professional as a sexual object, how will children think about nurses?

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