South Korea becomes the world’s first floating city

The world’s first floating city is under construction in South Korea.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2025, is being supported by the United Nations as a way to curb sea level rise.

The floating city is built on the shores of the Busan metropolis and is flood resistant and consists of several islands that rise with rising sea levels.

The designers of this project hope to create floating cities that can supply their food and fresh water through solar energy.

The agreement is part of the United Nations Human Settlement Program, which seeks to improve sustainable living in cities in more than 90 countries.

Why was Busan chosen?

Busan, with a population of about 3.4 million, is one of the most prosperous ports in the world.

For this reason, most local engineers and builders have extensive experience in construction along water areas.

Port cities like Busan are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels due to global warming.

Scientists estimate that by 2100, sea levels will rise by about one meter, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world living in coastal cities.

“Instead of fighting the sea, it is better to learn to live in harmony with it,” said Maymoneh Mahdarsharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program.

South Korea is vulnerable to other types of natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, droughts, landslides, blizzards, tsunamis and earthquakes. It is hoped that the floating city will be able to withstand all these disasters because the floating parts are connected to the seabed.

The construction of the floating city will cost around 150 million and is estimated to house around 10,000 people.

Why South Korean women cut their hair short

When Anon, the South Korean archer, won three gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, what he expected to return home was not just applause and admiration. A wave of criticism also flowed towards him.

Why? Because her hair was short.

In the midst of all the waves of annoying remarks that went to Sun, there was also the label of a feminist. A label that often has an anti-patriarchal meaning in South Korea.

A man wrote: “It is good that she has won a gold medal, but her short hair shows that she is a feminist. If she is a feminist, I will not support her. All feminists must die.”

But as the wave of criticism of him rose, so did campaigns to defend and support him.

Thousands of women across the country posted pictures of themselves with short hair on social media, saying that short hair does not diminish their femininity.

South Korean women have been fighting discrimination and misogyny for years, and in recent decades they have been able to take steps. From “Mito” or “Manham” campaigns to the fight to lift the abortion ban.

Will this recent movement pave the way for future changes?

“My femininity is not diminished at all”
Han Jiwang is the woman who launched the women’s short hair campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #women_shortcut_campaign.

“I was outraged when I saw not just one or two, but a lot of anti-feminist comments about it being made on social media in a patriarchal atmosphere,” he told the BBC.

These anti-feminists are mostly young men, but among them are old men and even women.

“This is a mass attack … The message is that men have control over women’s bodies and force women to hide their feminist identities,” she said.

“I think starting a campaign for women with short hair (publishing a picture with short hair) and declaring solidarity with women Olympic champions will be effective in tackling both.”

Tens of thousands of images of women with short hair flooded social media. Many women have posted pictures before (with long hair) and after cutting their hair. Some have said that their hairstyles inspired them to cut their own hair.

But what does short hair have to do with being a feminist?

Huang Jung, author of a book on the “Mito” or “Me” movement in South Korea, says that short hair and the feminist movement became intertwined with the “bra boycott” movement after the 2018 women’s movement. Since then, women have challenged conventional female beauty standards, cutting their hair short and not using cosmetics.

“Short hair has since become a political statement among many young feminists,” she says.

“This movement of women provoked strong reactions from men who thought that women had no right to go so far.”

The short hair campaign started just a few weeks after another “anti-feminist” campaign.

It all started with a fingerprint in a commercial that many men thought was like a feminist reference to male penis miniaturization.

In this promotional image, the thumb and forefinger are in a position reminiscent of the logo of the radical Megalia Feminist Internet Group in South Korea, which is widely known for its anti-patriotic activities. This group is no longer active.

Businesses, including the GS25 chain stores and the Barbecue Genesis and Cuccino fried chicken chain restaurants, were forced to collect all of their advertising posters because of the threat of a boycott.

Although these companies had no political intentions, because this image in the minds of some men evoked a kind of “collective hysteria”, any slight resemblance to it should be discarded.

“Some men reacted to the ads because they saw them as reminiscent of and associated with a particular feminist current of male-dominated humiliation,” said Dr. Judy Hahn, a professor of gender studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The protests escalated so much that these companies were forced to apologize.

For example, the manager of the GS25 chain stores was fired for this advertisement, although he apologized for causing “resentment” and said that the company continued to investigate those who designed and executed the finger and sausage poster. Gives.

Experts say such apologies make angry men more reckless.

“They rushed to the next target. Thus, the young Olympic champion who seems to be the epitome of everything these men hate,” says Ms. Jung.

“Her hair is short. She went to college for women. She uses words and expressions that these virtual bullies consider ‘anti-man’ for no apparent reason.”

Move forward
The anger of these virtual bullies, most of whom are young men, stems more from the fact that they think that women’s progress and success come at the cost of their failures.

“Virtual patriarchal spaces instill in young men that all their failures and repressions are the fault of women, for example, women steal opportunities from them by performing better in various exams,” says Ms. Han.

There is fierce competition for university education and employment in South Korea, and some men say they have been wrongly denied such opportunities.

For example, all men must complete 18 months of military service, which they consider to be behind all the opportunities in their lives. There are also several universities for women that offer popular courses, but this is not possible for men.

But we should not overlook the fact that in South Korea, women receive 63% of what men receive as wages, which is one of the highest pay gaps between men and women in developed countries. The Economist Glass Roof Index ranks the country as the worst developed country for working women.

What does the future hold for women in South Korea? Are real changes coming up as a result of recent campaigns?

“I think we’ve seen such real changes in the last few years,” Ms. Jung said.

“Women are trying to chart new paths in their lives, and they are turning their backs on the social pressures that make them look like traditional women. The freedom to choose any hairstyle that is more comfortable is a small part of that choice.”