On September 7th, students from the Department of Arts & Craft came together to voice their anger at Professor Ryu (48), a professor at Hoseo University. They claim he made a sexist remark while lecturing at Sookmyung Women's University as a part-time lecturer. According to students, he said comments like: "Age is important for women", and "What kinds of jobs can women do? Work as flight attendants? Work as nurses?" Students have also claimed that he spoke ill of not only women, but also of women’s universities. It is said Ryu spoke these words: "Women who do enter engineering fields will surely succeed because there are considerably less women in those fields than men. They will be treated as princesses.” and “Surely you’ve heard about my class from students who’ve already taken the course. I don’t want to waste my time speaking here. Women universities are not good because students at them do not actively participate." With the huge about of complains and accusations, Sookmyung Women's University decided to replace Professor Ryu immediately. One school official said, "We decided to replace Ryu because of the growing controversy surrounding comments he has made during his class. We felt it would be difficult for both students to learn and Ryu to effectively teach with all the hype."1) Professor Ryu has insisted that students have distorted his comments and is complaining about the injustice he has been served. He is quoted as saying, “The quotations proposed by the group of students are the results of malicious editing of my words. The essence of what I said in class is this: unlike boys, girls do not need to take a leave of absence from their studies to complete the mandatory military service, so for girls, it is better to graduate sooner and get hired quickly.” Ryu also claims that it was his idea to quit as lecturer and leave the school. Professor Ryu has now left Sookmyung but has yet to acknowledge his mistake, nor has he apologized for his behavior. Rather, he has uploaded comments onto his SNS account that snipe the students of Sookmyung Women's University. Examples of his comments include: “Those ungrateful, rude b***” and “The fame of a university does not reflect its students' personalities”. Once again, Ryu has hurt Sookmyung Women’s University students.
After the controversy surrounding Professor Ryu’s remarks, Sookmyung Women’s University is now taking a close look at any student claims of sexist remarks by professors and lecturers. The university has the obligation as head of student education to raise awareness of sex and gender equality. Especially, at Sookmyung Women’s University there is a need for such careful examination because it cultivates future women leaders. The university must constantly work towards the elimination of sexual discrimination and provide an educational environment that helps to abolish misogyny.
1) Jeon Sanghui, “”Women at universities of engineering are princesses.” Remarks by a Professor, ‘Sexual Discrimination or Student Distortion of Words’”, Edaily, September 19th, 2016