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[Opinion] An Actress Died Three Times

Posted February. 15, 2004 23:29,   


Records say there have always been women around a theater. The Roman Empire that occupied a huge territory controlled women slaves for soldiers with a system. Duke Alba’s army of Spain was accompanied by 1,200 prostitutes when it attacked the Netherlands in the 16th century. In 19th century England, the number of prostitutes was provided as the number of the poor increased by the industrial Revolution, and it is said that the House of Commons passed a bill for prevention of contagious disease and enforced their venereal disease (V.D.) check to eliminate it, which infected three times more soldiers than in French army at that time. While the existing brothel area was used for German troops in Western Europe during the First and Second World Wars, women in Eastern Europe were forced to choose between compulsory labor and prostitution.

From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, it is said that there were wandering Japanese prostitutes, called “Karayuki,” in several places of Asia. Having such a tradition of exporting women for sexual service, Japan also took Korean women for the same purpose in the name of comfort women. This issue is never simple because our women they took to theaters by kidnapping or cheating were not European prostitutes or Roman slaves, but ordinary girls of Korea, the Nation of Courtesy in the East. Since then, these women have had to keep silent for about half century due to the values of closed Korean society in which they had not been accepted even though they became sex slaves regardless of their intention, and in which, all of a sudden, were just returned home. In this way, comfort women died twice, first when they were taken, then after they returned.

Recently, a famous woman entertainer and her entertaining company killed aged comfort women for the third time in a preposterous manner. They said they would offer moving images after taking unidentified semi-nudes, whether to be art or obscenity, modeling comfort women. Even netizens who used to like disputing with each other raged against this case in one voice. It is the worst marketing strategy to provoke target consumers. Of course it is so, assuming that they are not uninterested in profit.

Anyway, that entertainer died three times as well. She was dead firstly by undressing herself as an actress who needs to be mysterious, secondly by showing shallow intellectuality without knowing what history is and what comfort women mean, and finally, by being turned away by her fans who are her raison d`etre.

Park Seong-hee, a guest editorial writer and a professor of Ewha Womans University