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[Opinion] Reverse Discrimination

Posted April. 11, 2004 22:10,   


Affirmative action for minorities from disadvantaged social and economic conditions has resulted in tense debate in America. Fighting this preferential treatment, white males instituted a mass lawsuit, claiming that affirmative action results in reverse discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is a unconstitutional for colleges to give minorities advantages or allocate established numbers for them. According to their judgment, however, it is constitutional if their minority status is considered as one of several factors.

Even if a quota system and preferential treatment are designed to abolish inequality, there exists the possibility of reverse discrimination. Since the system limits minorities to applying within a reasonable range of limited time, there follow some constitutional problems in practice. However, it seems to oversize quota system and preferential treatment. There are some reverse discrimination problems in “local quota systems,” which select government employees based on their, “goals for employing local talents,” and accept talent from local universities to compose as much as 20 percent of their successful candidates, and instate “election districts for just women.”

Based on changing situations, males increasingly feel reverse discrimination. Although the policy on female diplomats was not problematic when there were not enough female diplomats, male diplomats are now asserting ‘reverse discrimination’. As the male’s fight for abolishment of reverse discrimination heightens, it has been claimed that it is reverse discrimination to pay a female’s scar 32 million won (the 7th grade) and pay a male 10 million won (the 12th grade).

Although the problems with reverse discrimination are viable, current contention regarding reverse discrimination against males is in great part from an illusion of persecution based on the fall of the patriarchal society. Particularly, it seems that males are resisting the nullification of their preferential treatment as soldiers, their right to be the head of the family, and the increase of proportional representation from female congressmen. We are living in the world where reverse discrimination, such as domestic fund against foreign fund, capital against non-capital, and domestic labors against foreign labors, are problematic.

Bae Kum-ja, Guest editorial writer and lawyer baena@chol.com