Monday, August 17, 2015

Why Do Female Idols Have It Rough?


It's been a hot topic for just about everyone into kpop that reads comments anywhere. Nobody has really given concrete answers, so I will break down each of the major ones I've discovered/thought the most about.


From collecting answers through the Internet, it seems to be a combination of the fan gender ratio in kpop as well as internalized misogyny. Those are easy answers to throw out just to shut people up, but what does that actually mean?

If you go on Netizen Buzz, and bring this point up, you will get tons of nuisances throwing shit at you complaining about why people always bring up the "injustice" of female idols. What they don't realize is that, if you don't speak up about certain things, nothing will change. In a perfect world, this argument wouldn't need to be brought up, but we don't live in a perfect world, and this issue still exists. 

OBSERVATION #1:



What I mean by fan gender ratio in kpop is how many female fans are there in k-pop compared to male? Well, it's well known that k-pop's fan-base collectively has more female than male. On paper, that should mean that female groups would be more well liked than male groups (not that that's right, either) because female fans would have more girls to look up and relate to (this is pop music, so yeah, role models are a thing). But it's the opposite for some reason.

Fun story: When my mom was a teenager back in the '70s, gender didn't factor into whether or not she liked someone more. She was much like Kpopalypse in the sense that "If they looked good, that was just a plus. If their songs were bad, I wouldn't listen to them." And she said this whole battle of the sexes thing that plagues pop music fans today didn't exist back then, at least among the people she knew.

So why did everything change? Well, you can blame '90s pop music for that.

In the '90s, there was a shift in the pop music trend, and the big groups where either all male (Backstreet Boys, NSYNC) or all female (Spice Girls, TLC). In the past, there had been all male and female groups, but in the '90s, there was an extremely heavy play on them, and so did the ideas of fandoms and each group having one set of fans just for them. Yeah, Kpopalypse wasn't shitting when he said every k-pop group ever is pretty much based off Spice Girls and NKOTB.

But didn't groups back in the day have all female and male? The answer is yes and no. The people that were put out front to sing and dance were typically all one gender, but if you were a group of female vocalist, you typically had males playing instruments, and if you had a male band group, you typically had female back-up singers.

Here's an example from "Dreamgirls," a 2006 movie roughly based off the lives of The Supremes



And the iconic k-pop concept version of it: Wonder Girls - "Nobody"



However, now that technology and music has changed, there is no need for live instruments without a band concept and female back-up singers. This is why a lot of co-ed groups go unnoticed, but also for other reasons that will get listed below.

So reason one: Heavy stress on single-gender groups


OBSERVATION #2:



In the female-fan heavily dominated world, cute boys are expected to draw in girls and cute girls are expected to draw in boys. But if everyone is only focused on one, then how come female idols get hated on by girls who claim to have never liked them in the first place?

This is nothing new to k-pop, and it most certainly isn't to American pop or any other genre that has boy groups and girl groups. Don't be fooled: Miley, Ariana, and Nicki all get slut shamed just as much if not more than T-ara, Girl's Day, and Stellar. The reason for this is simple, pseudo feminism. Pseudo feminism was popular for a while, and I'm glad to see a lot of people realizing that was bullshit and that it's dying down slightly. People will claim "As a feminist, I am offended by Girl's Day's concepts because they are trashy sexy, not classy sexy like Ga-In." In actuality, these people just aren't knowledgeable that female sexuality goes beyond what Ga-In does, and that it has both "trashy" and "classy" sides to it. They have been warped that being a feminist means being conservative, when it's pretty much the exact opposite. It's about expressing your sexuality whether it is conservative or not and not letting other people get in the way of that. 

Look, being conservative is fine. Hell, I'm not flashy personally. But it's another thing when you try to dictate what people can and cannot do. That's the problem with it.

Reason two: Pseudo-feminism/morally conservative dictatorship


OBSERVATION #3:




Don't even ask how I managed to properly screen cap this. I just lucked up. 

Male idol groups dominate the charts, but it's also a bit odd isn't it? How G-Dragon or the rest of Big Bang can get caught in so many scandals, but they can still top charts and be well liked by the public (despite the fact they haven't really been on their A-game since 2012). Meanwhile, T-ara gets a bunch of bullshit and false accusations on them, and they can never ever be welcomed by the public again even though they've been pretty damn consistent since their scandal in 2012. Why is that? 

Boy groups are marketed to seem like their fangirls are worthy of them just as girl groups are marketed to fanboys. They are warped into thinking they actually have a chance with their oppar even though they have a better chance of winning an Olympic Gold Medal. This is why they feel "strong connections" to them. It's in the marketing, and it's a bunch of white noise stuff that I'm not going to get into mainly because Kpopalypse or Ahjussi could do it better. 

However, media in society sucks. Not only do they promote hot-boys-that-you-know-deep-down-inside-you-will-never-really-have-a-chance-don't-look-at-me-like-that-you-know-it's-true, but they also have hot girls who are unfairly pretty and way closer to your crush than you could ever dream (unless you're a sasaeng, but then again, you've already kissed your chances goodbye by becoming one of those). So naturally, you're going to see them as some sort of threat to you from getting that Shindong dick. So what do they do? They try to ruin the girls's image every chance they get by hyping up the most minuscule of "scandals" in the hopes of forming a witch hunt.

Now, the reason they want a witch hunt is because they hope that by showing these female idols "true colors" that their oppar will see them as too low to date, thus eliminating their threat. But it obviously doesn't work as the T-ara members that are confirmed to be dating are dating some pretty high-profile dudes who are well liked by the public and obviously like them enough they don't care if their reputation gets dragged in the process.

You see how this could be damaging to a co-ed group?

Reason three: Threat to oppa complex


OBSERVATION #4:



Finally, we have the biggest one, which is a combination of all — the shielding of fandoms. If Big Bang didn't have the support system they did, as well as coming from a Top 3 company, they would have probably been buried before you could say "Marijuana," "Jizz On Titties," and "Audi." Big Bang's scandals make the Girl's Day scandal look like an argument between a brother and sister over who gets the last cookie. But because VIPs are some of the most driven fans on the fucking planet (like Jesus Christ, take a chill pill once in a fucking while), Big Bang is able to prevail and prosper damn near untouched. Oh, they still get a ton of hate, a lot of big-name boy groups get lots of hate. But their fans shield and support them so "well" that they are able to have welcomed comebacks and achieve all-kills. 

Now, this isn't inherently a fangirl's fault, but dig a little deeper. People always ask, "Why don't fanboys shield their noonas?" and I thought of this too. Are they lacking determination, or are they spending all of it on fapping? Or, do they just not care? The answer COULD be that, and it could also be that since there is a greater amount of fangirls, the fanboys shielding gets overlooked by all of the hate that gets spread by the antis. I honestly don't know, but what I do know is it's rare that female idols get the shield of approval. But it isn't impossible to find. Just look at Hyuna's new teaser:



Sure, you have the typical "She's such a whore" in the comments section, but those are actually the minority. Majority of the comments I've seen (as of the time I've last viewed it, Aug. 11) is stuff like "OMG Hyuna's such a queen!" and "Yassss, slay queen." and "She's a sexy goddess queen" and a bunch of other idiotic shit that's worth a thousand STFUs. But um, Hyuna's doing shit that blasts every other raunchy concept in k-pop out of the water. She's naked, drinking, having a party in a frat in Kentucky (Maliblah blah blah, it's fucking Kentucky), implied cocaine use, and an implied blow job. Meanwhile Stellar hump a floor and have a couple of vagina symbols in their mv and get shitted on?

Someone actually brought this up and got replies like "OMG don't compare, Hyuna doesn't look forced and try-hardy, Stellar does." ect. (I should submit these for STFU, but I can't screen cap.) Oh fucking please, while Hyuna's teaser is glorious, it's very try-hardy. But hey, try hard or don't try at all is what I say.

Just listen to those fangirls cheer her on:


That's some cold-hard stanning right there. Fuck worrying about your boyfriend fapping to Hyuna — worry about your girlfriend fapping to Hyuna. 

Reason four: Extremely one-sided fandom shielding

So there's my first article for AKF; I hoped you guys liked it. At the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is disappoint anybody. I wanted to have a conclusion here, but it pretty much writes itself. Now of course, fanboys are not excluded from any of the fuckery above, either. It's just less seen from them, and they're annoying in other ways that I may or may not write about depending on the demand. But it does happen. Also, I'm not saying male idols don't have it rough, either, but again, they have it rough in different ways that I may or may not blog about depending on if it gets demanded.

At the end of the day, these are just my thoughts on the subject matter. It's not like I wasn't a delusional fangirl in the past, but we all reflect and return with more mature images when we're exposed to new way of looking at something, and hopefully, I helped someone like this blog helped me.

47 comments:

  1. Excellent article. I would like to add nugu-shaming to the mix, clearly shown by EXID's sudden rise to fame. "Up & Down" had a 19+ MV with a very similar concept to "Vibrato" and they were getting hate for that, but once they got to number one (thanks to the fancam), the hate dropped off considerably.

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    1. I think nugu shaming would be a seperate article because I've seen it happen to both EXID and boy groups like BTS but I agee 100%.

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  2. Classy sexy and trashy sexy are the most full of shit pseudo-concept I have ever heard.

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    1. I do find it kind of ridiculous but if it makes them feel smug knowing their idols arent in bik...HA! That is so fucking last year. Every 2nd gen idol this year was in a swimsuit or a bikini.

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  3. I'm all for my waifu being a slut and enjoying it.

    It only means I have bigger chances.

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  4. Nothing on the internet pisses me off more than people defining things as "trashy" or "classy". It irritates me when people insult girl groups or female singers for dancing or dressing provocatively but praise them for doing it while under the guise of pseudo-intellectual-artistic-bullshit.

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    1. Plus they pick and chose who's concept is more thought-provoking which is stupid because Stellar have really strong and smart messages in all their recent mv's from Marionette to Vibrato but almost no one thinks to notice them and just calls them whores.

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    2. People like to undermine Stellar because they're not as well known as more popularized groups, therefore by that logic, it's a-ok to shame them if they do a sexy concept while simultaneously screaming QUEEN at hyuna.

      Except stellar have more solid music than a lot of kpop groups despite their overtly sexy concepts. Vibrato was more catchy and well produced than most of the kpop songs out recently.

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    3. "Vibrato" is one of the best songs of the summer. Totally great.

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  5. Really great article. I agree with all of your points.

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  6. THIS ARTICLE. YES.
    It bothered me so much when bottom tier boy band UNIQ humped the floor and it was "Innovative and Sexy" but Stellar did and it was "Trashy and Try hard"
    Or when Kemy dissed Bom and all hell broke loose, but Bobby dissed everyone and "he was just being a rapper"
    Or when Wendy joked about ghetto people in Canada, she was an "ugly racist" but Kim Hyun Joon abused his girlfriend but "oppa didn't mean to"

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    1. Those are all great points especially the one about Bom and Bobby getting shielded.
      I honestly thought the whole Wendy being a racist thing was blown out of proportion. It came off more as a dumb mistake. Be it a cringe worthy mistake but not actual racism.

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  7. Good post.
    Did you quit your blog?

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    1. Thanks, and no, I still post on there, I just post stuff on here now too.

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  8. T-ara has fangirls screaming for them too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8QgX7XST7k So, I don't really see the point here: fangirls will shield their oppars but not their unnirs?

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    1. I'll be sure to remember that T-ara vid. My point was that fangirls are more likely to shield their oppars than female idols in general. They'll shield and stan their unnirs (Yoona, Hyuna) but it's rare that you see female idols prorected the way male idols are. But the points before all add up to and play apart in the shielding.

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  9. I saw "Why Do Female Idols Have It Rough?" then got really confused as I started reading the article then I realised we were thinking about two completely different things

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    1. You. I like the way you think.

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    2. "Have it rough" not "Like it rough."

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  11. Female idols also get insulted for their appearances more regularly compared to male idols, which isn't a surprise given the market and the fact that there are a lot of jealous hos (I would know because I used to be one and can still sometimes be one) who'll praise their precious oppas to the high heavens but then insult an entire female girl group.

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  12. I'm not sure which category I fall in under, being a gay fangrill that mostly pay attention to girl groups.

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    1. It's not about what kind of fan you are lol

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  13. I have a problem with reason three. It's not the first time I've heard the "competing for oppa" argument but I can't help but think that this is more of a construction of internalized sexism than actual truth. We are all competitive beings so why is it that females get more criticism for "competing" for a guy than males do? Do males not feel jealousy or rage when they see another guy swoop in and steal their target (eg. plot of "Wedding Dress" MV)?

    I think the basis behind any sexist notion is that there is an inherent difference between males and females instead of focusing on the societal factors which may lead to such differences. Which makes me also question reason four. As a guy, I see the humor in saying that males are spending their time masturbating instead of defending female idols but to take the idea seriously is preposterous if not somewhat offensive.

    I like that you bring up this topic and, yes, male and female idols do take a lot of heat for very different reasons. I wish we can focus more on concrete reasons (perhaps the psychological effects of how male and female idols are marketed and how the two differ) rather than anecdotal evidence that is based on mostly presumptions of how males and females tend to stereotypically behave.

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    1. Competing is one thing but trying to ruin someone is another thing. Case-in-point T-ara's scandal and the aftermath of it. Plus these are idols, not classmates. So you'd have almost no chance with them anyway. I'm no psychologist as I'm only 17 and these are just observations I've made over the years. What you get out of the article is up to you but these ARE things I've noticed. Of course this article is layered with humor and sarcasm. Honestly like I said Kpopalypse or Ajussi could go into more detail about the white noise in marketing way better than I ever could.

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    2. I get what you're saying that those who exacerbated the T-ara scandal by digging up "evidence" largely turned out to be female and I can assume the same can be said in a lot of other scandals but that doesn't justify how we can conclude that females are more aggressive by nature and more downright willing to swing below the belt when it comes to "removing threats."

      I like how reason 2 debunks a common misnomer that people bring up in fandom but I can't help but feel that reason 3 is itself a misnomer. But again, I've read that reason on this site or some other before as a sort of an off the cuff explanation to rationalize female fan behavior which I've never taken seriously because it mostly came from male writers. I think it's particularly interesting that you take tutelage from the blog mates you cited and feel comfortable with this reasoning to also use it in your own post. Maybe there is some truth to it but I hope you don't feel that this is by any means the entire truth.

      I think the most significant point is reason 1 in that we are mostly assessing the actions of female fans because they are the vocal majority. As a result, the remaining points paint female fans as either hypocrites (reason 2), possessive (reason 3), or delusional (reason 4). I feel that females get thrown under the bus from time to time when it comes to rationalizing fan behavior. Even the term "fangirl" has a negative connotation that's associated with the adjectives I've listed. Anyways, thanks for the good read and giving us plenty to think about.

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    3. I don't know man, have you ever seen a bunch of horny fanboys flood male idol A's twitter / instagram with hate comments just because A likes their favorite female idol B's picture on instagram?
      Because the other way around has happened, a gazillion times. We're talking about K-Pop here, and "threat to oppar complex" is as real as the air you breath.

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    4. That's a great point and it'd be interesting to hear an explanation which contextualizes this phenomenon better than saying "B**** be crazy."

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    5. As a female, when I stopped obsessing over the little stuff and actually thought about what the authors here were expressing, I did actually see what they were talking about and I saw how damaging that type of mentality is. This was mostly targeting crazy fangirls not your average day-to-day fangirls who just enjoy kpop. It takes a very special kind of fangirl to do the things listed it's just that those fangirls somehow became the majority. I think it comes down to accepting kpop for what it is: a genre of music. And to not accept and believe all of the lies and brainwashing in the marketting used, which imo shouldn't be used because it affects the idols negatively too. I hoped that cleared some stuffs up!

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    6. Now that I think about it, it's not exclusive to fangirls. It happens to fanboys too. Just not in K-Pop. See sports and video games fanboys. "Somebody insults Lakers on the internet, you better get ready for my internet backlash bitch". Or "This twat thinks that X-box is better than PS4. Fuck you. Feel my wrath through my comment".
      Back to the main point, we're talking about K-Pop here. So the majority of madness comes from fangirls.

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  14. Everything is so on-point, including the psuedo-feminism bullshit.

    This applies triply so for fans of J-idols.

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    1. Really? I mean I wouldn't really know (I listen to Perfume but that's about it) but I guess the whole Weaboo thing is true?

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    2. Indeed. Just look at Hitomi Itano. HALLYU sellout queen whos aping of kpop got on the nerves of jidol fans. Shit was so bad her channel had to disable the likebar and comments.

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    1. I see they get pretty crazy down there.

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  16. Too busy checking out the pretty girls.

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  17. Hyuna gets shielded because she somehow pulls fangirls in (im one), while stellar is a nugu and the only attention they get is basically from fanboys

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    1. Yet fangirls are giving them attention by slut shaming every other comeback they have.

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