By Jean Mackenzie and Frances Mao
A man in South Korea has been arrested for a late-night attack on a female convenience store worker after thinking she was a feminist.
CCTV footage showed the man in his 20s entering the store in the south-eastern city of Jinju after midnight and punching and kicking the woman.
He also assaulted another customer, in his 50s, who tried to intervene.
Police said he had attacked the woman because she had short hair, and so assumed she was a feminist.
“Since you have short hair, you must be a feminist. I’m a male chauvinist, and I think feminists deserve to be assaulted,” he told her, according to the police.
He continued his assault until he was stopped by police who arrived on the scene. Authorities said he had been in a drunken state, and was previously diagnosed and treated for schizophrenia.
Among economically-advanced countries, South Korea is frequently ranked as one of the worst for working women, with poor gender equality.
Anti-feminist feeling has also increased in recent years – particularly among young men who feel they have been disadvantaged by reverse discrimination.
After Friday’s attack, the woman, in her 20s, suffered serious ear and ligament injuries but was not in a life-threatening condition, police said. The intervening customer also suffered face and shoulder fractures after being hit with a chair.
A court on Monday approved an arrest warrant, allowing police to keep the alleged perpetrator in custody.
Local media report that the suspect denied some of the charges, saying he was drunk and could not remember the incident.
Women with short, cropped hair have been the target of attacks before in South Korea – where many misogynistic commentators associate the hairstyle with feminism, a term that has been equated with being a man-hater.
In 2021, a viral solidarity campaign saw women showing off their short hair styles in defence of an Olympic archer who won several gold medals at the Tokyo Games but received a torrent of abuse online for having short hair.