Detailed Rhetorical Analysis : South Korea’s Misogyny


The New York Times article ‘South Korea’s Misogyny’ by Se-Woong Koo uses pathos, ethos and logos to inform about misogyny happening in South Korea and also to persuade its audiences to believe how serious and dangerous misogyny is in South Korea.

The author of the article, Se-Woong Koo uses ethos to let the audiences knows that he is credible about the topic. Koo is from South Korea and he also experienced both Western and Korean’s conservative cultures which makes him credible for his research and professional thoughts about misogyny in South Korea. When the author begins his article, he starts with his background information and family history. He says

“My mother fled South Korea for two years in her 20's because she couldn’t stomach her domineering father. On her return, she was married off to my conservative father, whom she gradually realized she didn’t care for. Divorce was still taboo, so she opted to go to Canada with me in tow”.

The author also uses personal experiences to give specific examples from a conservative perspectives of Korean elders. When he explains about his grandfather’s opinion about the author’s mom, he says “It’s her father who now regrets having infringed on her freedom. ‘You could’ve become a somebody,’ he repeats at family meals, recalling her various talents. His change of heart comes too late for her, but it’s not too late to give respect to South Korean women of new generations.”

The author uses logos to inform about the positions of women and an incident that was happened because of misogyny. When the author illustrate the treatment and reputation of women in South Korea, he says “It’s no wonder then that the World Economic Forum ranks the country 115th out of 145 countries in gender equality. Women earn only two-thirds of what men earn, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor. Women made up 2.3 percent of corporate executives at 348 of the largest 500 companies in South Korea in 2015 (others were exempt from reporting).” Koo also inform about specific data of crime rate to support his argument. He says “Women made up 86 percent of all violent crime victims in 2013, according to police data (most violent crime is sexual in nature, and women suffer disproportionately from sexual crimes). Women aren’t safe at home, either: Reports of violence against women perpetrated by their husbands have been rising in recent years.”. The author also informs the audiences about men’s perspective of gender equality to tell about the unfairness in South Korea. He says, “Meanwhile, South Korean men hold the record for doing the least amount of housework among the men in the world’s most developed countries — an average of just 45 minutes per day, or one-fifth of the time a South Korean woman spends.”.

The author uses pathos to provides the information about the closure of situation and reality of women to appeal to the audience. He says, “Research shows that a low fertility rate in developed countries reflects backward attitudes over female gender roles. Last year, the South Korean marriage rate tumbled to the lowest level in 12 years, and the birth rate is perennially one of the lowest in the world.”. This quote is powerful enough for the audiences to think twice about misogyny because the outcome of it can lead to another serious problem. The author also uses pathos to drag the audiences and make them sympathize with the writer by saying,

“Women fare just as poorly in how they’re depicted. South Korean movies often show images of unimaginable cruelty toward the female body. A popular television cooking show recently described sizzling strips of pork belly as “better-looking than the rear” of a young girl-group member.”.

Nobody can argue against statements like this because it’s immoral to objectify other gender.

In conclusion, the author uses ethos, pathos and logos equally to support his argument and persuade the audiences. Koo’s perspective was also well illustrated through out the article and his conclusion/solution of the problem is organized and powerful enough to appeal the the audiences.


Work Cited

Koo, Se-Woong. “South Korea’s Misogyny.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 June 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/opinion/south-koreas-misogyny.html