On November 11, Han Seo Hee posted on Instagram that she did not consider transgender women to be women.
She wrote, “When I started Instagram, I made a lot of posts concerning feminism. Many people, some transgender and some not, sent me direct messages. To put it simply, they asked me, ‘Since transgender women are women too, please post about our rights as well.’ Hmm… but I do not think transgender women are women. Biologically, I do not think of them as women. How can you be a woman if you have a penis… sigh… I am only going to speak out for women.”
“When you ask a transgender person, ‘Why do you want to become a woman?’, the answer is almost always the same,” she continued. “‘Ever since I was little, I liked wearing makeup, I liked hanging out with girls more than with boys, and I liked wearing heels…” etc… then, since I don’t like heels and prefer sneakers, I find wearing makeup tiresome, and when I was little, I liked ‘Digimon Adventure’ more than animation movies with princesses, am I a man? When I talk to the people around me and my friends about transgender people, our opinions often diverge. What do all of you think?”
인스타그램을 시작하면서 페미니즘에 관한 게시물들을 많이 올렸었는데요 몇몇 트렌스 젠더 분들,그리고 트렌스 젠더가 아니신 분들께서 저한테 다이렉트 메세지로 장문의 글을 많이 보내셨습니다. 내용을 간략하게 줄여보자면 "트렌스 젠더도 여성이니 우리의 인권에 관한 게시물도 써달라" 였어요. 흠 하지만 전 트렌스젠더는 여성이라고 생각하지 않습니다. 생물학적으로도 여성이라고 생각하지 않습니다. 고추가 있는데 어떻게 여자인지..나원..저는 '여성'분들만 안고 갈겁니다. 트렌스 젠더분들께 "왜 여성이 되고 싶으시죠?"라고 물으면 항상 거의 비슷한 대답이죠. "어렸을때부터 화장하는게 좋았고 남자 애들보다 여자 애들이랑 어울리는 걸 좋아했고 구두를 신는걸 좋아했고.."등등..그럼 저는 구두 싫어하고 운동화 좋아하고 화장하는거 귀찮고 어렸을땐 공주가 나오는 만화영화보단 디지몬 어드벤쳐를 좋아했는데 그럼 저는 남자인가요? 트렌스 젠더에 관해 제 주위사람들, 또는 친구들과 얘기를 나눠보면 많이 엇갈리더라구요. 여러분들은 어떻게 생각하시나요?
On November 13, Harisu, a pop singer who is famous for being Korea’s first transgender celebrity, fired back at her on Instagram, writing, “If you want to become a public figure and a celebrity, you need to think about the weight of your words and how much impact they will have. I feel sad for this person’s character and behavior.” She added, “There are people who have hysterectomies due to illness or cancer. If we go by what she said [in her post], are those people also not women?”
However, Harisu’s comment about hysterectomies quickly became controversial, and the singer soon took to Instagram again to post an explanation for her remarks.
She stated, “When I saw the article [about Han Seo Hee] on Facebook today, I was very upset. My emotions were extreme. Although she is a trainee now, she will become a celebrity junior of mine after she debuts, and I may even run into her. I didn’t mean to comment on her feminist activities. I saw a screenshot of a personal conversation she’d had with a transgender individual. When I saw that she’d mentioned genitalia, social security numbers [which indicate gender in Korea], and uteri in the conversation and in a post on Instagram, I thought, ‘Did she have to go that far?’ And I was disappointed and sad.”
Harisu went on to clarify, “I absolutely did not mean to belittle cancer patients or individuals who have had hysterectomies due to illness. I was not asking for transgender rights to be included in feminist rights. I just felt that there was no need to say that kind of thing publicly. I apologize to everyone who is standing up and fighting in the battle for women’s rights.”
Shortly afterward, Harisu set her Instagram account to private.
Meanwhile, Han Seo Hee has continued to post on Instagram about the matter, asserting that she is “not queerphobic” and that she is “not the spokesperson for all feminists.”