Friday, October 27, 2006

Korean government to punish singing and dancing

According to this article in the Korea Times, the Korean government is going to start punishing women (and presumably men too) for singing and dancing in Karaoke rooms.

Under the new law, however, karaoke room owners will be banned from hiring toumies and arranging toumi services.

Those violating the regulation will be subject to three years in prison or a fine of up to 30 million won.

The law also specifies punishment for toumies _ one year in prison or a 3 million won fine _ and bans people from entertaining karaoke room customers through songs and dances or drinking with them for money.

So, let's say an attractive female office worker is coerced by her male coworkers and boss for a night out after work. They go out and have a few drinks and off to the Karaoke bar to belt out a few "gayo" tunes. Of course, she has had a few too many and maybe she is being more entertaining than she might be otherwise and in walk the police and arrest the woman for "entertaining" in a Karaoke bar. How are the police going to be able to tell the difference between this woman and a 'toumi' entertainer,
"Excuse me, Miss, are you being paid for this?" The policeman asked
"Why..yes I am." answers the not-so-bright and quite inebriated woman.
"Ok, then you are under arrest, come with me."
LIKE SHE IS GOING TO ADMIT SHE IS GETTING PAID! This law is swiss cheese and the people who want to do it are going to get around the law because it CANNOT be illegal to sing and dance in a Karaoke bar.

Previously, women and men toumies have been punished only when they provided sex to customers. But the new law will crack down on them for singing and dancing, as well. we have the crux of the matter....the sex-for-sale hydra rears it ugly heads. If you cut of one, it will just grow back somewhere else. But in the brilliance of the politicians:

However, customers who enjoy toumi services will not face punishments.

How does this make sense? Are these guys just 'innocent victims' of the nookie monster? What...the politicians don't want to self-regulate? Or do they just not want to piss off their wealthy constituency? How does it make sense not to punish the people paying for the 'service.'

And now for the Homer moment:
The police and law enforcement authorities plan to crack down on the services from Sunday. But they are worried that toumies will change their workplace to bars and massage parlors to avoid crackdowns, as such places are allowed to hire women to provide entertainment.

Gee, ya think? What gives you that idea? Could it be that every other thing that has been tried to 'crack down' on prostitution has failed miserably or only succeeded in sending it underground or overseas. (see Marmot's and Nomad for extensive postings on the subject of the sex industry in Korea)

Don't get me wrong, I am neither advocating nor condemning prostitution (maybe later) and I know that most of these girls are prostitutes and will go boots up/skirts down for the right amount of cash. But it seems to me that the government needs to get some balls and go after the heart of the problem (or maybe get some heart and go after the balls of the problem).

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