San E Releases New Song 'Feminist'

San E
Courtesy of Brand New Music

San E 

In a statement, San E’s label said they were not aware of the song.

South Korean rapper San E (Jung San) released a new song today (Nov. 16), titled “Feminist.” Uploaded to YouTube a few hours after he announced the upcoming song on social media, “Feminist” sees the artist sharing his opinions about the current state of feminism in South Korea.

YouTubers DKDKTV, who regularly publish videos explaining the nuances of K-pop music videos, translated the lyrics that were posted on San E's "Feminist” video on YouTube. "Women have always been oppressed/ Us men have always oppressed them historically/But I don't understand those who say women and men aren't equal right now," he reportedly says, leading into his take on how South Korea's gender pay gap being low among OECD countries is a "f**king fake fact.” Throughout, San E also reportedly proclaims himself to be a feminist: “Sister, why mad?” he asks in English. “Blame system, not men/ I am feminist.” 

The gender pay gap in South Korea is the highest among the OECD, with the 2017 OECD report "The Pursuit if Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle" acknowledging that women in Korea earn only 63% of what men earn, and that only 56.2% of women in the country are employed.

In “Feminist," San E also criticizes dating culture where men pay for dates, the MeToo movement, the rise of the “escape the corset” movement in South Korea, and questions why women aren’t required to serve in the country's national service as men are, though comments on his Instagram point out that San E himself did not serve.

"I do not hate women," wrote the rapper in the YouTube bio for the song, using the Korean term used for "misogyny." “I am averse to situations where hate begets more hate.”

The latest of several videos and songs San E has shared to his YouTube channel this month, "Feminist" was released just a day after the rapper shared, and then deleted, a video on social media of widely-publicized bar fight, near the Isu Station subway stop in Seoul. Five people, three men and two women, were arrested, and conflicting reports regarding the cause of the situation abound. It became hot topic in South Korea after one of the alleged women involved posted a petition to the website of the Blue House -- the South Korean presidential administration -- calling for what the Korea Herald describes as "an end to men's hate toward women." Within 24 hours, over 300,000 people signed the petition, surpassing the 200,000 required to necessitate a formal response from the presidential office.

San E’s label, Brand New Music, told Korean media that it was not aware of the song prior to its release.