Controversy is rising over Representative Ryu Ho Jung of the Justice Party as she attended the plenary session of the National Assembly in a short pink one-piece dress.
There have been conflicting opinions of netizens as some criticize her for her attire while some support her. However, controversial media outlets such as Ilbe Storehouse have published criticisms against Rep. Ryu Ho Jung.
One netizen commented about Rep. Ryu Ho Jung on the Facebook public group page saying, "Did you come to the national assembly to collect money for the tabs for drinks?"
The Ilbe Storehouse also continued stating hateful, sexual harassment remarks about Rep. Ryu Ho Jung. However, another representative of the Justice Party made a statement as these social networking sites cross the line with their remarks. He stated "The criticism against Representative Ryu is gender bias. We strongly express our disappointment and regret."
Rep. Ryu Ho Jung explained in a telephone interview with Yonhap News, "At each plenary session, middle-aged men are at the center, wearing only suits and ties, and I wanted to break the customs that are symbolized by attire."
She stated, "The authority of the National Assembly is not established by wearing suits. I will continue to wear various attire in the future."
As the controversy spread, Rep. Ko Min Jung of the Democratic Party of Korea expressed her support on Facebook, saying, "I express my gratitude to Rep. Ryu for breaking the National Assembly's excessive solemnity and authoritarianism."
Former congresswoman Lee Jung Mi of the Justice Party, also said, "What does it matter what she wears? I can't believe women have to be exposed to such a crime just for wearing a dress during the 21st century. Makes me disgusted" as she expressed her criticism.
Former congresswoman Lee Jung Mi also said, "Is this a room (National Assembly Hall) filled with people who talk about democracy, reform, and such things?" as if she was targeting the Democratic Party's supporters community.
Jin Joong Kwon, a former professor at Dongyang University, also lashed out on Facebook, stating, "Crazy XX, do you have a separate National Assembly uniform?"
Aiming at the tendency of controversy spreading simultaneously in Ilbe Storehouse and the Democratic Party's support groups, professor Jin stated, "Ilbe- Democratic party alliance gather males across the country to unite! Even if they fight amongst themselves, they unite as one in front of the common cause - sexual harassment".
However, this is not the first time controversy over a representative's attire has risen.
Previously, Chairman Yoo Si Min of the Noh Moo Hyun Foundation also created controversy as he appeared at the National Assembly in semi-casual attire. He was dressed in white pants and a navy jacket rather than a formal suit. It caused the 'White pants' controversy in the National Assembly back in 2003.
Currently, there are no official guidelines or regulations on the attire to be worn to the National Assembly.
"Dress codes are needed. Wearing black for funerals is not enforced by anyone but it's upheld by everyone. The National Assembly? It's not a place to show authority but an assembly for representatives to do the work for the country. They should at least dress for the occasion and not dress in a way to stand out. Dressing appropriately is definitely an important aspect of being part of society."
"But isn't it crossing the line when that person said 'did you come to the national assembly to collect on tabs for drinks?'."
"She's only standing out through the way she is dressed. She hasn't proven her ability to do parliamentary work or proven her skills in carrying out activities. She's only getting rebukes because she is trying to abolish pre-existing practices. There are work cultures in every organization and place. If you want to change something, you need to prove your skills and ability foremost. It's not too late to try changing things then. She wasn't certified in her work abilities by the country yet. I'm not sure if she had any success stories of her career yet either. "
"Not sure why everyone is creating a fuss over one person wearing a one-piece dress."
"There are certain unspoken rules for wearing certain attire on certain occasions. It's not the problem with what she wears but if she has worn the proper clothes for the occasion. Judges don't show up to courtrooms wearing tanktops. She's a representative. of course, she should be dressed properly for the national assembly."
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