“GREEN LIGHT on or off?”
This is a phrase that most Koreans are now familiar with, through a popular television program named “Ma-nyeo-sa-nyang,” or “Witch Hunting.” Even though this program was originally for those aged above 15, it was soon restricted to viewers aged 19 and above, since it contains discussions regarding sex, gender and relationships like never before on Korean TV. Things that used to be regarded as taboo, or even wrong, are now talked about freely, without embarrassment.
The main reason for “Witch Hunting’s” popularity is that people get to learn about sexuality through the media, in a proper and more explicit way. Even though people do not usually talk about sex in public, they have always had these discussions in private. If talked about in private, why not bring it to the public and make things even clearer? Wouldn’t that be more reasonable? Gain (Singer, Brown Eyed Girls) once mentioned that her parents being conservative made her more curious about sexuality and led her to have more interest in the topic. If we think about it, people, especially teenagers, tend to get more curious about things they are not allowed to do freely.
Of course, there are always people that consider sexuality in the media as just another way to earn ratings and money. It has not been so long since sexuality actually became a topic that people can openly discuss within Korean society. Yet we should take precautions not to let this get out of hand. Just like the Korean proverb goes, nothing is sometimes better than too much of something. If so, the result may cause misunderstanding of sexuality.
However, these worries can, in fact, be considered as the actual reasons why sexuality in the media should be encouraged. The media has the power to influence individuals, by catching the attention of the public. Thus, if we bring issues to the public through the media, we can better prevent wrong information from flooding out. This power of the media is yet another reason for Witch Hunting’s high popularity. People used to find out things that they were curious about regarding sex through friends and other resources, which is not very accurate. On the other hand, the media is most often perceived to be more accurate because those who are making such programs do have in mind that their programs have a powerful impact. Consequently, they spend large amounts of time screening and paying attention to possible controversies regarding their contents. When information on the program is incorrect or biased, people do not just let it go. They will make sure things are corrected.
When it comes to social tradition, it always takes a lot of time to change things. Sexuality is one of those issues that are hard to talk about. However, the need for legal and accurate information about sex is essential these days. Sexuality is not something embarrassing to have interest in, or talk about. Plus, it seems inevitable that this issue goes from private to public. If reasonable, why not bring it up in the media? We might as well say, that the green light is on.