Middle-aged male fans are being criticized by aggressive female fans for attending fansign events of a teenage girl group.
Recently, an article titled “Look at the level of New Jeans‘ fandom” was posted on online communities such as Nate Pann and FM Korea. The article includes the screencap of a Tweet posted by someone believed to be a female fan of New Jeans.
The Twitter post showed a photo of a chubby and shabbily dressed middle-aged man facing New Jeans’ member Minji through a droplet prevention acrylic board at a fansign event. Minji is looking at the man with a strange expression that makes it difficult to tell whether she was serious or not.
The writer, a female Twitter user, verbally abused the man, saying, “If XX like this has a conscience, just don’t go to fansign event.”
Then, the post is retweeted more than 1,000 times and is immediately plastered with male-hating comments.
That Tweet is then followed by hateful comments such as “I hope men who see the New Jeans babies get hurt,” and “I hope men get affected with hurtful diseases when they see our New Jeans.”
The multinational girl group NewJeans, which debuted last month and has blown a new wind in the music industry, consists of 5 members (Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haein, and Hyein) who are all minors aged 14 to 18.
In response to this post, netizens expressed their frustration, saying, “It’s crazy that only two male fans came to the fansign event, but all of them had their identities exposed on Twitter, got taken photos of, and cursed at”, “Male fans also bought albums and won fansign event slots fairly to come and cheer for their favorite singers.”
This incident seems to have shown that the sympathy for girl groups that have faced dangerous and unfair situations regardless of their intentions was distorted as malicious fan love.
In the case of girl groups with a large number of male fans, sexual harassment and excessive sexualization caused by malicious fans often occur. Rookie idols and those from small and medium-sized agencies are likely to feel helpless in such situations. This is why people often say “female idol = extreme job”.
A member of the girl group Lovelyz was recently embroiled in an attitude controversy after she was revealed to have cursed at the sexual harassment remarks made by some fans during a live streaming broadcast.
At a fansign event of GFRIEND, a male fan was caught wearing glasses with a hidden camera, and a drunk male fan once caused trouble at WJSN’s fansign event.
However, it is pointed out that the intensifying conflicts between groups of people with different identities between fandoms and within a fandom are worrisome.