Businesses are taking drastic steps including gender segregation to avoid sexual harassment at Christmas parties as the Me Too movement holds Korea in thrall, with results that leave everybody unhappy.
One staffer at a financial company in Yeouido, Seoul said, "It looks like I'll have to go to two different year-end parties at work." The party for the entire staff will be held at lunchtime, which is considered relatively safe, followed by a men- or women-only party in the evening.
The head of the staffer's department chose the option citing "frequent occurrences of inappropriate behavior" at year-end parties.
One mid-sized company in Seongnam south of Seoul made its staff take a class on sexual harassment. Some of the rules staff were told to stick to were not to sit next to colleagues of the opposite sex at office gatherings and to avoid sharing taxis with them on the way home.
The predictable backlash consists mostly of complaints that female staff are paradoxically being frozen out of the revels instead of being empowered while the men get a chance to go to hostess bars.
Men on the other hand are complaining that sparing women the enforced conviviality is unfair and makes the events even drearier.