A 20-year-old South Korean archer who clinched two gold medals in the Tokyo Olympics has become the target of online abuse from men over her short hair, alleging that “she's a short-haired feminist".
Male commenters had said An San's choice of hairstyle suggested she was a feminist, some of them demanding she apologise and even that she be stripped of her Olympic titles.
They also flooded the Korean Archery Association with calls demanding for her medals to be returned, and spammed her social media accounts with hate speech, slamming her past use of online slang which anti-feminist groups have deemed as anti-male.
"Unilaterally defining (another person's) thoughts based on (his or her) appearance or origin and targeting certain thoughts for indiscriminate criticism constitute an extreme case of senselessness and is tantamount to a hate crime," Rep. Woo Won-shik of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) wrote on his social media account a day earlier.
The outbreak of online misogyny comes as an anti-feminism backlash grows in the country, with companies accused of endorsing "extreme feminism" facing boycotts by men and issuing public apologies.
An had won two gold medals in the women's team and mixed team archery. She also scored 680 out of 720 points, to top the women's individual qualification, breaking a record that has stood since 1996.
Following the attacks, around 6,000 photos of women with short hair were also been reportedly posted on social media platforms in support of An, with Actress Koo Hye-sun among those showing their support.