As South Korea prepares for its presidential election on March 9, women in the dating scene are taking dates’ presidential candidate preferences into major consideration.
The two leading candidates, Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party (DP) and Yoon suk-yeol of the People Power Party (PPP) are running in a tight race while representing opposing ideologies.
Lee’s campaign advocates for expanding welfare and basic income while driving economic growth through investments in digital and renewable energy industries. Yoon’s conservative campaign promotes smaller government, deregulation and market-led solutions.
Young voters and prospective dates have begun using a numbering system to indicate their preferred presidential candidates, referring to Lee as “Candidate No. 1” and Yoon as “Candidate No. 2.”
The term “No 2 man” has been trending online amongst women in reference to men who support presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol. And as gender politics have continued to play a big role in the election — with many critics calling out Yoon for making misogynistic comments — women online have taken to using the term “No 2 man” to refer to any young man who displays similarly misogynistic behaviors or tendencies.
Yoon campaigned on an election pledge to abolish South Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family while suggesting that the country’s low birth rate is attributed to feminism.
Many of Yoon’s opponents and critics have compared him to former U.S. President Donald Trump, saying that both have shown support for controversial global political figures, expressed antifeminist sentiments and made offensive comments about foreign countries.
As a result of Yoon’s allegedly antifeminist sentiments, Korean women have begun calling his supporters “No 2 men” and have described them as undesirable partners who are misogynistic “losers” and “nobodies.”
In contrast to the “No 2 men,” Korean women have labeled supporters of Lee Jae-myung as “No 1 men” and described them as possessing more praiseworthy characteristics.
A viral tweet posted by @hohoholov comparing the physical appearances of “No 1 men” and “No 2 men” using snippets of televised coverage of the election, also suggested that “No 1 men” were more physically attractive.
Male supporters of Yoon have responded to the trending tagline by posting and sending photos of themselves holding signs that state, “I am a No 2 man” to the antifeminist organization New Men’s Solidarity.
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