A Hankyoreh reporter went undercover at one of the "john school" classes for Korean men busted for soliciting prostitutes here or overseas for the first time. It's an opportunity for attendees to empathize with the victims of the sex trade, as the reporter recounts:
We are told that in the morning there will be classes on the criminality and harmfulness of sex crimes and testimonials from women victimized by prostitution, followed in the afternoon by classes on AIDS education and sociodramas to improve sexual awareness.
Finally, it is lunchtime.
In the photograph above the men are reenacting the moment of their arrest. Whether the reporter realizes it or not, his story reveals the emphasis entirely on the men and the aspect of shame, with little exploration into why what they did may have been wrong. After a day-long, eight period course the men are given a certificate of completion.
I go out first and wait in the smoking area to ask my “classmates” if their sexual consciousness has really changed after completing the course. But nobody approaches me. Even the people I smoked with before are ignoring one another and hurriedly moving toward the darkened street.