[trans] @.quilliticy's (abridged) dm conversation with jonghyun
t/n - please note that all commentary inserted by the translator are written in [square brackets].
J: this is jonghyun!
J: it’s late, perhaps you are asleep….
J: i’m the head of the household in my family, with a mother and a sister.
J: so i love and respect women, who are the same sex as my sister and mother, who are my reasons for living.
J: i don’t believe in an upper-and-lower hierarchy between men and women, and i don’t believe there is one between humans and animals either. [t/n - in case people misinterpret this, he’s speaking ideologically — that he wishes all living beings would be treated equally. please read on.]
J: i’m someone who believes one can only grow through learning.
J: i believe every “thing” that possesses life is equal, and that thing we call “life” is the same even for things without a heartbeat.
J: for instance, a photo of a precious memory, or an unwavering volition or dream, i believe all of these things have a “life force” as well.
J: [the words] that were spread
J: between people today—
Q: yes, i think what you just spoke of is revealed a lot through your usual tweets too, although it hasn’t been very long since i followed you, jonghyun-nim ^^
Q: yes yes
J: throughout my conversation [with nine]
J: the most sensitive part
J: which part would it be?
Q: mm.. the term between me seeing that screencap [of the conversation between jonghyun and nine] and the explanation you posted on twitter wasn’t very long, so i can’t say it’s this for sure, (this is completely just my opinion)
Q: the reaction on my timeline, honestly.. there was a discrepancy in the topics of conversation among the people you and i follow~ so if i just speak to you solely about that screencap itself
Q: i just found the file right now and in the middle of it you broke the silence with the terms “blessed existence,” right?
Q: but mm.. the perspective itself of seeing women as some kind of object of worship, something of value that must be pursued, etc. reveals that first, you’re unwilling to treat them as an agent equal to yourself
Q: you spoke about your mother and sister ~ (this is absolutely not an attack on you personally, i want to make it clear that i’m just bringing up a problem within this deduction) you see, maternal instincts also become framed the same way
Q: it isn’t possible to deny becoming ‘a blessed subject that gives inspiration to others.’ but, the majority of the “maternal instinct-framework” otherizes only women as ‘muses’; and women who are creators of discourse, women who speak — strictly speaking from that screencap,
Q: turning women into existences that make people ‘write poetry, paint pictures, and sing’ — that is, to deny the fact that women also are human beings who speak with agency and to define them as a kind of beautiful nature, sculpture, music,
Q: an object that draws out those sensibilities, i want to point out that this is the reason that screencap is causing controversy. you used the term ‘muse,’
Q: i saw a tweet that said it’s already been 4~50 years since [women] began to directly make the existence of “female creators [of art] as active agents who reject becoming models or muses” their agenda, and actively asserting it.
Q: in a creative field that still can’t help but be male supremacist, it’s my viewpoint that it isn’t possible for a term like ‘muse’ to be completely value-neutral. and this is something i also feel as a female creator in a different field.
J: the expression ‘muse’
J: wasn’t a term used to allude to records of history or art
J: the meaning was that they are existences that give inspiration
J: and i’ve used this to refer to men as well, i personally did an interview where i said i wrote a song with my members as my muses
J: the expression that ‘all poets write poetry,’
J: ‘make music, paint pictures,’
J: was a poetic expression. if i were to substitute this in a realistic way,
J: female poets also write works with women as their subjects,
J: and it’s the same for female musicians and female artists as well
J: both men and women can be situated as muses, and it’s my belief that rather than “existing as muses,”
J: “all things that exist” can become muses.
J: i mentioned something earlier about “life,” right.
J: everything that possesses life can become muses. it’s the same with [inanimate] objects
J: the historical and dictionary definitions may differ, but
J: i thought that the social meaning had already fallen into the category that i’m thinking of
J: at the time of the radio, there was a female artist in front of me
J: and i listened to the predicaments of female artists as the song was going out. that part wasn’t broadcast. afterward, the conversation that’s being talked about at the moment went back and forth.
J: i wanted to comfort her
J: and since it was a music program
J: to add to the explanation about the music
J: they were remarks meant to embrace her wounds
J: in an overall poetic expression
J: it wasn’t meant to disregard [women’s] agency or only use them as subjects
J: so i was disheartened that the interpretation took that direction.
Q: i understand what you’re talking about. however, i’ve already revealed this, but all i did was take that one screencap and publicize my opinion through a mention (because you yourself revealed publicly that you’d like to gather opinions) that “worship of women” and “hatred of women” are just a hair’s breadth away from each other, it wasn’t a comment solely directed at you personally.
Q: i’m not even your acquaintance, so it’s not like i have the channel to say that to you either. i simply couldn’t leave it in the form of a comment as i don’t have an instagram account.
Q: and misogyny and gender are unrelated. i see a lot of misogyny from very many creators, and. of course, i also love beautiful women, and gain inspiration from them often. but that isn’t because they are female,
Q: or because they were born as blessed existences, but because they reflect as being beautiful in my visual brain. i of course gain inspiration from listening to shinee’s music, and i’ve also drawn fanart a few times before. but even as i consume those things, i always strive to stay person-to-person,
Q: and i don’t just regard [people like you] as a subject i love one-sidedly, or as a subject that “provides me with something.” and i’ve never thought of this as hatred, either. i want to make it clear that just because you consume a subject, doesn’t mean it should be regarded as hatred.
Q: also about your remarks regarding the historical - dictionary [definitions], i don’t believe you were alluding to those things either. i also condemn the people who are concluding that you’re a misogynist solely based on that term [ie. ‘muse’] and condemning you, rather than criticizing you.
Q: but language is a social thing. it can’t be consumed in a solely personal context. even more so if they’re words that were spread out through a public channel.
Q: the comment about not being born to be a blessed existence — from the perspective of writing this i think there’s a possibility it could be misread, so i’ll elaborate on this. just as we don’t regard someone’s existence as being more special and beautiful because they are ‘male,’
Q: i think there is no need for women to be seen as especially more blessed, or special, or beautiful just because they are female. i completely understand that you weren’t talking about outer beauty, but truthfully, that term [ie. ‘muse’] itself holds the premise of ‘personal charm/appeal.’
Q: but what about women who can’t give inspiration to others? there are many different minority preferences in the world, but what about people who veer far from the majority and don’t appear attractive to the majority? (this is not to disparage them, but) for example, what about a woman who has a visible disability?
J: i see there really was cause for misunderstanding
J: then if we’re to look at it that way
J: the part i referred to as being a blessing
J: was the existence itself.
J: i referred to the fact of [something] possessing life as being a blessing; it wasn’t
J: inner / outer beauty
J: that was the reason i could designate all poets
J: just as all poets have different preferences, i meant to say that simply through their existence themselves they could become inspiration to someone’s eyes
J: and to just turn inner / outer beauty
J: into imagery
J: is not the product of inspiration.
J: for instance
J: pictures of bizarre forms, or perhaps music that builds fear, writing that gives you goosebumps
J: because of the brightness given off by a term like ‘blessing’
J: i see too much importance could have been attached to ‘beauty’
J: just as we don’t only sing about happiness, even if you aren’t a beautiful woman or being that receives the assent of the majority,
J: you can still rouse inspiration.
J: that was what i meant with the comments about the blessing of existence
Q: of course, i understand what you’re saying. i also get a lot of inspiration from creepy things, things that create self-loathing, the negative sides that anyone can possess, and i love artists who never cease to absorb such things and express themselves.
J: so in some ways, when something travels outward through personal interpretation,
J: i see it could differ from social interpretation.
J: about the struggles of women,
J: i think the direction of interpretation
J: became very different.
J: i see it was interpreted that way
Q: yes, yes. i definitely saw the part where you said you agreed [with nine’s perspective], and i don’t think of that part in a negative light at all. merely, (and of course i’m sure you’re aware from experiencing this far more than me)
Q: among the demographics of people who consume the media you appear on, it can’t be denied that a large part of the pie is women in their 10’s-20’s — that is, women who are at the age that’s easily exposed to “female-objectification-misogyny,”
Q: and to follow, your utterance with ‘women’ as your subject on a public channel has a larger ripple effect than you think, and is easy to be misread. and i think ‘muse’ (as used in an utterance about female subjects) has yet to become completely gender-neutral.
Q: to be honest, i don’t think it’s at all necessary for you to claim responsibility for every one of these issues. as you said, people learn, and if you yourself accepted this in the correct way then there’s no need to provide explanations to illiterate people. nor do consumers have the right to demand that.
Q: i looked at the screencap again, and if i were to pick out the terms that have the potential to cause problems,
Q: “blessed existence,” “the existence that gives inspiration to all artists is women” (this is a *completely* different utterance than saying ‘i get inspired by women.’ it doesn’t get read [ie. interpreted subjectively] in the context of personal preferences),
J: the interpretation of comments
J: could take many different forms
J: so i’ve come to the thought
J: that i need to have a little more consideration [for others].
J: because it’s a music program, i didn’t have time to explain the reasoning for my expression in a long, long way, and because of that it must have left room for misunderstanding
J: not at all^^
J: i was just curious.
J: about which part became a wound,
J: and what i need to do in order not to inflict that kind of wound again
J: i don’t believe i’m a wrong / wicked person, and i think it’s only right to apologize if someone was hurt.
J: not at all, today
J: just from your replies today
J: you helped plenty
J: many people speak in different ways and sometimes hurt others, regardless of intent
J: i inflicted a wound on someone, and
J: because i didn’t want to do it again
J: i wanted to hear your thoughts
t/n - the statement jonghyun made toward the end — “i don’t believe i’m a wrong / wicked person” — does NOT mean that he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong or made any mistakes, so please don’t misconstrue his words. jonghyun used the expression “잘못된 사람 (jalmotdoen saram),” which means a person who is fundamentally bad, unrighteous, wicked, headed down the wrong path, etc. this is a distinctly different expression from “잘못한 사람 (jalmothan saram),” which means someone who has committed a wrong.
jonghyun was very clearly willing to listen to and own up to whatever mistakes @quilliticy pointed out in his original wording, and was genuinely remorseful for the fact that his words -- regardless of his intended meaning -- hurt even a single person who was listening to him. not only that, but he views this incident as another lesson for him to better himself and become more aware. i really think these excerpts just speak for themselves and there is nothing to defend or shield.
* please do not edit my translation
* please do not take without translator’s notes
* please do not take without credit